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Key Actors and the Climate Regime: Lessons and Future Options

Key actors in the international climate regime have been accumulating experiences from past and ongoing climate negotiations – from the workings of the Kyoto mechanisms, as well as from the implementation of climate policies. The objective of this project was to bring together the lessons that could be learned from the Kyoto Protocol implementation, and to discuss the consequences for the negotiating positions of key actors, for Norway's potential role in the negotiation process, and for the feasibility of post-2012 climate agreements.

The project included studies of the following state actors: The United States, EU, China and G-77. In addition, non-state actors such as energy companies and environmental NGOs were also studied. The aim of the case studies was to shed light on how implementation of climate policies would affect the future of the international regime. The study also analysed the implications for Norway.

The project addressed the following research questions:
   To what extent, and how, are implementation experiences by states and non-state actors likely to influence key actors' positions in the upcoming negotiations on a continuation of the international climate regime after 2012?
   How can changes in negotiation positions among key actors affect the probabilities of (effective) post-2012 climate agreements?
   How can technology programs and new commitment types facilitate inclusion of more countries in the next commitment period?
   What is the potential for Norway to play a leadership or mediator role in the upcoming negotiation rounds, and what are the most promising approaches?

The project was interdisciplinary, applying insights from political science, economics, sociology, engineering, and sinology. It was a strategic co-operation project between FNI and the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo (CICERO). More information is available on CICERO's project homepage.

FNI project team:
Gørild Heggelund (project leader)
Steinar Andresen
Lars H. Gulbrandsen

Project period: 2004-2009


Kasa, Sjur, Anne. T. Gullhaug and Gørild Heggelund, 'The Group of 77 in International Climate Negotiations: Recent Developments and Future Directions'. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Vol 8, No 2, 2008, pp. 113-127.

Buan, Inga Fritzen, Helping People Build a Better World? Barriers to More Environmentally Friendly Energy Production in China: The Case of Shell. FNI Report 3/2008. Lysaker, FNI, 2008, 86 p.

Andresen, Steinar, 'Mer enn bare "værsting"' ('The US & Climate: More than just a "baddie"'). Klassekampen, 29 November 2007. In Norwegian.

Andresen, Steinar, 'Enestående innsats' ('Gore’s Climate Efforts Unique'). Dagbladet, 12 October 2007. In Norwegian.

Sæverud, Ingvild Andreassen, 'Norway's Experience of Carbon Dioxide Storage: A Basis for Pursuing International Commitments?'. Climate Policy, Vol 7, No 1, 2007, pp. 13-28.

Heggelund, Gørild, 'China's Climate Change Policy: Domestic and International Developments'. Asian Perspective, Vol 31, No 2, 2007, pp. 155-191.

Skjærseth, Jon Birger, 'Schwarzenegger mot Bush' ('Climate: Schwarzenegger vs. Bush'), Dagbladet, 25 June 2007. In Norwegian.

Gulbrandsen, Lars H., 'Et skjebnevalg for miljøet' ('US Presidential Elections Fateful for the Environment'), Aftenposten, 4 May 2007. In Norwegian.

Skodvin, Tora, Steinar Andresen and Jon Hovi (guest eds), 'Special Issue: The Negotiation and Effectiveness of International Environmental Agreements'. Global Environmental Politics, Vol 6, No 3, 2006, 143 p.

Skodvin, Tora and Steinar Andresen, 'Leadership Revisited'. Global Environmental Politics, Vol 6, No 3, 2006, pp. 13-28.

Bjørkum, Ida, China in the International Politics of Climate Change: A Foreign Policy Analysis. FNI report 12/2005. Lysaker, FNI, 2005, 82 p.

Bang, Guri, Gørild Heggelund and Jonas Vevatne, Shifting Strategies in the Global Climate Negotiations. FNI report 6/2005. Lysaker, FNI, 2005, 30 p.

Andresen, Steinar, 'The Kyoto Protocol: Dead End or Building Block'. Guest Commentary, Point Carbon Europe, 16 September, 2005, p. 3.

Bang, Guri, Andreas Tjernshaugen and Steinar Andresen, ‘Future US climate policy: International re-engagement?’ International Studies Perspectives, Vol 6, 2005, pp. 285-303.

Andresen, Steinar and Lars H. Gulbrandsen, 'The Role of Green NGOs in Promoting Climate Compliance'. In: Stokke, Hovi and Ulfstein (eds.), Implementing the Climate Regime: International Compliance. London, Earthscan, 2005, pp. 169-186.
 Related focal points of research:

   Climate change

Project funding:

   The Research Council of Norway

 External cooperation partners:

   CICERO (Center for International Climate and Environmental Research - Oslo)

Recent media coverage:

'Tviler på klimaavtale' ('Doubting a Climate Agreement'), Miljøjournalen, 16 February 2009. In Norwegian.

'Blått lys for klimaavtale i København: Utslippsnasjonene sitter fast i egne klimaskyttergraver' ('Hope Waning for Climate Agreement in Copenhagen: Emission Nations Stuck in Climate Trenches'), Mandag Morgen, 1 December 2008. In Norwegian.

'- Vi er veldig, veldig glade' ('- We Are Very, Very Happy That Gore has Won the Nobel Peace Prize'), Dagbladet, 12 October 2007. In Norwegian.

Fridtjof Nansen Institute
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