Non-State Governance and Climate Policy: The Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement

Climate Policy, Forthcoming

RegNet Research Paper No. 2015/98

25 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2015

See all articles by Julie M. Ayling

Julie M. Ayling

European University Institute Dept of Law; RegNet School of Regulation and Global Governance, Australian National University

Neil Gunningham

School of Regulation & Global Governance (RegNet)

Date Written: November 1, 2015

Abstract

This article charts the evolution of the divestment movement, a transnational advocacy network that uses a range of strategies to shame, pressure, facilitate, and encourage investors in general, and large institutional investors in particular, to relinquish their holdings of fossil fuel stocks in favour of climate-friendly alternatives. It describes the movement’s central characteristics and the strategies it employs, it maps its basic architecture and the potential role it plays in the broader climate change regime complex, and shows how it represents a novel form of private investor-targeted climate change governance, operating primarily through symbolic political action and as a norm entrepreneur. Given the potential importance of the movement, the model it may provide for other forms of private governance, and the paucity of analysis of its implications for climate change mitigation, this article addresses an important descriptive and analytical gap in the climate policy literature.

Keywords: Climate change governance, fossil fuel divestment, institutional investors, nonstate governance, regime complex, transnational advocacy network

JEL Classification: K32, Q28, N50

Suggested Citation

Ayling, Julie M. and Gunningham, Neil, Non-State Governance and Climate Policy: The Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement (November 1, 2015). Climate Policy, Forthcoming; RegNet Research Paper No. 2015/98. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2601176 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2601176

Julie M. Ayling (Contact Author)

European University Institute Dept of Law ( email )

Via Bolognese 156 (Villa Salviati)
I-50139 Firenze
Italy

RegNet School of Regulation and Global Governance, Australian National University ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

Neil Gunningham

School of Regulation & Global Governance (RegNet) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

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