Edited by Alina Averchenkova, Sam Fankhauser and Michal Nachmany
Chapter 2: The national and international drivers of climate change legislation
Chapter 2 offers a statistical, top-down review of the key factors that explain the passage of climate change legislation. Successful climate legislation arises from the interplay of domestic and international factors. The chapter finds that a particularly important driver of climate action is the passage of framework laws, which codify the political consensus and create clarity about the future direction of climate policy. In most countries, there is broad agreement among political parties about the direction of travel. The chapter finds no significant difference in the legislative activities of left-wing and right-wing governments outside the Anglo-Saxon sphere. Climate laws are more likely to be passed by strong, unified governments, although in democracies they are unlikely to do so in an election year. Future climate policy is likely to be influenced by the pledges countries have made under the Paris Agreement, although the earlier Kyoto Protocol has had little impact on the number of climate laws passed, once other factors (such as national income) are controlled for.
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