The breakthrough series: climate governance


Each month, COST is highlighting a COST Action which has had a significant scientific and societal breakthrough. 

In the summer of 2021, COST published its Final Impact Assessment for Horizon 2020, portraying the scientific and societal impact of COST. The report includes multiple examples of breakthroughs that contribute to the development of research in Europe and beyond. After an in-depth monitoring and analysis, four Actions were selected to showcase those advancements. 

The second breakthrough highlighted in the Impact Assessment of 2021 is by a COST Action on the topic of climate governance: “Innovations in Climate Governance: Sources, Patterns and Effects (INOGOV)”, (IS1309). The network’s main scientific achievement is the high citation count per paper published: for the 53 publications that were produced, the average citation count was 25. This is 3.3 times as high as the mean citation count for COST Actions in the field of social sciences and humanities. The Action participants mentioned that every time they got together, they would end up writing multiple papers. Hence, the publishing activity together with the interdisciplinary nature of the network might explain the high citation count.  

Also, the Action’s researchers were among the first ones to apply the work of the Nobel-laureate Elinor Ostrom (on polycentric governance and governance of the commons) in the field of climate change. The Action ran from 2014 to 2018, at the same time as COP21 took place in Paris, which made it an even more timely network and enhanced the visibility of its publications.  

The factsheet below illustrates the main achievements of this Action:

breakthrough series climate governance

Further reading

Accreditation for cover photo – Markus Spiske from Pexels