Session Overview

Tracing Accountability through Global Environmental Governance: Hybrid Actors, Changing Power Dynamics?


Dr. Teresa Kramarz

Associate Prof. Susan Park


Prof. Lorraine Elliott, The Australian National University Professor

Associate Prof. Michael Mason, London School of Economics

Professor Philipp Pattberg, VU Amsterdam


Global environmental governance (GEG) is comprised of state and non-state actors that seek to stem environmental deterioration. This takes place at multiple scales through countless interactions between states, elites, bureaucrats, international civil servants, market actors and environmental non-government organisations. The focus of accountability has to date focused on how different actors are held to account for their actions in meeting environmental goals: states to their commitments in Multilateral Environmental Agreements, corporations and market actors to national laws and voluntary non-state certification and industry or product standards, environmental NGOs to their supporters and donors, their mission, and increasingly to the state for their accounting practices. This semi-plenary challenges this simplicity by detailing the evolution of hybrid governance through joint activities between state and non-state actors to reveal the often unclear and overlapping accountability relationships that result. When environmental NGOs take on policying roles of the state or when corporate actors seeks to meet MEA requirements such as those of the UNFCCC new accountability relationships are forged that require rethinking who is accountable to whom and for what, as well as determining the standards, procedures and sanctions for non-compliance. Within all of this, questions of power remain prominent. Despite the shift towards increasing transparency to better elucidate accountability in GEG new forms of disempowerment may yet arise. This semi-plenary unpacks how hybrid GEG can be held to account and how inequality manifests despite efforts to hold actors governing the global environment accountable.

October 10 @ 09:00


– 10:30

Palaestra – Övre

Lorraine Elliott, Michael Mason, Philipp Pattberg, Susan Park, Teresa Kramarz