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Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance


Dr Joanna Depledge is an expert on the international climate change negotiations, which she has been following since the 1990s. She is a member of the research network Climate Strategies and, from 2017 to 2020, was the Editor of the international, peer-reviewed journal Climate Policy. She has researched, lectured, supervised and examined at the University of Cambridge, mostly at the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), but also Land Economy and the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL). She has published and lectured widely on climate change issues, as well as on other environmental topics. In 2017, she curated the “Richard Kinley Gallery: the UNFCCC Story”, a unique exhibition at the UN Climate Change Secretariat’s headquarters documenting the history of the climate change negotiations. Prior to her academic career, Joanna worked for the UN Climate Change Secretariat, as well as for the Earth Negotiations Bulletin, reporting on climate change, ozone and biodiversity meetings. She holds a PhD from University College London.


Key publications: 

Journal articles, book chapters, other publications

Depledge, J. (2024). The challenge of consensus decision-making in UN climate negotiations. Carbon Brief. Link 

Depledge, J., De Pryck, K., & Timmons Roberts, J. (2023). Decades of Systematic Obstructionism: Saudi Arabia's Role in Blocking Progress in the UN Climate Negotiations. Climate Social Science Network Issue Paper 2023:1. Link

Kemp, L., Xu, C., Depledge, J., Ebi, K. L., Gibbins, G., Kohler, T. A., Rockström, j., Scheffer, M., Schellnhuber, H. J., Steffen, W., & Lenton, T. M. (2022). Climate Endgame: Exploring catastrophic climate change scenarios. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 119(34), e2108146119.

Depledge, J. (2022). Overcoming stalled implementation: a reply to ‘Why do climate change negotiations stall? Scientific evidence and solutions for some structural problems’, by Ulrich Frey and Jazmin Burgess. Global Discourse (early view).

Depledge, J. (2022). Raul Estrada-Oyuela: Hero of Kyoto. The Kyoto Protocol. In Dodds, F. and Spence, C. (eds). Heroes of Environmental Diplomacy: Profiles in Courage. Routledge.

Depledge, J. (2022). The “top-down” Kyoto Protocol? Exploring caricature and misrepresentation in literature on global climate change governance. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 1-20.

Joanna Depledge, Miguel Saldivia & Cristina Peñasco (2022) Glass half full or glass half empty?: the 2021 Glasgow Climate Conference, Climate Policy, 22:2, 147-157, DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2022.2038482

Stoddard, I., Anderson, K., Capstick, S., Carton, W., Depledge, J., Facer, K., ... & Williams, M. (2021). Three Decades of Climate Mitigation: Why Haven't We Bent the Global Emissions Curve? Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 46:1. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-environ-012220-011104

Tara Caetano, Harald Winker & Joanna Depledge. (2020). Towards zero carbon and zero poverty: integrating national climate change mitigation and sustainable development goals. Climate Policy, 20:7, 773-778. DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2020.1791404

Watts, J. and Depledge, J. (2018). Latin America in the climate change negotiations: Exploring the AILAC and ALBA coalitions. WIREs Climate Change, vol. 9, issue 6.

Harald Winkler & Joanna Depledge (2018) Fiji-in-Bonn: will the ‘Talanoa spirit’ prevail?, Climate Policy, 18:2, 141-145, DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2018.1417001

Depledge, J. (2017) The legal and policy framework of the United Nations Climate Change Regime, in Klein, D., Carazo, M.P., Doelle, M., Bulmer, J. and Higham, A. (eds) The Paris Agreement on Climate Change: Analysis and Commentary. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Climate policy after the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, Editorial. (2017) With Vinalues, J., Reiner, D.M. and Lees, E. In Climate Policy, Special Issue on the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, Vol. 17, 1, pp. 1-8.

The Paris Agreement: A Significant Landmark on the Road to a Climatically Safe World (2016). In Chinese Journal of Urban and Environmental Studies, Vol. 04, No. 01, doi:0.1142/S2345748116500111

Climate change negotiations: Pushing Diplomacy to Its Limits (2016), Chapter 16 in Bayne, N. and Woolcock, S., The New Economic Diplomacy, 4th Edition. Decision-making and negotiation in international economic relations. Routledge

The Global Climate Change Regime (2015), Chapter 4 in Ekins, P, Bradshaw, M, and Watson, J. (eds), Global Energy: Issues, Potentials, and Policy Implications, Oxford University Press.

Great-power politics, order transition, and climate governance: insights from international relations theory (2013).  With Maximilian Terhalle.  In Climate Policy, Vol.13, No.5. pp. 572-588

Raising the Tempo: The Escalating Pace and Intensity of Environmental Negotiations (2012). With Pamela S. Chasek. In Chasek, P. and Wagner, L. (eds) The Roads from Rio: 20 years of global environmental negotiations, Chapter 2. RFF Press/Routledge

The outcome from Copenhagen: At the limits of global diplomacy (2010). Environmental Policy and Law, Vol. 40, no.1.

The global climate change regime: A defence (2009) With Farhana Yamin. Chapter 21, in Helm, D. and Hepburn, C. (eds) The Economics and Politics of Climate Change. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

The road less travelled: difficulties in moving between annexes in the climate change regime (2009). Climate Policy. Vol. 9, No. 3, pp. 273–287.

Striving for no: Saudi Arabia in the climate change regime (2008). Global Environmental Politics, Vol.8, no.4, pp.9-35.

Crafting the Copenhagen Consensus: Some reflections (2008). Review of European Community and International Environmental Law (RECIEL), Vol. 17, no.2, 154-165.

A special relationship: Chairpersons and the secretariat in the climate change negotiations (2007). Global Environmental Politics, Vol.7, no.1, pp.45-68.

The opposite of learning: Ossification in the climate change regime (2006). Global Environmental Politics, Vol.6, no.1, pp.1-22.

COP/MOP 1 and COP-11: a breakthrough for the climate change regime? (2006). With Michael Grubb. Climate Policy, Vol.5, no.5, pp.553-560.

Against the grain: The United States and the Global Climate Change Regime (2005). Global Change, Peace and Security, Vol.17, No.1, p.11-27.


The organization of global negotiations: Constructing the climate change regime (Earthscan, 2005).

The international climate change regime: A guide to rules, institutions and procedures. With Farhana Yamin (Cambridge University Press, 2004).

C-EENRG Fellow
Member, Climate Strategies
Dr Joanna  Depledge