In recent years, several scholars of world politics have observed a relocation of authority in different issue areas of global policy-making. This development appears to be particularly evident in the field of global climate politics where a number of authors have highlighted the gradual loss of authority by national governments and the emergence of new spheres of authority dominated by actors other than the nation-state. In fact, due to the existence of a regulatory gap in this policy domain, various new governance arrangements have emerged which work simultaneously at different levels (some top-down and others bottom-up) to cope with the problem of climate change. However, despite several broader descriptions and mapping exercises, we have little systematic knowledge about their workings, let alone their impact on political-administrative systems. Given these shortcomings, in this paper we explore how (and how far) different types of globally operating governance arrangements have caused changes in the distribution of authority within national governments and their public administration. We will focus on two stylized governance arrangements: one that operates bottom-up (i.e. Transnational City Networks, TCNs) and another that operates top-down (i.e. Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, REDD+). Departing from our hypotheses that the former is likely to lead to more decentralization and the latter to more centralization of environmental policy making, we will present some preliminary findings from our case studies in Brazil, India, Indonesia, and South Africa.