Institutional complexity and private authority in global climate governance: The cases of climate engineering, REDD+, and short-lived climate pollutants

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


How and why do institutional architectures, and the roles of private institutions therein, differ across separate areas of climate governance? Here, institutional complexity is explained in terms of the problem-structural characteristics of an issue area and the associated demand for, and supply of, private authority. These characteristics can help explain the degree of centrality of intergovernmental institutions, as well as the distribution of governance functions between these and private governance institutions. This framework is applied to three emerging areas of climate governance: reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+), short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), and climate engineering. Conflicts over means and values, as well as over relatively and absolutely assessed goods, lead to considerable variations in the emergence and roles of private institutions across these three cases.


External organisations
  • University of Eastern Finland
  • Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • complexity, Climate change, REDD+, Geoengineering, pollutants, International organisation, Institutional Teory, Climate governance, institutional analysis, fragmentation, global governance, Sustainable development
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Politics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

To cite this article: Fariborz Zelli, Ina Möller & Harro van Asselt (2017) Institutional complexity and private authority in global climate governance: the cases of climate engineering, REDD+ and short-lived climate pollutants, Environmental Politics, 26:4, 669-693, DOI: 10.1080/09644016.2017.1319020

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Ina Möller, 2019 May 10, Lund: Lund University. 210 p.

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