Governance and Legislation

The Governance and Legislation research group explores the governance and political economy of transformations to low-carbon and climate-resilient societies at international and domestic levels, including the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Researchers from this group aim to contribute to an effective and sustained implementation of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals and to help increase ambition within the framework of these agreements, while examining the political economy and governance of doing so, both internationally and domestically. The group also focuses on the specific roles of legislation, litigation, sub-national government and the private sector in these processes.

Members of the Governance and Legislation research group examine these issues under two main themes.

First, through exploring transformational governance to enable a transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient society, members of the group study the international political economy and global politics of climate change. This includes evaluating the enablers of this transition, including multilateralism, minilateralism – diplomatic initiatives by small groups of countries – and transnational networks.

Second, members of the group study the different drivers for credible implementation of, and ratcheting up ambition within the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development goals. Through their work, group members aim to contribute to an improved understanding of key actors and their interactions and to identify key levers for, and barriers to, increasing global ambition.

An additional strand to this research cluster, the global Climate Change Laws of the World database tracks climate change related legislation and litigation. As part of the initiative, researchers in the group assess global legislative trends; examine the credibility of emission reduction pledges and their implementation; identify legislative gaps; and study experiences with climate change action in a variety of local contexts to aid policy makers to tackle this global challenge.

Currently, particular attention is being focused on the typology of national climate governance models and institutional arrangements and their compatibility with the requirements of the Paris agreement. In this context, researchers are studying the key drivers of climate policy in Mexico, South Africa and Tanzania. They are also assessing the impact of the UK’s Climate Change Act on the policy debate and decisions.


National laws and policies on climate change adaptation: a global review

National laws and policies on climate change adaptation: a global review

This global review of adaptation laws and policies has been undertaken to understand how adaptation to climate change is governed at the national level. It highlights the common areas of focus and also apparent gaps in these laws and policies, making recommendations for policymakers and further research. read more »