In the past few years, numerous authors have highlighted the emergence of transnational climate initiatives, such as city networks, private certification schemes, and business self-regulation in the policy domain of climate change. While these transnational governance arrangements can surely contribute to solving the problem of climate change, their development by different types of sub- and non-state actors does not imply a weakening of the intergovernmental level. On the contrary, many transnational climate initiatives use the international climate regime as a point of reference and have adopted various rules and procedures from international agreements.
Rethinking Authority in Global Climate Governance puts forward this argument and expands upon it, using case studies which suggest that the effective operation of transnational climate initiatives strongly relies on the existence of an international regulatory framework created by nation-states. Thus, this book emphasizes the centrality of the intergovernmental process clustered around the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and underscores that multilateral treaty-making continues to be more important than many scholars and policy-makers suppose.
This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of global environmental politics, climate change and sustainable development.
1. Introduction: The Reconfiguration of Authority in World Politics 2. The Evolution of Global Climate Governance 3. Setting the Scene: Theoretical Background and Analytical Framework 4. Transnational City Networks: The ICLEI Network 5. Private Certification Schemes: The Gold Standard for Carbon Offsets 6. Business Self-Regulation: The Greenhouse Gas Protocol 7. Conclusions
Global environmental governance has been a prime concern of policy-makers since the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in 1972. Yet, despite more than 900 multi-lateral environmental treaties coming into force over the past 40 years and numerous public-private and private initiatives to mitigate global change, human-induced environmental degradation is reaching alarming levels. Scientists see compelling evidence that the entire earth system now operates well outside safe boundaries and at rates that accelerate. According to a recent scientific assessment organized by the international Earth System Governance Project (ESGP), human societies must change course and steer away from critical tipping points that might lead to rapid and irreversible change, while ensuring sustainable livelihoods for all. The urgent challenge from a social science perspective is how to organize the co-evolution of societies and their surrounding environment, in other words, how to develop effective and equitable governance solutions for today’s global problems.
Against this background, the Routledge Research in Global Environmental Governance series delivers cutting-edge research on the most vibrant and relevant themes within the academic field of global environmental governance. In more detail, the areas of interest of global environmental governance research constitute:
The overall institutional and organizational structure of Global Environmental Governance