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Strengthening the Transnational Regime Complex for Climate Change

Abbott, Kenneth Wayne, Strengthening the Transnational Regime Complex for Climate Change (February 9, 2013). Forthcoming, Transnational Environmental Law.

Abstract

The inadequacies of the inter-state institutions and negotiating processes central to international climate policy create a pressing need for innovative modes of governance. This paper proposes one promising and feasible approach: strengthening the existing transnational regime complex for climate change. Leading organizations could strengthen the regime complex by forging stronger links among institutions, increasing coordination and collaboration, supporting weaker institutions and encouraging the entry of new ones where governance gaps exist. An enhanced regime complex would have a multi-level structure, enabling transnational institutions to directly engage, address and support sub-state and societal actors at multiple levels of authority and scale. In this way the transnational regime complex would bypass recalcitrant national governments. It would also help manage recalcitrant states by focusing advocacy, creating demonstration effects and otherwise mobilizing pressure on governments. Regime entrepreneurs using the strategy of orchestration could deploy a range of incentives and other tools of influence to enroll, support and steer transnational organizations.

Keywords:climate change, transnational governance, non-state actors, regime complex, multi-level governance, polycentric governance

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