Key concepts, core challenges and governance functions of international climate governance

Gauri Amarsinh Khandekar, Sebastian Oberthur, Tomas Gilberte Wyns, Lukas Hermwille, Wolfgang Obergassel, Tim Rayner, Florian Mersmann

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Taking a sectoral perspective, this report (1) identifies the key governance challenges that exist internationally towards the deep transformations required for low-carbon societies and (2) spec-ifies the resulting key governance functions to be fulfilled by means of international coopera-tion (international institutions). To this end, the report first clarifies a number of key concepts, including international (climate) governance, international and transnational institutions, insti-tutional complexes and polycentricity, and presents our sectoral perspective. It then derives a number of functions that international institutions can fulfil from the relevant theoretical and conceptual literature. This provides the basis for an investigation into the key governance chal-lenges and the potential of international governance in 14 key sectoral systems.
Our sectoral approach enables a sectorally differentiated and detailed analysis of the varying demand for international institutions' performance of governance functions. The demand for the performance of most governance functions varies significantly in accordance with the specif-ic conditions and circumstances prevailing in each system. In contrast to an overall aggregate perspective on international climate governance that treats it as one integrated problem, our analysis advances towards taking into account the multifaceted nature of this challenge in vari-ous relevant sectors and contexts. It also leads us to realise that various sectoral systems need to be further disaggregated to get a grip on the underlying problem structures and related de-mands for international governance; different sectoral systems and different parts of sectoral systems require appropriately adapted responses and create varying demands for international governance.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherInstitute for European Studies, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Commissioning bodyEuropean Commission
Number of pages129
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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