9 Global Governance 385 (2003)
Climate Govenance beyond the State

handle is hein.journals/glogo9 and id is 395 raw text is: Global Governance 9 (2003), 385-399

Climate Governance
Beyond the State
Sverker C. Jagers and Johannes Stripple
hen the new Bush administration, announced in March 2001
that the United States would abandon the 1997 Kyoto protocol,
governments, media, and environmental organizations all
launched major protests. The statement by John Prescott (UK deputy
prime minister) that the Kyoto protocol is the only game in town was
significant for these protests.' It is, however, only in a very limited sense
that the Kyoto protocol, or the UN Framework Convention on Climate
Change, can be conceived of as the only game in town.
In this article, we maintain that both the will and the capacity to
govern the atmosphere is diffused among several governors. Our
understanding of climate governance is derived from more general
approaches to global governance, leading us to suggest that global cli-
mate governance should refer to all purposeful mechanisms and meas-
ures aimed at steering social systems toward preventing, mitigating, or
adapting to the risks posed by climate change. Proceeding from such a
conception, global (climate) governance must not be performed by
states only; it is also a matter for other authorities-for example, non-
governmental organizations and epistemic communities. In line with
this reasoning, we argue that private authority is an important form of
climate governance and that several of the climate-related measures
taken by the insurance industry ought to be viewed as instances of
global climate governance. Further, the emergence of the insurance
industry in climate politics raises questions not just about the efficiency
and equity of governance necessary for mitigating climate change, but
also about the much less debated governance required for adapting to
climate change.
Defining Global (Climate) Governance
The absorptive capacity of the atmosphere is a limited resource in the
sense that the quantity and physical quality of emissions is a matter of


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