2016 Berlin Conference on Global Environmental Change: Transformative Global Climate Governance “après Paris”
Berlin, 23.05.2016 until 24.05.2016
The German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
Environmental Policy Research Centre (FFU), Freie Universität Berlin
On 12 December 2015, the UN climate change conference in Paris adopted a new and universal global climate agreement that marks a watershed in international climate politics. Yet, how are we going to achieve its stated long-term goal of limiting global warming to “well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels”? How will the "Paris Agreement" affect the institutional landscape of global climate governance? Which substantive new priorities have emerged in the negotiation of the "Paris Agreement" and related decisions?
As pertinent questions revolving around global climate governance are here to stay, the 2016 Berlin Conference on Global Environmental Change invited scholars and practitioners to refocus their quest for answers in the light of the continuity and change that Paris will bring. It also aimed to discuss international climate policy and, indeed, politics in the larger context of global governance and the challenges of a transformation towards sustainable development in a turbulent world. In the course of two days, participants had the opportunity to put the Paris outcomes in perspective with a view to five overarching and interrelated themes:
- Transformation: pursuit of strategies to realize sustainable development globally, by going beyond "greening" business as usual and by a corresponding redistribution of relevant resources;
- Global Justice: provision of fairness and equity across temporal and spatial dimensions, particularly regarding greenhouse gas emissions, natural resources and finance;
- Coherence: understanding and managing trade-offs between climate policy, sustainable development, economic policies, transformative dynamics and the accompanying institutional complexities;
- Multilevel Capacity: harnessing global, transnational, regional, national and subnational capacities and contributions to avoid unmanageable global warming (i.e. mitigation) as well as responses to unavoidable climate change impacts (i.e. adaptation; loss & damage).
- Framing: identifying risks and opportunities for linking frameworks, discourses and institutions of climate governance with other global issues such as security, migration, trade, food security or land use.
The conference provided a space for the timely discussion of interdisciplinary transformation research that builds on institutionalist scholarship, social and cultural sciences, policy analysis, political philosophy as well as political economy approaches to climate governance. It seeked to facilitate exchange and to enhance transformative literacy.