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'International Climate Negotiations: Top-down, Bottom-up or a
combination of both?'
The International Spectator: Italian Journal
of International Affairs, Vol 50, No 1, 2015, pp. 15-30.
original article here
article discusees the main features of both the top-down and the bottom-up
approcahes. The top down approach is problem-oriented, scienece driven and the
parties jointly decide on emission-goals. As such this is seemingly a rather
elegant approach and was long hailed as the best way to deal with the problem.
In contrast the bottom-up approach is more pragmatic and not science driven as
the parties define their goals and policies themselves. The down-side is that
as climate measures are costly policies may be modest in the absence of
international incentives to reduce emissions. However, in reality most
approaches have elements of both top-down and bottom-up approaches. This, for
example, applies to the many new more exclusive 'clubs' that have been
established. As climate change is a very politically malign proiblem,
institutional design of agrements cannot be expected to matter that much.
However, in order to include as many countries as possible to real commitments
a bottom-up approach may be necessary in the UNFCCC but then it is important
that top-down review is effective as well.
Håkon, Siri Eriksen, Karen O'Brien og Linda Sygna
Climate Change Adaptation and Development: Changing Paradigms
London, Routledge, 2015, 295 p.
information about the book
Climate change poses multiple challenges
to development. It affects lives and livelihoods, infrastructure and
institutions, as well as beliefs, cultures and identities. There is a growing
recognition that the social dimensions of vulnerability and adaptation now need
to move to the forefront of development policies and practices. This book
presents case studies showing that climate change is as much a problem of
development as for development, with many of the risks closely linked to past,
present and future development pathways. Development policies and practices can
play a key role in addressing climate change, but it is critical to question to
what extent such actions and interventions reproduce, rather than address, the
social and political structures and development pathways driving vulnerability.
The chapters emphasise that adaptation is about much more than a set of
projects or interventions to reduce specific impacts of climate change; it is
about living with change while also transforming the processes that contribute
to vulnerability in the first place. This book will help students in the field
of climate change and development to make sense of adaptation as a social
process, and it will provide practitioners, policymakers and researchers
working at the interface between climate change and development with useful
insights for approaching adaptation as part of a larger transformation to
Eriksen, Siri, Tor Håkon Inderberg, Karen O'Brien and
'Introduction: Development as Usual is not Enough'
T.H. Inderberg, S. Eriksen, K. O'Brien and L. Sygna (eds), Climate Change
Adaptation and Development: Changing Paradigms and Practices. London,
Routledge, 2015, pp. 1-18.
information about the book
The rate and magnitude of climate change
and its social impacts are linked to the dominant developmental pathways
currently driving accelerated warming and heightened vulnerability. These
pathways, based on fossil-fuel driven economic growth, are the product of
systems, policies, practices and actions at many levels. Development and aid
interventions form part of such practices and actions. Here a key question is:
to what extent are they contributing to, or countering, current development
pathways that are based on fossil-fuel-driven economic growth? A critical
question is whether adaptation measures are merely incremental adjustments to
development as usual, or whether they can indeed influence current
development pathways in ways that bring about fundamental transformations and
paradigm shifts. In this introductory chapter, we describe why climate change
adaptation and development need to be taken more seriously, what is meant by
development as usual, and how adaptation is framed, financed and
practised within this paradigm. We then describe the contributions to this
book, and show that there is significant empirical research to support
arguments for new approaches to adaptation and development which can serve as
an entry point for creating sustainable and resilient development
O'Brien, Karen, Siri Eriksen,
Tor Håkon Inderberg and Linda
'Climate Change and Development: Adaptation through
In T.H. Inderberg, S. Eriksen, K. O'Brien and L. Sygna
(eds), Climate Change Adaptation and Development: Changing Paradigms and
Practices. London, Routledge, 2015, pp. 273-289.
information about the book
In this concluding chapter, we consider
what it means to transform paradigms and practices so as to enhance social
equity, resilience and environmental integrity in the face of climate change.
Synthesizing some key findings about adaptation from the chapters, we present a
framework or roadmap that can be used to navigate adaptation
as transformation. We begin by discussing why transformative responses to
adaptation and development are necessary. Focusing on three interacting spheres
of transformation, we describe entry points for adaptations that reduce
vulnerability and contribute to outcomes for global sustainability, of which
social equity, resilience and environmental integrity can be considered key
components. Finally, we offer some recommendations relevant to those working in
bilateral and multilateral aid organizations, in governments and in research,
all of whom can potentially play key roles in promoting the transformation of
paradigms and practices in support of global sustainability.
'The Climate Regime: A Few
Achievements but Many Challenges'
Climate Law, Vol 4, Nos 1-2,
2014, pp. 21-30.
> Access original article
its more than twenty years of existence the UN climate regime has created some
innovative mechanisms but with little practical significance for emissions
reductions. Over time, the efforts by the climate negotiators have increased
significantly but the effectiveness of the regime has not been enhanced. The
Kyoto Protocols second commitment period is weaker than its predecessor
and there are presently no binding obligations for countries emitting some 85%
of global emissions. The main reason for the slow progress is the extreme
malign nature of the issue area as it goes to the heart of virtually all global
economic activity. All actors need to do more to increase the effectiveness of
the regime but this particularly applies to the emerging economies. They cannot
continue to hide within the Group of 77 if progress is to be
Tor Håkon, Knut Bjørn Stokke and Marte Winsvold
Effect of New Public Management Reforms on Climate Change Adaptive Capacity: A
Comparison of Urban Planning and the Electricity Sector'
In Walter Leal
(ed), Handbook of Climate Change Adaptation. New York, Springer, 2014.
Chapter 35, 15 p. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-40455-9_83-1
> Access the chapter
From the mid-1980s and onwards, a number of public institutions
in Western democracies were subject to New Public Management (NPM) reforms,
applying management tools from the private sector, oriented towards outcomes
and efficiency. The chapter identifies organizational factors that influence
adaptive capacity to climate change and finds that the NPM reforms have changed
the sectors, significantly reducing adaptive capacity to climate change. In
urban planning project planning has been moved to private actors, undermining
formal responsibility for adaptation. In addition, an increased focus on
efficiency and short-term market orientation has reduced (adaptive?) adaptive
capacity. For the electricity sector, the revolutionary change with the reform
in 1991 led to an abrupt undermining of adaptive capacity. The radical change
in incentive structures, from encouraging security of supply to an extreme
focus on economic efficiency, downplayed robustness and adaptation. The change
in formal structure is followed by a corresponding professional demographic
change which further undermines adaptive capacity. Whereas both sectors were
previously dominated by engineers focusing on robustness of constructions and
maintenance, many economists focusing on cost reduction and economic efficiency
were employed as a result of NPM reforms. The chapter shows that adaptive
capacity to climate change is influenced by a wide set of organizational
factors beyond the traditional discussions, which have important practical
implications for public administration.
Kokorin, Alexey and Anna Korppoo
Russias Greenhouse Gas
Target 2020: Projections, Trends and Risks
Berlin, Friedrich Ebert
Stiftung, 2014, 17 p.
> Download the
report in English
Download the report in Russian
In September 2013, Russia adopted a
domestic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions target that limits emissions to 75 per
cent of the 1990 level by 2020. The structure and trends of the past and future
national GHG emissions are analysed based on the recent lower growth assumption
of the national economy. This makes the target achievable given that:
technological emission reduction opportunities are used effectively;
non-economic risks that can drive GHG emissions to exceed business-as-usual
scenarios are eliminated; and the use of carbon instruments is
Understanding the costs of climate change to the national
economy could make expenditure on mitigation acceptable and thus facilitate
establishing an ambitious post-2020 goal. The lack of information on these
costs is the basic reason for Russias quiescence on climate mitigation.
Any future international climate agreement will fail to change this without
awareness of the risks of climate change for the Russian Federation; As a
result, Russia is unlikely to proceed beyond the »economically
viable« development path almost equivalent to its business-as-usual
trajectory, which rejects the additional costs associated with emission
reductions. This is more or less equivalent to the adopted domestic target,
depending to some extent on which of the existing policies proves to be viable
'Exclusive Approaches to Climate Governance: More Effective
than the UNFCCC?'
In Cherry, T.L., J. Hovi and D.M. McEvoy (eds),
Toward a New Climate Agreement: Conflict, Resolution and Governance.
London, Routledge, 2014, pp. 167-181.
> More information about the book
UN climate regime has proven ineffective in a problem-solving perspective.
Therefore it is understandable that other and more exclusive approaches have
been called for. However such forums have existed for quite some time already.
This brief empirical examination of some of the most important alternative or
supplemnentary international institutions demonstrate that they do not
represent panacea for dealing more effectively with climate change. The
malignancy of the issue is so severe that it cannot be removed by clever design
alone. Still, in a learning perspective these institutions may have some
influence by showing that more pragmaticicallt-oriented bottom-up sector
approaches can be a supplementary avenue to the UNFCCC. Whether they will turn
out to be more effective, remains to be seen. Also, this study indicates that
these other forums still regard the UNFCCC as the most important and legitimate
international institution to deal with climate change.
Wettestad, Jørgen and
'The EU's Quest
for Linked Carbon Markets: Turbulence and Headwind'
In Cherry, T.L., J.
Hovi and D.M. McEvoy (eds), Toward a New Climate Agreement: Conflict,
Resolution and Governance. London, Routledge, 2014, pp. 266-279.
More information about the book
Emissions Trading System (ETS) of the (EU) is the largest carbon trading market
in the world, but climate change is a global challenge. In 2009, the EU
announced its ambition of having linked carbon markets OECD-wide by 2015. This
article assesses the EUs progress in reaching this goal, inquires whether
the explanatory factors lie within the EU itself or in the external
environment, and discusses the main prospects for the future. Despite some
progress, no interconnected emission trading system will cover the entire OECD
area by 2015so the EU is lagging behind in terms of achieving its own
ambitions. Within the EU, member-state pressure for external linking has been
modest, with Germany and the UK as notable exceptions. The European Commission
has worked to establish links between the EU ETS and other systems, with only
modest backing from other EU bodies. Globally, the development of emissions
trading has progressed slowly. Furthermore, external interest in linking up
with an increasingly crisis-ridden EU ETS has been variable, with, for
instance, reluctant US actors and an eager Australian government. Experience
thus far indicates that the bottomup route to a global climate regime
offered by linking is a long-term projectcertainly not a quick
'EU Emissions Trading: Acievements, Challenges,
In Cherry, T.L., J. Hovi and D.M. McEvoy (eds), Toward a
New Climate Agreement: Conflict, Resolution and Governance. London,
Routledge, 2014, pp. 254-264.
> More information about the book
EU ETS is a grand climate policy experimentthe first-ever international
cap-and-trade system to target industry. The ultimate aim is to create a global
carbon market by encouraging other major emitters, not least the USA and China,
to follow suit. However, the economic recession that developed from 2008 and
the resultant conflict with other energy policy instruments has put the EU ETS
to the test. A significant supplydemand imbalance of allowances has
accumulated, followed by a low carbon price. This chapter explores possible
solutions for the EU, as well as presenting a brief analysis of the evolution
and the achievements of the system.
Norichika Kanie and Peter M. Haas
'Actor Configurations in the Climate
Regime: The States Call the Shots'
In Kanie, N., S. Andresen and P.M.
Haas (eds), Improving Global Environmental Governance: Best Practices for
Architecture and Agency. London/New York, Routledge, 2014, pp.
> More information
role of various actors and actor combinations are discussed in the various
stages set out in the introductory chapter of the book.In the agenda setting
stage non-state actors as well as key indfividuals played a key role- However
as these are mostly activists of various kinds they contributed to downplay the
difficulty of the issue. The US played the key role in setting up the IPCC.
When negotiations started most non-state actors were marginalized and the
process was firmly in the control of the states. The North-South divide has
been the most important reason for lacking progress, The compliance regime has
also proved to be rather weak in practice. Both states and non-state actors in
various combinations have played a role in implementing commitments. Altgough
most key states have introduced a number of measures and non-state actors have
also been active this has not been enough to stop the rising emissions. The
main drivers in the development towards rising emisisons are economic growth,
demography and general forces. Climate based measures initiated has not been
enough to halt this development, Thibgs might have been different with
non-state actors playing a more significant role but this has proved impossible
Birger, Guri Bang and Miranda Schreurs
'Explaining Growing Climate
Policy Differences Between the European Union and the United States'
Global Environmental Politics, Vol 13, No 4, 2013, pp. 61-79.
Purchase the original article here
has been a strong rhetorical difference between the European Union (EU) and the
United States on climate policy matters, it is really only since the mid- to
late- 2000s that this difference has resulted in major differences in the range
and depth of binding policies addressing climate change. Increased climate
change concern in the United States in 20062008 created new opportunities
for convergence, but failed to lead to policy change. We propose three
explanations for the major differences in policy outcomes in the EU and the
United States. First, distinctly different agenda-setting privileges among
policy-makers in the EU and the United States caused diverse potentials for
consultation and issue linkages on energy and climate policy. Second, while
issue linkage helped overcome distributional obstacles in the EU, in contrast
it led to more complexity and higher obstacles in the United States. Finally,
legislative rules, procedures, and norms constrained the coalition-building
efforts among lawmakers differently, leading to different negotiation processes
and outcomes. Such differences in agenda-setting privileges, potential for
issue linkage, and legislative procedures resulted in divergent climate
policies in the EU and the United States that leave them wide apart in
international climate negotiations.
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