Emergence of polycentric climate governance and its future prospects

Andrew J. Jordan, Dave Huitema, Mikael Hildén, Harro van Asselt, Tim J. Rayner, Jonas J. Schoenefeld, Jale Tosun, Johanna Forster, Elin L. Boasson

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Governance responses from the international climate regime have been widely critiqued. But fresh research is revealing that ‘new’ and more dynamic forms of governing are appearing in alternative domains, producing a more polycentric pattern. Some analysts believe that these ‘new’ forms will fill gaps in the regime, but this optimism is based on untested assumptions about their diffusion and performance. We conclude that the advent of more polycentric governance does offer new opportunities to govern climate change, but based on existing empirical research it is far too early to judge whether hopes about the performance of the ‘new’ forms are well founded. More time and vastly more coordinated research efforts are needed to comprehend their full potential; time that is in very short supply in governing climate change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)977-982
Number of pages6
JournalNature Climate Change
Early online date10 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015

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