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The role of the G20 in governing the climate change regime

  • Joy Aeree Kim
  • Suh-Yong Chung
Original Paper

Abstract

A wide array of institutions governing climate change has proliferated over the past years, influencing the rule-makings of the regime. One of them is the G20. When G20 leaders around the world convened in London to restore global economies, they stressed the importance of a ‘resilient, sustainable, and green recovery’ and reaffirmed their commitments to address climate change. This was followed by their agreement on phasing out inefficient fossil fuel energy subsidies over the medium term in Pittsburgh. The ‘coexistence of narrow regimes in the same issue-area’ could be described as ‘regime complexes’, which enable countries to adapt more readily, particularly when adaptation requires complex changes in norms and behavior. Given that responses to climate change would require changes in the domestic politics of different countries at different levels, loosely integrated institutions of regime complexes could be more advantageous for countries to adapt and in engaging with developing countries. This paper demonstrates that the G20’s highly informal institutional setup as well as its flexible cooperation tools could enable its members to customize their policies and better engage with third-party countries. In addition, the G20 group could collectively influence other key countries to reach an agreement on some of the key climate change–related issues, thereby facilitating the United Nations process of climate change.

Keywords

Climate change Governance G20 Environmental governance Global governance 

Abbreviations

APP

Asia–Pacific Partnership on clean development and climate

EU

European Union

GDP

Gross Domestic Product

GEF

Global Environment Facility

GHG

Green House Gases

G7

Group of 7

G8

Group of 8

G20

Group of 20

IEA

International Energy Agency

LPG

Liquid Petroleum Gases

MEF

Major Economies Forum on energy and climate

MEM

Major Economies Meeting on energy security and climate change

OECD

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development

PCF

Prototype Carbon Fund

SEFTA

Sustainable Energy Free Trade Areas

UNFCCC

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

WEF

World Economic Forum

WTO

World Trade Organisation

Notes

Acknowledgments

Authors would like to thank the Korea University for its support. This paper is partially supported by the Korea University Research Grant.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Economics and Trade Branch, Division of Technology, Industry and EconomicsUNEPParisFrance
  2. 2.Division of International StudiesKorea UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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