Examining the Promise of New Modes of Governance
Edited by Karin Bäckstrand, Jamil Kahn, Annica Kronsell and Eva Lövbrand
Chapter 4: Weberian Climate Policy: Administrative Rationality Organized as a Market
4. Weberian climate policy: administrative rationality organized as a market Johannes Stripple INTRODUCTION1 When the Kyoto Protocol2 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was agreed upon in 1997, most commentaries revolved around whether the agreed mandatory reductions of greenhouse gases (around 5 per cent in the rich world) should be considered a failure or a success. Very few framed the importance of the Kyoto Protocol as a crucial moment in the marketization of climate governance, as an experiment in a particular mode of governance. The Kyoto Protocol attempts to create markets in emission reductions in various ways. These markets assign a monetary value to emissions and thereby hope to channel clean energy investments around the world. While contemporary environmental policy jargon is littered with notions of certain instruments being ‘innovative’, or ‘new’, these labels are actually quite appropriate when its comes to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol. The CDM can be understood as a response to the trilemma illustrated by Figure 1.1 in Chapter 1. With its broad encouragement of business and civil society, its delegation of authority from public to private actors and its enabling of market forms of governance, the CDM epitomizes the promise of new modes of governance. This chapter is written at a time when the future state of carbon markets is unclear. The Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period expires in 2012, and the role and relevance of market-based governance in any post-2012 agreement still needs to be...
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