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Taskforce on Climate Governance



The threat of climate disruption is one of the defining political and societal challenges of our time. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has shown that humankind could still limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Yet there is no doubt that the transformation challenge is huge, that current governmental policies and commitments are insufficient, and that the time window for political action is narrowing each year. This makes effective and just climate policy crucial – as a challenge both politically and for the social sciences.


To take up this challenge, the Earth System Governance Project has formed in 2021 a new Taskforce on Climate Governance. This taskforce strengthens climate policy research within the Earth System Governance community and beyond, and mobilizes the entire breadth and wealth of the network, from the conceptual and theoretical diversity of the hundreds of affiliated ESG scholars to the broad research expertise on other planetary socio-ecological systems beyond climate, such as biodiversity and oceans. The Taskforce on Climate Governance also works closely with the more conceptual taskforces on planetary justice, earth system law, democracy and so forth. The Taskforce on Climate Governance contributes to the Earth System Governance Project in numerous ways, including to its series of conferences, workshops, social media, and its flagship journal and book series.

For more information about joining the Taskforce, please contact the taskforce convenors by e-mailing

Taskforce Convenors

  • Frank Biermann, Utrecht University
  • Chukwumerije Okereke, Center for Climate and Development, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Nigeria
  • Kyla Tienhaara, Queen’s University, Kingston


Taskforce Coordinator

Milena Niesen

Working Groups

The ESG Taskforce on Climate Governance works through smaller networks for issue-specific collaboration. The initial working groups are listed below but new groups will be considered on an ongoing basis.

 ‘Decarbonization Pathways’ Working Group

Convenors: Matthew Hoffmann, Steven Bernstein, Michele Betsill and others

‘Carbon Dioxide Removal’ Working Group


Sean Jiaming Low, Miranda Boettcher, Frank Biermann.

‘Trade, Investment and Finance’ Working Group

Convenors: Harro van Asselt, Kennedy Liti Mbeva, Kyla Tienhaara and others

‘Climate Justice’ Working Group

Convenors: Prakash Kashwan, Chukwumerije Okereke, Frank Biermann and others

‘Non-State Climate Action’ Working Group

Convenors: Sander Chan, Harro van Asselt, Michele Betsill and others

‘Climate Transparency, Accountability and Litigation’ Working Group

Convenors: Aarti Gupta, Harro van Asselt, Louis Kotzé and others

‘Climate, Development and SDGs’ Working Group

Convenors: Marjanneke Vijge, Dhanasree Jayaram, Prakash Kashwan, Chukwumerije Okereke, Frank Biermann and others

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Recent publications

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