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Although extinction risk has been found to have a consistent negative relationship with geographic range across wide temporal and taxonomic scales, the effect has been difficult to disentangle from factors such as sampling, ecological niche, or clade. In addition, studies of extinction risk have focused on benthic invertebrates with less work on planktic taxa. We employed a global set of 1114 planktic graptolite species from the Ordovician to lower Devonian to analyze the predictive power of species’ traits and abiotic factors on extinction risk, combining general linear models (GLMs), partial least-squares regression (PLSR), and permutation tests. Factors included measures of geographic range, sampling, and graptolite-specific factors such as clade, biofacies affiliation, shallow water tolerance, and age cohorts split at the base of the Katian and Rhuddanian stages.
The percent variance in durations explained varied substantially between taxon subsets from 12% to 45%. Overall commonness, the correlated effects of geographic range and sampling, was the strongest, most consistent factor (12–30% variance explained), with clade and age cohort adding up to 18% and other factors <10%. Surprisingly, geographic range alone contributed little explanatory power (<5%). It is likely that this is a consequence of a nonlinear relationship between geographic range and extinction risk, wherein the largest reductions in extinction risk are gained from moderate expansion of small geographic ranges. Thus, even large differences in range size between graptolite species did not lead to a proportionate difference in extinction risk because of the large average ranges of these species. Finally, we emphasize that the common practice of determining the geographic range of taxa from the union of all occurrences over their duration poses a substantial risk of overestimating the geographic scope of the realized ecological niche and, thus, of further conflating sampling effects on observed duration with the biological effects of range size on extinction risk.
Deltas formed in Lake Hitchcock, a glacial lake that developed in the Connecticut River Valley, New England, between ∼18.3 and 12.5 ka. The heights of topset/foreset contacts of these deltas presently increase northward, linearly, at rate of ∼0.9 m/km. Others have interpreted this as indicating that isostatic rebound did not begin until after the lake drained, several kiloyears after glacial retreat began. However, (non-elastic) adjustment of Earth's lithosphere to changing loads is known to occur on time scales of years. Late-glacial shoreline features elsewhere in New England also increase in elevation with distance from the LGM margin at ∼0.9 m/km, suggesting that this is a result of fundamental properties of the crust and mantle, and independent of the history of glacier retreat. On the basis of a numerical model of flexure of the lithosphere beneath a circular load, we suggest that deflection of the lithosphere is remarkably linear in a zone 50–200 km wide between the retreating ice margin and a forebulge, and that initial rebound of this zone is spatially quite uniform for some kiloyears before differential rebound starts. Thus, lake shorelines, formed over a period of some centuries during deglaciation would, today, rise linearly northward.
Whose responsibility is it to tackle climate change? ‘Everyone’s and no one’s’, we might glibly reply. Responsibility is diffused across scales, social groups, sectors, countries and generations. The causes of climate change are implicated in everyday acts of production and consumption and relate to the ways in which societies organise their transportation, housing, energy, water and food systems. Recognising the complex and diffuse agencies and authorities that address climate change, the world of climate politics is no longer limited to the activities of national governments, international organisations and interstate bargaining between states. Increasingly, subnational governments, non-governmental organisations, businesses and individuals are taking responsibility into their own hands, experimenting with bold new approaches to the governance of climate change (Betsill & Bulkeley 2004; Andonova, Betsill & Bulkeley 2009; Selin & VanDeveer 2009b; Bulkeley & Newell 2010; Hoffmann 2011; Bulkeley et al. 2013). The governance of climate change now takes a seemingly bewildering array of forms: carbon markets, certification standards, voluntary workplace schemes, emissions registries, carbon labelling, urban planning codes and so on. Critical to this transformation of the politics of climate change has been the emergence of new forms of transnational governance that cut across traditional state-based jurisdictions, operate across public-private divides and seek to develop new approaches and techniques through which responses are developed. What sets these initiatives apart from other forms of transnational relations is how they not only influence others, but also how they directly intervene in the governing of global affairs in ways that defy conventional understandings of international relations.
This chapter examines the political dynamics underpinning the emergence of TCCG. In the first section of the chapter, we undertake a temporal analysis of the growth of TCCG, focusing on its parallel evolution with the international climate change regime and the broader political-economic shifts outlined in the previous chapter. In the second section of the chapter, our analysis turns to consider the patterns and drivers of private, hybrid and public transnational initiatives over time and to consider the governance functions that are being pursued in these different forms of TCCG. Through this analysis, we seek to capture the process through which climate politics has pluralised by describing and offering explanations for the growth of institutional diversity over time.
In doing so, the three theoretical lenses discussed in Chapter 3 serve as guides for our analysis. The agency-centred perspective is particularly helpful for highlighting the interests of the actors that populate climate politics, their sources of influence and factors underpinning the demand and supply of new forms of transnational governance. The social and system dynamics perspective helps to explain the diffusion of common practices and governance techniques through communities of environmental practitioners and policymakers. Finally, the critical political theory perspective sheds light on the marketisation of a substantial cluster of TCCG initiatives, the ideological underpinnings of these initiatives and the particular constellations of public and private forces that animate them. We use the TCCG database and illustrative case-studies to interrogate these issues illuminating the relationship between the agency of different actors, market logics, functional imperatives and normative contexts.
Our knowledge of transnational governance has been fundamentally shaped by the theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches that have been used to study it (O’Neill et al. 2013, 444). Primarily using a case-study approach revolving around a few high-profile examples, research on transnational governance has focused on the ways in which actors have sought to engage with different forms of transnational governance, the various functions that such arrangements seek to perform and their potential consequences in terms of legitimacy and effectiveness. Such approaches have yielded significant insights into these aspects of transnational governance but cannot, by their very nature, achieve a more comprehensive or systematic view. As O’Neill et al. (2013) suggest, such approaches may be ill-equipped to deal with the challenges of ‘complexity and uncertainty, vertical linkages across multiple scales, horizontal linkages across issue areas, and (often rapidly) evolving problem sets and institutional initiatives’ that beset global environmental governance research, such that new methodological approaches are required. If we regard transnational governance initiatives as having something in common – in terms of what they are seeking to accomplish, or in terms of the ways in which they are organised and constituted – we suggest that methodological innovations capable of creating a more comprehensive account of the overall phenomenon are required.
In order to develop such a broader understanding of the extent and nature of transnational governance in the climate change domain, our approach extends beyond small n case-studies or surveys of one particular type of transnational arrangement through the construction and analysis of a database of sixty transnational climate governance initiatives. This approach enables an analysis of the contours of transnational climate governance in a way that has not been possible within existing methodological approaches, allowing for a more thorough description of who and what are involved, where it is taking place, and how and why it is being pursued.
One thing should already be clear from the preceding chapters: transnational climate governance is qualitatively different from the standard multilateral model that has characterised the last two decades of climate change governance. The multilateral model is a hierarchical one; it functions through the generally accepted legitimate authority of nation-states to act on issues that transcend borders. In the multilateral process, a legally binding global treaty engages all nation-states in a common (and hopefully enforceable) purpose. In theory, there is an assumption of smooth vertical development of policy that draws on the legitimate, traditional authority of nation-states, both in constructing the international treaty and formulating national regulations. International law translates to national regulation, which directs domestic actions at more local levels. Alternatives to the authority and legitimacy of the multilateral process are rarely considered quite simply because the global system has functioned through this process for over a century (Denemark & Hoffmann 2008) despite criticisms about the interests served by this system and whose order it seeks to preserve (Cox 1987; Murphy 1994; Cox & Sinclair 1996). The emergence and functioning of TCCG asks us to question and engage questions of authority and legitimacy with a more critical eye, to understand how, in Hajer’s (2003) words, we can have policy without a polity, or how, as Rosenau asks, a range of actors can govern without the legal authority to do so (Rosenau & Czempiel 1992).
Our intention at the outset of this project was to move beyond the focus on individual cases or particular segments of the world of TCCG in order to examine what we might be able to discover collectively about this phenomenon. In this final chapter, we return to this overarching theme and identify the ways in which our analysis of TCCG contributes to ongoing debates in the field.
Underpinning this contribution, we suggest, are two novel aspects of our work. First, the book provides the first analysis of transnational governance that includes both an extensive database of a large number and a diverse array of particular case-studies. Existing research in the field of transnational governance has been mostly based on either individual examples or a small number of cases; whereas these can provide rich and nuanced analyses, there is nevertheless a significant value added in attempting to say something about this phenomenon as a whole. While we have not been able to survey the entire universe of cases in the transnational climate governance arena, a task that would be difficult to undertake given that much of this activity is relatively unknown, we have devised a strategy to maximise the diversity of cases we explore. In the sense that the approach we have developed includes the full variety of forms of TCCG, we thus suggest that it can be regarded as representative of the phenomenon as a whole. The database approach has enabled us to see patterns in the types of initiatives that predominate in TCCG, in terms of the types of actors, the issues upon which they focus, the forms of institutionalisation, the practices of governance, the claims to legitimacy and the geographical reach of TCCG initiatives.
The world of climate politics is increasingly no longer confined to the activities of national governments and international negotiations. Critical to this transformation of the politics of climate change has been the emergence of new forms of transnational governance that cut across traditional state-based jurisdictions and operate across public and private divides. This book provides the first comprehensive, cutting-edge account of the world of transnational climate change governance. Co-authored by a team of the world's leading experts in the field and based on a survey of sixty case studies, the book traces the emergence, nature and consequences of this phenomenon, and assesses the implications for the field of global environmental politics. It will prove invaluable for researchers, graduate students and policy makers in climate change, political science, international relations, human geography, sociology and ecological economics.
Throughout the course of this book, we have undertaken analysis that delineates the emergence and functioning of TCCG and examines the new authority dynamics and sources of legitimacy that such initiatives draw upon and create. From this analysis, it is clear that there is a great deal of climate governance activity going on outside the halls of multilateral treaty negotiations. This governance activity is institutionally innovative, operating across multiple scales and engaging a wide range of actors in the global response to climate change. Yet perhaps the most important question has yet to be addressed: what does it all add up to? In other words, so what?
Chronicling and analysing the world of transnational climate governance initiatives is not the same as demonstrating that they are having a significant impact on the global response to climate change. For many commentators, such activity is merely a distraction from the hard work of addressing the climate crisis, either because it does not impact upon the real power politics of the issue or because the momentum for change comes from below (Soroos 2001; Bond 2012). We are optimistic that TCCG cannot merely be dismissed as an irrelevance, though we are cognizant that our grounds for optimism stem as much from the understanding of the potential for TCCG as they do from concrete evidence of accomplishments of TCCG initiatives to date. As we explore further in this chapter, establishing both the basis upon which such accomplishments might be measured and accruing substantial evidence in this regard remain challenging and relatively unexplored research tasks. We also note that the plurality of TCCG this book has revealed implies that some initiatives may represent useful societal responses to climate change, while others may not. To begin to address the question of how TCCG is having an effect on responses to climate change, and the effectiveness of such endeavours, in this chapter we explore if and how TCCG is reshaping the architecture of global climate governance. We scrutinise whether and how it is having an impact upon the climate change problem, and we discuss the pathways through which these initiatives might advance the goals of transitioning to a low-carbon future.