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FNI PUBLICATION SUMMARIES

Climate Change



Inderberg, Tor Håkon, Siri Eriksen, Karen O'Brien og Linda Sygna (eds)
Climate Change Adaptation and Development: Changing Paradigms and Practices
London, Routledge, 2015, 295 p.
> More 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 sustainability.



Eriksen, Siri, Tor Håkon Inderberg, Karen O'Brien and Linda Sygna
'Introduction: Development as Usual is not Enough'
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. 1-18.
> More 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 pathways.



O'Brien, Karen, Siri Eriksen, Tor Håkon Inderberg and Linda Sygna
'Climate Change and Development: Adaptation through Transformation'
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.
> More 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.



Andresen, Steinar
'The Climate Regime: A Few Achievements but Many Challenges'
Climate Law, Vol 4, Nos 1-2, 2014, pp. 21-30.
> Access original article here

During 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 Protocol’s 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 made.



Inderberg, Tor Håkon, Knut Bjørn Stokke and Marte Winsvold
'The 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 here

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
Russia’s 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 accelerated.

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 Russia’s 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 in practice.



Andresen, Steinar
'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 here

The 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 Torbjørg Jevnaker
'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 here

The 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 EU’s 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 2015—so 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 bottom–up route to a global climate regime offered by linking is a long-term project—certainly not a “quick fix.



Skjærseth, Jon Birger
'EU Emissions Trading: Acievements, Challenges, Solutions'
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 here

The EU ETS is a grand climate policy experiment—the 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 supply–demand 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.



Andresen, Steinar, 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. 175-196.
> More information here

The 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 in practice.



Skjærseth, Jon 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

Although there 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 2006–2008 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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