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Assessing sectoral climate governance gaps and policy options


Global climate policy has so far strongly focused on economy-wide emissions. However, mitigation opportunities and barriers vary strongly from sector to sector. Taking these sectoral differences into account would allow global governance and international cooperation to identify the most promising route of action. 

This report by Sebastian Oberthür, Simon Otto, Adrián Vidal, Catherine Hall, Chun Xia, Dirk-Jan Van de Ven, Harro van Asselt, María José Sanz, Nicolas Kreibich, Silvestre García de Jalón, and Wolfgang Obergassel assesses sectoral governance gaps and potentials across four hard-to-abate sectors. The four sectors are Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Use (AFOLU), energy-intensive industry, buildings, and transport. The sectoral analyses build on a common research framework that identifies six functions that international governance can perform to help solve problems such as climate change: 
(1) guidance and signalling; 
(2) setting rules to facilitate collective action; 
(3) transparency and accountability; 
(4) means of implementation; 
(5) knowledge diffusion and learning; and, 
(6) orchestration and coordination.

By applying this framework, the four selected governance analyses 
(1) take stock of the existing activities of international institutions (mapped against the various governance functions), and 
(2) identify areas where sectoral agreements and coalitions could help realise transformational pathways. 

To assess options for advancing sectoral climate governance, we apply a common set of broad assessment criteria for all case studies, including 
(a) membership of the institution; 
(b) institutional strength and capacity; 
(c) legitimacy and authority; and 
(d) political feasibility. 

On this basis, we identify and assess different options to close existing governance gaps, such as 
(1) reforming one or more existing institutions, or 
(2) creating a new institution.