CLIMENGO session at Interconnections Conference (May 12-13, 2017)

On the 12th and 13th of May the Interconnections Conference took place at the German Development Institute (  At the conference the interconnections between the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda were stressed, and more specifically, the role of state, non-state and subnational actors herein. The three key questions the conference addressed were the following:

  • Which linkages at the international level between the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement can foster non-state and subnational synergies and accelerate the transition towards a sustainable and climate smart future?
  • How to increase and mobilize national and local capacity, including institutional, planning, financing and statistical capacities, for non-state and subnational action that delivers on both agendas?
  • How can the role of non-state and subnational actors in implementing the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement be strengthened at the national level?

With climate change and energy being key components in the sustainable development debate, the CLIMENGO project’s research aligned very well with the Conference’s content. Therefore, the project members were excited to present five papers in a session called Energy Transition (Saturday May 13, 15:00-16:30), which was chaired by CLIMENGO’s project leader Karin Bäckstrand. First, Philipp Pattberg discussed a conceptualization of the “nexus”, applied to the climate and energy domains. Thereafter, Fariborz Zelli presented a paper written with Thijs van de Graaf about actors, institutions and frames in global energy politics. Third, Jakob Skovgaard presented a paper about carbon pricing discussing the different initiatives, performing different roles in this field. In addition, Harro van Asselt discussed interactions between international cooperative initiatives in the field of fossil fuel subsidy reform. Finally, Lisa Sanderink discussed the wide array of governance institutions in the renewable energy governance domain.

After the presentations the presenters received a few interesting questions from the audience, which led to some fruitful discussions. For example, on how to improve collaboration and division of work within the fragmented structure of the climate-energy nexus, and on the tension between global energy challenges related to sustainability and energy access. The CLIMENGO project would like to thank all hosting institutions for the well-organized event and for the opportunity to speak about CLIMENGO related topics.IMG-20170513-WA0010

CLIMENGO Workshop (May 11, 2017)

Since all CLIMENGO members were in Bonn to attend the Climate Change Conference, the decision was easily made to have a CLIMENGO workshop as well on Thursday May 11. The meeting took place at the German Development Institute (, which was a great location close to the Climate Conference venue. The project members discussed the progress made in each work package and next steps for a successful continuation of the project. More specifically, they first discussed the updated mapping of the so-called climate-energy nexus (work package 1). Thereafter, they discussed the case-studies to be conducted for work package 2, zooming in on three micro-fields: fossil fuel subsidy reform, carbon markets and renewable energy. In addition, Naghmeh Nasiritousi discussed the first CLIMENGO working paper (see publications) for work package 3, in which she addresses the question how to assess legitimacy and effectiveness in a fragmented climate and energy governance landscape. Last but not least, the project members discussed deliverables, outreach and possible contributions to the upcoming COP in Bonn. All in all, it was a very productive workshop involving some interesting discussions and in which some important questions were addressed.


While in Stockholm records were beaten in terms of snowfall in November, CLIMENGO members Karin Bäckstrand, Harro van Asselt, Oscar Widerberg and Lisa Sanderink traveled to warm and sunny Marrakech in Morocco to attend the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The COP which also served as the 12th meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) and of course as the 1st meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA). The Parties met to discuss the implementation of the Paris Agreement, raising ambitions, climate finance, capacity-building, technology transfer, the involvement of non-state actors and much more.

For this purpose Morocco went out of its way to let the conference run smoothly. Even though there might have been some minor start-up problems, the event was well-organized and the vibrant city, which revolved around the COP, was a great home for the climate conference. It also showed in the strong commitment of Hakima El Haite, Delegate Minister of Environment of Morocco and appointed Climate Champion, who attended and spoke at as many events as possible.

The rapid entry into force of the Paris Agreement ensured an optimistic atmosphere at the start of COP22. However, the news which came to light on Wednesday morning (9th of November) about the US elections threatened to cast a shadow on the COP. Trump’s intention to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement was the big elephant in the room. Still, it did not really seem to dominate the debates: the general hope that everyone held on to was that developments in climate action are already on their way and a president-elect cannot simply hinder these. This was also evident in the Marrakech Proclamation, which was released on the 17th of November. Therewith, the Heads of State, Governments and Delegations stressed the momentum for climate change worldwide, which is ‘irreversible’ (to read the full Marrakech Proclamation:

Accordingly, some of the key outcomes from the COP22 are the following. First of all, the intention to move forward on a rule book or operational manual for the Paris Agreement. Secondly, a capacity-building initiative for transparency was announced by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Moreover, the NDC Partnership was launched and governments made progress on key areas, such as climate finance, adaptation, capacity-building technology and gender responsiveness. Next to these outcomes a set of initiatives was launched, for example the Global Peatlands Initiative and the World Alliance for Clean Technologies. Last but not least, the High-Level Climate Champions launched the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action, which is supposed to catalyze and support climate action by Parties and non-Party stakeholders in the period from 2017 to 2020. For more information on key achievements and initiatives please visit:

Besides keeping track of the negotiations and developments at the COP22 for research, the CLIMENGO team was also involved in the organization of side-events. Harro van Asselt, as a researcher at the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), co-organized a side-event on ‘fossil fuel supply and climate change: key steps to enhance ambition’, together with Oil Change International (OCI) and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). Furthermore, Oscar Widerberg from IVM was involved in the organization of a side-event on linking state and non-state climate action, together with researchers from the German Development Institute (DIE Bonn), Forum for Reforms and Entrepreneurship (FORES) and York University. For more information on this event please read a blogpost by Oscar Widerberg:

To sum up, even though the COP22 was “the COP after Paris”, it was certainly of value. It reminded everyone of all the developments that are ongoing in climate action worldwide. Let’s hope the momentum is indeed irreversible. By all means it left the CLIMENGO members with much food for thought and inspiration for further research.

CLIMENGO Workshop (1-2 September 2016)

On the 1st and 2nd of September a CLIMENGO workshop will take place at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), VU Amsterdam. CLIMENGO members will meet to discuss progress to date made and next steps. More specifically, a first mapping of the global energy and climate governance architecture will be presented and discussed, which is part of the first work package. Additionally, the members will discuss the progress made in the other two work packages: identifying synergies and conflicts through case-studies; and assessing effectiveness and legitimacy. Furthermore, the project members will talk about linking the aforementioned work packages, expected deliverables, outreach and possible contributions to the upcoming COP22 in Marrakech.



International Workshop on “Enhancing Legitimacy in Polycentric Climate Governance: Opportunities and Challenges”

European University Institute, Florence, 19-20 May 2016

The European University Institute’s Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, together with the political science departments of Lund University and Stockholm University, host an international workshop on legitimacy in polycentric climate governance. Two of the workshop organizers are Fariborz Zelli and Karin Bäckstrand, who are both affiliated with the CLIMENGO project. The workshop is financed by the COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action INOGOV, an international network of research excellence on ‘Innovations in Climate Governance’.

The workshop aims to bring together both established and early career scholars from a variety of disciplines that address questions of legitimacy and climate politics – including, but not limited to, international relations and political science, legal studies, economics, sociology and human geography. The purpose is to offer the first systematic and comprehensive analysis of legitimacy in an increasingly complex climate governance landscape. Confirmed keynote speakers include Professor Robert Keohane from Princeton University.

The workshop format allows for an intensive one-hour feedback for each submitted paper by a designated discussant and the other participants. As a major product of this workshop, a special issue is planned in a prestigious academic journal in the field of international relations and/or global environmental governance. A second outcome will be a policy brief in which the conveners will summarize workshop results, including on novel policy options for enhancing legitimacy in global climate governance.

Please note that the workshop call for abstracts is closed now. For further information on the workshop:

The CLIMENGO project

Welcome to the CLIMENGO project. As of November 2015 this project, which is funded by the Swedish Energy Agency, explores the institutional complexity of climate and energy governance, so that a knowledge base can be created for decision-makers. Information on the project, upcoming events and on output can be found on this website.