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Special Issue "Climate Change Law, Policy and Governance for Sustainable Development"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Air, Climate Change and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Meinhard Doelle
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada
Interests: Climate change; Environmental law; International environmental law; Marine law; Energy law; Ocean governance

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

For the global community as well as regional, national and subnational jurisdictions around the world, climate change represents perhaps the greatest sustainability challenge of our time. Due to the complexity of the climate crisis, from mitigation to adaptation to loss and damage, it also represents an immense governance challenge. While the science is clear, and more and more cost-effective solutions are available, many jurisdictions continue to struggle in their effort to decarbonize and adapt, while others are thriving through this transition.

Among the governance challenges certainly are the complexity of the climate issue, the interdisciplinary nature of many of the solutions, the social and economic implications, the pace of change in our understanding of the problem and available solutions, the intra- and intergenerational distribution of the impacts, the many interests that are affected by action and inaction on this critical issue, and the disconnect between decision-makers and those affected. Governments are challenged to identify solutions that integrate economic, social and environmental benefits on their own, while stakeholders tend to combine efforts to solve the problem with the pursuit of self-interest.

This Special Issue invites contributions to explore these and other governance challenges faced by jurisdictions around the world. The goal of this Special Issue is to improve the understanding of the key challenges, and, where possible, to offer solutions that can help jurisdictions struggling with the decarbonization of their societies.

Prof. Dr. Meinhard Doelle
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Climate Change
  • Sustainability
  • Governance
  • Law and Policy
  • Decarbonization

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Communication
Governing Climate Engineering: A Proposal for Immediate Governance of Solar Radiation Management
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3954; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143954 - 20 Jul 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3496
Abstract
Solar radiation management (SRM) technologies would reflect a small amount of incoming solar radiation back into space before the radiation can warm the planet. Although SRM may emerge as a useful component of a global response to climate change, there is also good [...] Read more.
Solar radiation management (SRM) technologies would reflect a small amount of incoming solar radiation back into space before the radiation can warm the planet. Although SRM may emerge as a useful component of a global response to climate change, there is also good reason for caution. In June 2017, the Academic Working Group on Climate Engineering Governance released a policy report, “Governing Solar Radiation Management”, which developed a set of objectives to govern SRM in the near-term future: (1) keep mitigation and adaptation first; (2) thoroughly and transparently evaluate risks, burdens, and benefits; (3) enable responsible knowledge creation; and (4) ensure robust governance before any consideration of deployment. To advance the governance objectives identified above, the working group developed twelve recommendations, grouped into three clusters: (1) create politically legitimate deliberative bodies; (2) leverage existing institutions; and (3) make research transparent and accountable. This communication discusses the rationale behind each cluster and elaborates on a subset of the recommendations from each cluster. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Law, Policy and Governance for Sustainable Development)
Article
Governing Climate Finance in Fiji: Barriers, Complexity and Interconnectedness
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3414; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123414 - 21 Jun 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1624
Abstract
Pacific Island Countries are most vulnerable to the disastrous impacts of climate change; they also, however, manifest some of the most ambitious international climate commitments. Fiji, for one, has sought to respond to the escalating threat by setting highly ambitious climate mitigation targets, [...] Read more.
Pacific Island Countries are most vulnerable to the disastrous impacts of climate change; they also, however, manifest some of the most ambitious international climate commitments. Fiji, for one, has sought to respond to the escalating threat by setting highly ambitious climate mitigation targets, specifically in the energy sector. Finance is key to the realization of these goals: governors must attract and meaningfully invest vast sums to support these mitigation targets. This study, through qualitative, empirical, and inductive methods, found that a complex landscape of barriers stood between governors and the translation of finance into positive climate outcomes. The study categorized barriers into four different planes of deepening entrenchment: Level One barriers are the most tractable, whereas Level Four barriers are immovable. The study found that these barriers interrelate between levels, creating complex chains of entrenchment. A superficially tractable issue may be rendered less so by being rooted in a more entrenched issue. Empirically, this paper delineates the complex landscape of challenges, or ‘context’, that Fijian climate governors must understand in order to deliver effective governance solutions. Beyond this, this research offers a framework of broader application through which climate governors may conceptualize complex barriers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Law, Policy and Governance for Sustainable Development)
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Article
Governance Challenges in Addressing Climatic Concerns in Coastal Asia and Africa
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2148; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072148 - 10 Apr 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2370
Abstract
Coastal people, especially those living within deltaic areas, encounter major climatic concerns which affect their livelihoods. To cope with this problem, different types of planned adaptation strategies have been implemented guided by laws, policies and programs. However, these guiding documents sometimes fall short [...] Read more.
Coastal people, especially those living within deltaic areas, encounter major climatic concerns which affect their livelihoods. To cope with this problem, different types of planned adaptation strategies have been implemented guided by laws, policies and programs. However, these guiding documents sometimes fall short of addressing the needs of climate-affected people, especially in natural resource-dependent societies in Asia and Africa. Based on this premise, this paper sought to evaluate the effectiveness of existing policy documents which affect the lives of people living in one large delta (Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna in Bangladesh), two medium-sized deltas (Indian Bengal delta—part of the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Mahanadi in India), and a small-sized delta (Volta in Ghana). The study followed a mixed methods research design, which included desktop analyses of policies, laws and programs, a questionnaire survey conducted among individuals who played various roles in the policy and legal development processes at national and local levels and focus group discussions at the community level in the three countries. National laws, policies and programs were assessed in the context of climate change adaptation through three lenses: human rights, natural resource management and disaster response. Findings of this paper reveal that the existing documents have some strengths to promote adaptation, although they have some major limitations that cause concerns among the delta communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Law, Policy and Governance for Sustainable Development)
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Article
Energy Justice and Canada’s National Energy Board: A Critical Analysis of the Line 9 Pipeline Decision
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 783; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030783 - 02 Feb 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1936
Abstract
This paper investigates the values and priorities reflected in a Canadian pipeline review: The National Energy Board (NEB) decision on Line 9. Theories of energy justice guided analysis of evidence presented at NEB hearings, the NEB’s explanation of its decision, and a Supreme [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the values and priorities reflected in a Canadian pipeline review: The National Energy Board (NEB) decision on Line 9. Theories of energy justice guided analysis of evidence presented at NEB hearings, the NEB’s explanation of its decision, and a Supreme Court challenge. We find that several aspects of energy justice were weak in the NEB process. First, a project-specific scope obstructed the pursuit of equity within and between generations: the pipeline’s contributions to climate change, impacts of the oil sands, and cumulative encroachment on Indigenous lands were excluded from review. Second, the NEB created a hierarchy of knowledge: it considered evidence of potential spill impacts as hypothetical while accepting as fact the proponent’s claim that it could prevent and manage spills. Third, recognition of diversity remained elusive: Indigenous nations’ dissatisfaction with the process challenged the NEB’s interpretation of meaningful consultation and procedural fairness. To address the challenges of climate change and reconciliation between Indigenous and settler nations, it is crucial to identify which kinds of evidence decision-makers recognize as valid and which they exclude. Ideas from energy justice can help support actions to improve the public acceptability of energy decisions, as well as to foster greater Indigenous autonomy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Law, Policy and Governance for Sustainable Development)
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