Table of Contents

Handbook of the International Political Economy of Governance

Handbook of the International Political Economy of Governance

Handbooks of Research on International Political Economy series

Edited by Anthony Payne and Nicola Phillips

Since the 1990s many of the assumptions that anchored the study of governance in international political economy (IPE) have been shaken loose. Reflecting on the intriguing and important processes of change that have occurred, and are occurring, Professors Anthony Payne and Nicola Phillips bring together the best research currently being undertaken in the field. They explore the complex ways that the global political economy is presently being governed, and indeed misgoverned.

Chapter 24: Global climate governance

Matthew J. Hoffmann

Subjects: economics and finance, political economy, politics and public policy, international politics, political economy, regulation and governance


The attempt to govern climate change globally has been a fascinating, if disappointing, endeavour. Deciding on the rules and institutions necessary for decisively decarbonising economies and societies on a global scale, as well as for dealing with the effects of the climate change we are already destined to endure, has to this point eluded the best efforts of the international community to achieve international collective action on a grand scale. For most of the past 20 years the much-maligned United Nations (UN) process that produced the 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and a range of recent agreements intended to move the treaty-making forward past 2012 has been the only global climate governance process in play. The global response to climate change was the UN process, with all the opportunities and challenges a global multilateral process affords. The single focus of global climate governance has, however, fragmented in the last decade (Biermann et al. 2009; Keohane and Victor 2011; Abbot 2012). Now multiple multilateral fora are also engaged in governing climate change to greater or lesser degrees (though the UNFCCC process retains pride of place multilaterally). Even more significantly in terms of the shape of the global response to climate change, alternative governance mechanisms - which I have called climate governance experiments (Hoffmann 2011) and others have discussed as transnational climate governance (Andonova et al. 2009; Bulkeley et al. 2012) - have begun to emerge, offering new directions for the global response to climate change.

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