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International Climate Change Governance and the Question of Scale

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Join the event organised by Climate Change, Energy Policy and Sustainability Research Group at the University of Westminster

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In the context of COP26, the panellists will explore the question of how to establish an appropriate balance between different scales of governance in achieving international GHG emissions reduction targets, whilst also promoting climate change adaptation.

Climate change is widely viewed as a profound example of market failure. To address this, the majority of experts agree on the need for a strong global agreement on future emissions reductions to be confirmed on an urgent basis. However, recent years have seen significant debate about how far we should be relying on such a global agreement, with some emphasising that decentralised processes of change offer a more robust approach. For example, some contributions from the late Elinor Ostrom (2010), along with subsequent contributions from classical liberal political economists, question the effectiveness and indeed the desirability of the international climate change governance framework, emphasising instead the efficacy of decentralised forms of governance (Pennington, 2017). Related lines of argument emphasise the potential for market-driven approaches that enable climate change adaptation (Kahn et al., 2021). This prompts further questions about how global climate change governance can foster a suitable balance between the priorities of mitigation and adaptation. These debates highlight the need for further reflections on the findings of empirically orientated research in recent years across different fields which inform debates about the most effective balance between scales of climate change governance. This panel aims to provide such reflections, whilst also exploring potential future related research agendas.

The Panellists:

Prof Bobbi Herzberg, Distinguished Senior Fellow in the F. A. Hayek Program in Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

Prof Michele M. Betsill, Dept of Political Science, University of Copenhagen

Prof Peter Newell, Professor of International Relations, University of Sussex

Prof Joyeeta Gupta, Professor of Environment and Development in the Global South, University of Amsterdam

The event will be chaired by Dr Dan Greenwood, University of Westminster

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