Working Paper

IDS Working Paper;373

The Ambiguous Role of Corporations in Climate Change Mitigation: An Explorative Appraisal of Corporations in China, Malaysia and the US

Published on 1 September 2011

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges the world is facing today. Mitigating the emissions that lead to climate change is therefore crucial. The objective of this paper is to analyse the role of corporations and the state for climate change mitigation and the transition towards a low carbon economy. We present an explorative study using three case studies from China, the United States and Malaysia to highlight the role of corporations in three different contexts.

The roles of corporations and states are inherently complex; it is far from easy to make the distinction between legal and voluntary obligations. Often politics and business are entangled, overlapping or contradictory. We suggest that to achieve climate change mitigation at the global level, the complementarities of corporations and states need to be further explored. Globally, new forms of public-private partnerships with designated tasks for each stakeholder group are needed for climate change mitigation.

Publication details

published by
Nordensvärd, J. and Urban, F.
IDS Working Paper, issue 373
978 1 78118 014 3


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