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Civil Society and Global Environmental Governance: Institutional Innovations and Issues
Kenneth W. Abbott, Ken.Abbott@asu.edu Arizona State University Prepared for: Workshop on International Environmental Governance: Grounding Policy Reform in Rigorous Analysis, Berne, 26-28 June 2011

Civil societys role in environmental governance has changed dramatically over recent decades. Its best-known role is environmental advocacy: the governance literature has long focused on techniques by which civil society organizations (CSOs) influence international organizations (IOs), states and international negotiations (Keck & Sikkink 1998; Finnemore & Sikkink 1998; Risse, Ropp & Sikkink 1999; Risse 2002; Price 2003). In addition, environmental governance has long been recognized for its participatory revolution (Raustiala 1997), allowing CSOs to participate in global conferences and in IO meetings and activities (Charnovitz 1996-97; Betsill & Corell 2001). This short paper highlights three recent developments based on my research, partially in collaboration with Duncan Snidal: (1) CSOs have become environmental protagonists as well as proponents, adopting norms, providing funding and carrying out other governance tasks; (2) some IOs, notably UNEP, now seek to enhance their performance by supporting the governance activities of private institutions, a process we call orchestration; and (3) arrangements for CSO participation have become more extensive and representative, yet they remain consultative, in contrast to the field of global health, where direct participation in decision-making has become common. 1. CSO as protagonists An explosion of private and other transnational institutions (e.g., involving sub-state agencies) is reshaping governance in many areas, including environmental protection, global health, labor and human rights (Abbott & Snidal 2009, 2010). To illustrate, I attach a figure we call the Governance Triangle, which depicts nearly 70 transnational organizations working to address climate change; the Triangle presents these schemes in terms of the actors that create and govern them (Abbott 2011). The Triangle shows a remarkable level of activity, especially by CSOs, sub-state agencies, and public-private and private-private partnerships. Yet almost all such organizations have been formed since 1990. Transnational institutions engage in core governance functions. The Triangle denotes the principal activity of each scheme by color-coding. Schemes in red primarily engage in rule- making, with most adopting rules either for projects generating offset credits for voluntary carbon markets or for GHG emissions measurement and disclosure. Schemes in orange engage in concrete operations, such as pilot projects and training. Schemes in blue finance climate

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change projects. And schemes in green are forums for information-sharing. All four functions are carried out by diverse institutions and actors, singly and in combination. Transnational institutions bring the capabilities and resources of private actors into environmental governance. They introduce experimentation, innovation and learning (Dorf and Sabel 1998), enhance civil society participation, and reduce the risk of capture. They can create valuable synergies with public governance. Yet the explosion of transnational schemes makes environmental governance even more fragmented and decentralized than usually appreciated. 2. Orchestration Scholars and policy-makers assessing environmental governance frequently focus on traditional, state-centered governance; when weaknesses are observed, they often focus on adding or strengthening traditional structures and authorities, e.g., creating a specialized agency for the environment. To be sure, scholars have devoted increasing attention to partnerships and other forms of private governance. Yet this research has had limited impact on official deliberations, including current policy debates. In practice, however, some IOs, including UNEP, engage actively with transnational organizations in a practice we call orchestration. In orchestration, an IO mobilizes and works with private actors and institutions to achieve its policy goals: e.g., by building private capacities; catalyzing formation of private schemes; convening, facilitating and participating in collaborative arrangements; providing material and ideational support; and endorsing high- quality schemes. Effective orchestration can ameliorate the inadequacies of state-centric governance and the fragmentation of transnational governance. UNEP collaborates extensively with CSOs, business groups and governance schemes they operate. It helped organize collaborations such as the Principles for Responsible Investment, the Global Compact and its offshoots, and the Finance Initiative. It participates in some of these schemes on an ongoing basis, maintaining leverage to influence their standards and structures. It co-founded the Global Reporting Initiative, has endorsed, promoted and supported it, and participates in its governance. UNEP also promotes company codes, benchmarks corporate reports, and sponsors dialogues with business associations. It is undeniably important to reform the traditional structures of environmental governance: formal IOs such as UNEP and the CSD, MEAs, and other state-centered arrangements. Yet it is also important to recognize the potential impact, for a host of environmental and sustainable development issues, of engagement with private and public-private institutions across the Governance Triangle. Especially where private behavior is the ultimate target of policy, our analysis suggests that reformers should devote much greater attention to enhancing IO engagement with private transnational organizations. 3. Civil society participation Environmental challenges have catalyzed major innovations in global governance, transforming relationships between private actors and international institutions. These relationships are 2

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continuing to evolve in productive, even dramatic ways. Yet CSO involvement in environmental institutions still follows an external, consultative model. In other fields, notably global health, a new norm of direct participation is developing (Abbott & Gartner 2011). UNEP was created just as the norm of CSO participation was emerging; as a result, it initially followed the narrow UN observer model. Since Rio, however, UNEP has developed more extensive forms of civil society consultation. CSD was likewise created as an inter- governmental body with CSO observers, but the General Assembly called for extensive informal consultations with CSOs. Following the Earth Summit +5, CSD enhanced its interactions with major groups (MGs), pioneering multi-stakeholder dialogues, a highly innovative consultative mechanism. After the 2002 World Summit, CSD expanded MG participation to a variety of additional interactions: official sessions of the CSD aim to be as interactive as possible. The Bureau traditionally includes major groups in every segment of the Organization of Work (except the opening of the High-level Segment and during formal negotiations in the Policy Year). The latter phrase, however, excludes MGs from actual decision-making. MG involvement increasingly involves representative procedures. MGs are viewed as constituencies, and the preparation of multi-stakeholder participation within the CSD is itself a multi-stakeholder process. The CSD invites key networks from each MG to serve as organizing partners (OPs), which coordinate selection of sector representatives for CSD meetings and facilitate sector participation. GEF has adopted even more elaborate processes. During GEFs pilot phase, participating states organized CSO consultations prior to their meetings and allowed some NGOs to speak. Once independent, GEF systematized these arrangements. It formed the NGO Network of accredited organizations, from which CSO representatives were selected. A Coordination Committee of elected Regional Focal Points governs the Network. A 2005 review found, however, that the Network lacked capacity for representation and participation. This led the Network to adopt a long-term strategy, improve Focal Point elections, and increase indigenous peoples representation, all with GEF support. GEF then ended the accreditation requirement, allowing the Network to select its members and representatives. GEF now provides three opportunities for CSOs to engage with its Council. An NGO Preparatory Meeting and a GEF-NGO Consultation are held before each Council session; 10 NGO representatives are authorized to attend the session as observers (five at one time). The World Banks Climate Investment Funds (CIF) asked IUCN to recommend arrangements for CSO participation (IUCN 2009). IUCN studied the role of civil society in several IOs, and determined that, in the short term, best practices required that CSO representatives be active observers in all CIF Committees, with authority to request the floor to speak, request the chair to add items to the agenda, and recommend external experts to speak. As in GEF and CSD, observers should represent sectors of civil society, including communities directly affected by climate change. They should be chosen by an electoral process and speak on behalf of their sector, not their own organization. Measures to facilitate participation (such as pre-session meetings) should be adopted, a staff person should serve as liaison, and CIF should cover 3

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observers travel costs. CIF adopted almost all of these recommendations. Other environmental finance organizations, in contrast, have regressed. The Adaptation Fund (AF), notably, allows CSOs to participate in Board meetings only as accredited observers. While these developments, especially representative procedures, are important (and under- appreciated), a broader norm of direct participation has been developing in the field of global health. This process began with the creation of UNAIDS in 1995. In an unprecedented decision, ECOSOC provided for five CSOs to be members of the UNAIDS Coordinating Board, with three from developing countries. At least three delegates are people living with HIV. Yet CSOs do not participate in any part of the formal decision-making process, including the right to vote which is reserved for representatives of Governments. Since the 1990s, global health partnerships, most formed outside the UN system, have taken on central governance functions. One of the largest, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, designated seats on its Board, with a full role in decision-making, for private actors including the Gates Foundation, CSOs and the private sector; it later added seats for expert individuals. GAVI staff support CSO participation, and GAVI holds regular Partners Forums. The Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) is the strongest manifestation of the participatory norm. Its Board includes representatives of both Southern and Northern CSOs, the private sector and private foundations, as well as communities living with the target diseases. Voting rules give CSO members substantial influence. The Fund follows a constituency model: a focal point helps organize each sector and facilitates nomination and selection procedures. The Global Fund extends this model to the country level: funding proposals must be approved, and grants overseen, by a broadly representative, multi- stakeholder Country Coordinating Mechanism, including community organizations, people living with the diseases, faith based organizations, the private sector and academic institutions. Environmental institutions have led the participatory revolution, and their evolution toward representative processes has enhanced international democracy. The consultative model has provided expert input and engaged civil society in environmental governance. But the emerging direct participation model provides additional benefits, enhancing legitimacy, quality of deliberation, and governance effectiveness (Abbott & Gartner 2011). For similar reasons, in its report to CIF the IUCN recommended a move to direct participation over the longer term. Likewise, current debates on environmental governance reform should focus both on consolidating existing advances in civil society participation and on extending them to incorporate direct civil society participation.

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TABLE 1 TRANSNATIONAL SCHEMES SHOWN IN FIGURE 2 ZONE C40 C40 CITIES CLIMATE LEADERSHIP GROUP 1 CN CARBONN CITIES CLIMATE REGISTRY CSLF CARBON SEQUESTRATION LEADERSHIP FORUM EC ENERGY CITIES GMI GLOBAL METHANE INITIATIVE ICLEI ICLEI - LOCAL GOVERNMENTS FOR SUSTAINABILITY JREC JOHANNESBURG RENEWABLE ENERGY COALITION MEF MAJOR ECONOMIES FORUM ON ENERGY AND CLIMATE NEG/ECP CONFERENCE OF NEW ENGLAND GOVERNORS AND EASTERN CANADIAN PREMIERS NRG NETWORK OF REGIONAL GOVERNMENTS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT RGGI REGIONAL GREENHOUSE GAS INITIATIVE TCREG THE CLIMATE REGISTRY UBC UNION OF THE BALTIC CITIES WCIN WESTERN CLIMATE INITIATIVE WMC WORLD MAYORS COUNCIL ON CLIMATE CHANGE ZONE CMI CARBON MARKET INSTITUTE (INCORPORATING AETF) 2 [CCX] CHICAGO CLIMATE EXCHANGE [SUSPENDED VOLUNTARY MARKET DEC. 2010] CNP CARBONNEUTRAL PROTOCOL CW CLIMATEWISE E8 E8 IETA INTERNATIONAL EMISSIONS TRADING ASSOCIATION PC POINT CARBON VCS VERIFIED CARBON STANDARD WBCSD WORLD BUSINESS COUNCIL FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ZONE ACRN ASIAN CITIES CLIMATE CHANGE RESILIENCE NETWORK 3 ACREG AMERICAN CARBON REGISTRY CCBA CLIMATE, COMMUNITY AND BIODIVERSITY ALLIANCE CCI WILLIAM J. CLINTON FOUNDATION CLIMATE INITIATIVE CF CARBONFIX STANDARD CRAG CARBON RATIONING ACTION GROUPS CRED COMMUNITY CARBON REDUCTION PROGRAMME CTW CARBON TRADE WATCH GB GREEN BELT MOVEMENT GOLD THE GOLD STANDARD PEW PEW CENTER ON GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE RC RED CROSS/RED CRESCENT CLIMATE CENTRE SC SOCIALCARBON TRANS TRANSITION NETWORK (TRANSITION TOWNS) ZONE APP ASIA-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP ON CLEAN DEVELOPMENT AND CLIMATE 4 BCF BIOCARBON FUND C4C UN GLOBAL COMPACT CARING FOR CLIMATE 6

ABBOTT CBEEX CDCF CNNET CUD ISO PCF SCI TCG IIGCC ILACS INCR UNFIP BELC CC CDP CDSB CS CSC GPMD PROT CLAR CLASP CWORKS HSBC REEEP RSB

CHINA BEIJING ENVIRONMENTAL EXCHANGE (ALSO SHANGHAI, TIANJIN) COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CARBON FUND CLIMATE NEUTRAL NETWORK CONNECTED URBAN DEVELOPMENT ISO GHG ACCOUNTING STANDARDS 14064-14065 PROTOTYPE CARBON FUND SLIMCITY INITIATIVE THE CLIMATE GROUP INSTITUTIONAL INVESTORS GROUP ON CLIMATE CHANGE INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP ALLIANCE FOR CLIMATE STABILIZATION INVESTOR NETWORK ON CLIMATE RISK UN FUND FOR INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS BUSINESS ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP COUNCIL CLIMATE COUNTS CARBON DISCLOSURE PROJECT CLIMATE DISCLOSURE STANDARDS BOARD WWF CLIMATE SAVERS CLIMATE SAVERS COMPUTING INITIATIVE GREEN POWER MARKET DEVELOPMENT GROUP GREENHOUSE GAS PROTOCOL CLIMATE ACTION RESERVE COLLABORATIVE LABELING AND APPLIANCE STANDARDS PROGRAM CLIMATE WORKS FOUNDATION BEST PRACTICES NETWORKS HSBC CLIMATE PARTNERSHIP RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY PARTNERSHIP THE ROUNDTABLE ON SUSTAINABLE BIOFUELS

ZONE 5 ZONE 6

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SOURCES Abbott, Kenneth W. 2011. The Transnational Regime Conflict for Climate Change. Under review, available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1813198 Abbott, Kenneth W. & David Gartner. 2011. Innovations in Governance: Global Health vs. Global Environment. Draft available from authors. Abbott, Kenneth W. & Duncan Snidal. 2010. International Regulation without International Government: Improving IO Performance through Orchestration. Review of International Organizations 5:315 Abbott, Kenneth W. & Duncan Snidal. 2009. Strengthening International Regulation through Transnational New Governance: Overcoming the Orchestration Deficit. Vand. J. Transnatl L. 42 (2): 501-578 Betsill, Michele N. & Elisabeth Corell. (2001). NGO Influence in International Environmental Negotiations: A Framework for Analysis. Global Environmental Politics, 1(4): 65-85 Charnovitz, Steve. (1996-97). Two Centuries of Participation: NGOs and International Governance. Mich. J. Intl L., 18(1), 183-286. IUCN. 2009. Review of practices on NGO/CSO Participation and proposal for the CIF Committees. SCF/TFC.2/Inf.2, CTF/TFC.2/Inf.2. Available at http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTCC/Resources/Review_of_Practices_NGO- CSO_Particiaption_Final.pdf Keck, Margaret E. & Kathryn Sikkink. (1998). Activists Beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics . Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Finnemore, Martha & Kathryn Sikkink. (1998). International Norm Dynamics and Political Change. Intl Org. 52:887. Price, Richard. (2003). Transnational Civil Society and Advocacy in World Politics. World Politics, 55:579. Raustiala, Kal. The Participatory Revolution in International Environmental Law, 21 Harv. Envtl. L. Rev. 537 (1997) Risse, Thomas, Stephen C. Ropp, & Sikkink, Kathryn. (1999). The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Risse, Thomas. (2002). Transnational Actors and World Politics. In Walter Carlsnaes, Thomas Risse & Beth A. Simmons. (Eds.), Handbook of International Relations, 255-274. 8