Introduction: Climate governance across the globe: pioneers, leaders and followers

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  • Rüdiger Wurzel, University of Hull, United Kingdom
  • Mikael Skou Andersen
  • Paul Tobin, Manchester University, United Kingdom
Climate change remains one of the most pressing, if not the most pressing, medium-to-long-term global challenges, despite the emergence of multiple additional global crises, including the COVID-19 crisis, refugee crisis, and financial crisis. Environmental leaders and pioneers have long been identified as pivotal actors for solving or at least mitigating environmental problems at both the domestic and international governance levels. In this Introduction we explain the core analytical concepts used throughout this volume. We differentiate between leaders who usually intend to attract followers and pioneers for whom this is not the case. The Introduction distinguishes further between different types of leadership, namely structural, entrepreneurial, cognitive and exemplary. The 2015 Paris Agreement, which is based on a bottom-up approach and requests that states put forward voluntary national pledges in the form of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), has arguably increased further the importance of climate leaders and pioneers. The successful ratcheting up of ambitions and actions in international climate governance and domestic climate policy depends, however, not only on leaders and pioneers but also on followers which have remained under-researched in the existing literature. Followership and rapid policy learning from best practice are of central importance in multilevel and polycentric climate governance especially if, as postulated by the Paris Agreement, a bottom-up approach is adopted. Finally, the Introduction, which references individual chapters throughout, explains the structure of our edited volume.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationClimate governance across the globe: pioneers, leaders and followers
EditorsWurzel Rüdiger, Mikael Skou Andersen, Paul Tobin
PublisherRoutledge
ISBN (print)9780367434366
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 17 Jul 2020

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