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Deliverable 4.4

Filed in Deliverables

How to overcome political economy constraints in major economies and the role of international governance?

The focus of this deliverable is an analysis of core aspects of the domestic politics of implementation of national policies related to transitions in the energy sectors of three case study countries regarded as major non-EU countries: South Africa, Brazil and China. The extensively used Policy Network Analysis (PNA) approach is the primary lens used to study advocacy, promotion and support, and well as to study resistance to policies relevant to transitions. The analysis yields key insights relevant to the politics of implementation of NDCs and related national and international climate policy governance.

This deliverable is composed of a main report (D4.4a) and three papers:

  • The politics of energy transitions policy in South Africa (D4.4b)
  • Competing coalitions in Brazil’s biofuel‐related climate policy (D4.4c)
  • Political implementation risk in South African and Brazilian climate policy (D4.4d)

This study explored the management of political implementation risk, which is influenced by the different kinds of modes of operation of actors in networks that have different core features, making use of PNA, covering Issue Network-type networks and Policy Community-type networks. Empirical evidence found that in many cases where there had been progress in formulation and implementation of policies explicitly aimed at public welfare and environmental protection, networks tending more to Issue Network-type features had often played a significant role. As a result, greater effective involvement of actors in Issue Network-type networks is often associated with reducing political implementation risk of climate policies which are largely concerned with wider public welfare. On the other hand, Policy Community-type networks usually act in the exclusive interests of their members, often to the detriment of policies advocating public welfare and environmental protection. Hence, greater influence of actors operating in networks exhibiting Policy Community network-type features increases political implementation risk of climate policies. Actors operating in these kinds of networks were also found to be more prone to higher levels of rent-seeking, patronage and corruption and this further increases implementation risk of policies aimed at broader welfare.

It was found that, in specific policy arenas, there is a periodic shift between greater influence of actors operating in Issue Network-type networks and actors in Policy Community-type networks, which are effected by the broader political environment and engagement with actors in other networks, domestically and internationally. Thus, the effectiveness of actors operating according to the different relationships that characterise these networks is influenced by the global governance context. There is potential for NDC policy processes to be positively influenced by supporting actors operating according to the transparent, open Issue Network-type networks explicitly orientated to general welfare by the governance functions identified in the Deliverable 4.1.

Published: 12th February 2020
Author: H. Trollip, B. Rennkamp, C. Grottera, E. La Rovere, F. Teng, 2020