chapter  5
20 Pages

The private governance of climate change

In this chapter, we focus on the increasingly important role of the private sector in the governance of climate change. As market and political actors in their own right, private sector organizations, and key industries in the energy and transport sectors in particular, have played a significant role in the evolution of the climate regime: providing expertise, lobbying governments and international institutions, and traditionally cautioning against strident action on the issue. More recently, however, many firms have come to see action on climate change as a potential opportunity rather than a threat. From emissions trading to the carbon offset market, from investments in technology to the use of a range of corporate social responsibility tools and investment strategies, financial and business actors now play a central role in the day-to-day governance of climate change. We explore how, as well as influencing traditional forms of state-led international governance, private actors have increasingly been constructing their own forms of governance, and the challenges this creates.