Varieties of Climate Governance | Navroz Dubash

Date: 11 Feb 2020 12:30 pm — 2:00 pm
Venue: LSE, Clement House, 3.02, London WC2R 1DH

Navroz K. Dubash, Professor, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, will be discussing his paper Varieties of Climate Governance – Understanding the National Institutions Underpinning Climate Action


How do states respond to the challenge of climate governance? This question has important practical policy implications but also suggests unexplored conceptual terrain. From a practical point of view, the Paris Agreement has anointed ‘nationally determined contributions’ – those emerging from national circumstances and politics – as the centrepiece of the global collective response to climate change. As this formulation suggests, the centre of gravity of the global climate response has shifted to national and sub-national scales. Yet, there is relatively little understanding of how states organize themselves internally to put together their national contributions, the forces that act on the determination of those contributions, and the factors that shape implementation possibilities. This talk will share preliminary insights from the “Varieties of Climate Governance” project, which seeks to shed light on this question through eight comparative country case studies.

An emergent literature provides some indicative ways forward. There are studies on proliferating climate legislation, on polycentric experiments, on the comparative politics of climate policy-making, and on emergent sub-national actions. However, with a few exceptions, a systematic study of an intermediate layer of climate institutions at the national level is yet to emerge. National institutions are likely to play several roles: institutionally interpret and operationalise alternative frames of the climate challenge; manage the policy integration challenge across line departments; mediate political pressures from competing interests; and perform bread and butter monitoring tasks. But climate institutions do not start with a blank slate. The talk therefore examines the evolution of climate institutions in historical context, as well as examining the ways in which different institutional forms work to shape, or not, climate policy and policy. I will compare important moments from cases that have resulted in institutional change, and present vignettes of attempted institutional approaches to climate governance. The overarching aim is to stimulate an empirically informed conversation about the diversity of nationally context-specific pathways to effective climate institutions.

Read the Project Concept Note


Navroz K Dubash is a Professor at the Centre for Policy Research, who has been actively engaged in global and national debates on climate change, air quality, energy and water for over 25 years.

Navroz is Coordinating Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and serves on the UNEP GAP Report Steering Committee. He has advised the Indian government making on climate change, energy, air and water policy for over a decade, including as a member of the committee on a Long Term Strategy for Low Carbon Development for India

His recent edited book is India in a Warming World with OUP. He was conferred the T N Khoshoo Memorial Award in 2015 for his work on climate change and his paper was awarded the Emerging Nations Award for 2018 by Environmental Research Letters.

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