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Climate governance experiments have risen from the periphery of the global response to climate change to become a crucial component of the world’s efforts. A decentralized multilateral response is now in place in the Paris Agreements. Non and sub state climate activity both had a role in making that agreement possible and are now needed as a bulwark against likely U.S. actions to weaken or reverse global climate cooperation. Given this context, this talk addresses the political dynamics of climate governance experimentation in order to better assess its potential for catalyzing necessary transformation. I posit that decarbonization entails a different political logic than pursuing emissions reductions and that understanding the politics behind the emergence, spread, and scaling of decarbonization experiments can provide a means for grasping and even enhancing the world’s efforts to address the looming climate crisis.
Matthew Hoffmann is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto and at the University of Toronto, Scarborough. He is also Co-Director of the Environmental Governance Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Chair of the Board of Directors of Sustainability Co-Lab. Professor Hoffmann’s research and teaching interests include global governance, climate change politics, complexity theory, and international relations theory.
In addition to a number of articles and book chapters on climate politics, carbon markets, and global governance, he is the author of Climate Governance at the Crossroads: Experimenting with a Global Response after Kyoto (Oxford University Press 2011) and Ozone Depletion and Climate Change: Constructing a Global Response (SUNY Press 2005). He also is a co-author on a recent collaborative book Transnational Climate Change Governance (Cambridge University Press 2014). His current collaborative research project, funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, explores the development of Political Pathways to Decarbonization.
the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and the Individuals, Societies, Cultures and Health COST Action IS1309: Innovations in Climate Governance: Sources, Patterns and Effects (INOGOV), http://www.cost.eu/COST_Actions/isch/IS1309