A sectoral perspective on international climate governance: Key findings and research priorities

Tim Rayner, Sebastian Oberthür, and Lukas Hermwille (2021), A Sectoral Perspective on International Climate Governance: Key Findings and Research Priorities, Earth System Governance 8, 100105. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esg.2021.100105.


This concluding article derives six major findings from the contributions to this special issue. First, the barriers and challenges to decarbonisation vary significantly across sectoral systems. Second, and similarly, the need and potential for the five functions of international governance institutions to contribute to effective climate protection also vary widely. Third, while the pattern is uneven, there is a general undersupply of international climate governance. Fourth, the sectoral analyses confirm that the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement play an important overarching role but remain limited in advancing effective sectoral governance. Fifth, while non-environmental institutions may present important barriers to decarbonisation, more synergistic effects are possible. Sixth, our sectoral approach provides a sound basis on which to identify sector-specific policy options. The paper then offers reflections on the merits and limitations of the sectoral approach, before identifying avenues for future research to further advance the agenda.