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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Sippel, Maike & Jenssen, Till, 2009. "What about local climate governance? A review of promise and problems," MPRA Paper 20987, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:20987
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/20987/1/MPRA_paper_20987.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sammy Zahran & Samuel D Brody & Arnold Vedlitz & Himanshu Grover & Caitlyn Miller, 2008. "Vulnerability and capacity: explaining local commitment to climate-change policy," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 26(3), pages 544-562, June.
    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.
    3. 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.
    4. Jason Corburn, 2009. "Cities, Climate Change and Urban Heat Island Mitigation: Localising Global Environmental Science," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 46(2), pages 413-427, February.
    5. Fleming, P. D. & Webber, P. H., 2004. "Local and regional greenhouse gas management," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 761-771, April.
    6. William D. Nordhaus, 2006. "The "Stern Review" on the Economics of Climate Change," NBER Working Papers 12741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Carolyn Kousky & Stephen H. Schneider, 2003. "Global climate policy: will cities lead the way?," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(4), pages 359-372, December.
    8. Harriet Bulkeley & Kristine Kern, 2006. "Local Government and the Governing of Climate Change in Germany and the UK," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 43(12), pages 2237-2259, November.
    9. Kathryn Harrison & Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom, 2007. "The Comparative Politics of Climate Change," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 7(4), pages 1-18, November.
    10. 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, June.
    11. 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.
    12. Bennett, M. & Newborough, M., 2001. "Auditing energy use in cities," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 125-134, January.
    13. 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. Achim Hagen & Leonhard Kaehler & Klaus Eisenack, 2016. "Transnational Environmental Agreements with Heterogeneous Actors," Working Papers V-387-16, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2016.
    2. 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.
    3. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:4:p:1047-:d:139199 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. 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.
    5. Bianca Cavicchi & Sergio Palmieri & Marco Odaldi, 2017. "The Influence of Local Governance: Effects on the Sustainability of Bioenergy Innovation," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(3), pages 1-22, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy

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