A conceptual model for climate change mainstreaming in government

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'Mainstreaming' climate change by embedding climate change considerations in government policies, processes, and operations can bolster the realization of climate mitigation and adaptation goals and reduce risks of counter-productive actions. Some climate laws around the world now contain explicit mainstreaming duties, in parallel with emissions reduction targets and adaptation planning requirements. This article proposes a conceptual model for climate change mainstreaming in government, with two pillars. Firstly, it defines objectives of climate mainstreaming, emphasizing that mainstreaming activities occur along a spectrum of ambition towards a goal of 'mature mainstreaming'. Secondly, it proposes three complementary pathways to mature mainstreaming - regulatory, institutional, and capacity and capability-building pathways - to classify mainstreaming activities, and barriers to and enablers of mainstreaming. Grounded in empirical insights from a leading jurisdiction (Victoria, Australia), the model can assist governments to clearly articulate mainstreaming objectives and to identify, prioritize, and monitor mainstreaming initiatives to help in achieving their climate policy goals.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
JournalTransnational Environmental Law
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Australia
  • Climate change
  • Climate Change Act 2017 (Victoria)
  • Climate change framework legislation
  • Mainstreaming
  • Statutory duties

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