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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Multi-scale politics in climate change: the mismatch of authority and capability in federalizing Nepal

Khatri, Dil B.; Nightingale, Andrea J.; Ojha, Hemant; Maskey, Gyanu; 'Tsumpa', Pema Norbu Lama


Nepal's transition to federalism in 2015 involved a significant redistribution of authority across three levels of government, with a greater level of autonomy granted to provincial and local levels. We examine multi-scale climate policy and politics in Nepal, focusing on three elements that are important for policy development and implementation: (a) the authority to make decisions; (b) the knowledge and expertise to develop and implement policies; and (c) the ability to access and mobilize resources, primarily external funding, by government bodies at different levels. Our findings show that the newly decentralized local governments are constrained in their ability to develop and implement climate change-related policies and practical responses by a mismatch between the authority granted to them and existing institutional capabilities. These governmental bodies have limited opportunities to develop, access and mobilize knowledge of climate and development and financial resources, which are needed to put new policies into action. Based on this analysis, we argue that decentralization of governmental authority is not likely to produce effective climate policy outcomes if this mismatch remains unaddressed.


Climate policy; authority; resources; knowledge; decentralization; Nepal

Published in

Climate Policy
2022, volume: 22, number: 8, article number: 2090891

Authors' information

Khatri, Dil (Khatri Bahadur, Dil)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Urban and Rural Development
Khatri, Dil (Khatri Bahadur, Dil)
Southasia Institute of Advanced Studies (SIAS)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Urban and Rural Development
Nightingale, Andrea J. (Nightingale, Andrea)
University of Oslo
Ojha, Hemant
University of Canberra
Maskey, Gyanu
Kathmandu University
Lama 'Tsumpa', Pema Norbu

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG13 Climate action
SDG16 Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences
Public Administration Studies

Publication Identifiers


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