Climate Governance after Paris: Exploring the Links Between Intergovernmental, Transnational and Domestic Climate Policies

TBC, Wednesday, 22nd March 2017 - Friday, 24th March 2017

Call For Abstracts, Fully-funded Research Workshop, March 22-24th 2017

The climate change regime has evolved in a complex fashion over the past 30 years, with a mosaic of interconnected and partially overlapping intergovernmental, transnational and domestic initiatives appearing. States have engaged in unilateral policymaking and formed climate clubs amongst themselves. A host of transnational climate governance initiatives, involving an array of non-state and sub-state actors, has arisen. Numerous intergovernmental organizations, such as the UN, G20, IMO, and the World Bank, have developed their own governance schemes and engaged both state and non-state actors. Now, after the conclusion of the Paris Agreement, states have finally produced a new intergovernmental treaty that aims to catalyze, facilitate, and review national efforts, and recognizes the important role that non-state and sub-state actors will play in the future.

In this context, successful governance of climate change increasingly rests on the ability of these diverse varieties of governance to develop reinforcing relationships that can enhance the ambition and effectiveness of each element. Yet, at present, our understanding of the linkages between them remains limited. While we have a better understanding of dynamics within each domain and know that these different elements of the climate regime are interconnected in important ways, there has been relatively little research into how and when domestic, intergovernmental, and transnational initiatives can have mutually reinforcing effects, or, conversely, when actions in one sphere are likely to hinder or undermine meaningful actions in another. This fully-funded workshop therefore aims to bring around 20 scholars together in order to foster a deeper analytical understanding of the linkages between different elements of the climate regime, and to distill the broader lessons for climate policymaking.

Specifically, the aims of this workshop are three-fold:

The climate change regime has evolved in a complex fashion over the past 30 years, with a mosaic of interconnected and partially overlapping intergovernmental, transnational and domestic initiatives appearing. States have engaged in unilateral policymaking and formed climate clubs amongst themselves. A host of transnational climate governance initiatives, involving an array of non-state and sub-state actors, has arisen. Numerous intergovernmental organizations, such as the UN, G20, IMO, and the World Bank, have developed their own governance schemes and engaged both state and non-state actors. Now, after the conclusion of the Paris Agreement, states have finally produced a new intergovernmental treaty that aims to catalyze, facilitate, and review national efforts, and recognizes the important role that non-state and sub-state actors will play in the future.

In this context, successful governance of climate change increasingly rests on the ability of these diverse varieties of governance to develop reinforcing relationships that can enhance the ambition and effectiveness of each element. Yet, at present, our understanding of the linkages between them remains limited. While we have a better understanding of dynamics within each domain and know that these different elements of the climate regime are interconnected in important ways, there has been relatively little research into how and when domestic, intergovernmental, and transnational initiatives can have mutually reinforcing effects, or, conversely, when actions in one sphere are likely to hinder or undermine meaningful actions in another. This fully-funded workshop therefore aims to bring around 20 scholars together in order to foster a deeper analytical understanding of the linkages between different elements of the climate regime, and to distill the broader lessons for climate policymaking.

Papers may be conceptual, empirical, or normative in nature, and can apply a range of methods. Those addressing the following (and related) types of questions are welcome:

• When do initiatives at the intergovernmental level (the UNFCCC, World Bank, International Civil Aviation Organizations, G20, and so on) help to constitute coalitions or create incentives for ambitious actions at the domestic and/or transnational levels?

• Through which pathways can ambitious transnational schemes strengthen or catalyze governance at the intergovernmental and domestic levels?

• What actions have ambitious states taken that might raise the likelihood of other laggard states adopting ambitious policies? For instance, how do actions taken by the US or the EU influence the politics and prospects for climate action elsewhere?

• When and why does action in one sphere create disincentives, conflicts, or counter-coalitions that can stymie ambitious action in other domains? For instance, how has the collapse of the Clean Development Mechanism or problems with the EU Emissions Trading System affected climate policymaking in developing states?

• What role have third parties played in facilitating productive linkages between initiatives in different governance domains? For instance, what role have non-governmental organizations played in facilitating productive linkages between the intergovernmental and domestic levels, or what role can intergovernmental organizations play in facilitating productive linkages between transnational initiatives and state policies?

• What lessons can we draw for different actors aiming to facilitate productive linkages between different levels of governance?


Practicalities and Deadlines

• Proposals should be submitted by November 24th 2016.
• Proposal should be roughly 500 words, and not more than 600.
• Applicants will be notified of acceptance by early December 2016.
• Full papers of roughly 5000-8000 words should be submitted to the organizers by March 10th 2017.

Papers should be submitted to Charles Roger at charles.roger@utoronto.ca. The conference organizers, David Held (david.held@durham.ac.uk) and Charles Roger are happy to answer questions about the workshop.

The workshop will be funded under the 4 year COST Action INOGOV (IS1309 Innovations in Climate Governance: Sources, Patterns and Effects) (2014-8). INOGOV will cover reasonable travel costs and accommodation of all invited authors, subject to standard COST reimbursement and eligibility rules.



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