Antto Vihma, Leading Researcher at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, has been granted funding from the Academy of Finland for a joint research project on transparency in international climate governance by the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) and FIIA.

FIIA’s share of the funding is €279,810, totaling at €559,810 for the four-year project as a whole.

The project co-lead by Vihma and Harro van Asselt, a Professor of Climate Law and Policy at the UEF, offers multidisciplinary perspectives on the effects of transparency arrangements in the international climate regime. It is grounded on the notion that transparency, in the form of reporting by states and the review of reports by international bodies, can strengthen accountability and effectiveness in global governance.

“The international climate regime has more than 20 years of experience with reporting by states and the review of those reports by experts and other countries,” says Vihma. “Yet in-depth studies of how reporting and review has functioned, and how and with what effects it influences national governance, are lacking.”

“We aim to fill this gap and examine the extent to which the merits often ascribed to transparency – including its purported contribution to greater accountability and more effective governance – materialize in practice in the context of international climate governance.”

The project will combine legal analysis with political science research and feature in-depth case studies in the US, India, Ethiopia and Finland. It aims to shed light on the different effects of reporting and review for not only states but also for non-state actors and international organizations.  By doing so, the project also contributes to the transparency framework of the Paris Agreement.

“The functioning of the Paris Agreement is a litmus test for all of global governance. The project will provide insights into whether and how reporting and review can help ensure that the Paris Agreement’s catalytic model of governance achieves its ambitious objectives,” says Vihma.

For Vihma personally, the project means an opportunity to work on a topic he is passionate about with an exceptional team with some familiar faces.

”I’m much looking forward to working closely with a long-time friend and brilliant colleague, professor Harro van Asselt. It is also very inspiring to have a top-notch network working on the project, including University of Oxford (UK), Centre for Policy Research (India), and Wageningen University (The Netherlands).”

The Academy of Finland’s Research Council for Culture and Society announced the beneficiaries of grants worth a total of €29 million on Thursday 28 May. In total, 58 projects in the field of social sciences and humanities received funding.

See also: Antto Vihma’s The Politics of Climate Change project

Antto Vihma
Leading Researcher – Climate Change