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.

On mapping the institutional architecture of climate change

August 14, 2015 in Publications by Oscar Widerberg

We’re happy and proud to announce the latest technical report in our series of mapping institutional architectures. This time we have looked at climate change and compiled a list of 80 institutions forming the foundation of our research in this issue area. In the report, we describe and analyse the data-set to find that the majority of institutions are state-based and dealing with information and networking as well as setting standards and commitments. They comprise over 12,000 members of which the lion’s share are cities and regions taking climate action.

The report is free to download here and available via our resources page.

New publication listing 9 conditions for successful partnerships

August 11, 2015 in Publications by Oscar Widerberg

Philipp Pattberg and Oscar Widerberg of the CONNECT project just published a new paper discussing nine conditions for enhancing the performance of multistakeholder partnerships for sustainable development. Such partnerships have become popular tools for attaining sustainable development goals. Improving their effectiveness is important since their popularity increases despite poor past track record. The recommendations revolve around the Actors, Process and Context of partnerships, suggesting that much can be done to improve all dimensions of partnership building, maintenance and performance.

The paper is available under open access here:

New report on Mapping the Institutional Architecture of Global Forest Governance

May 11, 2015 in News, Publications by Oscar Widerberg

We’re pleased to announce a new deliverable from the CONNECT project. This time Flavia Dias Guerra has taken the lead in writing a technical report on mapping the institutional architecture in global forest governance. It paper operationalizes an analytical framework based on Abbott and Snidal (2009) for mapping the institutional architecture and explains much of the thinking the CONNECT projects first bits and pieces.

In short the paper explains how we map institutions that are (i) international or transnational scope; (ii) display intentionality to steer the behaviour of their members; (iii) explicitly mention a common governance goal; and, (iv) have identifiable governance functions. The mapping involves two stages of data collection: (1) transnational institutions – relying on a review of previous case studies and desk research; and (2) inter-state regimes – sorting through an online database of International Environmental Agreements.

You can find our paper here or visit our “resources” page.

Don’t be afraid to let us know what you think!


“The Dog that Didn’t Bark” – Florian Rabitz on the abscene of regime complexes

February 6, 2015 in Publications by Oscar Widerberg

Florian Rabitz, scholar based at the  Institute for International Relations at the University of São Paulo and collaborator with the CONNECT project, shares his working paper on why regime complexes doesn’t emerge. Lot’s of research is going into why complexed have emerged, and less so on the question why they sometimes don’t. Taking a fresh view on these things, here is Florian’s working paper abstract:

“Regime complexes are becoming a frequent phenomenon in global environmental governance. However, despite rising institutional density, no regime complex for chemicals and waste has yet emerged. This article seeks to explain why international chemicals-and waste regimes are highly fragmented, decentralized and sectoralized instead of giving rise to various types of problematic interactions and crossinstitutional strategies. Addressing the Basel, Rotterdam, Stockholm and Minamata Conventions, as well as various maritime and regional agreements, I focus on functional interdependence among the subject matter to be regulated and spillovers among the substantive rules of the respective regimes. Whereas low functional interdependence allows deep cooperation through regimes of narrow regulatory scope, lack of negative spillovers disincentivizes regime shifting and makes collective interplay management unnecessary. As sectoral regimes are able to treat different types of chemicals and wastefrom different point sourcesand at different stages of their respective life cyclesin an isolated manner, international chemicals governance lacks most of the characteristics usually associated with regime complexes. “

You can access the full paper here.

Don’t hestiate to contact Florian, should you have any questions or comments.


New publication on Theorising Global Environmental Governance: Key Findings and Future Questions

January 19, 2015 in News, Publications by Oscar Widerberg

We’re happy to announce that the first publication from core-CONNECT members Philipp Pattberg and Oscar Widerberg in 2015 was just published online in Millennium Journal of International Studies.

We make a case that global environmental governance in the Anthropocene is fundamentally different from older conceptions of environmental policy-making since problem-solving is no longer concerned with isolated problems, but rather with reorganising the overall relation between humans and natural systems. We look at what is called the theoretical interregnum in global environmental governance by first sketching the key empirical trends in global environmental governance; secondly, discussing theory-building with regards to four broad areas of inquiry: the questions of agency and authority; the structural dimension of global environmental governance; the related normative questions about legitimacy, accountability, equity and fairness in the Anthropocene; and finally the integration of governance research into formal approaches and the related incorporation of non-social science concepts into environmental governance research., We conclude by proposing some initial ideas on how to move forward in the study of global (environmental) governance.

You can access the article here.

Just send an email or contact us in any other way should you be more interested, have comments or questions.

Can International Cooperative Initiatives save the day?

December 18, 2014 in News, Publications by Oscar Widerberg

During the UNFCCC’s COP20 that took place in Lima, Peru, the Stakeholder  Forum issued daily briefings in their Outreach magazine on different climate related topics. CONNECT researchers Oscar Widerberg and Philipp Pattberg wrote a piece on the so-called International Cooperative Initiatives’ (ICI) potential to close the gap between national pledges to mitigate GHG emissions and the path we need to be on to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. The ICI debate takes place in a wider discussion on if and how non-state actors and other climate related international and transnational governance arrangements can contribute to the global process under the UN.

Find the Outreach article here

Should you have any questions, comments or queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

CONNECT-project well represented at the 2014 workshop “Beyond 2015: Exploring the Future of Global Climate Governance”

November 21, 2014 in Conferences, News, Publications by Oscar Widerberg

On 20 November, the  2014 Amsterdam Conference “Beyond 2015: Exploring the Future of Globa Climate Governance” took place at De Rode Hoed in Amsterdam. The conference was organized by the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), VU University Amsterdam, as part of the Indian-European Multi-level Climate Governance Research Network (IECGN) and included a day of key note speakers, panels and round-table discussions of some of the most pressing issues in global climate governance with many of the papers focusing on India’s role in climate change action.

CONNECT researchers Philipp Pattberg, Marija Isailovic and Oscar Widerberg were highly involved and  part of the following papers.

  • “Subnational climate networks, who they are and what they do.”by Jennifer Bansard, Philipp Pattberg, and Oscar Widerberg
  • “Exploring Patterns of Participation in Transnational Climate Governance: The case of India” by Marija Isailovic
  • “Mapping global climate governance by membership: A network approach” by Oscar Widerberg
  • “International Cooperative Initiatives in Global Climate Governance: Raising the Ambition Level or Delegitimizing the UNFCCC?” by Oscar Widerberg and Philipp Pattberg

All papers except the last one can be downloaded for free here.

The last paper can be accessed here (paywalled).

Should you be more interested in these papers, please don’t hesitate to contact us.




New paper critically assessing International Cooperative Initiatives

November 10, 2014 in News, Publications by Oscar Widerberg

We’re really happy to announce the online publication of a new study by Oscar Widerberg & Philipp Pattberg, both core members of the CONNECT-project. The paper critically assesses the merits of nine alternative climate governance arrangements that in UN speak have been termed “International Cooperative Initiatives” or in short, ICIs. These non-UN climate mitigation initiatives taking place between actors such as states, cities, regions, NGOs, philanthropists, companies and others, have become increasingly viewed as a complement to the UNFCCC. Now people are discussing to what extent the UNFCCC could or should do more to activate these ICIs, for example by setting up a mechanism within the UNFCCC secretariat to at least record current actions.

Here is the abstract:

To close the gap between existing country pledges and the necessary ambition level to limit anthropogenic climate change to not more than 2°C average global temperature increase above pre-industrial levels, decision makers from both the public and private domain have started to explore a number of complementary approaches to the top-down targets-and-timetables approach of international climate change policy. Referred to as International Cooperative Initiatives (ICI), these governance arrangements are now also officially acknowledged under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Durban Platform for Enhanced Action. While proponents see ICIs as important bridging devices towards more ambitious climate policy, in particular up to 2020, critical observers note that the voluntary nature of ICIs makes it difficult to assess their contribution to climate change mitigation. This article scrutinizes the potential of ICIs to meaningfully contribute to closing the emissions gap along the criteria of effectiveness, legitimacy and institutional fit. As means of illustration, the analytical framework is applied to a random sample of nine ICIs (out of a total of 45 listed on the UNFCCC Secretariat’s website). We find that while potential technical effectiveness is high, legitimacy and institutionalfit should be improved with a view towards integrating ICIs into the emerging post-2015 climate governance architecture.

You can access the article here (behind pay wall)

Updated report on Multi-stakeholder Partnerships

October 15, 2014 in Conferences, News, Publications by Oscar Widerberg

Just in time for the Global Perspectives meeting scheduled to be held in Paris in late October 2014, the International Civil Society Center (ICSC) have released a shorter version of the report Transnational multi-stakeholder partnerships for sustainable development: Building blocks for success, previously published here on our site. The report will be discussed at the Global Perspectives meeting which is organized by the ICSC and attended by large number of global CSO Executives. CONNECT project member Oscar Widerberg will participate in a panel discussion on multi-stakeholder partnerships at the meeting in Paris.

You can already now download the new version of the report Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships: Bulding Blocks for Success here.