Table of Contents

Research Handbook on Climate Governance

Research Handbook on Climate Governance

Edited by Karin Bäckstrand and Eva Lövbrand

The 2009 United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen is often represented as a watershed in global climate politics, when the diplomatic efforts to negotiate a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol failed and was replaced by a fragmented and decentralized climate governance order. In the post-Copenhagen landscape the top-down universal approach to climate governance has gradually given way to a more complex, hybrid and dispersed political landscape involving multiple actors, arenas and sites. The Handbook contains contributions from more than 50 internationally leading scholars and explores the latest trends and theoretical developments of the climate governance scholarship.

Chapter 23: Business

Chukwumerije Okereke

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental governance and regulation, environmental politics and policy, politics and public policy, environmental governance and regulation


It is widely acknowledged that significant involvement of business is critical for the success of national and international climate policy. Despite this increasing awareness of the salience of climate change and its potential impacts, however, there is little so far in prevailing corporate carbon management approaches to strongly alter pre-existing carbon-intensive practices and induce radical societal transformation towards greener economies. This chapter proposes that the history of business climate strategies can be divided into four distinct if overlapping eras: (1) opposition, (2) reluctant support, (3) backtracking and (4) ambivalence. The chapter also reviews the utility of front running theories in explaining the orientation and changes in corporate strategies for climate change. Analysis suggests that an understanding of the complex interplay between competitive dynamics, societal and regulatory pressures that goes beyond narrow market or environmental management perspective is needed to explain the prospects and limits of global corporate climate governance.

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