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Earth Systems Governance (ESG) Conference

5 November 2018, 15:30


Parallel Session 2: Assessing the Adequacy of the Global Climate Governance Complex après Paris: A Sectoral Perspective

15:30 – 17:00

As part of the 2018 Utrecht Earth Systems Governance (ESG) conference, the COP21 RIPPLES consortium will convene a parllel session to present project findings.

The world has seen a surge of new forms of inter- and transnational climate governance initiatives that are intended to complement the core UNFCCC climate regime. However, it is inherently difficult to assess the adequacy and effectiveness of individual initiatives, let alone the adequacy and effectiveness that emerges from complex interactions among them as elements of a wider ‘polycentric’ regime complex.

This panel is organised in the context of the project COP21 RIPPLES funded under the EU’s Horizon2020 programme. COP 21 RIPPLES has the ambition to evaluate the performance of the global climate governance complex by applying a novel two-dimensional assessment framework. The first dimension consists of five theoretically derived governance functions: provision of guidance and signal; setting rules to facilitate collective action; transparency and accountability; delivering means of implementation (capacity building, technology and finance); as well as knowledge diffusion and learning. The second dimension features a sectoral system perspective. We argue that governing “climate change” requires a fundamental transformation of a patchwork of interrelated sectoral systems. Each of these systems has its own specific transformation challenges which translate into specific needs for the performance of the five governance functions.

Building on the ongoing work of the project, the panel will serve to demonstrate the added value of such a differentiated analysis of the polycentric architecture of international climate governance. It will introduce in detail the research framework and showcase its application to four sectoral systems that are particularly pertinent: extractive industries, the power sector, emission intensive industries, and the financial sector. The panel thereby aims to discuss how such a framework and approach enables us to identify the specific governance needs in different sectors, the governance gaps that need to be filled and the institutional context in which such efforts are embedded.

Full details of the conference can be found on their website.

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