‘A very human business’—Transnational networking initiatives and domestic climate action


Abstract

The past two decades have witnessed a proliferation of transnational networking initiatives aimed at addressing climate change. Previous work has suggested that these initiatives largely achieve their governance functions by fostering learning and resource acquisition. Our particular contribution seeks to advance current understanding of networking initiatives by suggesting that they may additionally perform social and emotional roles which galvanise, energise and motivate actors to pursue actions which advance domestic climate goals. To illustrate our argument, we examine GLOBE International, an inter-parliamentary institution focused on supporting the development of domestic legislation around sustainable development. Based on semi-structured interviews with legislators, we provide evidence that GLOBE functions as a network for learning, and particularly political learning. Yet participation in the group setting of the initiative’s summits has additionally given rise to feelings of unity, emotional energy and inspiration. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings, which paint a richer, more complex picture of transnational climate governance than previously acknowledged in the literature.

Global Environmental Change, Volume 54, January 2019