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 19: The United States

Guri Bang


President Obama’s Climate Action Plan includes goals to cut domestic carbon emissions and to strengthen US leadership in international climate cooperation efforts. This chapter explores the domestic politics that underpins the US position in international climate negotiations, and explains the crucial connect between domestic policy and ability to participate in a new climate agreement. Two domestic processes affect climate policy development in the run-up for a new climate agreement in Paris in 2015: First, CO2 emissions are decreasing as a result of the shale gas ‘revolution’ that has caused a market-driven shift from coal to natural gas in the utility sector. Second, the Obama administration is introducing regulations to limit CO2 emissions from both new and old power plants. The chapter assesses the effect of these market-and policy-driven processes for emissions cuts and their influence on the likelihood for US participation in the next climate agreement.

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