- Sylvia I. Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen (2)
- Marie K. Harder (1)
- Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen (1)
- Arthur L. Dahl (2)
- Åsa Persson (1)
- Edoardo Saccenti (1)
- Edwin Werf van der (1)
Accountability mechanisms in international climate change financing
Basak, Rishi ; Werf, Edwin van der - \ 2019
International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics 19 (2019)3. - ISSN 1567-9764 - p. 297 - 313.
Accountability - Civil society organisations - Climate finance - Green Climate Fund - Information asymmetry - Performance indicators - Principal–agent problem
This paper uses agency theory to analyse the incentives that a donor (principal) and recipient (agent) face as actors in an accountability regime for the financing of international climate change projects in developing countries. We address the following question: What accountability measures serve to align the incentives of the donor with those of the recipient in climate change financing? We focus on the relationship between the Green Climate Fund as a donor and one of its Accredited Entities as a recipient. We examine the consequences of misaligned incentives and asymmetric information, looking at a specific set of accountability measures, including performance indicators, penalties for poor performance, as well as the role of pressure exerted by civil society organisations (CSOs). We find that the use of imperfect performance indicators can reduce the risk of project failure if they are strongly correlated with adaptation and mitigation impacts. Penalties can have a positive impact on project outcomes, but impose risks upon the agent, which could lead him to refuse the contract for the implementation of the climate change project. The pressure of CSOs was found to have the potential to motivate donors and recipients to become more efficient and effective in their delivery of projects but could also lead to the donor choosing to finance lower-risk projects with fewer climate change benefits. We suggest that accountability requirements need to be carefully balanced with other objectives, including having a diverse set of entities willing to bid for the delivery of projects.
The emerging accountability regimes for the Sustainable Development Goals and policy integration : Friend or foe?
Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, Sylvia ; Dahl, Arthur L. ; Persson, Åsa - \ 2018
Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space 36 (2018)8. - ISSN 2399-6544 - p. 1371 - 1390.
Accountability - global - governance - integration - policy - sustainable development
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the full Agenda 2030 in which they are embedded are aspirational and intended to be both transformational and integrative in a number of ways. The need for integration across policy domains is stressed throughout the agenda. The Sustainable Development Goals are also accompanied by an emerging system for follow-up and review centered on a long list of indicators that are intended to enable countries to be accountable towards their citizens. There is, however, in the accountability literature indication that some accountability mechanisms can be counterproductive for integrative policies. This paper is centered around the question whether an accountability regime, and if so how, is compatible with a high degree of policy integration both conceptually and in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals. We approach this question through looking both at the literature on integrative governance and some of the central concepts it covers such as (environmental) policy integration and mainstreaming, and the accountability literature. This enables us to provide an analytical framework for evaluating the potential of the emerging accountability regimes for the Sustainable Development Goals to enhance more integrated policy making and action. We conclude that there are little or no strong hierarchical elements of accountability relationships at the global level which can be good news for more integrative policies – but only if there is a strong sense of shared responsibility among actors at all levels, available information on the types of behavioural efforts that support integration, and accountholders that take an active interest in integration. At the national level, there may be hierarchical accountability mechanisms with sanction possibilities that may discourage integration. Here, those who hold actors to account can counteract this if they have deeper understanding of the underlying interlinkages among the goals and targets, and based on this, engage in accountability mechanisms.
Entry into force and then? The Paris agreement and state accountability
Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, Sylvia I. ; Groff, Maja ; Tamás, Peter A. ; Dahl, Arthur L. ; Harder, Marie K. ; Hassall, Graham - \ 2018
Climate Policy 18 (2018)5. - ISSN 1469-3062 - p. 593 - 599.
Accountability - climate change policy - global governance - states - transparency
The entry into force of the Paris Agreement on climate change brings expectations that states will be held to account for their commitments. The article elaborates on why this is not a realistic assumption unless a broader multilevel perspective is taken on the nature of accountability regimes for international (legal) agreements. The formal accountability mechanisms of such agreements tend to be weak, and there are no indications that they will be stronger for the recent global goals adopted in the Paris Agreement. Looking beyond only peer review among states, national institutions, direct civil society engagement and internal government processes – while each coming with their own strengths and weaknesses – provide additional accountability pathways that together may do a better job. Scientific enquiry is, however, required to better understand, support and find improved mixtures of, and perhaps to move beyond, these accountability pathways. Policy relevance This perspective provides something of a clarion call for a variety of different types of actors at both global and national levels to engage in ensuring that states keep the promises they made in the Paris Agreement. It particularly highlights the importance of national institutions and civil society to step up to the task in the present world order, where states are reluctant to build strong accountability regimes at the global level.
Read all about it!? Public accountability, fragmented global climate governance and the media
Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, Sylvia I. ; Friberg, Lars ; Saccenti, Edoardo - \ 2017
Climate Policy 17 (2017)8. - ISSN 1469-3062 - p. 982 - 997.
Accountability - climate change - energy - fragmentation - global governance - media
This study is instructive for the media and civil society, who should both act as accountholders of governments with regard to how they act in global climate governance and its implementation. Reporting and commentaries need to reflect the overarching process, not only sporadic coverage of high-level meetings, but also critical analysis of what is achieved. They should also take a broader scope in terms of the kinds of meetings and processes in global governance that they cover. Civil society should encourage the media to increase coverage along these lines, e.g. by adequate monitoring of government actions (or lack thereof) and share this with the media.