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Policy coherence in climate governance in Caribbean Small Island Developing States


  • Scobie, Michelle


Climate governance in Small Island developing States (SIDS) is a pressing priority to preserve livelihoods, biodiversity and ecosystems for the next generations. Understanding the dynamics of climate change policy integration is becoming more crucial as we try to measure the success of environmental governance efforts and chart new goals for sustainable development. At the international level, climate change policy has evolved from single issue to integrated approaches towards achieving sustainable development. New actors, new mechanisms and institutions of governance with greater fragmentation in governance across sectors and levels (Biermann and Pattberg, 2008) make integration of policy in the area of climate change governance even more of a challenge today. What is the Caribbean reality regarding policy coherence in climate change governance? Are the same climate change policy coherence frameworks useful or indeed applicable for environmental governance in developing states more generally and for SIDS in particular? What are the best triggers to achieve successful climate change policy integration in environmental governance—especially as the complex interconnectivity of new actors, institutions and mechanisms make the process of integration even more challenging? What facilitates and what hampers climate policy integration in the regional Caribbean context? This article reviews the debates around policy coherence for climate change governance, creates a framework to test or measure policy coherence and examines how relevant this has been to regional climate change governance processes in Commonwealth Caribbean States. The study found that though at the regional level, there is substantial recognition of the importance of and mechanics involved in climate policy coherence, this has not translated to policy coherence at the regional and national levels. There is a large degree of fragmentation in the application of climate policy in each Caribbean Island with no mechanism to breach the gap. Silos in public environmental governance architectures, unwillingness to share data, insufficient political will; unsustainable project-based funding and lack of accountability among actors are the main challenges to climate policy coherence. The findings fill a gap in the literature on the elements of climate policy coherence from a SIDS perspective.

Suggested Citation

  • Scobie, Michelle, 2016. "Policy coherence in climate governance in Caribbean Small Island Developing States," Environmental Science & Policy, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 16-28.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enscpo:v:58:y:2016:i:c:p:16-28
    DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2015.12.008

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    Cited by:

    1. Michelle Scobie, 2018. "Accountability in climate change governance and Caribbean SIDS," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 769-787, April.
    2. Pittman, Jeremy & Armitage, Derek, 2019. "Network Governance of Land-Sea Social-Ecological Systems in the Lesser Antilles," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 61-70.
    3. Lesly Cassin & Paolo Melindi-Ghidi & Fabien Prieur, 2020. "Confronting climate change: Adaptation vs. migration strategies in Small Island Developing States," CEE-M Working Papers hal-02515116, CEE-M, Universtiy of Montpellier, CNRS, INRA, Montpellier SupAgro.
    4. Mercer, Nicholas & Sabau, Gabriela & Klinke, Andreas, 2017. "“Wind energy is not an issue for government”: Barriers to wind energy development in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 673-683.
    5. Andrés Pazmiño & Silvia Serrao-Neumann & Darryl Low Choy, 2018. "Towards Comprehensive Policy Integration for the Sustainability of Small Islands: A Landscape-Scale Planning Approach for the Galápagos Islands," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(4), pages 1-29, April.


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