May 16, 2017 in Uncategorized by Oscar Widerberg

This is a reposting from news on Climengo is a project involving several of the researchers active here at 

On the 12th and 13th of May the Interconnections Conference took place at the German Development Institute (  At the conference the interconnections between the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda were stressed, and more specifically, the role of state, non-state and subnational actors herein. The three key questions the conference addressed were the following:

  • Which linkages at the international level between the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement can foster non-state and subnational synergies and accelerate the transition towards a sustainable and climate smart future?
  • How to increase and mobilize national and local capacity, including institutional, planning, financing and statistical capacities, for non-state and subnational action that delivers on both agendas?
  • How can the role of non-state and subnational actors in implementing the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement be strengthened at the national level?

With climate change and energy being key components in the sustainable development debate, the CLIMENGO project’s research aligned very well with the Conference’s content. Therefore, the project members were excited to present five papers in a session called Energy Transition (Saturday May 13, 15:00-16:30), which was chaired by CLIMENGO’s project leader Karin Bäckstrand. First, Philipp Pattberg discussed a conceptualization of the “nexus”, applied to the climate and energy domains. Thereafter, Fariborz Zelli presented a paper written with Thijs van de Graaf about actors, institutions and frames in global energy politics. Third, Jakob Skovgaard presented a paper about carbon pricing discussing the different initiatives, performing different roles in this field. In addition, Harro van Asselt discussed interactions between international cooperative initiatives in the field of fossil fuel subsidy reform. Finally, Lisa Sanderink discussed the wide array of governance institutions in the renewable energy governance domain.

After the presentations the presenters received a few interesting questions from the audience, which led to some fruitful discussions. For example, on how to improve collaboration and division of work within the fragmented structure of the climate-energy nexus, and on the tension between global energy challenges related to sustainability and energy access. The CLIMENGO project would like to thank all hosting institutions for the well-organized event and for the opportunity to speak about CLIMENGO related topics.

Few places left for summer school on governing climate change

May 11, 2016 in Uncategorized by Oscar Widerberg

There are still a few places open for those interesting in applying for the Amsterdam Summer School on governing climate change. The course examines different approaches for coping with climate change, from international agreements to market-based solutions and private activities. Theory is mixed with practice through lectures, discussions, games and excursions to provide concrete examples of how the issue is being addressed at various levels and by various actors. Along the way students will meet scientists, policymakers and lobbyists all working on climate change.

For more information and how to apply, following the link:


Finding business or investor champions in NAZCA: A teaser from an upcoming report

October 21, 2015 in News, Publications, Uncategorized by Oscar Widerberg

For climate governance wonks only…

The quest to find champions based on…

The latest draft decision of the ADP includes  [bracketed] text on appointing “Champions” to boost the outcomes of the technical examination process. Paragraph 19 reads: [Decides that two high-level champions shall be appointed to facilitate, through strengthened high-level engagement, the scaling up and launching of initiatives, including those that implement policies, practices and actions arising from the technical examinations…].

An interesting question is: If the ‘Champions’-paragraph is adopted, can champions come from non-state organizations, and who should it then be?

The technical expert meetings (TEMs) are part of the examination process which have given states, organizations, and cooperative initiatives a chance to show-case technical solutions with ‘high mitigation potential’. They thus provide a forum for non-state actors and experts to participate in the discussions. It is part of larger trend where non-state actors are granted more recognition in the global climate regime. Throughout the year, the Lima-Paris Action Plan (LPAA) has put companies, investors, cities, regions, etc, in the spot-light, in particular since the launch of the Non-State Actor Zone for Climate Action (NAZCA). To date, NAZCA include thousands of commitments by non-state actors.

We have collected NAZCA data (updated 21-10-2015) on 30 ‘cooperative initiatives’ for a project on ‘Businesses’ role in Paris and beyond’ for FORES reference group on international climate politics, which will be presented at a side-event in Paris on December 10th. The lion’s share of our work concentrates on companies and investors which is why we asked: Can NAZCA data help us find business and investor Champions?


In total, there are 727 unique companies and investors participating in 23 different cooperative initiatives. The UN-orchestrated ‘Caring for Climate’ initiative is by far the biggest with 384 participants. Excluding C4C evens the distribution somewhat, however it remains highly skewed with only 5 initiatives having more than 40 participants, and 10 initiatives have 10 or less companies or investors as partners.

number of participants in ICIs

Summing up all companies and investors in the individual initiatives, you arrive at 868 participants. However, since there only are 727 unique companies and investors in our sample, there must be some overlap. In fact, 93 companies and investors are part of more than 1 cooperative initiative with 60 being part of 2 initiatives, 24 being part of 3, 6 being part of 4 initiatives, and 3 companies and investors participating in more than 4 initiatives. To conclude, looking at frequency, the nine top-scorers in the race for becoming a champion are: Royal Philips (7), Unilever (6), Enel (5), ABB (4), AXA Group (4), BT Group (4), Engie (4), H&M (4), Marks and Spencer (4), ACCIONA S.A. (4).


Frequency is a straightforward but crude measure. In the CONNECT project, we love to conceptualize global governance as networks. By doing this we get other metrics and understandings of who are the most central players. Perhaps the most important organization is the one connecting different cooperative initiatives, fostering learning and information exchange beyond the centralized TEMs? In the figure below I’ve plotted all cooperative initiatives (in pink) and all companies and investors (in green). The six largest initiatives in terms of participants have been labelled.

network 1 blogpost

From the figure we can discern a that a few nodes are connecting several initiatives. By increasing the constraint of the figure to include only those nodes with more than 2 connections we’re left with 34 nodes of which 8 are initiatives. Hence, not only are some of the nodes better connected but also some of the initiatives are better connected to each other.

Network k 3 blogpost

Adopting the perspective of seeing what companies and investors that connect initiatives and organizations with one another we get a somewhat different picture than only looking at frequency. Looking at ‘betweenness’, which is a network analysis variable for measuring the shortest path to go to all other nodes, then Korail, FGC, ASN Bank and Storebrand emerge as possible champions alongside Unilever, Marks and Spencer, and Axa. Then again, looking at ‘eigenvector’ value, which measures who has the most popular friends in the network then Enel, Engie, and BT Group become interesting.

The snapshot of how we can combine network analysis and NAZCA could, in our view, provide additional insights into the analysis of global climate governance. It allows for different ways to explore who the “champions” are or at least could be.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you find this type of analysis exciting. Send an email or, if you’re in Paris at the COP, come by to the side-event on 10th December where we present the final work of this study.

Mapping Fragmentation across Governance Architectures: The Internship

August 18, 2014 in Uncategorized by Flavia Guerra

One of the goals of the CONNECT project is to take stock of the existing level of fragmentation across a number of policy domains of Global Environmental Politics (e.g. biodiversity, forestry and fisheries). In order to achieve this, it was necessary to map not only the institutional settings, but also the full spectrum of international agreements governing each domain. Gladly we had some help.

Funded by the Leonardo da Vinci programme, Flávia Guerra joined our team in January 2014, under the supervision of the research leader Dr Philipp Pattberg. During her six months at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) in Amsterdam, Flávia assisted in research, particularly data collection, that was essential for our next steps: operationalizing the methodology to measure fragmentation.

The poster that follows this summary represents one of her research outputs, as well as an illustration of our mapping criteria and methodology.

Successful workshop on climate governance at Freie Universitat, Berlin, April, 14-15, 2014

April 22, 2014 in Uncategorized by Marija Isailovic

Environmental Policy Research Center of Freie Universitat, Berlin organized a research workshop entitled “Shedding light on Multi-Level Climate Governance and Sub-national Laboratories of Experimentation” as part of the Indian-European Multi-Level Climate Governance Research Network (IECGN). The participants were representatives of five universities from Europe and India including the Institute of Environmental Studies (IVM) of VU University Amsterdam, Environmental Policy Research Center of Freie Universitat Berlin, Faculty of Policy and Planning of TERI University, Global Change Program of Jadavpur University and Department of Ecology and Environment Science of Pondicherry University from India. The workshop addressed a number of research topics in the context of climate change and respectively low carbon governance in India and Europe including the comparative analysis of climate policy diffusion across different sub-states, the examination of the interaction between different levels of climate governance ranging from local to transnational levels, as well as a number of normative studies addressing transitions to low carbon economy among others. The full program can be accessed here


Fragmentation of ocean governance addressed as one of the key topics during the World Ocean Summit 2014

March 12, 2014 in Uncategorized by Marija Isailovic

Although The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is the overarching framework for ocean governance and the core international agreement that defines the rights and responsibilities of nations in ocean resource utilization and management, such as commercial shipping, industrial fishing, and marine pollution, it is argued that the UN system for governing oceans is not adequate enough to address both direct as well as unintended impacts on ocean resources and associated fragmented ocean governance architecture (Zondervan et al. 2013). Accordingly, rethinking governance of the ocean is one of the vital future tasks for policy makers. Such developments have also been recognized as one of the core themes during the World Ocean Summit 2014 held in February in San Francisco that brought together leading governance institutions, academia and the private sector. During the Summit the fragmentation of ocean governance was addressed as one of the key issues. The proliferation of treaties, agreements, management approaches as well as the emergence of new governance arrangements such as the Arctic Council and informal arrangements was recognized as a key structural characteristic of ocean governance that has to be taken into account in future efforts to create a new framework for global ocean governance.

Zondervan, Ruben., Leopoldo Cavaleri Gerhardinger, Isabel Torres de Noronha, Mark Joseph Spalding and Oran R. Young. Ocean Governance in the Anthropocene. IGBP Global Change Magazine, 81: 24-27. October 2013.