CONNECT at the UNFCCC COP21 in Paris

November 19, 2015 in Conferences, News by Oscar Widerberg

On December 10th, IVM and the CONNECT project is co-hosting an official side-event at the 21st COP of UNFCCC in Paris on Mobilising Ambitious State and Non-State Climate Action in the Paris Agreement and Beyond. During the event, the CONNECT project launch a report on companies in global climate governance written by Oscar Widerberg and Philipp Pattberg. The report is the result of a collaboration between the CONNECT team at IVM and the Swedish think thank Fores, and developed with the help of Fores Reference Group on International Climate Policy.

Should you be in Paris, then please join us on Thursday 10 December, 16:45 to 18:15 in Room OR 01. Other confirmed speakers are Lukas Hermwille (Wuppertal Institute), Daniel Engström Stenson (FORES), Bjorn-Ola Linner (Linköping University), Ann Gardiner (Ecofys), Kolja Kuse (e5 – European Business Council for Sustainable Energy) and Hermann Ott (Wuppertal Institute)

The report will be made available here on

For further queries on the event or on the report, please contact Oscar Widerberg

Call for Papers: Workshop on Theorizing Transnational Business Governance Interactions, York University, Toronto, May 16-17, 2016

November 4, 2015 in Conferences, News by Oscar Widerberg

International Workshop on Theorizing Transnational Business Governance Interactions: Design, Structures, Mechanisms and Impacts, @ York University, Toronto, Canada – May 16-17, 2016. It is Hosted by Osgoode Hall Law School and Schulich School of Business

The goal of the workshop is to advance empirical and theoretical understanding of how governance interactions matter in terms of their impacts on regulatory capacity, outcomes, social
welfare, environmental quality and sustainable development, and how they can be orchestrated to empower structurally weaker interests and ratchet up social and environmental business performance.

The full call for papers can be downloaded here

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.

CONNECT at the OECD and presenting to the Swedish Minister of Environment

September 25, 2015 in Conferences, News by Oscar Widerberg

The past few weeks have been busy for the CONNECT team. Oscar Widerberg was invited to the OECD Climate Change Expert Group in Paris and participated in discussions on the role of non-state actors in global climate governance. On the same topic, he held a presentation a couple of weeks later in Stockholm, Sweden, at an event organized by FORES and the Network for Sustainable Business which was attended by, among others, the Swedish Minister of Environment, Asa Romson.

The event was recorded and can be viewed on YouTube:

Webinar on non-state actors in the climate regime

August 27, 2015 in Conferences, News by Oscar Widerberg

On Tuesday August 25th, Oscar Widerberg and Philipp Pattberg held a webinar on the role of non-state actors in the climate regime. It was organized by the LEDS Global Partnership and attracted a fine group of professionals with an interest in the topic. The presenters first held a 40 minute talk with slides and then took questions from the audience.

You can find the full recording here.

The slides are here.

Should you have any further questions, ideas or comments, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Webinar on Non-state Actors and Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS)

August 19, 2015 in News by Oscar Widerberg

On Tuesday, August 25, at 2:00 PM GMT / 16:00 CEST, Philipp Pattberg and Oscar Widerberg are presenting work at a webinar hosted by the LEDS Global Partnership working group on Sub-national Integration.

Feel like joining? Sign up here.

Here is the description of the event:

LEDS GP Subnational Integration (SNI) Webinar: Low Emission Development Initiatives and the Rise of Non-State Actors: Where, Who, and What

Climate action by cities, regions, companies and NGOs has reinvigorated the debate on global climate governance in the run up to COP21 in Paris. Collaborative initiatives such as the C40 and the “We Mean Business”-coalition engage an impressive amount of actors committing to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Their actions could represent significant, enhanced actions and scaled up new efforts to bring untapped mitigation potential to fruition, should they succeed in achieving the commitments. The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) estimates the potential of mitigation from subnational action to nearly 3 Gt of CO2 equivalent – just 0.7 Gt less than total EU’s emissions in 2014 – showing that non-state actors could help close the ambition gap between the national pledges and the decarbonization pathway which leaves us with a reasonable chance to stop warming at 2 degrees Celsius.

Dr. Phillip Pattberg and Oscar Widerberg take a closer look at the commitments made by subnational NSAs- cities, regions and companies.

First, they present the results from their research on a large dataset collected on city-networks. Is this really a global phenomenon or is it more concentrated to pockets of developed country regions? Who are the key actors and where are the overlaps between networks. Why are some cities extremely active whereas others are not? The commitments of cities and regions are examined in detail to understand what they actually sign up to.

Second, they take a closer look at the private sector- companies and their networks. Why and how are companies engaging in global climate governance? Who and where who are they? The companies are also analyzed in terms of GHG emissions to see whether there is enough potential for the initiatives to make a difference.

Third, the discuss what the emergence of non-state actors mean for the overall climate regime. What are the challenges and opportunities for harnessing and integrating the great potentials? Should cities, companies and other subnational NSAs be more formally integrated in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)? And what options do we have moving towards Paris and beyond?

About LEDS Global Partnership

The Low-Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) Global Partnership (GP) was founded in 2011 to enhance coordination, information exchange, and cooperation among countries and international programs working to advance low-emissions, climate-resilient growth. The LEDS GP currently brings together LEDS leaders and practitioners from more than 160 countries and international institutions through innovative peer learning and collaboration forums and networks. For the full list of participants and more information on partnership activities, see


Masterclass on the Anthropocene with Victor Galaz

July 2, 2015 in News by Oscar Widerberg

Concepts such as the Anthropocene, Planetary Boundaries, and the Great Accelerationare gaining traction in policy and academia. However, is the “Anthropocene” a useful concept to describe the challenges posed by global environmental change? Is there such as thing as global “thresholds”? Does a “boundaries” framing restrict potential societal responses? In short, is there anything new under the sun?

If you’re curious about these questions, a graduate student or post-doc working on environmental issues from a social science perspective, and available on 1 – 2 October, then you should join our masterclass with Victor Galaz from the Stockholm Resilience Center. It will take place at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) at the VU University in Amsterdam.

Download the flyer here for more information on how to apply!


Philipp Pattberg presents study on fragmentation and polycentrism in global climate governance at Asser Institute (Center for International and European Law) in The Hague

June 16, 2015 in Conferences, News by Oscar Widerberg

Philipp recently participated in the workshop ‘Governing the Global Climate Regime: Issues of Institutional Integrity and Justice’ , organized by Griffith University’s Institute for Ethics, Governance and Law (IEGL), the Asser Institute and the Amsterdam Centre for International Law. The workshop investigated the institutional architecture of the global climate regime (conventions, protocols, institutions, mechanisms), the governance quality of those elements and the way they interact. It thereby considered the degree to which they contribute to an effective global climate integrity system—i.e. an inter-­related set of institutions, governance arrangements, regulations, norms and practices that aim to implement the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The paper presented draws on new data on actors networks and discourse structures in global climate governance. A pdf of the presentation can be found here.

Philipp Pattberg, CONNECT principal investigator, appointed Professor Transnational Environmental Governance and Policy

June 16, 2015 in News by Oscar Widerberg

Philipp Pattberg, deputy department head of the Department for Environmental Policy Analysis (EPA) at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), is appointed Professor Transnational Environmental Governance and Policy at the Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences (VU-FALW) . This appointment is an acknowledgment of his internationally recognized expertise in the field of transnational and private environmental governance.

For more info, click here.

Side-event at the UNFCCC in Bonn on non-state actors’ role in a Paris Agreement

June 10, 2015 in News by Oscar Widerberg

On 11th June, at the UNFCCC meeting (SB42) in Bonn, IVM together with the Swedish think thank FORES, organize a side-event on the role of non-state actors such as cities, regions, companies and multi-stakeholder partnerships. During the side-event, CONNECT core member Philipp Pattberg will discuss the fragmentation of global climate governance. Oscar Widerberg will present a policy brief that reports on some of the latest research coming out of our research. The event will also feature Daniel Engström Stenson from FORES, Karin Bäckstrand from Stockholm University, Sander Chan from the German Development Institute and Veronique Massenet from the french ministry of ecology, sustainable development and energy.

Download the Policy Brief here

Download the Flyer here


Check the ENB coverage of the event here.