Skip to content

Accountability Challenges in the Transnational Regime Complex for Climate Change

Widerberg, Oscar, Philipp Pattberg. 2017. Accountability Challenges in the Transnational Regime Complex for Climate Change. Special Issue: Accountability, Policy and Environmental Governance. Review of Policy Research. 34(1): 68-87


This article discusses challenges to accountability in the context of transnational climate governance. It argues that the emergence of a distinct transnational regime complex and the increasingly integrated structure of international and transnational climate governance create new challenges for using established analytical frameworks that rely on accountability regimes for individual actor types. Instead, studying accountability requires a system-level conceptualization and a revisiting of accountability regimes, taking diversity and networked governance structures into account. Using data from the CONNECT-project on the transnational regime complex for climate change, the article uses a framework of six elements of an accountability regime to identify three overarching accountability challenges. First, the expanding borders of the transnational regime complex for climate change are starting to shift accountability from the multilateral level (the UNFCCC) to a networked and more intricate structure. Second, transparency, monitoring, and reporting remain an urgent challenge despite a rapidly increasing flow of data and repositories in particular concerning ex-post impacts. Third, the availability and utility of sanctions are poorly understood in the context of transnational climate governance.

The article is available here.

You might like these publication categories

Recent publications

2022 Annual Report

Curious to know about the various parts of the Earth System Governance Project, and what has been achieved in 2022?…

Global Shifts: Business, Politics, and Deforestation in a Changing World Economy

What global shifts in markets and power mean for the politics and governance of sustainability. In recent years, major shifts…

Earth System Governance – Volume 16

We are delighted to present the sixteenth volume of Earth System Governance, the new open-access journal for all those interested…