Round Table: Federalism and Climate Change

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The climate crisis is increasingly evident and, as highlighted by scientists, the window of opportunity for addressing the causes of climate change and limiting the increase of global temperature to 1.5°C is rapidly closing (IPCC 2023).

Addressing the climate crisis is also a matter of sound governance. Climate change “is the epitome of a multilevel governance challenge” (Brown 2012, 17): objectives and framework rules are decided at the international level, yet their implementation requires that measures are adopted at different levels of government, including the subnational and local levels.

In this context, governance structures, processes, and institutions play an important role in efforts to abate GHG emissions (mitigation) and prepare for the inevitable changes prompted by global warming (adaptation). Examining the role that federal and decentralized governance structures can play in creating conditions in which climate change can be addressed in an effective way is of vital importance. The crucial issue is not which level of government has the competence to regulate matters related to climate change or how to divide competences. Instead, it is more important to explore how the different levels of government responsible for addressing, directly or indirectly, different aspects of climate protection can collaborate with one another to implement global climate targets, and how policy-making and implementation in policy fields related to climate protection can be regulated in a way that is consistent with the global objectives of climate protection.


Prof. Monica Di Gregorio - Associate Professor of Environmental Politics and Governance, University of Leeds, UK

Prof. Peter Bußjäger - Professor at the Department of Public Law, State and Administrative Sciences, University of Innsbruck and Director of the Institut für Föderalismus, Austria

Dr. Carsten Sieling - Member of the Board of Directors, Forum of Federations


Dr. Federica Cittadino - Senior Researcher focusing on environmental participation and biodiversity protection, Institute for Comparative Federalism, Eurac Research

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