NGOs and the environment

Authored by: Naghmeh Nasiritousi

Routledge Handbook of NGOs and International Relations

Print publication date:  April  2019
Online publication date:  April  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138285507
eBook ISBN: 9781315268927
Adobe ISBN:


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Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have long been recognized as crucial actors in global environmental politics. With their involvement in issues such as biodiversity and conservation, desertification, transboundary air pollution, and climate change, NGOs have become significant actors on the global stage (Betsill and Corell 2007; Finger and Princen 1994). The burgeoning literature on NGOs has highlighted their different roles in global environmental politics. For instance, they have been described as “agitators for environmental action, architects of governance solutions, and entrepreneurs for new sorts of initiatives” (O’Neill 2014: 26). Similarly, Betsill (2015: 251) describes NGOs involved in climate change governance as “activists raising awareness and calling for action; as diplomats working with governments to craft climate policies; and as governors developing new mechanisms for steering society towards a low-carbon future”. More generally, Nasiritousi (2016: 2) describes their roles as “shapers of information and ideas, brokers of knowledge, norms and initiatives, and doers of implementing policies and influencing behaviours”.

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