This project will investigate how major geopolitical powers formulate transformative strategies for decarbonization and resilience to large-scale climate risk. The aim is to provide a better understanding of how geopolitical perceptions influence states’ responses to climate change, taking the multilateral and polycentric context as a starting point. This will show how and why geopolitical perceptions facilitate or hinder the societal decarbonization plans required to mitigate climate change in major emitter countries and the EU. The focus on the state is justified by the fact that contemporary environmental problems are of a scale and gravity that necessitate state action, both domestically and internationally although voluntary action to combat problems of environmental degradation is evident in some situations and under certain conditions, most scholars agree that to comprehensively address and correct the market failures that underpin the climate crisis will require the involvement of the state. States are embedded in global networks of multilateral environmental treaties, which call for large- scale transformative action by states, market actors, NGOs and citizens to achieve sustainability- related and environmental objectives.

The project will study the interface between international institutions and state capacities to respond to environmental challenges:  A PhD dissertation will empirically examine climate policy diffusion between the international, supranational and domestic levels, comparing states’ national determined contributions (NDCs) and decarbonization plans.

Project participants and contact: Karin Bäckstrand, Stockholm University together with one PhD student.