The Fragmentation of Global Climate Governance
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The Fragmentation of Global Climate Governance

Consequences and Management of Regime Interactions

Harro van Asselt

‘How do the different international institutions addressing climate change interact? What are the actual and potential synergies and conflicts? What are the most effective strategies to manage institutional interplay? Harro van Asselt’s expertise in both international law and international relations, as well as his intimate knowledge of the policy-making process, make him ideally equipped to address these fundamental questions. Based on detailed case studies, he provides a wide-ranging, lucid, and theoretically sophisticated study of climate change governance. Essential reading for international lawyers and international relations scholars alike.’ – Dan Bodansky, Arizona State University, US
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Chapter 6: The UN climate regime and minilateral clean technology agreements

Harro van Asselt


This chapter presents the first case study, analysing regime interactions within a narrowly defined, single issue area. More specifically, the chapter focuses on interactions between the multilateral UN climate regime and 'minilateral'regimes in the same issue area, as exemplified by minilateral clean technology agreements. The chapter seeks to provide insights into the consequences of interactions between the climate regime and such agreements, as well as ways in which interactions have been or can be managed. By doing so, it also aims to highlight how, through institutional coordination, the UN climate regime and minilateral clean technology agreements could come to an acceptable division of labour that makes use of their respective strengths. It thus seeks to show how minilateral initiatives and the climate regime could be complements rather than competitors. One way of framing the climate change problem is by highlighting its technological dimensions. By adopting a technology-based perspective, the genesis of the problem can be traced back to the technological innovations that enabled industrialization, and thereby led to rapidly increasing greenhouse gas emissions. The solution can equally be framed in terms of technological change. In particular, promoting technological change through research and development (R & D) on, and the large-scale diffusion and deployment of, low-emission technologies is seen as a crucial component of any successful climate policy. Which combination of clean technologies should be pursued, however, remains an open question. The climate treaties contain various provisions to promote cooperation on clean technology development and diffusion.

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