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 37: Regime effectiveness

Steinar Andresen


Initially the UN climate regime was quite dynamic in terms of institution-building. Both the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol at the time represented a necessary start of the process in targeting emissions from the rich countries. However this approach has grown increasingly obsolete in the face of strongly increased emissions from the emerging economies. Thus, from a problem-solving effectiveness perspective in reducing emissions, the effectiveness of the regime is exceedingly low. This development necessitated a change from a top-down to a bottom-up approach. Given the unprecedented complexity of the issue and the urgent need to engage emerging economies, this is probably the only way forward. Given the present status of the negotiations, however, the ‘Paris Convention’ will probably be more of a new type of framework agreement rather than the detailed and comprehensive agreement needed to secure accountability and comparability. Moreover, unless public demand for strong climate policies increases considerably, any new agreement, irrespective of approach, will be insufficient to solve the problem of climate change

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