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 45: Reform options

Frank Biermann


The international political response to the global climate crisis has been sluggish and ineffective so far. This chapter sketches avenues for reform of the overall institutional architecture of climate governance. The chapter reviews numerous reform proposals and reform options that are at present discussed to make global climate governance more dynamic and effective. Among others, the chapter debates alternative governance arrangements outside the realm of intergovernmental regimes; novel ways to strengthen the involvement of civil society in climate institutions; various options to realign international institutions and agencies, such as the establishment of a world environment organization; the introduction of qualified majority voting in climate negotiations; and finally, the need to prepare for unavoidable climate change by building up effective systems of ‘global adaptation governance.’

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