Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Ressourcenökonomie


Explaining Polycentric Climate Governance

Beginn: 2017
Ende: 2018

The carbon budget for limiting global temperature rise to 2 degree centigrade is rapidly used-up (Rogelj et al. 2016), making dangerous interference with the climate system ever more likely. Cooperation at the international UN level has been mostly ineffective so far. It took decades to reach the Paris Agreement (PA). From a scientific perspective, the difficulties in reaching a binding and effective international agreement are plausible due to the incentives of countries to free-ride on other countries’ efforts (Barrett 1994, Carraro and Siniscalco 1993, Hoel 1992). There is thus considerable urgency for approaches that complement action by nation-states, as is prominently acknowledged in the PA (Preamble and Section V).

On the other hand, non-nation state actors are increasingly addressing climate change already since some years. Global city alliances, sub-national authorities, international firms, the carbon divestment movement, climate clubs (Weischer et al. 2012, Hagen and Eisenack 2015) and transnational bureaucracies have started cooperating on emissions reductions on multiple levels, even in the absence of binding national reduction targets (Aykut 2016, Widerberg and Stripple 2016).

This raises in particular two new scientific questions:

  1. Why do non-nation state actors contribute to climate protection instead of free-riding?
  2. Under which conditions do non-nation state actors indeed contribute?

In order to achieve this synthesis, we apply the novel archetypes approach. This approach is capable to synthesize empirical work from heterogeneous case studies, to combine it with game theoretical models, and to build productive interdisciplinary bridges (Eisenack 2012, Oberlack and Eisenack 2017).

Mitarbeiter: Achim Hagen, Paul Neetzow


Leitung Gesamtprojekt: Prof. Dr. Klaus Eisenack