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Views on alternative forums for effectively tackling climate change


This year (2015) marks the 21st formal anniversary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and in December a new climate treaty is expected to be reached. Yet, the UNFCCC has not been successful in setting the world on a path to meet a target to prevent temperatures rising by more than 2 °C above pre-industrial levels1. Meanwhile, other forums, such as the G20 and subnational forums, have increasingly become sites of climate change initiatives2,3,4,5,6. There has, however, so far been no systematic evaluation of what forums climate change policymakers and practitioners perceive to be needed to effectively tackle climate change. Drawing on survey data from two recent UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP), we show that there exists an overall preference for state-led, multilateral forums. However, preferences starkly diverge between respondents from different geographical regions and no clear alternative to the UNFCCC emerges. Our results highlight difficulties in coordinating global climate policy in a highly fragmented governance landscape.

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We would like to thank D. Bastviken, M. Fridahl, B-O. Linnér and H. Schroeder for valuable suggestions on a previous draft, colleagues in the International Negotiations Survey team who assisted in handing out surveys during COP 19 and COP 20, the Swedish Research Council, under grant award No. 421-2011-1862, and Formas, under grant award No. 2011-779.

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M.H. and N.N. jointly designed the study, developed the methodology, performed the analysis, and wrote the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Mattias Hjerpe.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Hjerpe, M., Nasiritousi, N. Views on alternative forums for effectively tackling climate change. Nature Clim Change 5, 864–867 (2015).

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