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INOGOV – Innovations in Climate Governance


INOGOV is an international network of excellence dedicated to understanding policy and governance innovation for climate change. With 27 countries currently signed, it draws together scholars and practitioners who focus on particular aspects of climate change policy and governance innovation, namely their: ‘sources’; ‘diffusion’; and ‘effects’. Funded by COST, INOGOV uses a range of networking instruments, including funding for intensive research workshops, visiting fellowships and summer schools, to lever novel findings from existing research investments.


Current international responses to climate change are widely perceived to be inadequate. There is a growing perception that many climate change mitigation and adaptation measures have been taken outside the international regime, and as a result governance has become more polycentric by nature, with innovative actions occurring at the national, subnational and transnational spheres. How these innovations may be scaled up and coordinated is not fully understood. To address this fundamental knowledge gap, INOGOV focuses on 1) identifying ways in which innovative forms of policy and governance for climate change have been stimulated and diffused across time, space and different modes and levels of governing; 2) building a stronger evaluation capacity to assess their actual and intended effects and impacts; and 3) sharing knowledge with network participants to reach a fuller appreciation of what it means to govern climate change more innovatively.


In order to develop more innovative climate policy and governance, INOGOV objectives aim to: 1) integrate the fragmented research landscape by developing a shared terminology, studying enablers and obstacles to policy and governance innovation, and addressing current research gaps; 2) build new capacity, by funding and training early career researchers from different countries and disciplines, and 3) inform policy and governance interventions, by working with stakeholders to develop usable knowledge to inform multi-level governance processes.

Connection to the Earth System Governance Science Plan

INOGOV connects to the core analytical problems that inform the Earth Systems Governance Project. It addresses issues that directly relate to the architecture of environmental and climate governance by focusing on identifying innovative forms of policy design, instruments and governance processes at multiple levels. Secondly, INOGOV is interested in exploring the key agents that drive the development of innovation in climate governance, by investigating the role of policy entrepreneurs, innovative businesses and/or ‘leader’ states, and by engaging with actors from academia, government and non-governmental organisations. Thirdly, INOGOV recognises the importance of adaptiveness, and specifically addresses questions that refer to the development of adaptive policies, through the lens of innovation, as well as the diffusion and adoption of new instruments, through processes of lesson learning, transfer and emulation. Finally, issues surrounding the accountability and legitimacy of climate policy are addressed specifically through its focus on the effects and effectiveness of climate policy elements. The INOGOV Network sits within the climate system flagship activity of the Earth System Governance Project.

Project website

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