Accessibility links

Connect the dots: managing the fragmentation of global climate governance

The debate about post-2012 global climate governance has been framed largely by proponents and opponents of the policymaking process established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Debate has focused on whether a centralised or a polycentric climate governance architecture will be more effective, efficient, equitable or viable. This paper argues that it is more relevant to ask how to sensibly link the different elements of global climate governance, and what the role of the UNFCCC could be in this regard. It examines these two questions for three aspects of global climate governance: international climate technology initiatives; emerging emissions trading systems; and unilateral trade measures. The paper shows that there are strong arguments for coordination in all of these cases, although it concludes that possibilities for coordination will eventually be limited by underlying tensions that will plague any future climate governance architecture.