Angel Hsu is the Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Environment, Energy and Ecology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Angel will be discussing the paper Catalyzing virtuous cycles of climate action: An empirical model of polycentric governance.


Nations and international governing bodies are traditionally viewed as the primary actors working to mitigate global climate change. Yet subnational jurisdictions, such as states and cities, and non-state entities, such as businesses and civic organizations, have become increasingly important actors in efforts to reduce climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions and stem climate impacts. As the new paradigm and the Paris Agreement’s new “pledge, review and ratchet” system takes shape, scholars debate whether and how non-state and subnational policies and initiatives catalyze additional climate action. Many subnational efforts exceed their national regulatory counterparts, suggesting that non-state actors are able to adopt better targets than national governments. Evaluating non-state actors’ contributions to global climate mitigation and mapping this polycentric mode of governance requires an empirical foundation. In this presentation, I will discuss research efforts to quantify and assess non-state actor contributions to global climate mitigation and implications for the Paris Agreement’s polycentric governance.

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