In line with the "COP28" preparations.. A research study by TRENDS on the role of green paradiplomacy as an effective tool to address the impact of climate change


In line with the COP28 global climate summit, TRENDS Research and Advisory released a new study entitled: "On the sidelines of COP28: Green paradiplomacy and Climate Change". The study explores the role of green paradiplomacy in tackling environmental challenges, whether they are transnational or of global nature, and in developing global climate governance.


The study was prepared by Sultan Al-Rubaei Deputy Chief of Research & Advisory Sector at TRENDS Center, and Dr. Ayman Al-Desouqi, Senior Researcher at TRENDS's Strategic Studies Department. It dealt with three themes. The first part was an introduction to the concept of green paradiplomacy and its historical development. The second part of the study analyzes the effectiveness of green paradiplomacy in the context of the transboundary tool of regional governments in addressing international climate action. The third part discusses the effect of green paradiplomacy in practical terms.


The study highlighted the urgency of environmental problems related to climate change, global warming and pollution, and in light of the ineffective roles of central governments in dealing with them. This encourages regional governments to engage in addressing these problems. It lead to a phenomenon called green paradiplomacy or green diplomacy.


The study indicated that the involvement of regions in global environmental issues began through cross-border cooperation between adjacent regions, and then extended to transnational cooperation between geographically distant regions. Green paradiplomacy activities quickly evolved into the formation of global environmental networks between distant regions. These active regions joined hands to create a balance with the policies of their respective countries regarding climate change and global warming. Then, regional governments started to get involved in international environmental organizations and conferences, whether through cooperation with other parties, or by acting independently of their mother countries’ governments. Their aim was to address global environmental problems, particularly the detrimental impact of climate change.


In the meantime, the concerned regions have concluded a number of international agreements in the field of combating climate change effects with other international actors, whether at state or non-state level. The study shows that the emergence and development of green paradiplomacy was driven by the management of environmental issues across national borders. This new brand of diplomacy by subnational governments became an effective tool to enhance cooperation between regions. It developed as one of the important mechanisms for global climate governance.


The study confirmed that the role of green paradiplomacy is very important in addressing environmental problems as it changes the rules of the game in the field of international efforts to address climate change. The actors in this field, such as regional environmental networks, contribute to depoliticizing the issue and establish confidence among countries in managing sustainability. Moreover, they can raise the level of joint competence in addressing global environmental challenges.


The study focused on the components of green paradiplomacy in addressing environmental problems and achieving sustainable development. Green diplomacy has an important role in building confidence between the different parties and promoting environmental cooperation between regions, whether within one country or at transnational level. Subnational regions can institutionalize that collaboration. They can make significant contributions to the development of regional policies to address common environmental problems.


The international environmental activities of the various regions contribute to improving the effectiveness of environmental transboundary paradiplomacy (or green paradiplomacy) in facing climate change. They tend to share information, exchange experience and best practices, form strong institutions, promote continuous dialogue and sustainable cooperation.  Most important is their valuable role in depoliticizing cooperation in with regard to the issue of climate change.


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