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date: 18 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Limiting anthropogenic climate change is a commons or public goods problem, typically addressed with top-down approaches such as international treaties and national regulations or taxes. However, research shows that bottom-up institutions developed by resource users can prevent resource depletion over long periods, and it identifies design principles for such governance. This chapter explores the potential to slow climate change with nonstate institutions—what the authors call private environmental governance. The authors address such questions as: Why would private actors voluntarily create regimes that restrict their options? What kinds of organizations join these regimes, and with what motives and roles? How can informal, nongovernmental entities exercise real influence, absent the force of law? What are the strengths and limitations of private governance? Does private governance supplement or impede governmental and intergovernmental governance? How can private governance function at sufficiently large scale to meaningfully affect global greenhouse gas emissions? How can its effectiveness be increased?

Keywords: private governance, climate change mitigation, nongovernmental governance, transnational governance, private ordering, private politics, private regulation

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