Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 05/2010

Harnessing International Institutions to Address Climate Change

Katherine Michonski, Michael A. Levi

March 2010

Council on Foreign Relations


Most discussions about using international institutions to address climate change focus narrowly on the work of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. However, many other international institutions also have a significant role to play in mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change. This paper, sponsored by CFR's International Institutions and Global Governance program, examines the existing climate-related efforts and capabilities, as well as the future potential, of a variety of international institutions, including those that deal with environment, energy, and economics. While there are still major shortfalls, the paper argues that there is significant existing institutional capacity to draw from in addressing climate change.