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Do city climate plans reduce emissions?

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  • Millard-Ball, Adam
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    Abstract

    More than 600 local governments in the US are developing climate action plans that lay out specific measures to reduce emissions from municipal operations, households and firms. To date, however, it is unclear whether these plans are being implemented or have any causal effects on emissions. Using data from California, I provide the first quantitative analysis of the impacts of climate plans. I find that cities with climate plans have had far greater success in implementing strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions than their counterparts without such plans. For example, they have more green buildings, spend more on pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, and have implemented more programs to divert waste from methane-generating landfills. I find little evidence, however, that climate plans play any causal role in this success. Rather, citizens’ environmental preferences appear to be a more important driver of both the adoption of climate plans and the pursuit of specific emission reduction measures. Thus, climate plans are largely codifying outcomes that would have been achieved in any case.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S009411901100091X
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

    Volume (Year): 71 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 289-311

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:71:y:2012:i:3:p:289-311

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905

    Related research

    Keywords: Climate action plan; Climate change; Local government; Environmental preferences;

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    Cited by:
    1. Sánchez-Braza, Antonio & Pablo-Romero, María del P., 2014. "Evaluation of property tax bonus to promote solar thermal systems in Andalusia (Spain)," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 832-843.
    2. D. Reckien & J. Flacke & R. Dawson & O. Heidrich & M. Olazabal & A. Foley & J. Hamann & H. Orru & M. Salvia & S. Gregorio Hurtado & D. Geneletti & F. Pietrapertosa, 2014. "Climate change response in Europe: what’s the reality? Analysis of adaptation and mitigation plans from 200 urban areas in 11 countries," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 122(1), pages 331-340, January.
    3. Dascher, Kristof, 2013. "City Silhouette, World Climate," MPRA Paper 48375, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Kristof Dascher, 2013. "Climate Change and Urban Contours: Why Countries with Denser City Centers Fight Climate Change Harder," ERSA conference papers ersa13p744, European Regional Science Association.

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