Bundled transgovernmentalism: North American climate governance and the lessons learned from the Security and Prosperity Partnership


This paper takes stock of the current nature and form of climate governance (or its absence) with a view to considering the adequacy of current governance approaches to meet more rigorous greenhouse gas mitigation requirements. In recognition of the need to retain flexibility and informality while progressively integrating climate law and policy, the paper considers the potential lessons learned from the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP). The form of governance institutionalized in the SPP sought to impose greater coherence and stronger executive oversight across a sprawling integration agenda; a form of governance that can be described as “bundled transgovernmentalism”. The results of the SPP process were mixed at best, but the process has valuable lessons, both positive and negative, for the future of North American climate governance. The potential benefits of implementing a form of bundled transgovernmentalism are discussed, along with the requirements necessary to avoid the pervasive legitimacy concerns that characterized the SPP.