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 24: International bureaucracies

Bernd Siebenhüner

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


The landscape of international bureaucracies concerned with climate governance evolved rapidly and dynamically over the past decades. From an early phase when there was almost no international agency officially concerned with climate-related policy issues, the bodies of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change emerged in the 1990s. With expeditiously growing negotiation dynamics, the bureaucratic infrastructures also developed into a pattern of multiple bureaucracies bound together with various forms of formalized and informal connections and interactions. Even under the umbrella of the UNFCCC secretariat bureaucratic structures evolved with the different dynamics of the negotiation process. Beyond this hub of international climate governance, numerous international agencies, such as other secretariats of international environmental treaties, developed into bureaucratic actors of climate governance. This chapter analyzes this development with regard to how and why international bureaucracies in the field of climate governance interact. Relevant factors to be studied include the growth of international treaties, the problem structure of climate governance, knowledge and communication and leadership.

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