The authors of this paper apply a political economy analysis to case studies on low carbon energy in Kenya and carbon forestry in Mozambique. In examining the intersection of climate and development policy, they demonstrate the critical importance of politics, power and interests when climate-motivated initiatives encounter wider and more complex national policy contexts, which strongly influence the prospects of achieving integrated climate policy and development goals in practice. They advance four arguments: (1) understanding both the informal nature and historical embeddedness of decision making around key issue areas and resource sectors of relevance to climate change policy is vital to engaging actually existing politics; why actors hold the positions they do and how they make decisions in practice, (2) decision makers need to understand and engage with the interests, power relations and policy networks that will shape the prospects of realizing climate policy goals; acting as barriers in some cases and as vehicles for change in others, (3) by looking at the ways in which common global drivers have very different impacts upon climate change policy once refracted through national levels institutions and policy processes, it is easier to understand the potential and limits of translating global policy into local practice and (4) climate change and development outcomes, and the associated trade-offs, look very different depending on how they are framed, who frames them and in which actor coalitions.
Overseas Development Institute
30 May 2015