The 21st century reveals ever more clearly the limitations facing national governments to achieve their international objectives unilaterally. Without visible leadership from governments, more attention is now focused on so-called bottom-up efforts – whether from individuals, business, cities or municipalities. Addressing complex global challenges in this context will require a fundamental re-think on strategies and capacities to act.

This project seeks to explore the capacities and strategies used by non-state actors to exert influence on the global climate agenda. The project focuses on four stakeholder groups: civil society, corporations, financial institutions and sub-national governments. The project will discuss the extent to which countries are influenced and supported by non-state actors, and what is the direct and indirect role of these actors in key international processes.  It will also seek to review the extent to which non-national state actors’ influence is received by international fora, such as the UNFCCC, the lessons we can learn from past experience, and what other approaches could be taken.