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.