Leaders, Followers and Laggards: Adoption of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement in California
Little quantitative research has been devoted to voluntary climate actions at the local level in comparison to those at federal and state levels. It is unclear why some cities act as leaders in the fight against climate change, some act as followers, while others remain laggards. This study empirically tests some hypotheses about local political will to mitigate climate change. Applying a survival analysis to California citiesâ€™ adoption of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, this study examines the association between citiesâ€™ adoption of the Mayors Agreement and a broad range of characteristics, such as: local demographics, jurisdiction size, government structure, political preference and environmentalism, local air quality and congestion level, and behavior of neighboring jurisdictions. Results support the importance of income level, political preference and environmentalism of the local communities, as well as a cityâ€™s administrative capacity and autonomy. Congestion relief seems to be an important cobenefit motivating cities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
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