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The role of the G20 in governing the climate change regime


  • Joy Kim


  • Suh-Yong Chung


A wide array of institutions governing climate change has proliferated over the past years, influencing the rule-makings of the regime. One of them is the G20. When G20 leaders around the world convened in London to restore global economies, they stressed the importance of a ‘resilient, sustainable, and green recovery’ and reaffirmed their commitments to address climate change. This was followed by their agreement on phasing out inefficient fossil fuel energy subsidies over the medium term in Pittsburgh. The ‘coexistence of narrow regimes in the same issue-area’ could be described as ‘regime complexes’, which enable countries to adapt more readily, particularly when adaptation requires complex changes in norms and behavior. Given that responses to climate change would require changes in the domestic politics of different countries at different levels, loosely integrated institutions of regime complexes could be more advantageous for countries to adapt and in engaging with developing countries. This paper demonstrates that the G20’s highly informal institutional setup as well as its flexible cooperation tools could enable its members to customize their policies and better engage with third-party countries. In addition, the G20 group could collectively influence other key countries to reach an agreement on some of the key climate change–related issues, thereby facilitating the United Nations process of climate change. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Joy Kim & Suh-Yong Chung, 2012. "The role of the G20 in governing the climate change regime," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 361-374, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ieaple:v:12:y:2012:i:4:p:361-374
    DOI: 10.1007/s10784-012-9173-2

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Barbier,Edward B., 2010. "A Global Green New Deal," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521763097, March.
    2. Barbier, Edward B., 2010. "Global governance: the G20 and a Global Green New Deal," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 4, pages 1-35.
    3. Busch, Marc L., 2007. "Overlapping Institutions, Forum Shopping, and Dispute Settlement in International Trade," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(04), pages 735-761, October.
    4. Frank Biermann & Philipp Pattberg & Harro van Asselt & Fariborz Zelli, 2009. "The Fragmentation of Global Governance Architectures: A Framework for Analysis," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 9(4), pages 14-40, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Escribano, Gonzalo, 2014. "Fragmentación y cooperación en la gobernanza energética global/Fragmentation and Cooperation in Global Energy Governance," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 32, pages 1021-1042, Septiembr.
    2. Katharina Rietig, 2014. "Reinforcement of multilevel governance dynamics: creating momentum for increasing ambitions in international climate negotiations," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 371-389, November.
    3. repec:bla:glopol:v:8:y:2017:i:3:p:285-293 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Climate change; Governance; G20; Environmental governance; Global governance;

    JEL classification:

    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General


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