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Civil society lobbying and countries' climate change policies: A matching approach

Böhmelt, T (2013) 'Civil society lobbying and countries' climate change policies: A matching approach.' Climate Policy, 13 (6). 698 - 717. ISSN 1469-3062

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Abstract

Does civil society lobbying affect states' policies on climate change? Does it facilitate or hamper cooperation towards 'greener' policies? Environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) and business lobbying groups alike are increasingly seeking to access states' negotiation delegations at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in order to affect or even change official delegates' policies. Previous studies have failed to control for the fact that the set of states that have granted civil society access to their delegations is unlikely to be a random sample. Moreover, the fact that a delegation's policy outputs may converge with the preferences of a civil society group cannot be taken as evidence that it was caused by civil society lobbying. A matching approach that addresses both problems is proposed, which corrects for the non-random assignment of civil society organizations to state delegations and forms quasi-experimental contrasts by sampling a set of 'most similar' cases that only differ in their treatment; i.e. civil society lobbying. This approach facilitates a causal interpretation of lobbying efforts. The results indicate that only business groups are likely to exert a causal influence on states' climate delegations. However, contrary to expectations, these groups appear to have enhanced states' efforts towards environmentally friendly policies.Policy relevanceWhat impact can non-governmental actors have in influencing states' policies at the climate change negotiations? This question is addressed empirically using a matching approach, which corrects potential challenges in the research on interest group influence. It is shown that business groups are likely to influence states' policies at the UNFCCC - unlike green interest groups or civil society in general. In light of these findings, three policy implications are derived that might be of importance for states and non-governmental decision makers alike. Most importantly, ENGOs should refocus their efforts for exerting their influence. ENGOs could make their lobbying more effective by first identifying the states that may be more receptive to their preferences and positions. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2014 16:35
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2019 20:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/8612

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