The Fragmentation of Global Climate Governance

The Fragmentation of Global Climate Governance

Consequences and Management of Regime Interactions

New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series

Harro van Asselt

‘How do the different international institutions addressing climate change interact? What are the actual and potential synergies and conflicts? What are the most effective strategies to manage institutional interplay? Harro van Asselt’s expertise in both international law and international relations, as well as his intimate knowledge of the policy-making process, make him ideally equipped to address these fundamental questions. Based on detailed case studies, he provides a wide-ranging, lucid, and theoretically sophisticated study of climate change governance. Essential reading for international lawyers and international relations scholars alike.’ – Dan Bodansky, Arizona State University, US

Chapter 10: Conclusions and ways forward

Harro van Asselt

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental law, environmental politics and policy, law - academic, environmental law, international economic law, trade law, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy, international relations

Extract

As a 'super wicked' problem with a causal chain marked by complexity and uncertainty, it is impossible to govern all facets of climate change through a single international regime. To be effective, the international climate regime will need to take into account the potential of a variety of international regimes to either mitigate or exacerbate the problem, while at the same time also considering its own impacts on other regimes. Global climate governance is thus inevitably fragmented. The consequences of such fragmentation, however, are not necessarily duplication of work, regulatory chaos and uncertainty, or the prioritization of one policy field over another, as has been feared by international lawyers. Crucially, I have argued in this book that the implications of the fragmentation of global climate governance ultimately depend on how regime interactions are managed. In this chapter, I offer concluding observations that seek to explore the middle ground between the views of interaction management optimists, such as Sebastian Oberthür and Olav Schram Stokke, and sceptics like Martti Koskenniemi, who hold opposing views on whether interaction management can work in the first place.

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