The climate secretariat: making a living in a straitjacket

Busch, Per-Olof 2009: The climate secretariat: making a living in a straitjacket. In: Biermann, Frank and Bernd Siebenhüner (eds.): Managers of global change: the influence of international environmental bureaucracies. Cambridge, Mass.: Cambridge University Press, 245-264.

In response to growing scientific evidence that anthropogenic activities are interfering with the climate system, governments adopted the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992. The mission of the UNFCCC is to minimize atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions that would prevent climate change driven by anthropogenic factors. The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997 and the Marrakech Accords was ratified four years later. This chapter examines how the UNFCCC secretariat, a single-issue bureaucracy, has supported states in the negotiation and implementation of the climate regime, whether it has autonomous influence, and what explains its influence. After providing an overview of the climate secretariat’s organizational structure and activities, the chapter analyzes its cognitive, normative, and executive influences. It also discusses the secretariat’s resources, competences, and embeddedness, along with its organizational expertise, organizational culture, and organizational leadership.