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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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Harro van Asselt, Michael Mehling and Clarisse Kehler Siebert

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Fariborz Zelli and Harro van Asselt

The global governance architecture for climate change has been increasingly marked by institutional fragmentation. A growing diversity of institutions seeks to address dangerous climate change today, including international organizations, club-like forums, multi-stakeholder partnerships, regulated and voluntary markets, subnational efforts and non-state actor initiatives. After taking stock of this fragmentation, this chapter briefly looks at possible theory-driven explanations for this phenomenon. We then touch upon potential consequences of fragmentation, including, for instance, more possibilities for experimentation but also considerable coordination and legitimacy gaps. In light of such negative implications, we argue that the UN process should hold a leading and coordinating position within this growingly complex institutional environment. This implies rethinking the role of the UNFCCC in future climate governance: instead of following a traditionally high regulatory ambition and further overburdening negotiations and agencies, the climate regime has to strengthen its profile as a complexity ‘manager’ or ‘orchestrator.’ We briefly illustrate how such an orchestrating role could look like for the case of international technology initiatives.
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Harro van Asselt and Constance L. McDermott

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Rakhyun E. Kim and Harro van Asselt

Is international law capable of facilitating a cross-media approach in natural resource management, and ultimately ensure a net environmental benefit? This chapter attempts to address this question by focusing on the phenomenon of ‘problem shifting’, or more specifically, shifting of environmental problems that may result from or have implications for various practices related to sustainable natural resource management. The chapter clarifies the concept of problem shifting and explores its risks in the Anthropocene. It then examines how the international community has so far responded to the concern. The core of this chapter involves an assessment of the adequacy of international law in dealing with problem shifting through case studies from the field of international environmental law on marine geoengineering and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The analysis shows that the toolbox of international law offers several instruments to address problem shifting, including no-transfer provisions, conflict clauses, and inter-treaty cooperation and coordination. However, the case studies also illustrate that, on the whole, international law is not yet adequately equipped to deal with the risk of planetary-scale environmental problem shifting. This may mean that, in the same way that awareness of transboundary and trans-temporal environmental impacts led to the development of fundamental international legal norms such as no-harm and intergenerational equity, a new principle should be developed to address trans-sectoral transformation of harm.
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Harro van Asselt

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Harro van Asselt

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Harro van Asselt