The Politics of Climate Change


The project investigates the current politicization of climate change on the global, European, and national level. It will run from 2020 to 2021.

First, the subtheme Global Politics of Climate Change offers timely and novel analysis on the most pressing collective action problems facing global governance. The focus is on the Paris Agreement, and especially its crucial component, transparency. How can the key provisions of the Paris Agreement be implemented in turbulent times, increasingly characterized by multipolar competition?

Second, the subtheme Politics of Europe’s Green Deal relates to the climate agenda of the new European Commission, where climate action has received paramount importance. Research will take stock of existing EU legal and policy governance mechanisms, the 2020 and 2030 Climate and Energy Frameworks, and assess the impact of new initiatives and policy measures introduced by the new Commission. The risk of a political backlash against the EGD is also investigated.

Third, a large-scale political trend casts a shadow over the implementation phase of the Paris Agreement and the EGD alike: The Politics of Authoritarian Populism and Climate Change. The evidence so far seems to suggest that authoritarian populism typically frames climate change as an elite agenda – and international agreements are perceived as a pet issue of the corrupt elite, at odds with the interests of “the people”. In Europe, populist parties communicate a broad range of skeptical attitudes towards scientific evidence on climate change, ranging from outright science denialism to strict climate nationalism.

The project Politics of Climate Change produces original academic research as well as timely policy briefs and seminars on these vitally important themes.

Research team: Dr Antto Vihma (lead), Dr Marco Siddi (deputy), Dr Emma Hakala (team member), Dr Jussi Lassila (team member).

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