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Guide Global Climate Governance Beyond 2012

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Another example could be an increased level of overseas development assistance ODA to the potentially participating state. For details, see Government of Swaziland Interview with independent adaptation expert, 30 March Interview with independent adaptation expert, 10 March Email correspondence with adaptation expert at a Pacific regional organization, 31 March The metric of a ton of CO 2 -equivalent is commonly used to compare efforts relating to different greenhouse gases and different sectors.

By March , seven NAPs had been submitted. Parties could choose between these two modalities. Note that the facilitative dialogue, which came out of the Paris Agreement, will not address or report on adaptation. In the Convention, Article 4. Article 9.

Challenges and Opportunities in Fragmented Global Energy and Climate Governance

See, for example, the operational policies and guidelines of the Adaptation Fund Adaptation Fund Board, : para. Thanks to an anonymous peer reviewer for this insight. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. European Journal of International Relations. Eur J Int Relat. Published online Sep 8. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer.

Email: ude. Abstract In the last decade, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has moved from a strong focus on mitigation to increasingly address adaptation. Keywords: Adaptation, climate change, global governance, global public good, legalization. Theorizing legalization in global governance States can choose between multiple forms and types of action at the global level. Explaining variation in legalization Scholars have identified several explanations for why states choose hard law over soft law.

Trade-offs between strong commitments, flexibility and sovereignty From a functionalist perspective, states will select high legalization if the benefits outweigh the costs and will opt for low legalization when they do not Abbott and Snidal, ; Guzman, : The scholarship has not yet found a firm response to key relationships; from the literature, we derive the following: Proposition 1: High uncertainty and low sovereignty costs lead to low precision and high obligation.

Asymmetries in power and preferences The distribution of preferences among states over an issue and the ease of reaching an agreement is another critical dimension Hafner-Burton et al. Also within this explanatory approach, we derive two hypotheses: Proposition 2: The greater the asymmetry of preferences between states, the less likely we are to see high legalization. Contested global public goods In functionalist explanations, the object of legalization is taken for granted and legalization is presented as a selection and optimization problem.

Package deals and side-payments Legalization scholars have noted that states may trade off different dimensions of an agreement form and substance; precision and obligation Abbott and Snidal, ; Guzman, Legalization of adaptation under the UNFCCC We now look at existing adaptation rules and commitments adopted through the Convention, agreements, protocols and decisions and examine their degree of obligation and precision.

Table 1. Rules and commitments Potential governing function Key provisions, decisions, institutions and initiatives under the UNFCCC Assessment of obligation and precision Collective commitment to advance adaptation Provides a legal basis and imperative for states to adopt adaptation policies; agenda-setting and awareness-raising. Obligation has increased from very low to low with the Paris Agreement global goal. Precision is very low due to missing definition of adaptation and associated metrics. Obligation has been consistently low. Precision is very low due to the lack of definition of adaptation actions, metrics and criteria to determine compliance.

Precision has increased when it comes to suggested scope and contents of the voluntary types of plans, but low for compulsory and universal plans. Obligation has been moderate and stable. Precision has increased from virtually non-existing, but still low e. Access to and allocation of multilateral finance Regulates what kind of adaptation policy and action is enabled and encouraged. Sharing of best practice Facilitates national policy and action, and delivery of adaptation on the ground; sets informal norms on what constitutes good adaptation; awareness-raising; connects actors and builds coalitions.

Obligation is formally non-existent as these modalities are voluntary, but they may produce informal norms. Precision has gradually increased with the evolution of best practice. Open in a separate window. Collective commitment Adaptation was not on par with mitigation at the outset of the climate regime.

Planning and reporting commitments In contrast, these are more frequent. Financial support commitments To enable the delivery of adaptation in poor and vulnerable countries, commitments to provide financial support have been continuously negotiated. Access to and allocation of multilateral adaptation funds Together with commitments to provide funds, rules for how to access and allocate multilateral adaptation funds are the only ones where we see evidence of gradually harder legalization, although these rules are typically adopted through COP decisions rather than set out in the treaties.

Sharing of best practice Finally, Parties to the UNFCCC have, over time, agreed on many knowledge-sharing initiatives, which the secretariat and observers have been active in contributing to. Explaining low legalization in global adaptation governance Here, we return to the propositions on legalization and examine the evidence for each. Trade-offs between flexibility, sovereignty and legalization We find some evidence supporting Proposition 1: that high uncertainty and low sovereignty costs lead to low precision and high obligation.

Asymmetries in power and preferences Asymmetric preferences also seem to partially explain the low degree of legalization Proposition 2. A contested global public good We suggest that climate change adaptation is a contested global public good and this leads to low legalization Proposition 4. Conclusion In summary, there are contrasting views on global adaptation governance. Notes 1. Thanks to Sean Richmond for this point. International Organization 54 3 : — Adaptation Fund Board Operational policies and guidelines for parties to access resources from the adaptation fund. Global Environmental Change 15 2 : 77— Adger WN.

Journal of International Development 13 7 : — Allan BB. International Organization 71 1 : — Anand PB. World Economy 27 2 : — Global Environmental Politics 9 2 : 52— Arce DG, Sandler T. Augenstein D. Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 23 1 : — Barrett S. European Economic Review 45 10 : — Oxford: Oxford University Press. Oxford Review of Economic Policy 24 2 : — Best J.

International Studies Quarterly 56 4 : — Biermann F. Biermann F, Boas I. Bisaro A, Hinkel J. Nature Climate Change 6 4 : — Bodansky D. Global public goods, international law, and legitimacy. European Journal of International Law 23 3 : — International Theory 3 2 : — Byrnes R, Lawrence P. University of Tasmania Law Review 34 : 34— Carbone M.

The policy dimension of a contested concept. Global Governance 13 2 : — Ciplet D. Global Governance 21 2 : — Global Environmental Politics 13 1 : 49— Craft B, Fisher S. Dzebo A, Stripple J. Global Environmental Change 35 : — Climate Policy 17 1 : 71— Falkner R. International Affairs 95 5 : — Finnemore M, Toope SJ.

International Organization 55 3 : — Nature Climate Change 5 11 : — Grasso M. Global Environmental Change 20 1 : 74— Green Climate Fund Board Decisions of the board — seventh meeting of the board , 18—21 May Guzman A.

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The American Journal of International Law 1 : 47— Hall N. London: Routledge. Epistemic ambiguity in the climate finance system. Hinkel J. Global Environmental Change 21 1 : — Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Javeline D. Perspectives on Politics 12 2 : — Kahler M. Kaufmann-Kohler G. Journal of International Dispute Settlement 1 2 : — Kaul I.

International Cooperation in the 21st Century. Keohane R. Keohane RO, Oppenheimer M. Politics and Governance 4 3 : — Perspectives on Politics 9 1 : 7— Nature Climate Change 6 6 : — Khan MR. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change 4 3 : — Klein R. Kratochwil F. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Climate Policy December: 1—5. The climate-energy package is the main European policy on mitigation of climate change and rational use of energy. Composed of several directives e. Bailey et al. Among the planned initiatives, there is also the Covenant of Mayors CoM , namely the "translation" of the climate-energy package at the local level see later in the text.

As a result of this political opposition, Italy lacks a comprehensive, binding mitigation strategy O. At lower levels of government, we find the region of Liguria and the province of Genoa, two territorial entities that have long been engaged with environmental and climate issues, particularly through promotion of renewable energy, green economy and green public procurement. These governments support their constituent municipalities in establishing actions consistent with their climate engagements.

Spearheaded by the European Commission following its adoption of the climate and energy package, the CoM aims to support local governments in their implementation of sustainable energy policies Ballesteros Torres and Doubrava, A total of 78 actions have been planned, including a resident permit parking policy, wind-farm installations, extension of the subway line, new building regulations, training for municipal administrators, retrofitting of heating systems, and so on.

Crucially, in implementing the plan, local administrators foresee deployment of the entire spectrum of modes of urban climate governance within energy, transport, planning and waste management sectors. Notably, they will use governing by authority, which allows influencing of energy production and consumption simultaneously and quite directly. Although, as we have seen, municipalities typically shy away from this modality, the traditionally leftist orientation of Genoa as well as Italy's pronounced interventionist presence suggest that governing by authority might here be an effective means to the desired ends.

Whereas a political document such as an urban plan undergoes preliminary as well as follow-up consultations and public hearings, the technical nature of the SEAP called for more ad hoc participation. For instance, Legambiente Liguria and other environmental associations are responsible for training and assisting "solar purchasing groups" which are comprised of condominium residents.

These groups exist to organize the installation of rooftop solar panels. On the other hand, companies that are members of the Builders Association of Liguria ANCE-Assedil are directly involved because they are concerned with the energy requalification of buildings. Firstly, there are the contributions of the municipal councillor for the environment who has been replaced by the new administration , an elected official who had long overseen ecological issues in political and scientific domains.

Her influence, and the political will of the centre-left municipal council to which she belonged, proved key political factors in Genoa's involvement. In contrast, the instigating roles of public and private actors appear minor, as these stakeholders have only intervened since the municipality has become a Covenant signatory.

The elaboration of the SEAP was a predominantly technical process, but also a political one to the extent that the instigating factor was generated by a supranational, European body. Genoa doesn't appear to have shown any interest in the issue of climate change prior to joining the CoM. Thus, without a concrete commitment from Italy, the European Commission has acquired enormous sway, becoming the privileged and legitimate interlocutor, and this to the detriment of the national government.

The fact that almost half the signatories to the CoM are Italian of CoM, b supports this conclusion, particularly when contrasted with the French situation. The French national government requires municipalities of over 50, inhabitants to provide a Climate Action Plan, a document bearing a close resemblance to the SEAP cf. By way of its energy and climate policies, the old continent aims to modernize its economy in order to guarantee growth and energy security, to stimulate the creation of green employment, as well as to decrease atmospheric pollution and GHG emissions.

Translated to the local scale by the CoM, this discourse is increasingly influential among municipal authorities who are ever more concerned to make their cities globally attractive as well as competitive. The latter element was ultimately geared toward attaining "smart city" status. Recent creation of the Genovese pillar of green business, which aims to assemble firms that might increase the competitiveness of the green economy, also moves in this direction. That, insofar as climate change mitigation is depicted as an economically and socially feasible project, which can be profitable as required by economic actors, and environmentally sound as expected by civil society actors.

This particular framing of the climate issue also explains why the municipality has no adaptation policy, despite being highly vulnerable to heavy precipitation and despite of the flood that in caused the deaths of six people and serious property damage Legambiente, In this case, adaptation does not seems to be as win-win as mitigation. Political factors are also important, notably the center-left positioning of the municipal council and the municipal councillor for the environment's role as a policy entrepreneur.

In other words, it is initiated by public powers collaborating mainly with experts.

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The urban community intervenes further down the road. Each municipality has taken a different path to the fight against climate change Table 2. Quebec City has been interested in this issue for some time, as evidenced by its emissions reduction plan for , and is presently integrating adaptation criteria into the ensemble of its corporate activities. In the case of Genoa, the recent signing of the CoM, together with the elaboration of the SEAP, marked its entry onto the climate scene.

For Genoa, the groups were the Faculty of Engineering, the regional energy agency and the Fondazione Muvita. For Quebec City, the group concerned was the Ouranos Consortium which was also a "motivator" for the process. The consortium's role as a motivator is interesting.

In that sense, Ouranos acts as a boundary organization Guston, Table 2 - Dimensions of urban climate governance in Quebec City and Genoa the how. Modes of governance and examples of specific actions. This divergence is likely best explained by the fact that Quebec City's adaptation process is still in a more experimental phase, and the actors involved are limited to the municipality and the Ouranos Consortium. The transversality of measures contained in the Genovese SEAP, the heterogeneity of participant actors, as well as the presence of an institutional path dependency in the form of a long history of state interventionism, contribute to the multiplicity of modes deployed and sectors concerned in this European case from self-governance to governance by authority.

First, in each case, motivations endogenous to the municipality were decisive. Indeed, Quebec City's decisions came directly from its municipal administration. This is equally true of the Genovese context where we additionally find the support of a policy entrepreneur, namely, the councillor for the environment. In both cases, the decision to get involved in adaptation planning or in mitigation projects is not mainly determined by an obligation coming from the national government level.

In fact, economic criteria are crucial in both cases. In Genoa, savings are engendered by better management of energy supply and demand. Here, the way the European climate policy framed the climate issue also played a major role. Thus, mitigation becomes an opportunity for a European city betting on growth and technological innovation to compete on the global scene.

In Quebec City, on the other hand, investments are made today to avoid future losses that could be occasioned by climate disequilibrium. This observation about the importance of the economic criteria is consequent with the literature. However, specifically in the case of Quebec City, the anticipative adaptation is original, as municipalities usually take action reactively, which is to say only following a nefarious event Adger et al. A further advantage is that acquired adaptation expertise could be "sold" to other municipalities.

However, since Quebec City administration took time to dedicate resources to the specific file of climate change adaptation, this advantage was lost to other local governments in Canada Vancouver, for example. The expertise it will have to give to others would rather be on the pitfalls to avoid and on how to avoid them. One example of the latter would be to take the time to mobilize partners in the different municipal services and to expose them the full aims and scopes of the project. This fact seems to have pushed the two municipalities to take initiative autonomously.

Genoa's privileged and legitimate interlocutor is to be found on the supranational scale, in the European Commission through the CoM. In Quebec City's case, on the other hand, the provincial government, which has long invested in addressing the climate problem, provided the principal support and stimulus for adaptation planning. Our two cases testify to the emergence of multilevel systems of governance. This emergence is relatively circumscribed in Quebec City, limited to the municipal and provincial levels.

By way of contrast, it is quite spread out in Genoa, extending to municipal, provincial, regional and supranational levels. This trend confirms what Bulkeley has referred to as "urban climate governance beyond the city. Quebec City, with its municipal council situated right of centre, and Genoa, historically a left leaning city, have both become involved in strategizing around climate change.

That being said, their approaches arguably diverge along right-left lines insofar as adaptation is characterized by a certain "territorial egotism" whereas mitigation promises to benefit the planet as a whole. Table 3 - Quebec City and Genoa implication in urban climate governance the why.

Benefits derived from risk reduction economic. Selling adaptation policy expertise economic. Ouranos pressure and influence institutional, informational.

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Political will of municipal administration political. Canadian government inaction political, institutional. Benefits from better management of energy supply and demand economic. Green economy growth and jobs-creation economic, framing. European Commission influence through the Covenant of Mayors political, institutional, framing. Italian government inaction political, institutional. Environmental councillor as policy entrepreneur political.

In Genoa, recent municipal elections resulted in a council sitting further to the left than the one that preceded it. A possible consequence of this move may be a change of focus to issues such as those related to social equality and security, matters which could be addressed through an adaptation policy. In Quebec City, we expect a broadening of the adaptation plan to the ensemble of urban activities and actors, and eventually to the whole of the metropolitan community.

Yet, the local administration has missed a great opportunity to be at the forefront of pro-active and engaged municipalities on the matter of climate change governance. By referring to studies that have focused on municipal responses to climate change, we have defined the concept of "implication factors" and then presented a grid that accounts for these factors and other elements of urban climate governance, including measures, instruments, modes, sectors, actors and actions. This grid has enabled a comprehensive perspective on the "whys" and "hows" of Quebec City's and Genoa's climate engagements.

In that sense, these initiatives do not spring from the will and needs of the urban community, but from the interests of municipal authorities and the knowledge of epistemic groups. However, ours results add a nuance to this statement. In fact, we have also observed that ecological elements exert a certain influence, in particular with respect to the ways a municipality concretizes its involvement as it targets some sectors over others, according to its objectives.


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Genoa targets the residential and transport sectors that are responsible for more than half of municipal emissions. In contrast, the sector targeted by Quebec City is that relating to water management, mostly due to the climatic situation of the city. Indeed, this sector is usually critical to adaptation measures. For instance, social factors are likely to lead to adaptation measures aiming at reducing vulnerability of disadvantaged groups, the latter usually living in areas at risk Schlosberg, , whereas framing factors as ecological modernisation discourses are likely to appeal to both economic actors and environmental organisations.

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The urban climate governance analytical grid becomes thus an important tool both in this respect and concerning the international comparison. In fact, this grid allowed us to present two cases in parallel and thus identify the differences and analogies between them. On the other hand, it systematizes the different means and steps of climate action, from the general type of measure to the particular specific action. It is thus through this categorisation that this grid helps to understand urban climate governance in a systematic and comparative way, and thus to broaden knowledge on how and why urban centers respond to global environmental change.

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This grid could usefully be applied as a reading tool to study other European and North American cases. In fact, if it is true that cities have powers and competencies, these do not allow cities to address the full range of climate change aspects. For example, only national governments have the authority to set fuel standards for transportation or to regulate the energy market in a way that fosters emissions reduction. Furthermore, national or supranational frameworks can, through the provision of funds and knowledge, dramatically encourage urban climate actions as well as help cities in adopting mitigation or adaptation plans.

Without multilevel collaboration and coordination, urban climate initiatives are likely to remain incomplete or insufficiently robust. In other words, cities get involved in climate governance when climate action is framed in win-win terms. This statement suggests that urban climate policies should be associated with complementary priority issues such as reduction of energy costs, modernization of infrastructures, creation of a "green city" image, as well as improving quality of life and citizen participation in urban affairs.

This is a matter of attaining what Giddens refers to as "political and economic convergence", that is, of superimposing the fight against climate change onto other issues that decision makers have on their agendas. Operating along these lines, cities could play a decisive, productive role in the unfolding of the fight against climate change by instantiating the resilient low-carbon society profile.

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