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 48: Innovation investments

Björn-Ola Linnér and Steve Rayner

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


An international agreement to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions need not be fixated on targets for regulating greenhouse gas emissions—an end-of-pipe approach—but could shift focus to an agreement that incentivizes a shift to low-carbon development pathways. Investment targets for innovation and diffusion of low-carbon energy technologies can form the basis for such new approach for a future UN climate change agreement. It is a viable alternative to the cap-and-trade approach, which shows few signs of being able trigger a fundamental transformation of the global energy system. The current pace of innovation is insufficient to secure globally shared energy and environmental goals. An international agreement could provide a push for research, development, demonstration and deployment (RDD & D) by setting an investment target. To garner developing country support such an agreement could distribute responsibilities, for example, based on countries’ ability to invest, capacity for innovation and need for energy modernization.

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