Our Common Future Under Climate Change

International Scientific Conference 7-10 JULY 2015 Paris, France

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Thursday 9 July - 15:00-16:30 UPMC Jussieu - Amphi Herpin

4409 (a) - Climate Governance: Driving Societal Transformations

Parallel Session

Chair(s): D. Compagnon (Sciences Po Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France)

Lead Convener(s): A. Jordan (Tyndall Centre, Norwich, United Kingdom)

15:00

The Evolving Role of the UNFCCC in Global Climate Governance: From Regulator to Facilitator?

H. Van Asselt (Stockholm Environment Institute, Oxford, United Kingdom), F. Zelli (Lund University, Lund, Sweden)

Abstract details
The Evolving Role of the UNFCCC in Global Climate Governance: From Regulator to Facilitator?

H. Van Asselt (1) ; F. Zelli (2)
(1) Stockholm Environment Institute, Oxford, United Kingdom; (2) Lund University, Lund, Sweden

Abstract content

It is widely acknowledged that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) does not operate in isolation in global climate governance. Governance of climate change and options for improving its effectiveness are not properly understood through an exclusive focus on one of its elements (e.g. the UNFCCC process), but require examining how various elements work in conjunction. Such a broadened focus draws attention to the (potential) facilitative and catalytic role of the UNFCCC, an aspect that has been largely overlooked by commentators and has only recently received more attention in the Durban Platform negotiations on a future climate agreement. The paper explores this possible new role for the UNFCCC, in which it can keep track and review the outcomes of other actions, and strengthen them where possible. It explains the rationale for the new role, and highlights opportunities for as well as risks of ‘outsourcing’ parts of global climate governance to other international and transnational institutions, focusing in particular on the case of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs). The case is of high relevance since a variety of intergovernmental and public-private institutions have started to tackle SLCPs, such as black carbon and tropospheric ozone, including intergovernmental agreements such as the Montreal Protocol as well as new public-private partnerships such as the Climate and Clean Air Coalition. The paper concludes that a better understanding of the UNFCCC’s facilitative role leads to a more nuanced assessment of the achievements of the UNFCCC in global climate governance.

15:15

National climate governance. National Climate Policy Activity

D. Huitema (VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands), A. Jordan (Tyndall Centre, Norwich, United Kingdom)

Abstract details
National climate governance. National Climate Policy Activity

D. Huitema (1) ; A. Jordan (2)
(1) VU University Amsterdam, IVM, Amsterdam, Netherlands; (2) Tyndall Centre, ENV, Norwich, United Kingdom

Abstract content

States have been widely criticized for failing to advance the international climate regime. Many observers now believe that a “new” climate governance is emerging through transnational and/or local forms of action that will eventually plug the resulting governance gaps. Yet states, which remain oddly absent from most discussions of the “new” governance, will remain key players as governance becomes more polycentric. This presentation is based on two special issues (both edited by Andrew Jordan and Dave Huitema) that explore the ability of states to rise to these interconnected challenges through the analytical prism of policy innovation. We reveal that policy innovation is much more multi-dimensional than is often thought; it encompasses three vital activities: invention (centering on the ‘source’ of new policy elements), diffusion (that produces different ‘patterns’ of policy adoption), and the evaluation of the ‘effects’ that such innovations create in reality. The papers in the special issues, which range from qualitative case studies to large ‘n’ quantitative studies, offer new insights into the varied roles that states play in relation to all three.

They show, for instance that: the policy activity of states has risen dramatically in the past decade; that state innovation is affected to similar degrees by internal and external factors; and that policies that offer flexibility to target groups on how to meet policy goals are most effective but that voluntary reporting requirements are ineffective. This presentation draws upon these and many other insights to offer a much more nuanced reflection on the future of climate governance; one that deservedly puts states at the front and center of analysis.

15:30

Transnational Climate Governance: Performance and Future Prospects

D. Compagnon (Sciences Po, Bordeaux, France), M. Betsill (Colorado State Univ, Colorado, United States of America)

Abstract details
Transnational Climate Governance: Performance and Future Prospects

M. Betsill (1)
(1) Colorado State Univ, Political Science, Colorado, United States of America

Abstract content

Today, the governance of global climate change takes place in a complex, multi-level and multi-actor landscape through a wide range of mechanisms such as multilateral treaties, carbon markets, certification schemes, urban planning codes, corporate sustainability programs, and so on. 

Critical to this transformation is the emergence of transnational governance arrangements which cut across traditional state-based jurisdictions and operate across public-private divides. This talk will present the findings from a recent international research collaboration (Bulkeley et al., Cambridge University Press, 2014) analyzing 60 transnational climate governance arrangements to better understand the emergence, nature and consequences of this phenomenon and consider the broader implications for global climate governance.

PLEASE NOTE: This is part of a parallel session proposal submitted by Andy Jordan of the Tyndall Centre, UK. The title is "Climate Governance: Driving Societal Transformations" - parallel Plenary Session - 4409a and 4409b

15:45

The political economy of contending pathways to de-carbonisation'

P. Newell (University of Suussex, Brighton, United Kingdom)

Abstract details
The political economy of contending pathways to de-carbonisation'

P. Newell (1)
(1) University of Suussex, Brighton, United Kingdom

Abstract content

Drawing on recent work on the politics of green transformations, this presentation will apply insights on competing pathways to sustainability to the case of de-carbonising the economy. It will look at a range of state-led, market-led, technocentic and civil society-led transformations, drawing both on contemporary and historical examples, to explore what light they shed on our ability to de-carbonise the contemporary global economy.