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Abstract

Transparency is increasingly evoked within public and private climate governance arrangements as a key means to enhance accountability and improve environmental outcomes. We review assumed links between transparency, accountability and environmental sustainability here, by identifying four rationales underpinning uptake of transparency in governance. We label these democratization, technocratization, marketization and privatization, and assess how they shape the scope and practices of climate disclosure, and to what effect. We find that all four are discernible in climate governance, yet the technocratic and privatization rationales tend to overtake the originally intended (more inclusive, and more public-good oriented) democratization and marketization rationales for transparency, particularly during institutionalization of disclosure systems. This reduces transparency's potential to enhance accountability or trigger more environmentally sustainable outcomes.

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... This brings under a critical radar that claim that transparency is an unequivocally positive governance goal that will lead to substantive enhancement of climate ambition. Gupta and Mason (2016), for example, list hurdles hampering the effectiveness of information disclosure in climate governance, including inadequate design of disclosure, the attributes of information disclosed (whether standardized, accurate and comprehensible), the quantity of disclosed information (complete or partial), and the influence of intermediaries, such as auditors and certifiers. With respect to the latter category, while the presence of some intermediaries is likely to decrease in the context of climate cryptogovernance, these may still exist as powerful actors in decentralized modes of system design and oversight (Campbell-Verduyn, forthcoming). ...
... Disclosure through blockchain-based solutions may not necessarily be in the interests of all stakeholders, despite the claim of advocates that transparency directly enhances trust, stakeholder engagement and (ultimately) more ambitious actions. This is because the ends to be secured via greater climate transparency are diverse and are connected to the ever more heterogeneous and fragmented nature of climate governance itself, which encompasses multiple state and non-state actors across scales (Gupta and Mason 2016). Such arrangements may render the rationales of 'governing through transparency' divergent and potentially contrary to one another, as a growing body of work in 'critical transparency studies' now shows (Ciplet et al., 2018;Gupta and Mason, 2016;Weikmans et al., 2020). ...
... This is because the ends to be secured via greater climate transparency are diverse and are connected to the ever more heterogeneous and fragmented nature of climate governance itself, which encompasses multiple state and non-state actors across scales (Gupta and Mason 2016). Such arrangements may render the rationales of 'governing through transparency' divergent and potentially contrary to one another, as a growing body of work in 'critical transparency studies' now shows (Ciplet et al., 2018;Gupta and Mason, 2016;Weikmans et al., 2020). Gupta and Mason (2016) identify, for example, four possible rationales for the uptake of transparency that embody quite different logics of climate governance: a democratization, marketisation, privatization, or technocratization rationale. ...
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This article interrogates the assumed promises and perils of climate cryptogovernance or deployment of cryptographic technology (i.e., blockchain) within climate governance. We distill how climate cryptogovernance is being discussed by influential climate policy actors, and the implications for reinforcing or challenging how climate governance currently occurs. Specifically, through discourse analysis, we explore how blockchain technology is presented in the communications of international organisations and multistakeholder initiatives in the climate policy space. We identify a dominant storyline being advanced that views blockchain as an enabler of ambitious climate action, through its potential to enhance the reliability, transparency, accountability, and democratic quality of climate governance. We critically interrogate each of these component elements of the dominant storyline, arguing that, taken as a whole, they tend to privilege a technocratic, market-oriented approach to climate governance. We conclude by reflecting on whether this risks reinforcing a problematic ‘post-political’ turn in environmental governance in the future.
... Transparency has been held up as a key driver for action in the bottom-up governance architecture of the Paris Agreement (see e.g. Ciplet & Roberts, 2017;Ciplet, Adams, Weikmans, & Roberts, 2018;Gupta & Mason, 2016;Jacquet & Jamieson, 2016;Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen et al., 2018; van Asselt, 2016). By revealing information on Parties' efforts towards mitigation, adaptation, and provision of support, the expectation is that transparency stimulates countries to increase the ambition of their NDCs. ...
... In addition, the ETF is likely to generate far more information than its predecessor. This may in turn lead to an 'information overload' for observers, who may end up overwhelmed by complex, incomparable, and sometimes irrelevant information (see Gupta & Mason, 2016). ...
... It can also help identify how CAG enhance, or not, adaptive capacities of stakeholders to climate change and illuminate how cross-scale governance and collaboration can take place including the question of how to facilitate collaboration between states and NSAs which is often a key aspect of this process in developing countries (Bäckstrand et al., 2013;Biermann et al., 2012;Challies et al., 2019;Nasiritousi et al., 2016). Adding empirical insights can also, and importantly, help identify issues concerning inclusion and representation of stakeholders engaged in CAG as well as concerns pivoting around transparency, accountability and access to project designs, methodologies and outcomes (Börzel and Risse, 2010;Blüdorn and Deflorian;Gupta and Mason, 2016). ...
... Climate change governance involves a state and NSAs across multiple scales, jurisdictions, and policy domains (Bulkeley and Newell, 2015;Bäckstrand et al., 2013). Environmental governance structures have expanded in response to such complexity, from hierarchical to bottom-up collaborative approaches that incorporate participatory measures based on equity, legitimacy, transparency and accountability (Lemos et al., 2013;Okereke et al., 2009aOkereke et al., , 2009bGupta and Mason, 2016). CAG approaches, understood to be a collaborative relationship between two or more stakeholders (e.g., state, non-governmental organizations and society) based on consensus-oriented and collective decision-making are regarded as attractive in this respect as they potentially enhance adaptation and adaptive capacity through better leveraging human and material resources for adaptation (Tompkins and Adger, 2004;Emerson et al, 2012;Rudnick et al., 2019). ...
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Centralized state governance systems have been criticized for being ineffective and inefficient in tackling complex climate change challenges. Consequently, governance models that integrate collaboration among diverse stakeholders are seen as crucial in increasing adaptation efforts around the world. However, at present, there is little insight into the mechanics of collaborative adaptation governance (CAG) at the local, regional, national or global levels. Drawing on collaborative governance theory and literature on climate change adaptation, we use multiple qualitative research methods to identify and explore CAG in northern Ghana. We examine the conceptualization and implementation of CAG projects as well as the motivation behind them and their ensuing benefits. Results show that perceived climatic changes, diminishing agricultural livelihoods, adaptation resource needs and opportunities largely drive CAG. Local state actors and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) provide leadership in CAG, bridging gaps in access to adaptation resources through the provision of agricultural inputs, climate services, infrastructure and human capacity development. However, in parallel to these, there exist interwoven governance challenges that include questions of trust, commitment, transparency, accountability and the representation of diverse interests. We demonstrate how powerful state actors and NGOs set the agenda, frame problems, and implement rules and incentives that are contrary to the normative tenets of collaborative governance theory. Ultimately, the results of this study shows that CAG is attempted but the challenges of CAG in northern Ghana are large, while also providing insight into the extent to which CAG approaches can facilitate adaptation to climate change globally.
... Too much publicity may also be counterproductive. As scholars working on governance transparency have long noted, information overload could potentially reduce the hardening effect (see Gupta & Mason, 2016). ...
... There are two new online tools, as well as a growing number of dedicated reports. These endeavours may be understood as part of a broader effort to harden monitoring by transparency (Gupta & Mason, 2016), because the public data availability increases the possibility for putting pressure on policy-makers, especially in the case of policy under-achievement. The moderate usage of these tools that we identified by the use of proxies suggests that this may be happening in a limited, but potentially powerful circle of individuals. ...
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Article
In the emerging debate on ‘harder soft governance,’ the relationship between hard and soft elements has not been fully explored. This paper addresses this gap by looking at the changing nature of policy monitoring, a quintessentially soft governance mechanism. It focuses on climate change, a dynamic site of policy expansion and experimentation in which the EU has historically been an international frontrunner. This paper finds that a range of ‘harder’ elements have been added to the EU's climate policy monitoring over time, including more explicit legal provisions, greater external publicity, and more concrete links to other policy processes. These changes have emerged from politically sensitive negotiations between many actors, principally the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Environment Agency (who together have generally favoured greater hardening), and Member States (some of whom preferred softer governance) in the context of changing international opportunities and constraints. Moving forward, this paper highlights the need for more research on the efficacy of policy monitoring, especially with respect to the EU's significantly more ambitious long-term decarbonisation targets.
... Transparency has been held up as a key driver for action in the bottom-up governance architecture of the Paris Agreement (see e.g. Ciplet & Roberts, 2017;Ciplet, Adams, Weikmans, & Roberts, 2018;Gupta & Mason, 2016;Jacquet & Jamieson, 2016;Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen et al., 2018; van Asselt, 2016). By revealing information on Parties' efforts towards mitigation, adaptation, and provision of support, the expectation is that transparency stimulates countries to increase the ambition of their NDCs. ...
... In addition, the ETF is likely to generate far more information than its predecessor. This may in turn lead to an 'information overload' for observers, who may end up overwhelmed by complex, incomparable, and sometimes irrelevant information (see Gupta & Mason, 2016). ...
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 review information on Parties’ greenhouse gas emissions, progress made in implementing and achieving nationally determined contributions (NDCs), their adaptation actions, and the financial, technological and capacity-building support needed, received and provided to developing country Parties. However, this relationship between transparency and progressive ambition over time remains largely untested. In this article, we first outline several pathways through which increased transparency could potentially lead to increased ambition. These pathways notably depend on the availability of comparable, complete and timely information on the performance of Parties. By reviewing the experience with past and existing transparency arrangements, we identify four types of challenges that will likely pose barriers to the generation of such information by the ETF, and suggest some efforts that might address these challenges to support greater ambition in future rounds of NDCs.
... Examples abound of the challenges of transnational initiatives when attempting to use highly technical systems to solve environmental governance challenges. In the case of information transparency, Gupta and Mason (2016) explain how a "technocratization" rationale has come to rely on the design of elaborate systems of professional auditing and certification, partly in response to accelerating technological gains and interconnected information and communication systems. Although these systems aim to support informed citizen decision-making, they more often become exclusionary, limited to the experts who understand how the complex system works (Gupta & Mason, 2016). ...
... In the case of information transparency, Gupta and Mason (2016) explain how a "technocratization" rationale has come to rely on the design of elaborate systems of professional auditing and certification, partly in response to accelerating technological gains and interconnected information and communication systems. Although these systems aim to support informed citizen decision-making, they more often become exclusionary, limited to the experts who understand how the complex system works (Gupta & Mason, 2016). In a similar vein, Carodenuto and Ramcilovic-Suominen (2014) found that the overly technical nature of the timber tracing and legality assurance systems proposed by the European Union's Forest Law Enforcement, Governance, and Trade Action Plan were an important barrier to implementation. ...
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In March 2017, twelve of the world's leading cocoa and chocolate companies made a collective commitment to end the deforestation associated with the global cocoa supply chain. This marks one of the latest forms of transnational business governance, whereby state actors share the regulation of environmental and social externalities with private authority. This paper responds to the call for more contextual research into the complex policy ecosystems in which zero deforestation commitments are implemented and how transnational private authority is interacting with, and possibly being reconfigured by, domestic governance and territory. Combining policy analysis, field work on cocoa farms, focus groups, and over 45 interviews, this paper provides empirical evidence to explain how business commitments to zero deforestation cocoa interact with domestic political processes to reduce deforestation in key cocoa‐producing countries. The focus is on three top cocoa producer countries in West Africa, where smallholder cocoa farming causes environmental degradation due to deforestation, and socioeconomic progress for smallholders is difficult to achieve. In these countries, the private sector's commitment to reduce deforestation is situated in government‐led programs to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. The findings show that a codependent relationship is evolving between corporate and state‐led efforts to reduce deforestation, where the success of zero deforestation cocoa relies on synergistic public–private interaction. Cocoa intensification without expansion, supply chain traceability, and jurisdictional commodity sourcing are the three main areas of future collaboration identified.
... Typical (primary) energy and raw material inputs in the supply chain of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) using NG as fuel. Based on data from [4,[32][33][34][35]. 2 Founded in the beginning of this millennium, the CDP is a multistakeholder initiative meant to inform private investment decisions and enable accountability, representing institutional investors which according to CDP hold US$130 trillion in assets combined [37,38]. 3 The analysis includes companies listing their primary activity as agricultural chemicals, basic plastics, inorganic base chemicals, nitrogenous fertilisers, non-nitrogenous fertilisers, other base chemicals, speciality chemicals. ...
Article
Chemicals is the industrial sector with the highest energy demand, using a substantial share of global fossil energy and emitting increasing amounts of greenhouse gasses following rapid growth over the past 25 years. Emissions associated with energy used have increased with growth in coal dependent regions but are also commonly underestimated in regions with higher shares of renewable energy. Renewable energy is key to reducing greenhouse gas emissions yet remains niche when considering corporate targets and initiatives aiming at emission reductions, which instead favour incremental energy efficiency improvements. These findings point to a risk for continued lock-in to fossil energy in the industry.
... The answer may lie in promoting good governance -a catchword which has received enormous attention in recent literature due to its ability to strengthen democracy and human rights, promote economic prosperity and social cohesion, reduce poverty, enhance environmental protection and the sustainable use of natural resources, and deepen confidence in government and public administration (Keping, 2017;Krawczyk & Sweet-Cushman, 2017;World Bank, 2010). Although there are several elements to good governance, transparency and access to information has been cited to be indispensable and remains a prerequisite for attaining most of the other elements of good governance (Forssbaeck & Oxelheim, 2014;Gupta & Mason, 2016;Quiroz & Vieyra, 2018). Literature is replete with information on how transparency improves the overall level of good governance by fostering trust which stimulates stakeholders' participation, improves resource mobilisation and reinforces capacity to ensure projects are well implemented while providing a basis for holding stakeholders accountable for their decisions and actions (Forssbaeck & Oxelheim, 2014;Keping, 2017;Koyama & Kania, 2014). ...
Thesis
Scientists and policymakers are waking to the menacing impacts of deforestation on biodiversity and the livelihoods of the over one billion people reliant on forests. Concurrently, an upward trend in population and its corresponding rise in the global demand for feed, food, fuel, and fibre exerts new demands on limited land resources available to multiple stakeholders. As the competition over land intensifies, many farmers in the tropics employ several strategies to cultivate areas designated as forest reserves for their livelihoods, leading to further deforestation and conflicts with state forestry agencies. Moreover, despite decades of investments in institutions to directly fund smallholder farmers’ participation in rehabilitating deforested landscapes, little is known about the reach and performance of existing financial incentive mechanisms. This dissertation adds to filling these knowledge gaps based on qualitative case studies embedded in multiple analytical and data collection approaches in Ghana, which loses near 2% (135,000 ha) of its forests annually despite several efforts to overcome the challenge. Following a brief introduction and clarification of conceptual underpinning in Chapter 1, the knowledge gaps are addressed with three empirical publications (chapters 2-4). Chapter two examines why and how farmers in forest communities gain and secure access to their farmlands within forest reserves to produce food and cash crops against state law. Through process-net maps, focus group discussions, interviews, and field observation, data were gathered through an extended field stay in Ghana’s Juabeso district. The findings unbridle the multiple structural and relational mechanisms farmers apply to evade state attempts to rein in illegal farming in the area and how institutional deficiencies, notably corruption and elite capture of farming benefits by native chiefs, reinforce farming in forest reserves. The chapter discusses the broader implications of the findings for the Ghanaian government’s attempts to accelerate forest landscape rehabilitation, noting that such efforts will need to adapt to the multiple struggles and latent actor interests to succeed. Chapter three disentangles the narratives and experiences of forest communities and compares them with the current assumptions underlying forest policy in Ghana from the perspective of the most dominant forest policy actors. The results contend with current assumptions that portray forest communities as environmentally destructive. Alternatively, it reveals that while several factors combine to drive forest-dependent communities to cultivate forest reserves, the challenge of food insecurity is paramount but unconveyed to the forest policy arena. The chapter proposes a novel concept of food security corridors (FSCs) as a meta-narrative for harmonising competing actor interests in forest reserves. The chapter also discusses the feasibility of FSCs and calls for further efforts to refine and pilot the concept in the global search for solutions to forest and agriculture land-use conflicts in the tropics. Chapter four examines the governance of Ghana’s Forest Plantation Development Fund as an incentive system instituted to attract smallholders into landscape rehabilitation based on interviews with tree growers, forestry officials and NGO staff. The study revealed that the legal provisions instituted to ensure the fund’s transparent operation were not implemented by fund administrators. Many stakeholders were clueless about the Fund and could neither access nor demand accountability in its administration. The chapter clarifies the information needs of various fund stakeholders, such as eligibility criteria, funding cycles, annual inflows and outflows, and a list of beneficiaries. It also discusses the implications of the findings, including mechanisms required to trigger the transparent running of the fund by its administrators. The thesis reveals new patterns of perennial land competition between state and traditional institutions. It demonstrates how prevailing institutional challenges reinforce this competition and enable unsustainable land use to flourish. At the same, it points to lapses in governance, including state failure to evolve its forest policies to meet changing demands and needs among contemporary actors and how the same challenges curtail access and ability to support forestation rehabilitation efforts in Ghana. Overall, the thesis notes that while tackling farming in forest reserves can be challenging due to its multiple drivers and the competing actor interests, FSCs have the potential to serve as an entry point that enables government and other actors to resolve their differences and find lasting solutions that enable local communities to achieve their livelihoods needs while contributing to sustainable land use. However, for this potential to be realised, actors need to invest in refining and piloting FSCs in specific localities.
... There is also the question of what institutional redesign of corporate disclosure systems is required to prevent 'dirty firms' from laundering their image through virtually costless climate 'talk' (Lyon & Maxwell, 2011;Pinkse & Kolk, 2009;Clark & Crawford, 2012 Doda et al., 2016;Dragomir, 2012). These weaknesses include the exploitation of schemes such as the GRI for impression management (Dragomir, 2012;Gupta & Mason, 2016;Talbot & Boiral, 2018), the institutionalisation of corporate sustainability (Boiral & Gendron, 2011), compounded by a lack of clear 'scientific' ...
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This study conducts machine‐aided textual analysis on 725 corporate sustainability reports and empirically tests whether climate ‘talk’ within the sampled reports translates into performance ‘walk’, proxied by changes in greenhouse gas emissions over a 10‐year period. We find mixed results for the ‘talk–walk’ hypothesis, depending on the type of talk and the associated climate change actors involved. Indeed, our empirical models show that while some climate commitments are genuine, many constitute little more than ‘greenwashing’—producing symbolic rather than substantive action. We attribute this result to false signalling of climate transitioning in order to mislead due to misaligned incentives. An unexpected positive finding of the study is that talk about operational improvements is a significant predictor of climate performance improvement. On the other hand, reactive strategies are consistent with poor climate performance. Our findings highlight the significance of corporate climate strategies other than emissions reductions in assessing the effective contribution of business to the climate transition.
... As a ''critical transparency studies'' perspective has thus long argued, the uptake, institutionalization, and effects of environmental disclosure (including digitally enabled disclosure) need to be scrutinized within the broader normative and political contexts of its generation and use. 27,28,40 The examples of digital environmental monitoring in the issue domains of deforestation and over-fishing can help to illustrate some of the dynamics mentioned above. In each of these environmental grand challenges, digital, real-time monitoring helps to shine a light on the nature and extent of the problem at hand. ...
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Article
Digital technologies play an increasingly important role in addressing environmental challenges, such as climate change and resource depletion. Yet, the characteristics and implications of digitalized environmental governance are still under-conceptualized. In this perspective, we distinguish three dimensions of governance: (1) seeing and knowing, (2) participation and engagement, and (3) interventions and actions. For each dimension, we provide a critical perspective on the shifts that digital technologies generate in governance. We argue against the assumption that the use of digital technologies automatically results in improved outcomes or in more democratic decision-making. Instead, attention needs to be paid to the wider political and normative context in which digital technologies are proposed, designed, and used as environmental governance tools. We conclude with key questions for academics and policymakers to broaden the debate on responsible design and use of digital technologies in environmental governance.
... The digital data resulting from the proliferation of satellite remote sensing technology has been used for an increasing range of political and administrative purposes, including environmental governance. In this context, satellite data is often understood as a technological means to enhance transparency in environmental governance, which in turn is conceived as improving opportunities for participation in environmental decision-making and management (see generally Gupta and Mason, 2016;Mason, 2019;Gupta et al., 2020). In this perspective, transparency consists of the adoption of practices that allow public and private actors access to governmental information, making it possible to "see", and thus participate in and contest governmental exercises of power (Pinho, 2019;Georgiadou et al. 2014;Florini, 2007). ...
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This paper analyzes the uses of digital satellite data on deforestation in the Amazon region, drawing on poststructuralist studies of scientific knowledge practices and Science and Technology Studies (STS). Focusing on changes under the government of President Jair Bolsonaro, we argue that populist right-wing rhetoric, policies, and practices towards deforestation in the Amazon must be understood in the context of a broad and sophisticated effort to discredit and dismantle pre-existing knowledge infrastructures and transparency regime. These structures had developed over time with the aim of making deforestation visible and manageable. The dismantling of these structures is part of the effort to establish a competing alethurgy, i.e an assemblage of procedures and rituals that claim to manifest the “truth” about the Amazon. This new alethurgy depends, crucially, on a regime of hypertransparency which enables practices of environmental counter-activism. This new alethurgy promotes an extractivist use of the Amazon in which deforestation is an acceptable price to pay for economic development.
... A critical aspect of the legitimacy of carbon market governance is the transparency of decision-making (Gupta & Mason, 2016), including the possibility for stakeholders to interact with the institution overseeing the system. Stakeholder consultations and grievance mechanisms are crucial to prevent negative impacts on sustainable development and environmental integrity. ...
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Over the past two decades, the emergence of multiple carbon market segments has led to fragmentation of governance of international carbon markets. International baseline-and-credit systems for greenhouse gas mitigation have been repeatedly expected to wither away, but show significant resilience. Still, Parties to the Paris Agreement have struggled to finalize rules for market-based cooperation under Article 6, which are still being negotiated. Generally, there is tension between international top-down and bottom-up governance. The former was pioneered through the Clean Development Mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol and is likely to be utilized for the Article 6.4 mechanism, while the latter was used for the first track of Joint Implementation and will be applied for Article 6.2. Voluntary carbon markets governed bottom-up and outside the Kyoto Protocol by private institutions have recently gained importance by offering complementary project types and methodological approaches. The clear intention of some Parties to use market-based cooperation in order to reach their nationally determined contributions to the Paris Agreement have led to an ongoing process of navigating the alignment of these fragmented carbon market instruments with the implementation of nationally determined contributions and Paris Agreement’s governance architecture. We discuss emerging features of international carbon market governance in the public and private domain, including political and technical issues. Fragmented governance is characterized by different degrees of transparency, centralization, and scales. We assess the crunch issues in the Article 6 negotiations through the lens of these governance features and their effectiveness, focusing on governance principles and their operationalization to ensure environmental integrity and avoid double counting.
... This again implicates a different scope and extent of desired transparency. Detailed, quantitative information relating to GHG emissions is essential to participating in such markets (Gupta & Mason, 2016). Yet, not all countries are enthusiastic about nor equipped to generate such transparency, and market mechanisms are a highly contested topic within UNFCCC negotiations. ...
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Article
Elaborate transparency systems are now at the core of the 2015 Paris Agreement, with the assumption that this will enhance accountability, trust, and greater climate policy ambition. Much attention is now being devoted to increasing the capacity of developing countries to comply with climate transparency requirements. Contrary to viewing capacity building merely as a neutral ‘means of implementation’, our point of departure here is that capacity building has the potential to shape the nature and direction of climate transparency to be generated by countries. Key unasked questions are: What kind of transparency is facilitated through capacity-building efforts, and to further what climate policy ends? The potential steering effects of capacity building for transparency remain, in our view, largely unexamined. In addressing this research gap, we undertake a synthesis review of diverse perspectives on the ‘what, how and who’ of capacity building for transparency, as identifiable in (i) academic and grey literature; (ii) policy perspectives advanced by developed and developing countries; and (iii) emerging practices in two prominent capacity building for transparency initiatives. We draw on this three-part review to shed light on the scope and extent of climate transparency (to be) generated by developing countries in practice, with implications for the transformative potential of transparency in global climate governance. Key policy insights • Transparency about climate actions is central to the 2015 Paris Agreement. • Efforts are underway to build capacities of developing countries to comply with transparency requirements. • Rather than merely a neutral ‘means of implementation’, capacity building has the potential to influence the scope and extent of transparency generated by countries. • To date, the focus has remained on building capacities to report on GHG emissions and mitigation, notwithstanding diverse additional priorities. • There is a need for empirical analysis of capacity building’s steering effects in domestic contexts.
... The who question addresses the actors and institutions that partake in monitoring schemes (Waterman & Wood, 1993). To better understand monitoring actors, the distinction between the role of public (i.e., governmentdriven) and private (i.e., society-driven) policy monitoring actors has proven useful (Gupta & Mason, 2016). Many of the advantages and disadvantages of private and public actors that have been identified in the context of policy evaluation (see Schoenefeld & Jordan, 2017;Weiss, 1993) also apply to monitoring. ...
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Article
The European Green Deal (EGD) puts forward and engages with review mechanisms, such as the European Semester and policy monitoring, to ensure progress towards the long-term climate targets in a turbulent policy environment. Soft-governance mechanisms through policy monitoring have been long in the making, but their design, effects, and politics remain surprisingly under-researched. While some scholars have stressed their importance to climate governance, others have highlighted the difficulties in implementing robust policy monitoring systems, suggesting that they are neither self-implementing nor apolitical. This article advances knowledge on climate policy monitoring in the EU by proposing a new analytical framework to better understand past, present, and potential future policy monitoring efforts, especially in the context of the EGD. Drawing on Lasswell (1965), it unpacks the politics of policy monitoring by analysing who monitors, what , why , when , and with what effect(s) . The article discusses each element of the framework with a view to three key climate policy monitoring efforts in the EU which are particularly relevant for the EGD, namely those emerging from the Energy Efficiency Directive, the Renewable Energy Directive, and the Monitoring Mechanism Regulation (now included in the Energy Union Governance Regulation), as well as related processes for illustration. Doing so reveals that the policy monitoring regimes were set up differently in each case, that definitions of the subject of monitoring (i.e., public policies) either differ or remain elusive, and that the corresponding political and policy impact of monitoring varies. The article concludes by reflecting on the implications of the findings for governing climate change by means of monitoring through the emerging EGD.
... • Participation, representation and empowerment, grounded in a human rights and justice-based agenda (Fraser, 2009; see also Gaventa and Barrett, 2010 on citizenship; Pitkin, 1967 on representation; Evans et al., 2021 on social inclusion, empowerment); • Transparency (Mehrpouya and Salles-Djelic, 2019), while recognizing that this is embedded in power relations and can be used as an instrument to obscure actions (Kosack and Fung, 2014;Gupta and Mason, 2016); • Accountability, which aims to reduce power advantages, fostering the mechanisms and capacity, or 'countervailing power', for weaker actors to take strategic action on their own behalf (Agrawal and Ribot, 1999;Fung and Wright, 2003;Fox, 2020); • Justice and equality, as equally important as resource or climate goals (Menton et al., 2020;Martin et al., 2020; see Arora-Jonsson et al., 2019 on gender equality); and • Adaptive learning, assuring ongoing monitoring, reflection and adjustment to the course of action, thus recognizing, with humility, that we all have much to learn (Sarmiento Barletti et al., 2020;Ros-Tonen et al., 2014;Colfer et al., 2021). ...
Article
We are living in a time of crisis on planet Earth. Urgent calls for transformational change are getting louder. Technical solutions have an important role to play in addressing pressing global challenges, but alone they are not enough. After all, who decides what kind of transformation is needed, of what, and for whom? What principles guide those decisions, and how are decision-makers held accountable? This commentary article argues that these governance questions are central in any solution, in order to simultaneously address the planetary crises of forest and biodiversity loss and degradation and growing inequality. To this end, we examine governance in forests and around trees, in landscapes and on farms, through the lens of power and social justice. For applied research aimed at actionable solutions to these global problems, we propose a governance research agenda for the next decade that is both transformative and just.
... Our study fills these gaps and investigates whether capital markets reward firms with greater overall carbon disclosure in both developed and developing countries. This research question is important because transparent carbon reporting is the first step toward improving GHG emissions management and enhancing firm accountability (Gupta and Mason, 2016), which require global efforts from both developed and developing countries. ...
Article
Our study focuses on the value relevance of corporate voluntary carbon disclosure. Our sample includes firms from the United States (listed in the S&P 500) and firms from Brazil, Russia, India, and China that are targeted by the CDP. We examine whether the capital market rewards firms’ voluntary carbon disclosure. Voluntary carbon disclosure is measured as firms’ propensity to voluntarily disclose carbon information and the comprehensiveness and quality of their disclosure. We find that firms with greater carbon disclosure have higher firm value. Furthermore, the positive association between firm value and voluntary carbon disclosure is stronger in developing countries. We also find that large emitters with sufficient carbon disclosure experience a less negative valuation than firms with inadequate carbon disclosure. Furthermore, a subcomponent analysis suggests that the disclosure of specific types of climate risk and opportunity is rewarded by investors and can mitigate the valuation penalty of carbon emissions. These results have important implications for companies, investors, and regulators. Our analyses enhance understanding of the consequences of voluntary carbon reporting, which enriches the reporting of current financial information.
... While a full review of the environmental and resource governance-bydisclosure literature falls beyond the scope of this article (see, e.g., Gupta and Mason 2014;Zalik and Osuoka 2020), the main arguments have been that governance-by-disclosure reduces informational asymmetries and increases the capacity of stakeholders to evaluate performances, but that it falls short in actually enhancing capacity to change the status quo and modify behaviors and the power of incumbent decision makers (Mason 2020). Ciplet et al. (2018), for example, find that disclosure in climate finance implemented under the Paris Agreement did not translate into widespread accountability in emissions, possibly because of the propensity of transparency initiatives to foster technocratization rather than democratization (Gupta and Mason 2016)with empirical research on transparency identifying the "public" as the weak point of governance-by-disclosure (Fox 2015;Lujala et al. 2020). 1 A further challenge is that depending on the specific objective(s) of a governance-by-disclosure initiative and the context in which it is implemented, different kinds and types of information, disclosure avenues, and enabling conditions are required for it to be successful (Fenster 2015;Fox 2015;Heald 2006). For example, restraining extractive industry's environmental or social impact requires different types of information to be disclosed than the information that is supposed to form a basis for the public to demand reforms in national natural resource revenue governance (Bleischwitz 2014). ...
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Article
Transparency is now a core principle in environmental and resource governance. Responding to calls for a clearer identification of pathways from transparency to effective change, this article identifies three “Theories of Change” for governance-by-disclosure and applies them to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). Among the best known global transparency initiatives, the EITI has used an inclusive multistakeholder governance model and elaborate compliance standards, disclosing trillions of dollars in natural resource revenues. Yet, after two decades, the EITI is still largely without an explicit and proven theory. This study finds that a Theory of Change for the EITI is possible, valuable, and even necessary as the EITI risks becoming obsolete in some participating countries. The proposed Theories of Change provide valuable templates for environmental and resource governance, yet such models need to reflect national contexts, needs, challenges, and objectives to ensure fit and effective implementation, including measures enforcing accountability.
... Mas os limites da transparência tornam -se evidentes também quando se investigam os propósitos e racionalidades associadas à mesma, assim como os atores e interlocutores da transparência. Efetivamente, o ideal transformativo da transparência segundo o qual esta estaria associada a uma maior democratização e participação dos cidadãos, é posto em causa quando se revelam diferentes racionalidades da transparência na governança ambiental e mesmo um predomínio das lógicas de tecnocratização, marketização e privatização em vez de democratização (Gupta & Mason, 2016). A transparência globalizada, associada a fluxos transnacionais pode na verdade cingir -se à comunicação entre agentes económicos e privados e não ser destinada a uma maior abertura das organizações à comunidade e ao diálogo com os cidadãos. ...
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O artigo faz uma discussão sobre a economia de plataforma, apresentando conceituações, expondo modelos a partir de uma revisão de literatura e abordando o surgimento de um fenômeno que denominamos monopólios digitais.
... Differentiated transparency requirements between developed and developing country Parties in the UNFCCC have been the subject of much contestation over the years, reflecting the reality that transparency is not seen merely as a technical matter involving neutral reporting but is a site of political conflict and negotiation (Gupta & Mason, 2016;Gupta & van Asselt, 2019). In particular, developing countries have resisted calls to increase their reporting obligations, and have their climate actions subject to international oversight. ...
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Transparency is increasingly central to multilateral climate governance. In this article, we undertake one of the first systematic assessments of the nature and extent of compliance with transparency requirements under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Extensive resources are now being devoted to setting up national and international transparency systems that aim to render visible what individual countries are doing with regard to climate change. It is widely assumed that such transparency is vital to securing accountability, trust and thereby also enhanced climate actions from all. Yet, whether transparency lives up to this transformative promise remains largely unexamined. We generate a first systematic overview here of the nature and extent of country engagement with and adherence to UNFCCC transparency requirements. Drawing on extensive primary documents, including national reports and technical expert assessments of these reports, we generate ‘Transparency Adherence Indices’ for developed and developing country Parties to the UNFCCC. Our results reveal wide variations in adherence to mandatory reporting requirements and no clear general pattern of improvement since 2014. Our Indices help to illustrate trends and highlight knowledge gaps around the observed adherence patterns. This is timely since the 2015 Paris Agreement calls for an ‘enhanced transparency framework’ to be implemented by 2024 that builds on existing UNFCCC transparency systems. We conclude with identifying a research and policy agenda to help explain observed patterns of adherence, and emphasize the need for continued scrutiny of assumed links between transparency and climate action. Key policy insights • The UNFCCC and its 2015 Paris Agreement call for ever greater climate transparency from all countries. • We develop ‘Transparency Adherence Indices’ that reveal frequency of engagement and adherence to reporting requirements of both developed and developing countries. • Our findings reveal high engagement in transparency arrangements by developed countries and variable engagement from developing countries. • We question what variable adherence to reporting requirements actually signifies, given how such adherence is assessed within UNFCCC technical expert reports. • Further research to explain the range of observed adherence patterns is important, in light of the Paris Agreement’s requirements for enhanced transparency from all. • The assumed link between enhanced transparency and climate action needs further analysis.
... The second cluster includes the approaches which assume it is essential for the global governance to tackle climate change problems. While most of these approaches devote some importance to the national states which continue to play a central role, part of them reveal a great emphasis on developing comprehensive adaptation strategies in which the role of the scientific community become increasingly important (e.g., [37][38][39]). ...
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Adaptation to climate change raises important governance issues in terms of governance structures and mechanisms, stakeholders’ involvement, and links with the existing and wider-scale strategies. Notwithstanding the increasing attention at the global and European level, precise recommendations for the governance of climate change at the geographical macro-regional level are still lacking. Macro-regions span several states with some common morphological or climatic features and adopt wider-scale strategies which are not mandatory or do not take sufficient account of the specificities of any included regions. Each region is differently administered and adopts specific climate adaptation strategies for addressing just the challenges of the territories they govern, without considering the effects on the neighbouring ones. They also decentralize the climate policies towards the lowest levels of government, and this has increased the number of local bodies involved and promoted the participation of non-governmental players and citizens. Within the macro-regions, local climate conditions and their changes can be similar; however, their impacts can vary significantly at the individual territory level, and their effects can extend beyond traditional administrative boundaries. Dealing with these changes is particularly challenging in the Alpine area, which extends across 48 regions/autonomous provinces belonging to eight different European countries and is governed by three different international/transnational strategies. This territory represents a fragile ecosystem due to the current climate changes, which have influenced the climate conditions differently at the local level, as well as the richness of natural resources, and the opportunity to exploit them for economic reasons. South Tyrol (IT) is one of the autonomous provinces located in this area that is currently addressing the expected and unexpected impacts of climate change. Unlike other Italian Alpine regions, this region boasts a wider legislative autonomy, which enables the creation of more targeted climate adaptation policies and their decentralisation to the lowest level of administration, including the non-governmental players and citizens. As a result, the climate adaptation governance framework appears complex and hard to govern due to the plurality of actors and governmental levels at Alpine and regional/provincial levels. The present article sheds light on this framework, analysing specifically the three above-mentioned governance issues: governance structures, stakeholders’ involvement mechanisms, and links with the existing wider-scales strategies. While discussing these topics, it then refers specifically to South Tyrol for the case study. Based on the documental analysis of the climate adaptation strategies and resultant findings, the preferred governance mechanism for addressing the specific climate adaptation challenges of Alpine regions would involve adopting some of the regulations included in regional mono-sectoral plans. These regulations do not relate to wider-scale strategies at the macro-regional level and refer just to the administered territories. The participation of local institutions and citizens in defining and implementing these regulations is limited and not incentivized. Although important, interactions across Alpine, national, and sub-national policy domains are limited. These limitations are revealed in South Tyrol and partially also in other European Alpine regions.
... Mas os limites da transparência tornam -se evidentes também quando se investigam os propósitos e racionalidades associadas à mesma, assim como os atores e interlocutores da transparência. Efetivamente, o ideal transformativo da transparência segundo o qual esta estaria associada a uma maior democratização e participação dos cidadãos, é posto em causa quando se revelam diferentes racionalidades da transparência na governança ambiental e mesmo um predomínio das lógicas de tecnocratização, marketização e privatização em vez de democratização (Gupta & Mason, 2016). A transparência globalizada, associada a fluxos transnacionais pode na verdade cingir -se à comunicação entre agentes económicos e privados e não ser destinada a uma maior abertura das organizações à comunidade e ao diálogo com os cidadãos. ...
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Este artigo é parte da pesquisa de doutoramento sobre o impacto da convergência entre os setores de telecomunicações, informática e audiovisual no mercado de comunicações brasileiro. Ele destaca a atividade econômica da empresa de telecomunicações América Móvil, principal operadora de celular na América Latina, a fim de questionar quais novos produtos e serviços têm sido desenvolvidos com base em mudanças tecnológicas e qual a importância deles para a economia.
... Especially when data is not always quantifiable, or overlaps with another data and leads to double counting, the issue of accountability arises because sanctions cannot be applied thoroughly (Widerberg and Pattberg, 2017). Gupta and Mason (2016) challenge the overestimated discourse of transparency, which was celebrated by state-led and private climate governance "as a way to monitor and/or reward various actors' climate mitigation actions and performance" (p. 2). ...
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Global climate governance is one of the most complex global governance systems that is also ridden with divergent interests of states and non-state actors. Since the 2000s, the authority of UN-led global climate governance has been contested by the states declining their mitigation targets of the Kyoto Protocol and by those that find the international climate negotiations inefficient to ramp up climate action. These divergent views of states resulted in the counter-institutionalization apparent in the proliferation of minilateral forums and hybrid coalitions of climate initiatives oftentimes bringing states and non-state actors together. These non-UNFCCC partnerships have functioned to be strategic actions that put pressure on the global climate governance system to re-legitimate itself. Meanwhile, transnational actors have also contested the same system demanding a deeper cooperation that will keep the temperature goal below 2 degrees. This study argues that with its new mode of governance named hybrid multilateralism, the Paris Agreement was actually an institutional adaptation to the contestations by states and non-state actors in the forms of counter-institutionalization and politicization. It also discusses the problematic sides of the functions that non-state actors are expected to provide in this new governance mode. This paper is composed of four parts: firstly, the theoretical background that feeds into the analysis of empirical data with regard to global climate governance will be presented. Secondly, beginning from the Rio Conference, milestone developments in global climate governance will be examined by taking the contestation by the states into consideration. In the third part, the process of the politicization of climate change in which transnational actors and specifically the climate change movement demanded more decisive climate action will be explicated. In the last part, the existing legitimacy deficits with regard to non-state actors in post-Paris climate governance will be elaborated.
... Tippman et al, 2013;Peters et al., 2012;Bird et al., 2013;Bladon et al., 2014 Innovation in sourcing funds Christiansen et al., 2012, Tippman et al., 2013, Samuwai and Hills, 2018 Funds are sourced from all possible sources Bladon, 2014, Norman and Nakhooda, 2015, Heinetal., 2018 Funds and their sources are increasing Fund allocation and governance Fankhauser andBurton, 2016 , Vijetal., 2017 Equitable and fair representation of stakeholders Molenaers et al, 2015, Weiler et al., 2018 Independence from donor interest/pressure Vandeweerd,et al., 2014;Tippman et al., 2013;Vij et al, 2017;Adaptation fund, 2017 Adequate capacity and skill to manage climate fund Adgers et al, 2009;Nelson et al., 2010;Fankhauser and Burton, 2016;Barrett, 2013 Easily accessible to the most vulnerable Ayers and Dodman 2010;Runhaar et al., 2014;Scobie 2016;Paulus and Hindmarsh, 2016 Supports and align with national climate change priorities Adger, 2005;Faulkner et al, 2015;Douxchamps et al., 2017 Monitoring and evaluation of projects is participatory Faulkner et al., 2015;Bladon, 2014;Douxchamps et al., 2017 Monitoring and evaluation exercise is timely Di Gregorio et al., 2019;Adger, 2001;Adger et al., 2005 Monitoring and evaluation is carried out at all levels Accountability and transparency Fox, 2007;Dore and Lebel, 2010;Lebel, 2017 Timely and public disclosure of all earnings and spending Fox, 2007;Dore and Lebel, 2010;Hanger et al., 2013;Lebel, 2017 Transparent allocation and disbursement procedures. Gupta and Mason, 2016;Mehrotra, 2006; Public voice or complaint and feedback system Fox, 2007;Hanger et al., 2013 Public access to information for independent evaluation ...
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Article
Over the past few decades, tackling climate change has persistently featured in international discussions, with the main issues centring on mobilising adequate global response and effectively coordinating and channelling this response at the sub-national levels. In order to effectively mobilize and harmonize resources to address climate change at country level, the idea of establishing national climate finance institutions (NCFIs) with the duty to mobilise, manage and allocate funds to implement climate change actions has gained prominence among developing countries. This study develops an indicator-based framework to evaluate the institutional effectiveness of the Indonesian Climate Change Trust Fund (ICCTF) as a case study. Building on previous frameworks and principles of climate finance, a total of 21 indicators were identified, these indicators were categorized into five effectiveness components, which are: were identified, and these indicators were categorized into five effectiveness components, which include: legal and regulatory framework, fund mobilization and sustainability, fund management and allocation, monitoring and evaluation, and transparency and accountability. We find that the major and fundamental weakness of the ICCTF is its inability to adequately mobilize funds, while its strength is in management and allocation of available resources. Inclusion of the legal and regulatory framework component, which has been largely absent in previous studies, further enabled us to identify critical legal gaps in the operationalization of the ICCTF. While the current legal foundation of the ICCTF ensures transparency and accountability, it significantly constrains the ICCTFs flexibility and innovative potentials.
... Scholars define transparency in general contexts as the system's "visibility and inferability" or "openness" (Heald, 2006;Michener and Bersch, 2013;Gupta and Mason, 2016), or in a narrower meaning, the availability of regime-relevant information (Mitchell, 1998). Transparency is necessary for good governance of environmental management to improve accountability and legitimacy (Mitchell, 2011;Ardron, 2016;Ardron et al., 2018). ...
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Article
This paper proposes institutional innovations to advance a transparent monitoring system for the environmental impacts from mineral development on the deep seabed beyond national jurisdictions managed by the International Seabed Authority (ISA). Using a literature review, ISA’s regulations, and five cases of other environmental monitoring of the deep sea, this study observes that ISA’s environmental monitoring system for exploration and exploitation currently lacks critical elements to facilitate transparency. Insufficient compliance reporting and review systems, as well as limited access to information by stakeholders, lower the system’s effectiveness. ISA has not developed adequate mechanisms to support effective multinational collaboration in monitoring. The ISA monitoring system without these characteristics may not be sufficiently adaptive to allow detection and management of environmental changes in the deep seabed. This study suggests 15 institutional recommendations to ISA in order to enhance transparency for monitoring nodule mining in the Central Pacific deep seabed. Principal recommendations include establishing compliance review committees independent of ISA governing bodies, implementing collective monitoring and reporting by adjacent contractors, and reconsidering the centralized decision-making authority by the Secretary-General to improve confidentiality.
... In the current age of globalisation, hierarchical mechanisms of accountability within governments are increasingly supplemented and replaced by horizontal modes of peer and public accountability, where civil society and the public holds powerful actors accountable for their actions (Bevir, 2010;Bäckstrand, 2008). At the same time, the complexity of globalisation and the lack of institutionalised relations makes it difficult to define the scope and boundaries of supply chains, in particular the actors that should be involved and held accountable (Gupta and Mason, 2016;Widerberg and Pattberg, 2017). In practice, accountability mechanisms thus often fail to hold powerful actors responsible or amount to little more than 'greenwashing' of consumer goods. ...
Article
Large-scale agricultural production and trade of commodities is linked to deforestation risk in the tropics. This article explores political discourses of deforestation risk in the bovine leather supply chain in Brazil. It discusses how specific interpretations and practices of transparency in the leather supply chain affect legitimacy, fairness and sustainability outcomes. The article applies a political discourse analysis to data collected in multiple localities in Brazil between May and July 2018. The data entails thirty-nine semi-structured, recorded, and transcribed interviews, in the form of both face-to-face and video call interviews. We find that the concept of sustainable supply chains is as much a political term, as it is an economic and managerial term. The results show that different discourses articulate deforestation risk of bovine leather differently and highlights how the storylines of each discourse bring attention both to what is made visible and invisible in relation to sustainability, legitimacy, and fairness. Moreover, the results emphasise the importance of the role and voice of frontier settlers, by presenting how their storylines inform a political discourse on livelihoods. We argue that a simplistic understanding of transparency may lead to negative implications for livelihoods and sustainability outcomes. Accordingly, there is a need for increased public scrutiny of supply chains, including the leather one, and for special attention to unequal power relations and the importance of meaningful inclusion of vulnerable groups and populations.
... This typology highlights a theme that is essential to continue to scrutinize: for whom is transparency intended (see also Mason, 2008) and what ends are pursued though transparency. Gupta and Mason (2016), in their analysis of transparency in global climate governance, take this further in offering a typology of their own. This distinguishes less between recipients and disclosers of information as the key point of difference across varieties of transparency, but rather between four different rationales for the uptake of transparency and the associated diverse ends that transparency is thus intended to advance. ...
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Article
Transparency in environmental governance is no longer an uncontroversial answer to problems of accountability and effectiveness. How to design effective transparency systems and in what policy contexts they are effective remain contested issues. This special section, consisting of this introduction and four research articles, interrogates complex and potentially conflicting links between transparency, accountability, empowerment and effectiveness in environmental governance. Building on existing literature and the four contributions, we discuss persisting diversity in varieties of transparency, the evolving dynamics of commodity chain transparency, and the consequences of emerging novel forms of digitalized transparency. As we show, the contributions to this special section interrogate in novel ways the transformative potential of transparency, through shedding light on the performative effects of transparency in ever more complex environmental governance contexts. These contexts may include, inter alia, the growing ubiquity of traceability in transnational commodity chains, the need for ever more anticipatory (ex-ante) forms of environmental governance, and an ever-broadening quest for digitally monitored environments. In particular, the impacts of the real-time ‘radical’ transparency engendered by use of novel digital technologies remain under-analyzed in the sustainability domain. We conclude by raising several critical concerns that deserve further scientific research and policy debate.
... Transparency is particularly prominent in the field of environment and sustainability (Gupta and Mason 2016;Mol 2015) and is "associated with more accountable, legitimate, effective and democratic governance" (Gupta 2010, 4). Notionally evoked goals of environmental transparency include normative and procedural matters to empower the weak and hold the powerful to account, while also pursuing substantive environmental improvements, such as reduced emissions, sustainable resource use, or risk mitigation. ...
Article
Transparency in climate finance mechanisms, such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), relies on the transfer of information within a complex global web of state and nonstate actors. Such information is required under internationally agreed REDD+ safeguards, including measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) processes and free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC), and works to establish substantive and normative transparency. However, the sources of, access to, and outcomes from these information flows are still contentious. To address these problems, REDD+ project proponents are increasingly looking to information and communication technologies, such as mobile devices, to improve information gathering, processing, and access. In this article we develop a model and provides tentative examples of how normative and substantive transparency are connected through input and output legitimacy within broader governance contexts. We highlight that even though mobile devices are being used to bring forest communities into the REDD+ process, substantive transparency for emissions reductions through MRV tends to be prioritized over normative dimensions associated with FPIC. We conclude by highlighting the need to further understand the role of decentralized information flows in multilevel carbon governance and opportunities for how mobile technologies may be used to address transparency challenges in the governance of REDD+.
... The answer may lie in promoting good governance -a catchword which has received enormous attention in recent literature due to its ability to strengthen democracy and human rights, promote economic prosperity and social cohesion, reduce poverty, enhance environmental protection and the sustainable use of natural resources, and deepen confidence in government and public administration [20][21][22] . Although there are several elements to good governance, transparency and access to information has been cited to be indispensable and remains a prerequisite for attaining most of the other elements of good governance [23][24][25] . Literature is replete with information on how transparency improves the overall level of good governance by fostering trust which stimulates stakeholders' participation, improves resource mobilisation and reinforces capacity to ensure projects are well implemented while providing a basis for holding stakeholders accountable for their decisions and actions [20 , 23 , 26] . ...
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Many global and national initiatives have evolved in recent year to finance plantation forestry as a means to restore degraded landscapes. However, little information is available in the academic literature on how these funds are governed to optimise their reach and application. Using Ghana's Forest Plantation Development Fund as a case study, this study bridges this knowledge gap and provides insights into how without insistence on transparency, accountability can be lacking on the way such funds are utilised. Data was collected from 103 plantation developers in five forest districts using semi-structured questionnaires and key informant interviews with other stakeholders, including administrators of the Fund. The study found that there were no mechanisms in place to address stakeholders' information needs about the Fund. This translated into low awareness and limited access to the fund by its intended beneficiaries as well as weak participation of stakeholders in the governance of the Fund, including stakeholders' capacity to demand accountability. Fund administrators were unwilling to disclose information to stakeholders which is reinforced by a lack of incentives to do so. The study recommends the implementation of a right to information legislation and an active press to demand accountability and ensure transparent use of the fund. The findings further highlight an opportunity for global discourse calling for landscape restoration investments in sub-Saharan Africa to be accompanied with governance reforms to address barriers that militate against the efficient use of climate mitigation investments. Keywords: Forest landscape restoration, Plantation development, Climate financing, Accountability, Transparency, Right to Information
... This paper provides an empirical case study of how the REDD+ and FLEGT "governance by disclosure" (Gupta and Mason 2016) agenda is perceived by civil society actors in Southwest Cameroon. The main motivation is to better understand whether and how the proposed information transparency agenda has the potential to initiate durable change in Cameroon's forest sector. ...
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As technological advancements in forest monitoring – such as remote sensing and commodity supply chain tracking – allow for the generation and analysis of increasingly large datasets, forest policy makers and practitioners are looking for innovative yet practical ways for information transparency to transform forest governance. Especially in tropical forest countries looking to address the continuing deforestation and forest degradation through climate finance commitments and timber trade agreements, the access to information agenda has been placed at the fore of both the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) process and the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan. This paper explores whether and how the proposed transparency agenda is having an impact (or not) in the Southwest Region of Cameroon. Using semi-structured interviews with civil society organizations, this paper examines how information is currently disclosed in the forest sector and the status of REDD+ and FLEGT transparency agendas at the local level.
... 22 Potential rationales associated with the pursuit of transparency include enhancing accountability, 23 good governance, 24 and democratization by promoting informed participation of states or citizens. 25 However, in the process of implementing global regulation, alternative rationales for disclosuresuch as rationalizing expert decision making, facilitating markets for environmental goods, or augmenting private authority and gaintend to come to the fore. 26 In this article, we focus on evaluating if and how the increase in transparent information on GHG emissions generated by emerging satellite capabilities can contribute to the answerability of states for their mitigation commitments, adding to the literature on the transparency-accountability nexus. ...
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Article
Recent technological advancements are facilitating the use of satellite remote-sensing techniques for the measurement of atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gas emissions. This article evaluates the potential for these satellite-enabled measurements to contribute to transparency and answerability for state emissions, with a focus on international space law and policy, and the Paris Agreement to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. We show that in the context of the international space governance framework, the dissemination of integrated emissions data sets has the potential to enhance public answerability for the mitigation performance of states. Under the Paris Agreement, there is scope for space-based measurement techniques to provide an independent data source to support verification activities for national emissions inventories, and for aggregated data to be utilized as part of the global stocktake under Article 14. There are, however, a number of impediments to translating these transparency gains into enhanced answerability for states’ emissions reduction pledges.
... However, Dunlap (2017) argued that in Mexico, Free, Prior and Informed Consent for wind energy projects became a 'bureaucratic trap' which undermined indigenous autonomy, reinforced political and economic marginalization and prioritized corporate interests. Gupta and Mason (2016) cautioned that transparency as a means to provide accountability can be privatized, constraining disclosure in a way that would benefit private actors and their authority, as well as be technocratised, narrowing the focus to the design of accountability systems with less regard to their purpose. They argued that if information of risks is treated as private goods, then exercising the right to know, participation and making informed choices would be more difficult or exclusionary for some actors. ...
Article
In debates of climate action, low carbon development has been widely advocated as an opportunity arising from climate change. This paper problematizes low carbon development, arguing that there are undesirable, unintended or perverse effects that give rise to distinct and serious security concerns. The literature on climate security has addressed the effects of climate threats on conflict but there is a notable paucity of research analysing the security implications of responses to climate change in the form of low carbon development. The paper presents critical analysis of the ways low carbon development yields new security concerns as well as entrenching existing ones. Five dimensions of security are examined: spatially uneven effects of low carbon development; violent imaginaries of the global south and the production of ‘ungoverned spaces’; non-violent yet harmful instances of conflict; marginalization and dispossession; depoliticized, techno-managerial effects of resilience. The paper shows that climate (in)security manifests in variegated ways between different populations and spatial scales. Consequently, how, when for whom low carbon development becomes a threat or opportunity is socially constructed and deeply political.
... For instance, for car manufacturers we only take into account the carbon emissions of the car production process, whereas consumers driving the cars create a large share of the emissions currently not accounted for. There is a wider call to increase the transparency and quality of firm level CO 2 emissions (Gupta and Mason, 2016;Liesen et al., 2015;Thistlethwaite, 2015). Especially because climate change poses a risk to investors, it is not unimaginable that regulators at some point will mandate all publicly listed firms to measure and report their carbon emissions. ...
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Article
We study whether investors are actively decarbonizing their portfolios. With the adoption of the Paris Agreement in December 2015, a better understanding of portfolio related carbon dioxide (CO2) exposures has become increasingly important for investors, regulators and society at large. Carbon-intensive stocks still carry a substantial weight in common market benchmarks. We analyze if investors are actively divesting by deviating from market benchmark allocations to reduce carbon exposures. We utilize a stock-level holdings dataset of Dutch pension funds over the period 2009–2017 and combine this with firm-level CO2 emissions information to measure the portfolio carbon footprint and active portfolio management. We find that pension funds that deviate from market benchmark weights have substantially lower carbon footprints. This effect is mostly driven by reduced exposures to carbon-intensive industries and is larger for pension funds that measure and report their carbon footprints. We find no evidence that deviations from the market benchmark impair risk-adjusted portfolio performance.
... Consider how administration opens its decisions and operations towards sustainable development to public scrutiny, i.e. the disclose relationship. During institutionalization of disclosure systems, technocratic and privatization rationales for governance transparency take a higher priority than democratization and marketization rationales (Gupta & Mason, 2016). Factors that promote the disclosure by governments of sustainability information on public policies include socioeconomic information such as education and internet access, and egovernment factors such as the provision of information and services online (Alcaraz-Quiles, Navarro-Galera, & Ortiz-Rodríguez, 2014). ...
Article
Changing governance paradigms has been shaping and reshaping the landscape of citizen-administration relationships, from impartial application of rules and regulations by administration to exercise its authority over citizens (bureaucratic paradigm), through provision of public services by administration to fulfil the needs of citizens (consumerist paradigm), to responsibility-sharing between administration and citizens for policy and service processes (participatory paradigm). The recent trend is the administration empowering citizens to create public value by themselves, through socio-technical systems that bring data, services, technologies and people together to respond to changing societal needs. Such systems are called “platforms” and the trend is called “platform paradigm”. The aim of this article is to offer a conceptual framework for citizen-administration relationships under the platform paradigm. While existing models of citizen-administration relationships mainly focus on specific types of relationships, e.g. citizen trust versus administrative transparency, or citizen satisfaction versus administrative performance, the proposed framework identifies a comprehensive set of relationships that explain how decisions by citizens or administration and the policy environment mutually agreed by them contribute to shaping such relationships and building individual and collective capacity for pursuing sustainable development. The framework comprises 15 types of relationships organized along the four governance paradigms. It is illustrated through the analysis of 11 case studies published in the current issue. Based on this analysis, the article also formulates some insights that are relevant to researchers and policymakers who intend to utilize platform governance for sustainable development.
... From this perspective, transparency exists at the intersection between processes of democratization with an impetus for promoting human rights or protection from harm and a market liberal approach for facilitating efficient markets (Gupta 2010, 6). Gupta and Mason (2016) further distinguish between four distinct rationales or logics of environmental governance underpinning the uptake of transparency provisions, including democratization, technocratization, marketization, and privatization. Such a focus on distinct rationales of transparency helps to position it as a terrain of conflict of competing interests between actors with unequal power rather than as an inherent force of good or, alternatively, domination (Gupta and Mason 2014). ...
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 the ability of transparency to transform relationships of inequality. Utilizing the case of climate finance in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, we find that while a variety of norms underpinning transparency are recognized within the governance architecture, their translation into accountability mechanisms has been weak, and information disclosed by countries is often opaque. This suggests that a focus on enhanced transparency is unlikely to be sufficient for realizing a climate regime that is adequate and equitable. Moreover, transparency should be seen as a terrain of political conflict over the conditions of inequality, employed differently by various coalitions to benefit their respective interests.
... Issues of gender, claims of indigeneity and rights over land and forest resources tend to be subordinated to or form part of broader distributive framings relating to, for example, capacity-building funds rather than being fully debated as separate issues [59,60]. Technocratic arguments and approaches to delivering equity through fulfilling safeguard principles tend to overshadow attempts to make global forest governance more inclusive, and the knowledge, values and practices of marginal groups remain unrealised [61][62][63][64]. Accordingly , social safeguards associated with climate-related governance represent weak interpretations of recognition-based norms, representing a "do no harm" principle rather than facilitating specific debate about the nuances and different perspectives on these disaggregated impacts and how to promote progressive realisation of human rights [65], and may fail to address injustice in practice [66]. ...
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This paper explores the dissonance between conceptions of justice among forest-adjacent communities and their representation in global forest policies, a persistent barrier to delivering just sustainability. We empirically track justice claims of rural villagers upwards through specific intermediaries or 'justice brokers': civil society, state, or private sector actors operating at local to international levels, who navigate different institutions to advance various social and ecological interests. We draw on interviews with 16 intermediaries in each of Nepal and Uganda and find that recognition of local values and practices such as customary tenure systems are key justice concerns of forest-adjacent communities in each country. However, intermediaries perceive a low likelihood of advancing those claims through national or international climate and forest policy debates, such as REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation), in large part because deliberations on justice are subordinated to concerns such as carbon accounting and arrangements for distributing monetary benefits. This suggests these policy processes must be modified to offer potential for transformational pathways. Intermediaries who pursued recognition justice issues developed innovative tactics in alternative forums. These 'norm entrepreneurs' adopted a suite of complementary strategies to attain influence, including: (1) formation of associations at the grassroots level; (2) media and advocacy campaigns through national coalitions to reach powerful international donors, and; (3) drawing on international support networks for advice, training and to influence national government. In both Uganda and Nepal these strategies were evidenced to enhance recognition for local values and practices.
... Open and transparent sharing of information is essential for collaborative design and interactive processes to involve communities, for example using the participatory methods described by Salvini et al. [17]. This has been shown to reduce the risk of failure in mitigation activities, for example in the case of the voluntary carbon market that led to a decrease in credit prices [69]. Thus, transparency should become a key element in planning, implementation and reporting of activities related to reducing the impact of agriculture on forests, with a particular need to address the following issues: ...
Article
Successfully meeting the mitigation and adaptation targets of the Paris Climate Agreement (PA) will depend on strengthening the ties between forests and agriculture. Climate-smart land use can be achieved by integrating climate-smart agriculture (CSA) and REDD+. The focus on agriculture for food security within a changing climate, and on forests for climate change mitigation and adaptation, can be achieved simultaneously with a transformational change in the land-use sector. Striving for both independently will lead to competition for land, inefficiencies in monitoring and conflicting agendas. Practical solutions exist for specific contexts that can lead to increased agricultural output and forest protection. Landscape-level emissions accounting can be used to identify these practices. Transdisciplinary research agendas can identify and prioritize solutions and targets for integrated mitigation and adaptation interventions. Policy coherence must be achieved at a number of levels, from international to local, to avoid conflicting incentives. Transparency must lastly be integrated, through collaborative design of projects, and open data and methods. Climate-smart land use requires all these elements, and will increase the likelihood of successful REDD+ and CSA interventions. This will support the PA as well as other initiatives as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Article
The importance of science for climate governance has strengthened over time and the topic inspires prolific academic writing on the influence of scientists and scientific knowledge on policy decisions. One of the streams of research in the field is inspired by Cash´s (2003) seminal work highlighting how the role of scientists depends on perceptions of salience, credibility and legitimacy. Other views call for attention to the politics involved in scientific performance while influencing policy and on the local circumstances, considering the many ways in which societies relate to science and expertise. The role of scientists in climate governance is a contested issue, relevant for many research centres aiming to influence policy decisions given the urgency of the climate crisis. To better understand this role, we reviewed mainstream international literature and identified four main approaches, which we label: scientific usable knowledge, politics of science, critical approaches and hybrid approaches. We contrasted the results with the experience of scientists from a Chilean climate research centre, to provide a view from the South on the role of scientists in climate governance. Our results show that Cash´s approach was a common ground for Chilean climate scientists, upon which they build ideas on the importance of building long-term relationships between scientists and policy makers. However, they also acknowledged the need to take into consideration the role of politics in climate-related decisions and the power relations and actor´s interests.
Article
The article examines Kazakhstan, the largest economy in Central Asia, which, on the way to sustainable economic growth, adequately responds to systemic challenges and adapts the experience of advanced countries. The generalizing indicators of the effectiveness of state regulation of the processes contributing to the growth of the stability of the national economy are given. The reasons for the weak involvement of entrepreneurs and citizens in measures for the sustainable development of Kazakhstan have been identified. It has been substantiated that the development of a strategy for the country's sustainable development and the achievement of inclusive economic growth require coordination of the work of government bodies, business and civil society. It is shown that in Kazakhstan the main drivers for the implementation of the culture of sustainable development are large enterprises and the quasi-public sector. Private enterprises do not yet see the opportunity to profit from integrating sustainable development goals into business processes. The paper emphasizes that in order to increase the stability of the poorly diversified economy of Kazakhstan, emphasis should be placed on the transformation of the mining sector, which has the potential to maintain investment attractiveness, both for domestic and foreign investors. Based on the results of the study, the authors highlight the most important aspects of building a new model of sustainable development in the foreseeable future.
Article
The paper examines a scenario exercise concerning deployment of solar geoengineering by a small group of states that are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Two groups of participants were each asked to provide expert decision-making advice to an alliance comprising great powers, and to propose a political response to the deployment initiative. This paper discusses the initial governance proposals and examines differences and exchanges between the groups throughout the exercise. The two groups delivered distinct governance proposals. The differences, which were driven largely by divergent worldviews and assumptions about the geopolitical context, provide insights into the complexities of responses to the “free-driver” of solar geoengineering deployment, internal functioning and cohesion of coalitions, and interactions among multiple responses to climate change.
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Using Indonesia's energy sector as case study, we explore the effects of the domestic measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) system as a manifestation of national level climate transparency. We examine the ways in which MRV facilitates state actors' reflexive capacity to recognize, reflect on, and respond to the demand for mitigation-related information emanating from global climate governance processes. Our results show that engagement with Indonesia's domestic MRV system enhanced actors' capacities to reorganize institutional arrangements, including competing rules and practices; recalibrate data and information systems; reprioritize the deployment of available resources; and reformulate policy and strategy. These reflexive responses illustrate the range of potential MRV-associated effects that can be realized in a domestic context, beyond simply generating and reporting information. We conclude that while the generation of transparency has yet to directly enhance domestic mitigation action, it facilitates improvement of informational and executive systems and infrastructures that support mitigation policies.
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This article consists of a critical review of the conceptual scholarship on the governance of climate finance and includes an overview of the institutional arrangements and governance logics that provide climate finance. New decentralized, polycentric structures allow for climate finance to more effectively reach the sub- and non-state actors most directly implementing climate change governance. However, the expansion of climate finance into market-inflected forms of blended finance, as well as debt-based financing, express a neoliberal logic that shifts power to market actors. This may challenge the efficacy of climate finance. We suggest that further research is needed on polycentric systems in climate finance, since an apparent expansion in the diversity of providers is also accompanied by a counter-intuitive concentration of decision-making power with financial fund managers. We join others in suggesting that the weight of scholarship advocates for a strong return to public authored finance and governance, under the auspices of Green New Deal programs and more widely. This article is categorized under: • Policy and Governance > Multilevel and Transnational Climate Change Governance Abstract 2017 and 2018 global climate finance flows, USD billions, values shown are average of 2 years' data. Source: Climate Policy Initiative.
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Securing accountability of states for their climate actions is a continuing challenge within multilateral climate politics. This article analyses how novel, face-to-face, account-giving processes for developing countries, referred to as ‘Facilitative Sharing of Views’, are functioning within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and what these processes help to shed light on. We analyse the nature and scope of the ‘answerability’ being generated within these novel processes, including what state-to-state questioning and responses focus on, and what ‘performing’ accountability in this manner delivers within multilateral climate politics. We find that a limited number of countries actively question each other within the FSV process, with a primary focus on sharing information about the technical and institutional challenges of establishing domestic ‘measuring, reporting and verification’ systems and, to lesser extent, mitigation actions. Less attention is given to reporting on support. A key aim is to facilitate learning, both from the process and from each other. Much effort is expended on legitimizing the FSV process in anticipation of its continuation in adapted form under the 2015 Paris Agreement. We conclude by considering implications of our analysis. Key policy insights • We analyse developing country engagement in novel face-to-face account-giving processes under the UNFCCC • Analysis of four sessions of the ‘Facilitative Sharing of Views’ reveals a focus on horizontal peer-to-peer learning • States question each other more on GHG emission inventories and domestic MRV systems and less on mitigation and support • We find that limited time and capacity to engage, one-off questioning rather than a dialogue, and lack of recommended follow-up actions risks generating ‘ritualistic’ answerability • Such account-giving also intentionally sidesteps contentious issues such as responsibility for ambitious and fair climate action but may still help to build trust • Much effort is expended on ‘naming and praising’ participant countries and legitimizing the process
Book
Climate change is one of the most daunting global policy challenges facing the international community in the 21st century. This Element takes stock of the current state of the global climate change regime, illuminating scope for policymaking and mobilizing collective action through networked governance at all scales, from the sub-national to the highest global level of political assembly. It provides an unusually comprehensive snapshot of policymaking within the regime created by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), bolstered by the 2015 Paris Agreement, as well as novel insight into how other formal and informal intergovernmental organizations relate to this regime, including a sophisticated EU policymaking and delivery apparatus, already dedicated to tackling climate change at the regional level. It further locates a highly diverse and numerous non-state actor constituency, from market actors to NGOs to city governors, all of whom have a crucial role to play.
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Dealing with climate change is one of this century's most difficult challenges demanding new strategies to steer societies towards common transformational goals. A growing literature involving “climate governance” is evolving and should advance the discussion on transformations and the involvement of different actors in climate action. However, it is unclear that the Global South's particularities are being integrated. This study has a three‐fold goal: (a) identify the different approaches to climate governance found in the mainstream literature, (b) explore the degree of integration of the Global South in those approaches, and (c) contribute to the ongoing discussion on this issue from a southern perspective. A systematic literature review on “climate governance” was conducted, distinguishing different approaches and their significance for the Global South. Results clustered in six groups use the characterizations: multi‐level, global, adaptive, transnational, polycentric, and experimental/transformative. These terms account for different levels of decision‐making, emerging values, and the importance of non‐State and sub‐national actors. Approaches vary, in relation to change and participation, from an incremental improvement focus to a more transformative perspective and from the promotion of community influence to processes based on traditional institutions. In the Global South, multi‐level, multi‐actor climate governance occurs in a context of deep inequality and asymmetric power relations, rising environmental conflicts, and a lack of adequate mechanisms for community participation. Addressing climate change here will require, acknowledging the State alone cannot solve the issue, that different views must be considered and that contextualized perspectives from the Global South must be integrated.
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Thesis
Die Folgen des Klimawandels, sowie damit einhergehende Verluste und Schäden nehmen weltweit zu. Der damit verbundene globale Anstieg von Treibhausgasemissionen, zunehmende Verstädterung sowie ausufernder Konsum machen die Suche nach Anpassungsstrategien zur Vermeidung schädlicher Auswirkungen gegenwärtig wie zukünftig zu einer erheblichen Herausforderung. Diese erfordert ein tiefgehendes Verständnis der Komplexität vom Klimawandelfolgen für landwirtschaftsbasierte Existenzgrundlagen. Ziel dieser Arbeit ist es zu einem solchen Verständnis beizutragen. Die vorliegende Forschungsarbeit fragt daher danach, wie etwaige Umstellungsprozesse die Anpassungsfähigkeit sowie Resilienz der Bewohner_innen von Bagri, einem kleinen Dorf im Norden Ghanas, erweitern. Die Ergebnisse dieser Dissertationsschrift basieren auf empirischen Erhebungen, die zwischen Februar und Juli 2017 in Lawra District in Nordghana unter Heranziehung qualitativer Fallstudieninstrumente durchgeführt wurden. Zum Einsatz kamen semi-strukturierte Interviews, Fokusgruppendiskussionen, Umfragen sowie ethnographische teilnehmende Beobachtungen. Die so gewonnenen Daten wurden kodiert und mit SPSS (Version 20) kreuztabellarisch sowie anhand verschiedener Variablen ausgewertet. Außerdem wurden Häufigkeiten interpretiert und die Ergebnisse schließlich in Tabellen, Graphen und Prozentsätzen verarbeitet. Des Weiteren wurden inhaltlichen Analysen der qualitativen Daten vorgenommen, die es erlaubten, Muster und Themen aus den Interviews und Diskussionen weiter zu verfolgen. Die Resultate zeigen, dass die Bewohner_innen in der untersuchten Gemeinde über die letzten drei Jahrzehnte eine Reihe klimatischer Veränderungen mit negativen Folgen für die Landwirtschaft erfahren haben. Um sich beispielsweise an die klimawandelbedingte kürzere Dauer der Regenzeit sowie niedrige Niederschlagsmengen anzupassen, greifen Kleinbauern auf schrittweise Anpassungsstrategien wie verbessertes Saatgut und weitere unterstützende Maßnahmen zurück. Paradoxerweise, untergraben Klimawandelextreme derlei Strategien auf mehreren Ebenen und reduzieren Erträge um ein Vielfaches ihres Potenzials, was wiederum finanzieller Verschuldung Vorschub leistet. Die Ergebnisse dieser Studie zeigen daher, dass die Überwindung nicht-klimatischer Barrieren landwirtschaftlicher Anpassungsstrategien eine notwendige wenn auch nicht ausreichende Bedingung für eine erfolgreiche Umstellung darstellt. Immer neu aufkommende Schwierigkeiten machen Anpassung zu einem langfristigen Prozess. Eine zweite Erkenntnis dieser Arbeit ist, dass die sich wandelnden klimatischen Verhältnisse zu einer Diversifizierung der Lebensgrundlagen weg von landwirtschaftlicher Produktion hin zu Aktivitäten jenseits der Höfe in Bagri geführt haben. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass der Prozess der Diversifizierung abhängig ist von der Einbindung der Haushalte in Gruppenaktivitäten sowie in formelle und informelle Netzwerke. Zusammenfassend gilt, dass Haushalte, die engmaschig in soziale Netze eingebettet sind eine höhere Resilienz gegenüber wahrgenommenen klimatischen Veränderungen aufweisen. Dies liegt darin begründet, dass sie zumeist über einen besseren Zugang zu kritischen – materiellen wie immateriellen – Ressourcen verfügen, welche Diversifizierung maßgeblich ermöglichen. Zudem deuten die Befunde an, wie Gruppenaktivitäten und soziale Netzwerke Marginalisierung und widersprüchlichen Ressourcenumgang befeuern können, die zugleich die Gefahr bergen, soziale und ökologische Resilienz im Dorf zu verringern. Darüber hinaus zeigt diese Arbeit die Mechanismen kollaborativer Anpassungssteuerung auf, indem sie den Fragen nachgeht, warum und wie diese Steuerungsformen Anpassungsfähigkeit befördern. Die Ergebnisse verweisen auf die Beziehungsdynamiken zwischen den relevanten Akteuren sowie Nutzen und Misserfolge und die Herausforderungen nachhaltiger kollaborativer Anpassungsstrategien in Nordghana. Ergänzend, stellt diese Studie heraus, wie machtvolle Akteure Agenden setzen, Problematisierungen generieren sowie Regeln und Anreize schaffen, die im Widerspruch zu den normativen Grundsätzen der kollaborativen Anpassungstheorie stehen können. Ausgehend von der Fallstudie in Nordghana stellt diese Arbeit auch Überlegungen dazu an, wie kollaborative Anpassungssteuerung erfolgreichen Umgang mit klimawandelbedingten Veränderungen weltweit befördern kann. Zusammenfassend, leistet diese Arbeit einen Beitrag zur Schließung theoretischer wie empirischer Wissenslücken im wachsenden Bereich der Forschung zur Anpassung an den Klimawandel. Sie illustriert darüber hinaus den unschätzbaren Wert qualitativer Fallstudien und zeigt auf, wie diese einen Beitrag leisten können zu oftmals abstrakten und schwer fassbaren Themen in der wissenschaftlichen Diskussion und damit ein Fundament für informierte politische Entscheidungen sowohl auf lokaler als auch globaler Ebene legen.
Article
This article examines the current trend toward solving issues of procurement and processing of publicly disclosed pollution source data in China, where this data is characterized by heterogeneity and lack of standardization. Through ethnography and software analysis, the article examines the hidden labor entailed in automation using the case study of a Chinese e-NGO. We identify the bulk of this labor in “datascape navigation”, or the practices needed to locate, acquire and process the desired information within the infrastructure enabling the circulation of the data. The aspects of this labor are examined in relation to two data flows: enterprise environmental supervision records and information about real-time emissions. We identify several forms of unpredicted human and non-human labor entailed by both unsuccessful and successful automation attempts. We conclude that the labor involved by software automation of environmental data procurement and processing can critically impact environmental disclosure timing and quality.
Article
The conventional view of transparency is that it is a critical tool to combat corruption and ensure the democratic accountability of government. This article argues that the negotiation of mega-regional trade agreements (RTAs) and their content indicates the need distinguish different types of transparency. Trade activists that call for drafts of the text of a mega-RTA to be released while negotiations are ongoing are seeking deliberative transparency, which provides opportunities for meaningful public participation and consultation. The trade advisory systems that could provide opportunities for deliberation instead deliver technocratic transparency; the rationale is to increase the effectiveness of mega-RTAs rather than their democratic legitimacy. Frequent leaks of draft chapters of mega-RTAs provide opportunities for deliberation, but some actors involved in leaking are engaged in disruptive transparency where the aim is to complicate trade negotiations, making a final deal less likely. While these varieties of transparency emerge in the context of the negotiating process, disciplinary transparency – which often becomes a regulatory tool for multinational corporations to influence policy-making – is found in the text of mega-RTAs. Certain forms of transparency increase the likelihood that mega-RTAs will be compatible with strong environmental policy, while others may have a detrimental impact.
Article
This paper offers a conceptual examination of the power-effects of transparency, as information disclosure, on those making accountability claims against actors deemed to be causing significant environmental harm. Informed by Lukes’s ([2005]. Power: A radical view (second edition). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.) multi-dimensional theory of power, I review recent scholarship to interrogate four hypotheses positing empowerment for accountability claimants arising from the disclosure of sustainability information. Across public and private governance forms, academic research suggests that information disclosure promotes the communication of the sustainability interests of affected parties, and in some cases enhances the capacity of these parties to evaluate justifications provided by relevant power-wielders. However, evidence is weaker that disclosure of sustainability information empowers accountability claimants to sanction or otherwise steer those responsible; and there is little support that transparency fosters wider political interrogation of the configurations of authority producing environmental harm. Differentiating between behavioural and non-behavioural understandings of power allows an evaluation of these research findings on the power-related effects of information disclosure.
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Este estudo (coordenado por Daniel Seabra Lopes, antropólogo do ISEG-ULisboa) apresenta uma visão etnográfica de três funções representativas do Estado: o poder político personificado nos deputados à Assembleia da República; o poder judicial personificado nos magistrados ou oficiais de justiça de dois tribunais de primeira instância; e a gestão do ambiente levada a cabo pelos técnicos da Agência Portuguesa do Ambiente. Metodologicamente apoiado em trabalho de campo intensivo com recurso à observação participante, o estudo procura dar primazia às pessoas que, quotidianamente, fazem do Estado uma realidade concreta e actuante. Este trabalho retrata e analisa os meandros do funcionamento daquelas quatro instituições, procurando compreender o trabalho dos seus agentes nas suas vertentes interaccionais, sociotécnicas e culturais.
Chapter
The Paris Agreement charts a new course for measuring, reporting, verification (MRV) of State obligations with the intensification of the emphasis on the criterion of transparency. This is, in part, responsive to modern debates in regards to environmental law generally and climate law in particular. Transparency is crucial to the success or failure of climate mitigation and adaption regimes because climate governance is intimately connected to the ideals of deliberative democracy, public participation, and the rule of law. The Paris Agreement thus presents a ground-breaking and important point in time for both developed and developing States. Aligned with this requirement is the desire to increase the amount and flow of ‘climate finance’ from developed to developing states. The associated need for transparency in funding flows has been raised in part through the accusations of misused or inadequate funds, ‘tied’ funding and double counting. Though there are new informational requirements placed on states in the Paris Agreement, they also present considerable practical challenges. The purpose of this chapter is to analyse the principle of transparency in climate finance and to chart the direction of the associated informational requirements in light of the measures agreed at Paris.
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This chapter introduces the first main part of this volume, on the overarching 'architecture' of global climate governance beyond 2012. In particular, the central question that guides all chapters in this part is about the causes and consequences of fragmentation versus integration of governance architectures. We ask which type of governance architectures promises a higher degree of institutional performance in terms of social and environmental effectiveness, and in particular whether a well-integrated governance architecture is likely to be more effective than a fragmented governance architecture. This question of increasing fragmentation of systems of global governance and of its relative benefits and problems has become a major source of concern for observers and policy-makers alike. Yet there is little consensus in the academic literature on this issue: in different strands of academic research, we find different predictions that range from a positive, affirmative assessment of fragmentation to a rather negative one (Zelli et al., this volume, Chapter 3). A key example is global climate governance, where advantages and disadvantages of a fragmented governance architecture have become important elements in proposals and strategies for future institutional development. Several proposals for a future climate governance architecture have been put forward that explicitly assert the value of fragmentation or diversity, or at least implicitly accept it. Others, however, remain supportive of a more integrated overall architecture. And yet, political science lacks a conceptual framework for the comparative study of different types and degrees of fragmentation of global governance architectures.
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Article
In recent years, carbon has been increasingly rendered 'visible' both discursively and through political processes that have imbued it with economic value. Greenhouse gas emissions have been constructed as social and environmental costs and their reduction or avoidance as social and economic gain. The 'marketisation' of carbon, which has been facilitated through various compliance schemes such as the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme, the Kyoto Protocol, the proposed Australian Emissions Reduction Scheme and through the voluntary carbon credit market, have attempted to bring carbon into the 'foreground' as an economic liability and/or opportunity. Accompanying the increasing economic visibility of carbon are reports of frauds and scams - the 'gaming of carbon markets'(Chan 2010). As Lohmann (2010: 21) points out, 'what are conventionally classed as scams or frauds are an inevitable feature of carbon offset markets, not something that could be eliminated by regulation targeting the specific businesses or state agencies involved'. This paper critiques the disparate discourses of fraud risk in carbon markets and examines cases of fraud within emerging landscapes of green criminology.
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Article
The object of the present paper is to derive the solution of generalized kinetic equations of fractional order involving the Wright generalized Bessel function or Bessel-Mitland function. Results obtained by Chaurasia and Pandey [24] are derived more precisely through results obtained in the present paper in terms of K4 - function obtained by Sharma [12] belived to be new. Special case, involving the F-function is considered.
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Chapter
In this chapter, Arthur Mol elaborates on informational governance in the environmental domain. He assesses the achievements of transparency to date in enhancing democratic quality and promoting environmental effectiveness. As he shows, markets and states jostle to capture transparency arrangements for their own diverse ends, which are not necessarily aligned with assumed normative linkages between transparency, democracy and participation, as well as environmental reform. The chapter argues that transparency in governance has entered a reflexive phase, one in which secondarytransparency i.e. additional layers of transparency provided by information intermediaries, is key to making primary disclosure usable. Through assessing the promise, potential and pitfalls of governance by disclosure in the sustainability realm, Mol’s provocative conclusion is that transparency has “lost its innocence” as an arbiter of democratic and environmental gains.
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Article
Recent scholarship on transparency has been voluminous, and transparency policies continue to garner international adherents through global initiatives such as the Open Government Partnership. Yet extant scholarship has failed to address the empirical parameters for what constitutes 'transparency' and what does not. This lacuna gives way to misuses and abuses, jeopardizing the analytical utility of the term and the integrity of so-called 'transparency' policies. This article provides a framework and a vocabulary for identifying and evaluating transparency, which depends on two necessary and jointly sufficient conditions: the visibility of information, and its inferability --the ability to draw accurate conclusions from it. By disaggregating these two conditions for identifying transparency, this article provides a framework for the emerging research agenda on the quality of transparency.
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Article
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is the best-known framework for voluntary reporting of environmental and social performance by business worldwide. Using extensive empirical data, including interviews and documentary analysis, we examine GRI's organizational field and conclude that since its modest beginnings in 1999 GRI has been by several measures a successful institutionalization project. But the institutional logic of this new entity, as an instrument for corporate sustainability management, leaves out one of the central elements of the initial vision for GRI: as a mobilizing agent for many societal actors. This emergent logic reflects GRI's dominant constituency – large global companies and financial institutions and international business management consultancies – and not the less active civil society organizations and organized labor. We attribute these developments to factors such as building GRI within the existing institutional structures; the highly inclusive multistakeholder process; and the underdeveloped base of information users. From the institutional theory perspective, this case shows how the process of institutionalization is deeply affected by initial strategies of the founders, and how it reproduces existing power relations. From the governance perspective, this case leads us to question the power of commodified information to mobilize civil society and to strengthen governance based on partnerships.
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Article
One of the most contentious issues at the 2009 UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen, and one which has persisted in the successive rounds of negotiation since then, is, in diplomatic lingo, ‘MRV’ (monitoring, reporting and verification). Expanding the MRV regime to include mitigation actions is an opportunity to support, rather than burden, developing countries in their efforts to improve their climate performance over time, consistent with sustainable development—if done in a sensible way. The article reviews the essence of this debate and suggests one pragmatic approach to ensure that national actions are indeed measurable, reportable and verifiable, namely adopting a certification scheme for national climate management systems (NCMS, which would require countries to establish a climate policy, set national goals and timetables, secure resources to implement related national actions and track their progress over time). Based on the high level of agreement among Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on the need for comprehensive frameworks to facilitate forestry and energy sector mitigation by developing countries, supported by financial resources, technology and capacity building, an NCMS certification scheme is well suited to add value to the existing MRV regime both for developed and developing countries.
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Article
This article examines the nexus between financial activism and global environmental governance, analyzing the emergence of what we call "“investor-driven governance networks"” (IGNs). Our paper seeks to probe the significance of IGNs as a particular manifestation of responsible investor activism and more generally as a financial instrument of environmental governance and sustain-ability. We argue that IGNs, many of which are concerned with climate change governance, have become important actors in the global economy and deserve more analysis by scholars concerned with new forms of authority in global environmental politics. As an example of emerging transnational private governance, IGNs utilize the power of the financial sector to shape the discourse on climate change within the business community and to link the long-term viability of environmental sustainability to the core strategic interests of corporations and investors. (c)© 2011 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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Article
In this contribution, we explore the tensions that seem inherent in the claim that transparency policies "empower" the users of disclosed information vis-àvis those who are asked to provide the information. Since these tensions are particularly relevant in relation to voluntary disclosure, our analysis focuses on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) as the world's leading voluntary corporate non-financial reporting scheme. Corporate sustainability reporting is often hailed as a powerful instrument to improve the environmental performance of business and to empower societal groups, including consumers, in their relations with the corporate world. Yet, our analysis illustrates that the relationship between transparency and empowerment is conflictual at all four levels of activity examined in this article: in the rhetoric and policies of the GRI as well as in the actual reporting practice and in the activities of intermediaries in response to the organization's disclosure standard. (c) 2010 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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Article
The global promotion of transparency for the extractive sector-oil, gas and mining-has become increasingly accepted as an appropriate solution to weaknesses in governance in resource-rich developing nations. Proponents argue that if extractive firms disclose publicly their payments to governments, citizens will be able to hold governments accountable. This will improve the management of natural resources, reduce corruption, and mitigate conflict. These beliefs are embodied in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), initially a unilateral effort launched by Tony Blair that has evolved into a global program. Why has transparency become the solution of choice for managing natural resource wealth, and how has the EITI evolved? This article argues that intersecting transnational networks with complementary global norms facilitated construction of transparency as a solution for management of resource revenues. This in turn promoted the gradual expansion of the institutional architecture, membership, and scope of the EITI despite significant political barriers. (c) 2010 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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Article
The concepts of transparency and accountability are closely linked: transparency is supposed to generate accountability. This article questions this widely held assumption. Transparency mobilises the power of shame, yet the shameless may not be vulnerable to public exposure. Truth often fails to lead to justice. After exploring different definitions and dimensions of the two ideas, the more relevant question turns out tobe: what kinds of transparency lead to what kinds of accountability, and under what conditions? The article concludes by proposing that the concept can be unpacked in terms of two distinct variants. Transparency can be either 'clear'or 'opaque', while accountability can be either 'soft'or 'hard'.
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Article
The growth of pollution that crosses national borders represents a significant threat to human health and ecological sustainability. Various international agreements exist between countries to reduce risks to their populations, however there is often a mismatch between national territories of state responsibility and transboundary hazards. All too often, state priorities do not correspond to the priorities of the people affected by pollution, who often have little recourse against major polluters, particularly transnational corporations operating across national boundaries. Drawing on case studies, The New Accountability provides a fresh understanding of democratic accountability for transboundary and global harm and argues that environmental responsibility should be established in open public discussions about harm and risk. Most critically it makes the case that, regardless of nationality, affected parties should be able to demand that polluters and harm producers be held accountable for their actions and if necessary provide reparations.
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Article
Information disclosure is the most obvious manifestation of the transparency turn in global governance, as evident from a growing uptake of environmental disclosure practices by countries, corporations and international organizations. Any analytic examination of environmental disclosure measures needs to grasp their relation to wider configurations of political and economic authority. Highlighting these relations of power reveals that transparency measures do not necessarily overcome asymmetries in information access, and may even exacerbate them. (c) 2008 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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Article
This paper examines corporate responses to climate change in relation to the development of reporting mechanisms for greenhouse gases, more specifically carbon disclosure. It first presents some background and context on the evolution of carbon trading and disclosure, and then develops a conceptual framework using theories of global governance, institutional theory and commensuration to understand the role of carbon disclosure in the emerging climate regime. Subsequently, a closer look is taken at carbon disclosure and reporting mechanisms, with a particular focus on the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). Our analysis of responses shows that CDP has been successfully using institutional investors to urge firms to disclose extensive information about their climate change activities. However, although response rates in terms of numbers of disclosing firms are impressive and growing, neither the level of carbon disclosure that CDP promotes nor the more detailed carbon accounting provide information that is particularly valuable for investors, NGOs or policy makers at this stage. As a project of commensuration, carbon disclosure has achieved some progress in technical terms, but much less with regard to the cognitive and value dimensions.
Book
'How do the different international institutions addressing climate change interact? What are the actual and potential synergies and conflicts? What are the most effective strategies to manage institutional interplay? Harro van Asselt's expertise in both international law and international relations, as well as his intimate knowledge of the policy-making process, make him ideally equipped to address these fundamental questions. Based on detailed case studies, he provides a wide-ranging, lucid, and theoretically sophisticated study of climate change governance. Essential reading for international lawyers and international relations scholars alike'.
Article
In this introductory chapter, Aarti Gupta and Michael Mason lay out the rationale for the in-depth examination of transparency-based global environmental governance arrangements undertaken in this volume. The chapter outlines how “governance by disclosure”, that is, targeted disclosure of information intended to steer behavioral change and achieve specific outcomes, is symptomatic of a transparency turn in this realm. It draws on various theoretical traditions in (global) environmental politics scholarship to outline a distinctive approach—critical transparency studies—that informs the analyses in this volume. This critical perspective underpins the analytical framework developed in the chapter to assess the uptake, institutionalization, and effects of transparency in global environmental governance. The framework includes propositions about the drivers of transparency’s uptake and its potential transformative effects, with which all empirical chapters engage. The chapter concludes with an overview of the contributions and summary of key findings. Its point of departure is that transparency’s effects are likely to manifest themselves in specific constellations of power, practice, and authority relationships, which shape its transformative potential. The chapter thus outlines a research agenda to begin exploring whether, and under what conditions, transparency’s emancipatory promise may be realized. In this introductory chapter, Aarti Gupta and Michael Mason lay out the rationale for the in-depth examination of transparency-based global environmental governance arrangements undertaken in this volume. The chapter outlines how “governance by disclosure”, that is, targeted disclosure of information intended to steer behavioral change and achieve specific outcomes, is symptomatic of a transparency turn in this realm. It draws on various theoretical traditions in (global) environmental politics scholarship to outline a distinctive approach—critical transparency studies—that informs the analyses in this volume. This critical perspective underpins the analytical framework developed in the chapter to assess the uptake, institutionalization, and effects of transparency in global environmental governance. The framework includes propositions about the drivers of transparency’s uptake and its potential transformative effects, with which all empirical chapters engage. The chapter concludes with an overview of the contributions and summary of key findings. Its point of departure is that transparency’s effects are likely to manifest themselves in specific constellations of power, practice, and authority relationships, which shape its transformative potential. The chapter thus outlines a research agenda to begin exploring whether, and under what conditions, transparency’s emancipatory promise may be realized.
Article
In this chapter, Janelle Knox-Hayes and David Levy analyse the role of multinational corporations in global environmental governance through the lens of corporate disclosure. They explore the premise that disclosure functions to reinforce the authority and legitimacy of corporations as increasingly important arbiters of (global environmental) governance. In assessing this claim, the authors document the rise of corporate non-financial sustainability reporting systems, including the Global Reporting Initiative and the Carbon Disclosure Project. The chapter argues that two competing institutional logics underpin the embrace and spread of non-financial disclosure: a logic of civil regulation, promoted by civil society actors and intended to secure greater corporate accountability, versus a functionalist corporate logic of sustainability management that highlights the instrumental benefits of disclosure to company managers, investors, and auditors. The chapter reveals how the growing ascendancy of a corporate instrumental logic shapes the quality and modalities of carbon and corporate sustainability disclosure.
Article
Which SUVs are most likely to rollover? What cities have the unhealthiest drinking water? Which factories are the most dangerous polluters? What cereals are the most nutritious? In recent decades, governments have sought to provide answers to such critical questions through public disclosure to force manufacturers, water authorities, and others to improve their products and practices. Corporate financial disclosure, nutritional labels, and school report cards are examples of such targeted transparency policies. At best, they create a light-handed approach to governance that improves markets, enriches public discourse, and empowers citizens. But such policies are frequently ineffective or counterproductive. Based on an analysis of eighteen U.S. and international policies, Full Disclosure shows that information is often incomplete, incomprehensible, or irrelevant to consumers, investors, workers, and community residents. To be successful, transparency policies must be accurate, keep ahead of disclosers' efforts to find loopholes, and, above all, focus on the needs of ordinary citizens. © Archon Fung, Mary Graham, and David Weil 2007 and Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Book
Transparency—openness, secured through greater availability of information—is increasingly seen as part of the solution to a complex array of economic, political, and ethical problems in an interconnected world. The “transparency turn” in global environmental governance in particular is seen in a range of international agreements, voluntary disclosure initiatives, and public-private partnerships. This is the first book to investigate whether transparency in global environmental governance is in fact a broadly transformative force or plays a more limited, instrumental role. After three conceptual, context-setting chapters, the book examines ten specific and diverse instances of “governance by disclosure.” These include state-led mandatory disclosure initiatives that rely on such tools as prior informed consent and monitoring, measuring, reporting and verification; and private (or private-public), largely voluntary efforts that include such corporate transparency initiatives as the Carbon Disclosure Project and such certification schemes as the Forest Stewardship Council. The cases, which focus on issue areas including climate change, biodiversity, biotechnology, natural resource exploitation, and chemicals, demonstrate that although transparency is ubiquitous, its effects are limited and often specific to particular contexts. The book explores in what circumstances transparency can offer the possibility of a new emancipatory politics in global environmental governance.
Chapter
This chapter focuses on the politics of measuring, reporting and verification systems (MRV) underpinning the REDD+ mechanism now being negotiated within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and the enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries) is a mechanism by which industrialized countries can compensate developing countries for reducing their forest carbon emissions. The authors, Aarti Gupta, Marjanneke Vijge, Esther Turnhout and Till Pistorius, analyze global negotiations around the scope and practices of REDD+ MRV systems, arguing that what should be measured, reported and verified, how, and by whom, are fundamentally political questions, although they are often portrayed as solely technical. This chapter pinpoints the role of transparency as a contested means to assess and reward environmental performance, in a broader context wherein forest carbon is becoming a valorizable yet unevenly distributed global commodity.
Article
This article reviews critical social science analyses of carbon accounting and monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) systems associated with reducing emissions from deforestation, forest degradation and conservation, sustainable use and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+). REDD+ MRV systems are often portrayed as technical. In questioning such a framing, we draw on perspectives from science and technology and governmentality studies to assess how MRV systems may exercise disciplinary power (through standardization, simplification and erasing the local) but also mobilize counter-expertise, produce resistance and thus have necessarily contingent effects. In doing so, we advance the concept of 'carbon accountability' to denote both how forest carbon is accounted for in REDD+ and the need to hold to account those who are doing so.
Article
This paper conceptualizes the REDD+ policy framework as the world's largest experiment in Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES). REDD+ promotes the commodification of ecosystems' carbon storage and sequestration functions on a global scale and it is consistent with market-based conservation approaches and the 'neoliberalization of nature'. REDD+ is therefore problematized on the grounds that, first, eases a transition from an ethically informed conservation ethos to a utilitarian one that simplifies nature and undermines socio-ecological resilience; second, relies on a single valuation language that may crowd-out conservation motivations in the short and long term; and, last, is sustained on a 'multiple-win' discourse that in practice lacks procedural legitimacy in many developing countries and reproduces existing inequities and forms of social exclusion. The argument is developed drawing on PES literature and insights from critical theorists and practitioners of nature conservation.
Article
This study assesses the effectiveness of two types information disclosure programs – state-based mandatory carbon reporting programs and the voluntary Carbon Disclosure Project, which uses investor pressure to push firms to disclose carbon emissions and carbon management strategies. I match firms in each program to control groups of firms that have not participated in each program. Using panel data methods and a difference in differences specification, I measure the impact of each program on plant-level carbon emissions, plant-level carbon intensity, and plant level output. I find that neither program has generated an impact on plant-level carbon emissions, emissions intensity, or output. Placing this study in contrast with others that demonstrate improvements from mandatory information disclosure, these results suggest that how information is reported to stakeholders has important implications for program effectiveness.
Article
During the 1990s, increasing transparency emerged as a key objective of those attempting to design the structures of contemporary global governance, touted as "the solution to everything from international financial crises to arms races to street crime".2 A wide array of social forces, non-governmental organisations, state and inter-state agencies have invoked the ideal of transparency in the making of the various structures of global governance. Transparency has featured in competing normative visions of global governance, taking on a range of contested meanings in differing contexts. Inquiry into the drive for increased transparency offers, then, a useful vantage point from which to consider the political processes associated with the making of the structures of contemporary global governance. This paper traces and accounts for the drive for increased transparency as it has been felt in global environmental governance (GEG). Scholars in International Studies (IS) concerned with GEG cast transparency as a norm that has become significant in transforming state behaviour. Increased transparency with regard to states' environmental performance assists in the implementation of inter-state environmental treaties. It is the contention of this paper that such a representation of the rise of transparency in GEG is at best narrow and partial and, at worst, misleading. The impact of transparency in GEG is not as clear as the existing research would suggest. Transparency has become significant not simply in terms of implementing inter-state environmental treaties, but is coming to permeate the structure of environmental governance in a broader and more pervasive manner. Transparency tends to prompt a belief in the desirability of a release of information concerning the environmental performance of institutionalised practices across both state and market institutions. Inquiry into this broader drive for transparency serves to illuminate important contested processes of change currently underway in the making of GEG.
Article
In recent years, the number of transnational climate change governance arrangements has increased. Transnational corporations in partnership with governments, intergovernmental organizations, and non-governmental actors have established a variety of schemes that aim to govern the global climate arena. This article argues that while the effectiveness of transnational climate governance arrangements in reducing greenhouse gas emissions is hard to measure, the question of the legitimacy of these arrangements should receive greater attention. To assess the legitimacy of transnational climate governance arrangements, we analyse (1) their inclusiveness and openness, (2) their accountability and transparency mechanisms, and (3) their discursiveness. We address these questions with regard to three transnational climate governance arrangements that have gained relevance in climate governance over the last years: the Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership, the Carbon Disclosure Project, and the Chicago Climate Exchange. We conclude that even though at present most transnational schemes lack either proper legitimacy, accountability, or transparency, such schemes have placed a number of responsibilities on corporations, which in the long run could lead to behavioural change and contribute to successful global climate change governance.
Article
The last two years have witnessed a flurry of diplomatic activity on climate change. In addition to the 16 weeks of scheduled inter-governmental negotiations under the auspices of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC), meetings, many at a Ministerial level, were convened by the G-8, the Major Economies Forum, the UN Secretary General, and Denmark, the host of the 15th Conference of Parties (COP-15) to the FCCC. Notwithstanding regular and intense engagement at the highest-level many fundamental disagreements remained in the lead up to COP-15, including on the future (or lack thereof) of the Kyoto Protocol, the legal form and architecture of the future legal regime, and the nature and extent of differential treatment between developed and developing countries.
Article
Transparency is a highly regarded value, a precept used for ideological purposes, and a subject of academic study. The following critical analysis attempts to show that transparency is overvalued. Moreover, its ideological usages cannot be justified, because a social science analysis shows that transparency cannot fulfill the functions its advocates assign to it, although it can play a limited role in their service. We shall see that in assessing transparency, one must take into account a continuum composed of the order of disutility and the level of information costs. The higher the score on both variables, the less useful transparency is. Moreover, these scores need not be particularly high to greatly limit the extent to which the public can rely on transparency for most purposes.
Article
This article examines the governance of international carbon offsets, analyzing the political economy of the origins and governance of offsets. We examine how the governance structures of the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism and unregulated voluntary carbon offsets differ in regulation and in complexity of the chain that links consumers and reducers of carbon, with specific consequences for carbon reductions, development, and the ability to provide “accumulation by decarbonization.” We show how carbon offsets represent capital-accumulation strategies that devolve governance over the atmosphere to supranational and nonstate actors and to the market.
Article
Within the context of broader debates on the potential of more open, inclusive and deliberative approaches to decision-making, this paper examines the influence that enhanced access to environmental information has had on the governance of industry in the UK. After considering the extent to which information on emissions from industrial sites is practicably accessible to stakeholders, it examines the strategies that the different actors have adopted as a response to the provision of enhanced access to environmental information. In so doing, it highlights the pros and cons of greater transparency and more open engagement from the perspective of regulators, industry, community and pressure groups. It then assesses the impacts of access to information, both on the governance networks through which the different actors interact in an attempt to influence the emissions of the chemicals sector and on the environmental outcomes associated with these networks. It concludes that the provision of access to information has been associated with the emergence of new forms of engagement between regulators, industry and stakeholder groups and that this has coincided with (but has not been the main cause of) dramatic improvements in the environmental performance of the associated firms. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
Article
Regulatory transparency-mandatory disclosure of information by private or public institutions with a regulatory intent-has become an important frontier of government innovation. This paper assesses the effectiveness of such transparency systems by examining the design and impact of financial disclosure, nutritional labeling, workplace hazard communication, and five other diverse systems in the United States. We argue that transparency policies are effective only when the information they produce becomes “embedded” in the everyday decision-making routines of information users and information disclosers. This double-sided embeddedness is the most important condition for transparency systems' effectiveness. Based on detailed case analyses, we evaluate the user and discloser embeddedness of the eight major transparency policies. We then draw on a comprehensive inventory of prior studies of regulatory effectiveness to assess whether predictions about effectiveness based on characteristics of embeddedness are consistent with those evaluations. © 2006 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management
Article
This article examines the potential effectiveness of socially responsible investment (SRI) and investor environmentalism through carbon disclosure in terms of their key goal of creating real financial incentives, through share price performance, for firms to pursue climate change mitigation. It does so by theoretically assessing the two main assumptions which underpin investor environmentalism as promoted by SRI funds and NGOs such as the Carbon Disclosure Project: those concerning the power of institutional investors, and the "“business case"” for climate change mitigation. In doing so, it argues that the potential of using institutional investors to create real financial incentives for climate change mitigation, in the form of share price performance, has been considerably overestimated and that there is not even a strong theoretical case for why carbon disclosure should work in this regard. This is argued based on the structural constraints faced by most institutional investors, as well as the fundamentally incorrect assumption about climate change, that it is a form of market failure, which theoretically underpins these initiatives. (c)© 2011 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Article
This introductory article draws on the contributions to this special issue to consider the implications of a transparency turn in global environmental and sustainability governance. Three interrelated aspects are addressed: why transparency now? How is transparency being institutionalized? And what effects does it have? In analyzing the spread of transparency in governance, the article highlights the broader (contested) normative context that shapes both its embrace by various actors and its institutionalization. I argue that the effects of transparency-whether it informs, empowers or improves environmental performance-remain uneven, with transparency falling short of meeting the ends many anticipate from it. Nonetheless, as the contributions to this issue make clear, transparency has indeed come of age as a defining feature of our current and future politics. (c) 2010 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Article
Despite great advances in carbon cycle research during the past decade the climatic impact of terrestrial ecosystems is still highly uncertain. Although contemporary studies suggest that the terrestrial biosphere has acted as a net sink to atmospheric carbon during the past two decades, the future role of terrestrial carbon pools is most difficult to foresee. When land use change and forestry activities were included into the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, the requirements for scientific precision increased significantly. At the same time the political expectations of carbon sequestration as climate mitigation strategy added uncertainties of a social kind to the study of land-atmosphere carbon exchange that have been difficult to address by conventional scientific methods. In this paper I explore how the failure to take into account the effects of direct human activity in scientific projections of future terrestrial carbon storage has resulted in a simplified appreciation of the risks embedded in a global carbon sequestration scheme. I argue that the social limits to scientific analysis must be addressed in order to accommodate these risks in future climate governance and to enable continued scientific authority in the international climate regime.