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 25: Science

Silke Beck

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


This chapter explores the role of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in global climate governance. The IPCC represents one of the most ambitious and influential efforts ever undertaken by the international community to provide policy-relevant science. The joint award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the IPCC in 2007 underlined the authoritative status of scientific knowledge in policymaking on climate change. The chapter combines constructivist approaches to explore how and with what effects the IPCC acts as a politically powerful agent in climate politics even if the organization itself claims to be neutral and not policy prescriptive. Based on these empirical findings, it asks whether the IPCC is robust enough to address future challenges in a changing political architecture and outlines some of the questions to be addressed by future research.

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