Elaborate transparency systems are at the core of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its 2015 Paris Agreement. These systems aim to ‘make visible’ what countries are doing to implement the Agreement, so as to facilitate accountability, mutual trust and enhanced climate ambition (Campbell-Duruflé, 2018; CEW, 2018; Ciplet et al., 2018; Gupta et al., 2021). Yet these assumed transformative effects of transparency are still under-theorized, and their realization in practice has not been systematically analyzed. Transparency provisions have been rapidly evolving over the past decade resulting in a complex patchwork of mandatory and voluntary transparency requirements. These evolving requirements demand ever more detailed and comprehensive climate reporting from more and more countries. But what are, in practice, the implications at the domestic level of (increased) climate reporting? Does engaging in global climate reporting facilitate or distract from domestic climate action? Does climate reporting inform domestic policy making? And, if so, what sort of climate action does it privilege, and by whom? While theorization of the transformative effects of transparency in climate governance is developing (e.g. Ciplet et al., 2018; Gupta & van Asselt, 2019; Gupta & Mason, 2016; Weikmans et al., 2019) empirical analysis of domestic effects of participation in global transparency remains scarce. This PhD will link together analysis of evolving UNFCCC transparency arrangements with national-level case studies to provide a detailed account of how participation in global climate transparency frameworks relates to the politics and practice of domestic climate action.
We provide a disciplinary and multidisciplinary research programme aimed at advanced understanding of environmental problems and advanced training of PhD candidates in this field.