The Domestic Politics of Global Climate Change

The Domestic Politics of Global Climate Change

Key Actors in International Climate Cooperation

New Horizons in Environmental Politics series

Edited by Guri Bang, Arild Underdal and Steinar Andresen

Why are some countries more willing and able than others to engage in climate change mitigation? The Domestic Politics of Global Climate Change compiles insights from experts in comparative politics and international relations to describe and explain climate policy trajectories of seven key actors: Brazil, China, the European Union, India, Japan, Russia, and the United States. Using a common conceptual framework, the authors find that ambitious climate policy change is limited by stable material parameters and that governmental supply of mitigation policies meet (or even exceed) societal demand in most cases. Given the important roles that the seven actors play in addressing global climate change, the book’s in-depth comparative analysis will help readers assess the prospects for a new and more effective international climate agreement for 2020 and beyond.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Guri Bang, Arild Underdal and Steinar Andresen

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental politics and policy, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy, international politics


In the Introduction we develop a conceptual framework designed for studying climate policy trajectories in countries with different political systems and with different energy mixes. The framework highlights factors that influence the likelihood for significant climate policy change. First, slow-changing factors that define the scope for climate policy change are identified as significant, in particular domestic fossil energy resource mix, energy security concerns and political institutional system. Second, the interplay between governmental supply of new policy initiatives and the level of societal demand for climate policy change is recognized as important for assessing the strength and form of pressure for climate policy change. The conceptual framework underpins the book’s in-depth analysis of climate policy development in seven key actors, and provides an important basis for understanding the prospects for a new international climate agreement.