VANESSA CUZZIOL PINSKY
Doctorate - Experimentalist governance in climate finance: the case of REDD+ in Brazil
Class: Ruy Leme, FEA-1
Adviser: Prof. Dr. Isak Kruglianskas
Comission: Profs. Drs. José Goldemberg, Jacques Marcovitch, Thelma Kug e Alexandre Toshiro Igari
Climate change is a daunting problem that results in actions-interactions from a number of actors in complex global systems, which require multi-level governance and a myriad of national policies. Academics and policy makers alike have been grappling with how to devise effective strategies on the international coordination of climate change policies. It is challenging because climate change problems involve actors with different positions, interests and motivation to cooperate due to the risks involved, the uncertainty and the high costs of adaptation and mitigation. Deforestation is the second largest source of GHG emissions. Success in this area can have a large impact on mitigation. This study focuses on the case of REDD+, a large scale governance experiment in climate finance and a promising cost-effective mitigation mechanism to motivate developing countries to implement policy approaches to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. REDD+ is considered a breakthrough mechanism in international cooperation under the UNFCCC regime as it was designed to be performance-based. Brazil is the world’s largest recipient and has the most important REDD+ experiment – the Amazon Fund. The lack of developed theory in this domain led to the use of grounded theory methodology to understand the REDD+ governance process in Brazil. The ‘REDD+ Governance Theoretical Framework’ emerged from the data. It is a substantive theory formed by seven major categories (Governance, Strategy, Financing, Implementation, Participation of stakeholders, Joint action and Collective learning) that are related to each other and explain the phenomenon. This study suggests that the lack of institutional arrangements to stimulate collective learning and incorporate lessons learned from the ground experience has been a major constraint on improving its governance in Brazil. Improving the effectiveness of the policy cycle may depend upon the establishment of specific arrangements focused on peer review processes involving lower-level entities responsible for implementation and experts from civil society. The establishment of a recursive learning system could solve certain policy coordination problems and create new opportunities to improve the effectiveness of the REDD+ governance process and implementation. This theory adds to the limited body of literature in the field by extending the knowledge on climate finance, stimulating discussion, and creating opportunities for further research and theoretical advances. The theoretical framework and lessons learned in Brazil from success and failure can help other developing countries to implement a national REDD+ strategy, system or regime. The theory can contribute to the international debate on the principles of good governance in official development assistance and aid effectiveness. This study provides an opportunity for policy makers and practitioners to learn about the challenges and constraints faced by Brazil when implementing an unprecedented results-based mechanism focused on mitigation.
*Abstract provided by the author