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Global Climate Governance beyond 2012: an Introduction

  • Frank Biermann
  • Philipp Pattberg
  • Fariborz Zelli
Publishing year: 2010
Language: English
Pages: 1-12
Publication/Series: Global Climate Governance Beyond 2012. Architecture, Agency and Adaptation
Document type: Book chapter
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Abstract english

Future historians might remember the period 2009-2012 as a turning point in the political response to global warming and climate change. The 1980s were a time of agenda-setting in which climate change became accepted as a political problem; the 1990s saw the first institutionalization through adoption of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992 and its Kyoto Protocol in 1997. The 2000s marked the period of ratification of the protocol and further institutionalization of its means of implementation. Yet the Kyoto Protocol was merely a first step, and its core commitments expire in 2012. Even full compliance with the Kyoto agreement will not prevent 'dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system' - the overall objective of the climate convention. Concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are rising, while drastic reductions of emissions are needed according to current scientific consensus (IPCC 2007). These years are thus a crucial moment for human societies to change current economic, social and political development paths and to embark on a transition to new ways of production and consumption that emit less carbon - or to adapt to a world that is substantially warmer and hence different from the world that human and natural systems have been adapted to so far. At the planetary level, this is the quest for long-term, stable and effective 'global governance'. The term governance derives from the Greek word for navigating, and this challenge of turning around the wheel and charting a new course is indeed what is at stake in current negotiations on climate change.


  • Political Science
  • climate governance
  • global governance
  • complexity
  • fragmentation
  • institutional analysis
  • institutional theory
  • environmental governance
  • Kyoto protocol


  • Miljöpolitik-lup-obsolete
  • ISBN: 978-0-521-19011-4
Fariborz Zelli
E-mail: fariborz [dot] zelli [at] svet [dot] lu [dot] se

Senior lecturer

Department of Political Science

+46 46 222 47 64



Associate professor

Department of Political Science



Fariborz is director of the NAVIGOV project. He received the outstanding Ph.D. thesis award of the University of Tübingen and the award for outstanding teaching performance of the German state of Baden-Württemberg.

Ongoing research projects

Department of Political Science
Lund University
Visiting address: Paradisgatan 5H (House: Eden)
Postal address: Box 52, SE-221 00 LUND
Telephone: +46 46-222 89 52

Faculty of Social Sciences