J. Timmons Roberts

J. Timmons Roberts
Brown University · Institute at Brown for Environment and Society

PhD

About

187
Publications
119,334
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
11,292
Citations
Citations since 2017
58 Research Items
6724 Citations
201720182019202020212022202302004006008001,0001,2001,400
201720182019202020212022202302004006008001,0001,2001,400
201720182019202020212022202302004006008001,0001,2001,400
201720182019202020212022202302004006008001,0001,2001,400
Additional affiliations
July 2009 - present
Brown University
Position
  • Itlleson Professor
July 2006 - June 2007
University of Oxford
Position
  • James Martin 21st Century Professor
July 2001 - June 2009
William & Mary
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (187)
Article
Central to climate justice is the question of who will pay for the mitigation and adaptation efforts needed as the climate crisis worsens, particularly in countries that bear little responsibility for global greenhouse gas emissions. Climate finance is a complex set of mechanisms intended to address this concern. World-systems theory has long under...
Article
Full-text available
The Climate and Development Lab at Brown University, USA, teamed up with the International Centre for Climate Change and Development in Bangladesh to develop a typology of 14 ways developed nations have resisted efforts by the developing world to create funding mechanisms under the UNFCCC to pay for losses and damages resulting from climate change....
Article
Wealthy countries failed to meet their US$100 billion climate finance pledge, and research now suggests that they may be further away from their goal than previously thought. Machine coding of finance projects may help settle the debate and could be part of a more rigorous tracking system.
Article
The 2017 North Atlantic Hurricane Season brought many of the injustices faced by non‐sovereign Caribbean States to the fore. These injustices, which positioned Caribbean people as expendable to colonial powers, highlighted the impact of historically‐enduring colonial structures of non‐sovereignty on post‐hurricane response and recovery efforts acro...
Article
Full-text available
The successful design, implementation and management of the institutional arrangements for climate change adaptation are critical components of sustainable development. This is especially true for small island developing states (SIDS), a group of 58 countries spread across three main geographic regions, which are acknowledged as being disproportion...
Article
Full-text available
Adapting to climate change is becoming a routine and necessary component of planning at all levels. In the case of small island developing states (SIDS), the successful development, implementation and evaluation of national-level adaptation policies are especially important because of their disproportionate vulnerability. The status of adaptation p...
Article
Full-text available
Many U.S. states have taken significant action on climate change in recent years, demonstrating their commitment despite federal policy gridlock and rollbacks. Yet, there is still much we do not know about the agents, discourses, and strategies of those seeking to delay or obstruct state-level climate action. We first ask, what are the obstacles to...
Preprint
Full-text available
Many U.S. states have taken significant action on climate change in recent years, demonstrating their commitment despite federal policy gridlock and rollbacks. Yet, there is still much we do not know about the agents, discourses, and strategies of those seeking to delay or obstruct state-level climate action. We first ask, what are the obstacles to...
Article
Gridlock and rollback in Washington have led to a turn to the states for action on climate change in the U.S. The state of Massachusetts presents a particularly puzzling case, since it was an early leader with binding emissions targets, but the succeeding dozen years saw most ambitious efforts stalled or watered down. We collected 1187 pieces of le...
Article
Full-text available
Based on a systematic review of journal articles, books and book chapters, and policy papers, we evaluate possible sources of finance for addressing loss and damage from slow onset climate events in developing countries. We find that most publications explore insurance schemes which are not appropriate for most slow onset events. From this, we dete...
Article
Full-text available
Climate compatible development (CCD) is a deliberate policy framework that reduces climate-related harm while increasing development opportunities when its three components-adaptation, mitigation, and development-are pursued jointly. In this viewpoint article, we use three island case studies-urban infrastructure improvements in the Solomon Islands...
Article
The Parties to the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement agreed to act on the basis of equity to protect the climate system. Equitable effort sharing is an irreducibly normative matter, yet some influential studies have sought to create quantitative indicators of equitable effort that claim to be value-neutral (despite evident biases). Many of these studies f...
Article
Full-text available
The 2009 pledge to mobilize US$100 billion a year by 2020 in climate finance to developing nations was not specific on what types of funding could count. Indeterminacy and questionable claims make it impossible to know if developed nations have delivered; as 2020 passes, opportunity exists to address these failures in a new pledge.
Article
Given the lack of federal leadership on climate change in the United States, planning and action at the state and local levels are crucial. However, many state and local plans are built around targets based on outdated climate science such as 80% emissions reductions by 2050. The IPCC 2018 report suggests that wealthy countries must go substantiall...
Chapter
Die Klimakrise spitzt sich zu, der Klimawandel wird immer stärker spürbar. Warum gelingt es vielfach trotzdem nicht, dringend notwendige Eindämmungsmaßnahmen einzuleiten und zu handeln? Die Autorinnen und Autoren beleuchten aus psychologischer und interdisziplinärer Sicht die Hindernisse, die einer produktiven Auseinandersetzung mit der Krise im We...
Article
Full-text available
To resolve arguments over what funding actually flows from developed to developing nations, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change needs to draw up a definition of what constitutes climate finance.
Article
Full-text available
How much finance should be provided to support climate change adaptation and by whom? How should it be allocated, and on what basis? Over the years, various actors have expressed different normative expectations on climate finance. Which of these expectations are being met and which are not; why, and with what consequences? Have new norms and rules...
Article
Full-text available
The original article has been updated. Unfortunately the uncorrected version of the article was published online. This has been corrected.
Article
Full-text available
Non-technical summary ‘Discourses of climate delay’ pervade current debates on climate action. These discourses accept the existence of climate change, but justify inaction or inadequate efforts. In contemporary discussions on what actions should be taken, by whom and how fast, proponents of climate delay would argue for minimal action or action ta...
Article
Full-text available
Did the novel planning arrangements in the National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) enable stakeholders to substantively influence adaptation planning? If so, does the observed influence have potential for more transformational adaptation? We inform these questions by reviewing and coding the first 50 NAPAs, prepared by the world's poorest...
Article
How will the Paris Agreement drive countries to address climate change? One expectation of the Agreement is that transparency will stimulate countries to increase the ambition of their pledges by revealing information on Parties’ climate efforts. To this end, the Agreement introduced a new ‘enhanced transparency framework’ (ETF) to report and revie...
Article
Full-text available
The climate crisis requires nations to achieve human well-being with low national levels of carbon emissions. Countries vary from one another dramatically in how effectively they convert resources into well-being, and some nations with low levels of emissions have relatively high objective and subjective well-being. We identify urgent research and...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Are we doing enough to address climate change? Are countries living up to their promises? Are some doing better than they pledged? Transparency is key for answering these questions. This ecbi Pocket Guide traces the evolution of transparency arrangements under the UNFCCC right up to the transparency framework under the Paris Agreement. It addresses...
Article
Full-text available
The sources and governance of climate finance have been widely debated since the 2009 climate change summit in Copenhagen, when rich countries promised to provide US$ 30 billion in additional climate finance by 2012 and to mobilize US$ 100 billion a year by 2020 to address the mitigation and adaptation needs of developing countries. Have developed...
Chapter
The chapter looks at the changing nature of politics in the United Nations climate negotiations around the concept of ecologically unequal exchange, focusing on the lead-up to and aftermath of the 2015 Paris negotiations. We identify and discuss three areas of tension that have emerged within the G-77 coalition: tensions within the global semi-peri...
Article
We develop and apply a new theoretical framework for assessing the transformative capability of transparency in environmental governance. Our framework suggests that as norms related to transparency are recognized and translated into accountability mechanisms, and as these mechanisms are complied with, effects cascade and substantially influence th...
Chapter
This chapter clarifies the substantial impact of environmental justice on scholarship and policy-making by addressing the core questions of this volume. It reviews the assumptions and contributions of the concept of environmental justice, which are argued to be numerous and influential. The scholarly idea and the social movement of the same name ar...
Article
Full-text available
After years of arguments by developing countries for recognition of loss and damage (beyond their ability to adapt to climate impacts), a full article of the 2015 Paris Agreement was devoted to the issue. International mechanisms to address loss and damage are receiving increased attention, particularly given the intensification of climate impacts...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Are we doing enough to address climate change? Are countries living up to their promises? Are some doing better than they pledged? Transparency is key for answering these questions. This ecbi Pocket Guide traces the evolution of transparency arrangements under the UNFCCC right up to the transparency framework under the Paris Agreement. It addresses...
Article
This corrects the article DOI: 10.1038/nature24295. The correction is a simple change in the abstract, where the subeditors had wrongly changed the description of the study period. The correct period is that described in the Methods: funding levels and socioeconomic predictors for 1992-2003 were used to explain biodiversity change for 1996-2008 (20...
Article
Full-text available
Halting global biodiversity loss is central to the Convention on Biological Diversity and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, but success to date has been very limited. A critical determinant of success in achieving these goals is the financing that is committed to maintaining biodiversity; however, financing decisions are hindered by con...
Experiment Findings
Full-text available
Governing adaptation finance is critical to effective adaptation action, but it can be difficult to encourage and assess improvements in governance. This new approach piloted successfully in Bangladesh and the Maldives is developed around governance standards and uses a context-specific approach for assessing adaptation finance governance. Multi-st...
Article
What are the guiding principles of contemporary international governance of climate change and to what extent do they represent neoliberal forms? We document five main political and institutional shifts within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and outline core governance practices for each phase. In discussing the current phase...
Article
Full-text available
The article examines the changing nature of politics in the United Nations climate negotiations through the lens of ecologically unequal exchange theory, focusing on the lead up to and aftermath of the 2015 Paris negotiations. We identify and discuss three areas of tension that have emerged within the G-77 coalition: tensions within the global semi...
Article
The devotion of a full article in the Paris Agreement to loss and damage was a major breakthrough for the world’s most vulnerable nations seeing to gain support for climate impacts beyond what can be adapted to. But how will loss and damage be paid for, and who will pay it? Will ethics be part of this decision? Here we ask what are the possible mea...
Working Paper
Full-text available
Are we doing enough to address climate change? Are countries living up to their promises? Are some doing better than they pledged? Transparency is key for answering these questions. This ecbi Pocket Guide traces the evolution of transparency arrangements under the UNFCCC right up to the transparency framework under the Paris Agreement. It addresses...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The allocation of funds is a core dispute in the scholarly and grey/policy literatures on the governance of climate adaptation finance, particularly on whether funds should be prioritized on the basis of how vulnerable recipient countries are, or the efficiency of their governments. We conducted a systematic review of 706 studies published in the a...
Article
This article presents the findings of a re-evaluation of all 5,200 aid projects that OECD donors reported for 2012 as “climate change adaptation”-related, based on the “Rio marker” classification system. The findings confirm those from the academic and grey literature that the absence of independent quality control makes the adaptation Rio marker d...
Article
Full-text available
The Paris Agreement commits nations in Article 2(1) to “Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.” However there is an absence of internationally agreed accounting rules that would permit overall assessments of progress to this goal and any meaningful comparisons of perfor...
Article
Scholars share their experiences in bringing sociological analysis to the Senate floor in "Web of Denial" speeches rebutting climate change skeptics and revealing how echo chambers and network effects stifle the spread of scientific knowledge.
Book
Full-text available
Climate finance is at the core of the UNFCCC efforts to help the world adequately adapt to climate change, and is absolutely critical to developing countries’ abilities to prepare and protect themselves from climate change impacts. Transparency in the reporting of climate finance is crucial for building and maintaining trust among nations if the in...
Article
What role can one group of small and medium-sized countries play in breaking the long-standing impasse on climate change? What explains the formation of such a group and how can we assess its impact on outcomes such as the 2015 Paris Agreement? This article assesses the Independent Association of Latin America and the Caribbean (La Asociación Indep...
Article
Full-text available
Des promesses de transferts financiers considérables au bénéfice des pays en développement avaient été esquissées par la 15e Conférence des Parties (ou COP – Conference of the Parties en anglais – CdP en français), à la Convention-cadre des Nations Unies sur les changements climatiques (CCNUCC), tenue à Copenhague en 2009. Deux engagements chiffrés...
Article
In an Editorial now published in “Global Environmental Change”, 18 climate policy researchers argue that analyses of equity and justice are absolutely essential for our ability to understand climate politics and contribute to concrete efforts to achieve adequate, fair and enduring climate action for present and future generations. Climate change ac...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Submission by Brown University’s Climate and Development Lab on behalf of AdaptationWatch to the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice on the development of modalities for the accounting of financial resources provided and mobilized through public interventions in accordance with Article 9, paragraph 7, of the Paris Agreeme...
Article
Full-text available
Pledges by developed countries to help poorer ones deal with climate impacts and move toward low-carbon development pathways have been crucial to advance the UN climate change negotiations in the run up to the landmark Paris Agreement of December 2015. Yet sharply competing claims on the fulfilment of past climate finance promises threatened one mo...
Article
Full-text available
The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21) highlighted the importance of cities to climate action, as well as the unjust burdens borne by the world's most disadvantaged peoples in addressing climate impacts. Few studies have documented the barriers to redressing the drivers of social vulnerability as part of urban local clim...
Chapter
This chapter discusses the engagement of business and environmental nonstate actors in the climate regime, how their efforts have changed over time, and insights from the literature in this area. The goal is to understand how each of them influence humanity's response to climate change, through the UN process and back home in their countries of ori...
Chapter
This introductory chapter discusses how our current response to climate change has been inadequate and inequitable. During UN climate negotiations, nations still talk about climate inaction. Developed countries emphasize the importance of climate issues, but climate change is largely a product of their own unconstrained greenhouse gas emissions. Na...
Chapter
This chapter explores global shifts as they took shape during the 2009 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Copenhagen. These negotiations marked the beginning of a new equation of power shift beyond the conventional North–South divide. Copenhagen provided a world stage where a new alignment of five of the largest countries—the Uni...
Chapter
This chapter pays attention to climate change adaptation politics and describes the types of political conflicts that have emerged around the issue of funding for adaptation. It discusses three main points of contention between countries on both sides of the North–South divide. These conflicts are referred to as the Gap (in raising the funds), the...
Chapter
This chapter outlines six potential scenarios in a warming world. It develops a framework for analyzing change across two axes, level of democracy and level of sustainability. The scenarios range from quite catastrophic to very positive outcomes. The chapter points out key decision points, power relations, and political and material conditions shap...
Chapter
This chapter draws on theories, particularly the scholarship of Antonio Gramsci, in offering a strategic framework that considers power relations. It argues that the world is not the same as it was back in 2008 before the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Copenhagen. It explores recent shifts in power dynamics and considers thei...
Chapter
This chapter discusses the aftermath of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It looks at how low-income-state consent was produced during the following years and how it transformed into the current emissions reduction framework that is both highly inadequate and inequitable. It argues that consent was produced through three inter...
Chapter
This chapter explores the role of civil society in climate change politics, and argues that the literature on this topic has not fully accounted for the failure of civil society to influence mitigation action. It highlights three main deficits. First, despite the diversification of actors involved in the negotiations, resources and links to power s...
Chapter
This chapter explores the engagements of three distinct transnational advocacy networks in the UN climate change regime: networks working for gender equality in climate governance, indigenous peoples, and waste pickers (informal sector recyclers). These networks have all sought to gain certain rights in the climate regime to redress forms of margin...
Chapter
This chapter summarizes the book's main arguments and considers how global climate justice might be achieved in the coming years. Given the need for independent actors whose focus is on the global public good of avoiding catastrophic climatic change, it argues that a transformed approach of civil society is our best hope for realizing an equitable,...
Chapter
Climate change adaptation involves major global and societal challenges such as finding adequate and equitable adaptation funding and integrating adaptation and development programs. Current funding is insufficient. Debates between the Global North and South center on how best to allocate the financial burdens associated with adaptation programs. H...
Book
After nearly a quarter century of international negotiations on climate change, we stand at a crossroads. A new set of agreements is likely to fail to prevent the global climate’s destabilization. Islands and coastlines face inundation, and widespread drought, flooding, and famine are expected to worsen in the poorest and most vulnerable countries....
Article
Full-text available
Carbon dioxide is understood to be the most important greenhouse gas believed to be altering the global climate. This article applies world-system theory to environmental damage. An analysis of 154 countries examines the contribution of both position in the world economy and internal class and political forces in determining a nation's CO, intensit...