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What about local climate governance? A review of promise and problems

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  • Sippel, Maike
  • Jenssen, Till

Abstract

A large proportion of greenhouse gas emissions is produced in urban areas, particularly in high income countries. Cities are also vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and particularly so in developing countries. Therefore, local climate policies for mitigation and adaptation have to play an important role in any effective global climate protection strategy. Based upon a systematic literature review, this article gives a comprehensive overview of motivation and challenges for local climate governance. A large part of the literature focuses on mitigation and cities in industrialized countries. The review also includes the smaller and emerging body of literature on adaptation and cities in developing or industrializing countries. Motivations and challenges we find fall into broad categories like ‘economic’, ‘informational’, ‘institutional’, ‘liveability’ or ‘political/cultural’. We conclude that the mix of motivation and challenges is city-specific, and that the national framework conditions are important. It matters, whether cities engage in mitigation or adaptation policies, whether they are located in developing, industrializing or industrialized countries, and at which stage of climate policy-making cities are. For many cities, cost savings are a primary motivation for local mitigation policies, while perceived vulnerability and a commitment to development is the primary motivator for adaptation policies. The collective action problem of climate protection (also known as ‘Tragedy of the Commons’) and inappropriate legal frameworks are key barriers to mitigation policies. Challenges for adaptation include financial constraints, and a lack of expertise, cooperation, leadership and political support. Understanding their specific motivation and challenges may support cities in developing appropriate local climate action plans. Furthermore, the understanding of motivation and challenges can inform other policy levels that want to help realize the local climate protection potential.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 20987.

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Date of creation: Nov 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:20987

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Keywords: Climate policy; local authorities; cities; mitigation; adaptation; energy; local climate governance;

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References

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  1. W.Neil Adger, 2001. "Scales of governance and environmental justice for adaptation and mitigation of climate change," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 921-931.
  2. Fleming, P. D. & Webber, P. H., 2004. "Local and regional greenhouse gas management," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 761-771, April.
  3. Jochen Monstadt, 2007. "Urban Governance and the Transition of Energy Systems: Institutional Change and Shifting Energy and Climate Policies in Berlin," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(2), pages 326-343, 06.
  4. Kathryn Harrison & Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom, 2007. "The Comparative Politics of Climate Change," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 7(4), pages 1-18, November.
  5. William D. Nordhaus, 2006. "The "Stern Review" on the Economics of Climate Change," NBER Working Papers 12741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Sippel, Maike & Michaelowa, Axel, 2009. "Does Global Climate Policy Promote Low-Carbon Cities? Lessons Learnt From The CDM," MPRA Paper 20986, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Byrne, John & Hughes, Kristen & Rickerson, Wilson & Kurdgelashvili, Lado, 2007. "American policy conflict in the greenhouse: Divergent trends in federal, regional, state, and local green energy and climate change policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 4555-4573, September.
  8. Bennett, M. & Newborough, M., 2001. "Auditing energy use in cities," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 125-134, January.
  9. Rezessy, Silvia & Dimitrov, Konstantin & Urge-Vorsatz, Diana & Baruch, Seth, 2006. "Municipalities and energy efficiency in countries in transition: Review of factors that determine municipal involvement in the markets for energy services and energy efficient equipment, or how to aug," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 223-237, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Jan Corfee-Morlot & Ian Cochran & Stéphane Hallegatte & Pierre-Jonathan Teasdale, 2011. "Multilevel risk governance and urban adaptation policy," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 104(1), pages 169-197, January.
  2. Sippel, Maike & Michaelowa, Axel, 2009. "Does Global Climate Policy Promote Low-Carbon Cities? Lessons Learnt From The CDM," MPRA Paper 20986, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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