Actor Configurations and Compliance Tasks in International Environmental Governance

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. 83-107.

What lessons learned about the design of compliance systems in other fields of international environmental governance can be applied to the area of climate change? This chapter argues that best-practice compliance systems can create and expand transnational enforcement networks, reinforce domestic compliance constituencies, and expand the number and categories of actors capable of sounding the non-compliance alarm. Enforcer networks are particularly potent if accompanied by access procedures that allow participation by environmental and industry organizations interested in providing additional compliance information about state or target-group adherence to international commitments. Similarly, domestic compliance constituencies in laggard states are more likely to improve rule adherence if they involve not only environmental agencies and green organizations but also target groups that play by the rules, alongside representatives from sector agencies that recognize that regime-based capacity enhancement may imply material benefits. Also brought out in this chapter is the need to consider individual international regimes within the larger complexes of institutions or governance architectures that affect the issue-area in focus.