Local climate action plans in climate change mitigation – examining the case of Denmark
The article examines the climate action plans (CAPs) of local governments (LGs) in Denmark. Applying a quantitative content analysis approach, all Danish LG action plans within the climate and energy field has been collected and coded, giving insight into the extent of LG CAPs. We assess the extent, targets and scope of LG CAPs and find that Danish LGs are highly involved in mitigation activities with a widespread CAP adoption and an overall high degree of sectoral coverage on base year accounts and action plans, albeit with some significant shortcomings. If current LG CAPs were to form the basis of a decentralised climate governance system, some improvements in target level and sectoral coverage should be implemented. The utilization of regional supporting structures facilitating a gradual improvement seems especially promising. In addition the research points to the significant mitigation potential of considering the full spectrum of local government actors, not simply the pioneers and how local CAPs outside urban pioneers require additional local policy framing to succeed. Focusing on the mutual benefits for national and local actors of an integrated planning system, and the multiple benefits locally, will be key in motivating further action.
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