Research Handbook on Climate Governance
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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.
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Chapter 34: Climate policy integration

Harro van Asselt, Tim Rayner and Åsa Persson


In the 1990s environmental policy integration (EPI) became a popular approach to bring about preventive environmental action in key polluting and resource-using sectors. Following the rise of climate change on the political agenda, a similar imperative of climate policy integration (CPI) has emerged. In this chapter, we discuss questions raised by CPI, with some practical examples from EU policymaking. Specifically, we examine whether and how three challenges that have emerged in the context of EPI—the incentive structures of integration; prioritization of objectives; and safeguarding democratic accountability—also hold for CPI. We show that sufficient resources need to accompany CPI, but that the promise of such resources may also lead to ‘re-labeling’ ongoing activities as climate-relevant. We further underline the importance of disaggregating questions of CPI, taking into account the particularities of mitigation and adaptation, as well as those of the different policy sectors with which integration is sought. Finally, we highlight that ensuring the democratic accountability of CPI is particularly challenging in the EU context, where policymakers at one level can defer difficult political tradeoffs between policy goals to other levels of governance.

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