Committing to Effective Climate Governance in Northern Ireland: A Defining Test of Devolution

Sharon Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This is the second of a two-part analysis exploring the interaction between UK devolution and governance of the national low carbon transition. It argues that devolution shaped the national climate governance regime created by the Climate Change Act 2008, but will itself be tested and even altered as the traction of the low carbon imperative intensifies. This dynamic is explored in the specific context of the UK’s most devolved region. The first article argued that devolution facilitated and arguably forced Northern Ireland’s devolved administration to give a highly qualified and potentially illusory consent to the regional application of the UK Act. The second article argues that making a more effective commitment to climate governance will be a defining test of its devolution arrangements but will require constitutional arrangements designed for conflict resolution to mature. Failure to do so will have important implications for the UK’s putative ‘national’ low carbon transition and the longer-term viability of devolution in the region.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbereqt003
Pages (from-to)203-234
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Environmental Law
Issue number2
Early online date30 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


  • Climate governance
  • devolution
  • power sharing
  • Northern Ireland Climate Act

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Law

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