International cooperative initiatives and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Fatemeh Bakhtiari*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    International cooperative initiatives (ICIs) are multi-country, multi-actor non-state actions that have the potential to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The article summarizes the literature on estimates of emission reduction potentials attributed to ICIs. This summary highlights three key issues: there is a plethora of uncoordinated initiatives, often lacking specific, time-bound goals; to a greater or lesser extent most initiatives overlap with the activities conducted under the aegis of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); and few initiatives have set up transparent performance monitoring and reporting mechanisms. The article concludes with two considerations. Firstly, it advocates for the United Nations Environment Programme as one entity that could bring much-needed coordination among ICIs, and between ICIs and national government-led efforts to mitigate climate change. Secondly, it echoes calls for the initiatives to both adopt transparent monitoring, reporting and verification mechanisms, and ensure that their activities are cost-effective with regard to climate change mitigation. Finally, the article outlines the key issues that will need to be addressed to achieve these goals.
    Key policy insights
    •The emission reductions potential of international cooperative initiatives appears to be limited, which would question some of the rational for promoting them.
    •The extent to which international cooperative initiatives overlap with emission reduction efforts under the UNFCCC is uncertain, but believed to be quite large.
    •The UNFCCC is arguably ill suited to coordinate and strengthen the accountability of international cooperative initiatives.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalClimate Policy
    Issue number5
    Pages (from-to)655-663
    Number of pages9
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • Accountability
    • Climate change mitigation
    • Governance
    • International cooperative initiatives

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