Table of Contents

Elgar Encyclopedia of Environmental Law

Elgar Encyclopedia of Environmental Law

Edited by Michael Faure

The Elgar Encyclopedia of Environmental Law is a landmark reference work, providing definitive and comprehensive coverage of this dynamic field. The Encyclopedia is organised into 12 volumes around top-level subjects – such as water, energy and climate change – that reflect some of the most pressing issues facing us today. Each volume probes the key elements of law, the essential concepts, and the latest research through concise, structured entries written by international experts. Each entry includes an extensive bibliography as a starting point for further reading. The mix of authoritative commentary and insightful discussion will make this an essential tool for research and teaching, as well as a valuable resource for professionals and policymakers.

Chapter I.27: Polycentrism and climate change

Hari M Osofsky

Subjects: environment, environmental law, law - academic, environmental law

The Elgar Encyclopedia of Environmental Law is a landmark reference work, providing definitive and comprehensive coverage of this dynamic field. The Encyclopedia is organised into 12 volumes around top-level subjects – such as water, energy and climate change – that reflect some of the most pressing issues facing us today. Each volume probes the key elements of law, the essential concepts, and the latest research through concise, structured entries written by international experts. Each entry includes an extensive bibliography as a starting point for further reading. The mix of authoritative commentary and insightful discussion will make this an essential tool for research and teaching, as well as a valuable resource for professionals and policymakers.

Abstract

Although climate change is often treated as an international problem due to its global dimensions, mitigation and adaptation interact with a variety of public and private actors at multiple levels of government. Elinor Ostrom introduced the term ‘polycentric governance’ in this context to describe this phenomenon, though many others have used different terms to describe the multiscalar, multipolar quality of climate change regulation.

This chapter begins by introducing why and the ways in which polycentric governance and similar concepts have been used in the climate change context. Then, it considers two examples of polycentric governance efforts focused on subnational actors – multilevel networks of local governments and multilevel climate change litigation. It concludes by considering the benefits and limitations of polycentric approaches to climate change governance.

Abstract

Although climate change is often treated as an international problem due to its global dimensions, mitigation and adaptation interact with a variety of public and private actors at multiple levels of government. Elinor Ostrom introduced the term ‘polycentric governance’ in this context to describe this phenomenon, though many others have used different terms to describe the multiscalar, multipolar quality of climate change regulation.

This chapter begins by introducing why and the ways in which polycentric governance and similar concepts have been used in the climate change context. Then, it considers two examples of polycentric governance efforts focused on subnational actors – multilevel networks of local governments and multilevel climate change litigation. It concludes by considering the benefits and limitations of polycentric approaches to climate change governance.

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