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Greening Governance Seminar Series: Winners and Losers in a Warming World: The Political Economy of Climate Action

Why do some climate policies work in one country but fail in another? WRI’s experts explain the political economy of climate action: factors that shape behavior, power dynamics in decision-making and more.

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About The Event

As global temperatures rise and unprecedented droughts intensify, pressure is mounting on countries to move beyond making climate commitments to translating their pledges into effective action. But achieving the Paris Agreement will require more than technological breakthroughs, like new carbon capture and storage innovations, drought resistant crops and geoengineering. Governments must also tackle daunting political challenges: navigating powerful, competing interests to pass binding legislation, strengthening public institutions’ capacity to implement these policies, directing scarce resources towards mitigation and adaptation programs, as well as shoring up broad-based political support to sustain ambitious climate action across election cycles.

But what obstacles stand in the way of policymakers? What factors drive political behavior and enable successful implementation of climate policies? Who has vested interest in maintaining the status quo, and who has the power to influence decision-making?

Join experts from WRI’s Climate Program and Governance Center for a conversation on the political economy of climate action. Together, they will draw on real-world examples, from Kenya to Bangladesh, to identify potential coalitions for reform, sources of opposition, as well as laws and institutions that can help accelerate progress towards limiting warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius.


Mark RobinsonGlobal Director, Governance, World Resources Institute

Eliza Northrop, Associate II, International Climate Initiative, World Resources Institute

Jesse Worker, Associate II, Environmental Democracy Practice, World Resources Institute

Juan-Carlos Altamirano, Economist, World Resources Institute

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About the Series

WRI's Greening Governance Seminar Series bridges the divide between the governance and environmental communities to identify solutions that benefit people and the planet.

  • Why do some environmental policies succeed in one country but fail in another?
  • What will it take to transform the Paris Agreement’s ambitious commitments into actionable policies?
  • How can decision-makers engage a range of stakeholders, from average citizens to Fortune 500 companies, to build support for policies that protect natural resources and the communities that depend on them?
  • How can governments sustain this environmental action across election cycles?

Many of the answers to these questions are, at heart, issues of governance.

Increasing public participation in environmental decision-making can deepen civil society’s commitment to climate change mitigation and yield more equitable, effective policies. Enhancing government transparency equips communities with the information that they need to engage in these policy-making processes. Strengthening accountability frameworks helps ensure that governments make progress on their Paris Agreement emissions reduction targets. In short, good governance can improve climate and environmental outcomes.

Yet the governance and climate communities continue to work in silos, conducting research and implementing programs that remain largely divorced from one another.

WRI’s Greening Governance Seminar Series seeks to bridge this divide by bringing together leading experts from both fields to discuss the intersection of their work, the most pressing environmental governance issues at hand, and solutions that benefit people and the planet.

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