Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 October 2013
The inadequacies of the inter-state institutions and negotiating processes central to international climate policy create a pressing need for governance innovation. This article proposes one promising and feasible approach: strengthening the existing transnational regime complex for climate change. Leading organizations could strengthen the regime complex by forging stronger links among institutions, increasing coordination and collaboration, supporting weaker institutions and encouraging the entry of new ones where governance gaps exist. An enhanced regime complex would have a multilevel structure, enabling transnational institutions to bypass recalcitrant national governments by directly engaging sub-state and societal actors at multiple levels of authority and scale. It would also help to manage recalcitrant states by mobilizing advocacy, demonstration effects and other pressures on governments. Regime entrepreneurs, using the strategy of orchestration, could deploy a range of incentives and other tools of influence to enrol, support and steer transnational organizations.
This contribution is part of a collection of articles from the conference ‘Global Climate Change without the United States: Thinking the Unthinkable’, held at Yale University Law School, New Haven, CT (United States (US)), 9–10 November 2012.
2 The US refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol (n. 13 below) and will not participate in its second commitment period. It has similarly refused to ratify other significant environmental conventions: see M.J. Angelo, R.M. Bratspies, D.B. Hunter, J.H. Knox, N. Sachs & S.B. Zellmer, ‘Reclaiming Global Environmental Leadership: Why the United States Should Ratify Ten Pending Environmental Treaties’, Center for Progressive Reform, CPR White Paper 1201, Jan. 2012, available at: http://www.progressivereform.org/whitePapers.cfm.
3 Snidal, D., ‘The Limits of Hegemonic Stability Theory’ (1985) 39 International Organization, pp. 579–614; Young, O.R., ‘Political Leadership and Regime Formation: On the Development of Institutions in International Society’ (1991) 45(3) International Organization, pp. 281–308.
4 Copenhagen Accord, Decision 2/CP.15, FCCC/CP/2009/11/Add.1, 30 Mar. 2010, available at: http://unfccc.int/meetings/copenhagen_dec_2009/session/6262/php/view/decisions.php.
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6 M.G.J. den Elzen et al., ‘Evaluation of the Copenhagen Accord: Chances and Risks for the 2°C Climate Goal’, May 2010, available at: http://www.rivm.nl/bibliotheek/rapporten/500114018.pdf; V. Duscha et al., ‘Post-2012 Climate Regime: How Industrial and Developing Nations Can Help to Reduce Emissions – Assessing Emission Trends, Reduction Potentials, Incentive Systems and Negotiation Options’, Feb. 2010, available at: http://www.umweltbundesamt.de/uba-info-medien-e/3954.html; UNEP, ‘Bridging the Emissions Gap’, 2011, available at: http://www.unep.org/publications/contents/pub_details_search.asp?ID=6227.
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10 UNFCCC, Decision 3/CP.17, ‘Launching the Green Climate Fund’, FCCC/CP/2011/9/Add.1 (2011).
11 UNFCCC, Decision 1/CP.16, ‘The Cancun Agreements: Outcome of the Work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention’, Section IV.B (2010).
13 Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Kyoto (Japan), 11 Dec. 1997, in force 16 Feb. 2005, available at: http://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/items/2830.php.
14 Boyle, n. 9 above; Morgan, n. 9 above.
16 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, ‘Outcome of the Conference: The Future We Want’, A/CONF.216/L.1, June 2012, at p. 19. See also A. Powers, ‘The Rio+20 Process: Forward Movement for the Environment?’ (2012) 1(2) Transnational Environmental Law, pp. 403–12.
17 See ‘The Future We Want’, ibid., e.g., paras 190–2 on climate.
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19 ‘Format and Organizational Aspects of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development’, UNGA Res. A/67/L.72, 27 June 2013.
20 See UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, ‘Post-2015 Process’, available at: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?menu=1561.
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45 Abbott, n. 21 above.
46 Montreal (Canada), 16 Sept. 1987, in force 1 Jan. 1989, available at: http://ozone.unep.org/new_site/en/montreal_protocol.php.
47 Geneva (Switzerland), 12 Aug. 1949, in force 21 Oct. 1950, available at: http://www.icrc.org/applic/ihl/ihl.nsf/Treaty.xsp?documentId=77CB9983BE01D004C12563CD002D6B3E&action=openDocument .
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50 Keohane & Victor, n. 37 above.
51 Abbott, n. 21 above; Ostrom, n. 35 above.
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53 See, e.g., Jessup, P., Transnational Law (Yale University Press, 1956); Koh, H.H., ‘Transnational Legal Process’ (1996) 75 Nebraska Law Review, pp. 181–207; Shaffer, G., ‘Transnational Legal Process and State Change’ (2012) 37 Law & Social Inquiry, pp. 229–64; Shaffer, G. & Bodansky, D., ‘Transnationalism, Unilateralism and International Law’ (2012) 1(1) Transnational Environmental Law, pp. 31–41; Hale, T. & Held, D. (eds), Handbook of Transnational Governance: Institutions and Innovations (Polity Press, 2011); Dannenmaier, E., ‘Constructing Transnational Climate Regimes’, in Handl, G., Zekoll, J. & Zumbansen, P. (eds), Beyond Territoriality: Transnational Legal Authority in an Age of Globalization (Martinus Nijhoff, 2012), pp. 519–50; Zumbansen, P., ‘Transnational Legal Pluralism’ (2010) 10(2) Transnational Legal Theory, pp. 141–89. See also Heyvaert, V. & Etty, T.F.M., ‘Introducing Transnational Environmental Law’ (2012) 1(1) Transnational Environmental Law, pp. 1–11.
54 See, e.g., Risse-Kappen, T. (ed), Bringing Transnational Relations Back In: Nonstate Actors, Domestic Structures and International Institutions (Cambridge University Press, 1995); Pattberg, P., Private Institutions and Global Governance (Edward Elgar, 2007); Pattberg & Stripple, n. 32 above, at p. 367 n. 3; Andonova, Betsill & Bulkeley, n. 32 above; B. Eberlein et al., ‘Transnational Business Governance Interactions: Conceptualization and Framework for Analysis’ (2013 forthcoming) Regulation & Governance; Bulkeley, H. et al. ., ‘Governing Climate Change Transnationally: Assessing the Evidence from a Database of Sixty Initiatives’ (2012) 30(4) Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, pp. 591–612; Abbott, n. 21 above.
64 Another valuable ally would be a transgovernmental network on climate. A transgovernmental network is an association of government agencies, e.g., environment ministries; it is not formed by or made up of states as such: see Slaughter, A.-M., A New World Order (Princeton University Press, 2005). Transgovernmental networks share information, coordinate rule-making and other domestic activities, and support weaker member agencies. They are important centres of governance in many areas. Unfortunately, national and supranational environment agencies have not created strong transgovernmental relationships on climate policy.Google Scholar
73 C. van der Lugt & K. Dingwerth, ‘Governing Where Focality Is Low: UNEP and the Principles for Responsible Investment’, in Abbott, Genschel, Snidal & Zangl, n. 23 above.
74 UNFCCC, n. 15 above, Art. 8.
75 See http://unfccc.int/secretariat/partneships/items/6621.php. It has also joined the Global Compact as co-convenor of Caring for Climate, discussed below at Section 5.1.
77 The Momentum for Change programme adopts similar goals: see http://unfccc.int/secretariat/momentum_for_change/items/6214.php.
78 Mattli & Woods, n. 76 above, at pp. 22–6.
81 Abbott, n. 21 above.
83 Hale & Roger, n. 28 above.
84 Green, n. 33 above.
87 K.W. Abbott & D. Snidal, ‘The Governance Triangle: Regulatory Standards Institutions and the Shadow of the State’, in Mattli & Woods, n. 76 above, pp. 44–88. Some sub-state government associations, such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), promulgate binding rules, but most do not.
91 Bernstein, Betsill, Hoffman & Paterson, n. 34 above; Boyd, W. & Salzman, J., ‘The Curious Case of Greening in Carbon Markets’ (2011) 41 Environmental Law, pp. 73–94; M. Peters-Stanley & K.E. Hamilton , ‘Developing Dimension: State of the Voluntary Carbon Market 2012’, May 2012, available at: http://www.forest-trends.org/publication_details.php?publicationID=3164.Google Scholar
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112 Abbott, n. 21 above.
113 K.W. Abbott, J.F. Green & R.O. Keohane, ‘Organizational Ecology and Organizational Strategies in World Politics’, 9 July 2013, available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2293678.
114 Green, n. 33 above.
115 GRI, ‘How do GRI and the Carbon Disclosure Project Align in 2011?’, 5 July 2011, available at: https://www.globalreporting.org/information/news-and-press-center/Pages/How-do-GRI-and-the-Carbon-Disclosure-Project-align-in-2011.aspx.
117 Abbott & Snidal, n. 26 above; Keohane & Victor, n. 37 above.
118 Hooghe, L. & Marks, G., ‘Unraveling the Central State, But How? Types of Multi-Level Governance’ (2003) 97(2) American Political Science Review, pp. 233–43; Peel, Godden & Keenan, n. 40 above.Google Scholar
119 Hooghe & Marks, ibid., at pp. 236–9.
121 ‘REDD’ refers to projects for ‘Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation’. ‘REDD+’ projects also address sustainable forest management. See: http://www.unep.org/climatechange/reddplus/Introduction/tabid/29525/Default.aspx. Transnational organizations such as the CCBA have developed specific standards for national programmes and projects: see, e.g., http://www.redd-standards.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=91&Itemid=136.
122 Börzel, T. & Risse, T., ‘Governance Without a State: Can It Work?’ (2010) 4(2) Regulation & Governance, pp. 113–34; Büthe, T., ‘Private Regulation in the Global Economy: A (P)review’ (2010) 12(3) Business and Politics, Article 2.
123 Abbott, n. 24 above.
124 L.B. Andonova & M. Levy, ‘Franchising Global Governance: Making Sense of the Johannesburg Type II Partnerships’, in O.S. Stokke & O.B. Thommessen (eds), Yearbook of International Cooperation on Environment and Development (Earthscan, 2003), pp. 19–31. The UN maintains a registry of partnerships, available at: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?menu=1500.
127 Green, n. 92 above, at p. 14.
128 VCS, ‘Groundbreaking Jurisdictional REDD+ Requirements Released’, 4 Oct. 2012, available at: http://v-c-s.org/news-events/news/groundbreaking-jurisdictional-redd-requirements-released.
129 J.F. Green & G. Auld, ‘Unbundling the Regime Complex: The Effects of Private Authority’, Working Paper, 24 July 2012, available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2116296.
136 M. Peters-Stanley & D. Yin, ‘Maneuvering the Mosaic: State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2013’, Forest Trends, June 2013, available at: http://www.forest-trends.org/publication_details.php?publicationID53898.
138 Peters-Stanley & Yin, n. 136 above, at p. 35.
143 World Bank, ‘State and Trends of the Carbon Market 2012’, 30 May 2012, available at: http://tiny.cc/carbonmarket2012. New carbon trading programmes in, e.g., California and Australia, should increase demand for compliance credits.
144 Offsets covering 101 million CO2 equivalent tons were contracted in 2012, increasing 4% year-over-year; total market value declined by 11% to $523 million: Peters-Stanley & Yin, n. 136 above.
146 http://www.carbonfix.info/Project.html?PHPSESSID=4g0kp5isbpd4d9i0ufl4vij957. Carbon Fix was acquired by the Gold Standard in 2012.
149 NGOs and other norm entrepreneurs frequently perform these tasks.
151 Abbott, n. 21 above.
152 Abbott & Snidal, n. 87 above.
154 For recent examples from China, see S. Chan, ‘Partnerships for Sustainable Development: Global Diffusion and Local Adaptation’, Institute for Environmental Studies, Newsletter No. 2, June 2013, available at: http://www.ivm.vu.nl/en/news-and-agenda/IVM-Newsletter/latest-issue-newsletter/Environmental-Policy-Analysis/index.asp.
155 Galaz, Crona, Österblom, Olsson & Folke, n. 106 above.
156 Abbott & Snidal, n. 87 above.
157 Most of the transnational organizations identified in Bulkeley et al. (n. 54 above) and in Hoffman (n. 82 above) were created since 2001–02. Most voluntary carbon market organizations were established even more recently: Green, n. 92 above.
158 Hoffman, n. 82 above.
159 Abbott & Snidal, n. 87 above.
161 Keck & Sikkink, n. 25 above, at p.16.
162 Ibid., at pp. 12–3, 14–6.
163 Abbott, n. 24 above; Abbott & Snidal, n. 116 above.
164 Most private climate standards recognize or hew closely to public rules, to enhance legitimacy and minimize switching costs for adherents.
166 Galaz, Crona, Österblom, Olsson & Folke, n. 106 above.
167 This helps to explain why international and transnational climate institutions are so numerous and diverse: Keohane & Victor, n. 37 above.
168 Sunstein, C.R., ‘Social Norms and Social Roles’ (1996) 96 Columbia Law Review, pp. 903–68; Finnemore, M. & Sikkink, K., ‘International Norm Dynamics and Political Change’ (1998) 52(4) International Organization, pp. 887–917.
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170 Galaz, Crona, Österblom, Olsson & Folke, n. 106 above.
172 For example, the Gold Standard acquired the standards organization CarbonFix in 2012.
174 A. Loconto & E. Fouilleux, ‘Politics of Private Regulation: ISEAL and the Shaping of Transnational Sustainability Governance’ (2013 forthcoming) Regulation & Governance.
175 Abbott & Snidal, n. 116 above.
176 Ibid.; Abbott, n. 21 above; Abbott & Snidal, n. 26 above; cf. Abbott, Genschel, Snidal & Zangl, n. 23 above.
177 Orchestration theory hypothesizes that successful orchestrators are ‘focal’, with an accepted leadership position in an issue area (Abbott, Genschel, Snidal & Zangl, n. 23 above) and strong connections with other institutions (Hale & Roger, n. 28 above).
178 In orchestration theory, orchestrators engage intermediaries to influence the behaviour of target actors: Abbott, Genschel, Snidal & Zangl, n. 23 above. Here I de-emphasize targets and focus on the role of orchestrators in supporting and coordinating other organizations, many of which will operate as intermediaries.
179 On ‘enrolling’, see Latour, B., ‘The Powers of Association’, in Law, J. (ed), Power, Action and Belief: A New Sociology of Knowledge? (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986), pp. 264–80; Braithwaite, J. & Drahos, P., Global Business Regulation (Cambridge University Press, 2000); Black, J., ‘Enrolling Actors in Regulatory Systems: Examples from UK Financial Services Regulation’ (2003 Spring) Public Law, pp. 63–91.
180 Stewart, Oppenheimer & Rudyk, ‘Reaching International Cooperation’, n. 42 above.
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182 Falkner, R., ‘Private Environmental Governance and International Relations: Exploring the Links’ (2003) 3(2) Global Environmental Politics, pp. 72–87; Levy, D. & Newell, P., ‘Business Strategy and International Environmental Governance: Toward a Neo-Gramscian Synthesis’ (2002) 2(4) Global Environmental Politics, pp. 84–100.
183 Biermann & Siebenhüner, n. 66 above.
186 Securities and Exchange Commission, ‘Commission Guidance Regarding Disclosure Related to Climate Change’ (2010) 75(25) Federal Register, at p. 6290.
187 GEO-5 for Business: Impacts of a Changing Environment on the Corporate Sector (UNEP, 2013), available at: http://www.unep.org/geo/geo5.asp.
196 Advocates can create negative incentives through mechanisms such as consumer boycotts.
197 Mattli & Woods, n. 76 above, at pp. 35–6.
198 A few have become more active in this area. The UN Global Compact, which has long avoided any suggestion of ‘enforcement’, now publicly identifies firms that fail to submit timely communications and those expelled for failure to disclose. In addition, its ‘differentiation programme’ encourages NGOs to assess participants’ performance, so that it can single out superior performers: see: http://www.unglobalcompact.org/COP/differentiation_programme.html.