CLIMENGO at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn

Against the backdrop of the Fridays for Future movement and Greta Thunberg’s alarmist words, negotiators convene in Bonn from 17-27 June to prepare for the 25th United Nations Climate Change Conference in December 2019 in Santiago, Chile. Governments are to discuss several critical items, among them, how to raise ambitions to curb emissions, how to accelerate resilience-building efforts, and how to ensure that climate policies are built on the best available science.

The conference provides the compelling opportunity for the CLIMENGO project to disseminate its research results and reflect upon its work over the past four years, in an exchange with practitioners and other stakeholders from climate and energy governance. In an official side-event on Wednesday 26 June, various CLIMENGO project members present their conclusions and recommendations, followed by commentaries of Swedish policymakers. More specifically, the event discusses the complex institutional landscape of the climate-energy nexus, zooms in on the varying degrees of complexity of two specific policy fields – fossil fuel subsidy reform and renewable energy – and scrutinizes the implications for legitimacy and effectiveness. Later this year, the project results will be disseminated in more detailed way, namely in a pioneering edited volume to be published with Cambridge University Press.

In short, to find out more about the tradeoffs between global climate and energy governance, the bottlenecks, consequences and opportunities of growing institutional complexity, please join CLIMENGO in this side-event. The project team is looking forward to answering pressing questions and engaging in a  fruitful discussion with interested stakeholders.

When: Wednesday, 26 June 2019, 16:45-18:15

Where: Room Bonn, World Conference Center Bonn, Germany

Speakers: Fariborz Zelli (Lund University), Philipp Pattberg (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), Cleo Verkuijl (Stockholm Environment Institute), Lisa Sanderink (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), Naghmeh Nasiritousi (Stockholm University), Roger Sedin and Christoffer Nelson (Swedish Government, tbc).

CLIMENGO at ISA’s Annual Convention in Toronto

Researchers from CLIMENGO presented the project’s research at the ISA’s 60th Annual Convention in Toronto 27- 30 March 2019.

CLIMENGO had its own panel with Karin Bäckstrand, Fariborz Zelli, Naghmeh Nasiritousi and Lisa Sanderink presenting research from the project, and with Matthew Hoffmann from the University of Toronto as discussant.

We want to thank Matthew Hoffmann and the audience for their insightful questions about our research.

CLIMENGO researchers Karin Bäckstrand and Oscar Widerberg at the Global Climate Action Summit

CLIMENGO researcher Karin Bäckstrand participated as a delegate in the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco 10-14 September, aimed to enhance actions by non-state actors to implement the Paris Agreement.

Also at the summit, CLIMENGO researcher Oscar Widerberg participated in the presentation of a pre-release version of a chapter of the forthcoming UN Environment Emissions Gap Report, which he co-wrote together with other researchers.

CLIMENGO presentation at the 12th Pan-European Conference on International Relations in Prague

Currently the 12th Pan-European Conference on International Relations takes place in beautiful Prague, organized by the European International Studies Association (EISA) in collaboration with the Central and East European International Studies Association (CEEISA). CLIMENGO member Lisa Sanderink will be presenting tomorrow in a panel titled “Politics, Power and Activism” in the section “Energy and the Global Commons”. Lisa will present her research on frames for global renewable energy governance in the context of current international energy politics and SDG 7 more specifically. An abstract of the paper she will be presenting and more details about when and where the panel will take place can be found below. Come and join the session if you want to hear more about how renewable energy institutions frame the global energy challenge and define the role of renewables in addressing this critical challenge.

When: Saturday, September 15

Time: 14:30 – 16:15

Location: room SB228, University of Economics, W. Churchill Sq. 1938/4, Prague 3


Abstract – Facing the frames for global renewable energy governance

Lisa Sanderink,  Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

A worldwide uptake of renewables is key to a sustainable energy future for all, and to achieve this goal effective global governance is paramount. However, global (renewable) energy governance is fragmented in multiple ways. First, the domain is governed by an array of institutions, including international organizations such as the IEA and IRENA and cooperative initiatives such as RE100 and REEEP. Second, these institutions focus on different energy sources and technologies, including solar, wind and hydropower. Third, there are three critical challenges at play, commonly known as energy security, energy access and environmental sustainability. In an attempt to create a common norm and increased consensus for global (renewable) energy governance, Agenda 2030 included SDG 7 to ensure sustainable and modern energy for all, integrating the three global energy challenges into one universal objective. While renewable sources of energy have enormous potential to contribute to achieving SDG 7 and the threefold challenge, it remained unclear if renewable energy institutions were reaching their full potential in this regard. By applying an innovative method for frame analysis, this paper uncovers how renewable energy institutions frame the global energy challenge and define the role of renewables, to eventually examine the extent to which this aligns with the potential of renewables to contribute to SDG 7 in an integrated manner. The results demonstrate that current discussions on renewable energy are dominated by climate talks, with a growing interest in the access issue while undermining concerns of security.


Technical report: Mapping the Institutional Architecture of Global Energy Governance

In a recently published report, CLIMENGO researchers Lisa Sanderink, Kristian Kristensen, Oscar Widerberg and Philipp Pattberg map the institutional complexity of global energy governance.

The technical report presents a comprehensive dataset and mapping of 128 global governance arrangements that address the threefold global energy challenge: energy security, energy access and environmental sustainability. The report is written in relation to the CONNECT project: Coping with Fragmentation – Assessing and Reforming the current Architecture of Global Environmental Governance. In addition, it contributes to the CLIMENGO project, which aims to map the institutional nexus of global climate and energy governance, to evaluate the effectiveness and legitimacy thereof, and to develop a knowledge-base for decision makers.

The full report is available on the Publications page.

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