Research Unit

Global Climate Governance

The Research Unit Global Climate Governance sees itself as a navigator of international governance processes and an architect of transformative solutions, developing integrated strategies and instruments at global level to advance the transformation to sustainability.

In order to stop climate change, global economic and social systems will have to be re-built and the transition to a renewable energy basis will have to be made as quickly as possible. The Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a long-term frame of reference for this complex task. Within this framework, the Research Unit team works on three main topic areas: governance, transformation and sustainability.

The team


The overarching objective of the Research Unit is to contribute to the development of adequate global climate governance that is oriented towards sustainability in a comprehensive sense. We envisage the role of global climate governance as that of a pacemaker that mobilises national governments and other actors and thereby induces policy and behaviour changes at all levels of multi-level governance. The Research Unit therefore develops proposals as to how global climate governance can best maximise this pacemaker function to promote the transformation to sustainability at all levels.

Profile: Research Unit Global Climate Governance
Thematic focus

Within this framework, the Research Unit team works on three main topic areas: governance, transformation and sustainability.

Governance: The Wuppertal Institute has observed and analysed the United Nations climate negotiations since 1995 and regularly summarises the state of the negotiations from an independent scientific perspective. The researchers provide in-depth advice to political institutions as well civil society and other actors working within the climate policy field. In addition, the team is familiar with national climate policy processes and the positions of individual countries in international climate politics worldwide.

Transformation: The team analyses and develops transformation strategies for a multitude of actors from a global perspective. The research relates not only to strategies for embarking on sustainable societal pathways, practices and technologies, it also incorporates a deliberate exit from unsustainable structures and practices and overcoming related path dependencies (phase-out, exnovation). The latter is becoming increasingly important in the sense of the equitable management of change processes (just transition).

Sustainability: Ambitious climate policy is only sustainable and feasible if it directly contributes to further aspects of sustainable development. The team therefore contributes to putting additional sustainability benefits, which international climate policy has often patronised as "co-benefits", front and centre as the "main benefits" of actions that are catalysed through climate policy.


Here you can find projects of the Research Unit:

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