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If Cities Are The Solution, What Are The Problems? The Promise and Perils of Urban Climate Leadership

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... sub-state governments' involvement in international relations, through the establishment of formal and informal contacts, either permanent or ad hoc, with foreign public or private entities, with the aim to promote socio-economic, cultural or political issues, as well as any other foreign dimension of their own constitutional competences" (apud Setzer, 2013, p. 41) While some scholars have scrutinised the major city networks demonstrating their agency through collective action (Betsill and Bulkeley, 2004, 2007Gordon and Acuto, 2015;Hickmann, 2016), others explore their role in global climate politics and governance (Toly, 2008;Biermann and Pattberg, 2012;Acuto and Rayner, 2016;Bansard et al., 2017). Yet another group examines how transnational cooperation networks of cities empower local governments worldwide through knowledge and practice sharing (Bulkeley and Betsill, 2005;Betsill and Bulkeley, 2007;Andonova et al., 2009;Corfee-Morlot et al., 2009;Fischer et al., 2015;Gordon and Acuto, 2015;Hickmann, 2016). ...
... sub-state governments' involvement in international relations, through the establishment of formal and informal contacts, either permanent or ad hoc, with foreign public or private entities, with the aim to promote socio-economic, cultural or political issues, as well as any other foreign dimension of their own constitutional competences" (apud Setzer, 2013, p. 41) While some scholars have scrutinised the major city networks demonstrating their agency through collective action (Betsill and Bulkeley, 2004, 2007Gordon and Acuto, 2015;Hickmann, 2016), others explore their role in global climate politics and governance (Toly, 2008;Biermann and Pattberg, 2012;Acuto and Rayner, 2016;Bansard et al., 2017). Yet another group examines how transnational cooperation networks of cities empower local governments worldwide through knowledge and practice sharing (Bulkeley and Betsill, 2005;Betsill and Bulkeley, 2007;Andonova et al., 2009;Corfee-Morlot et al., 2009;Fischer et al., 2015;Gordon and Acuto, 2015;Hickmann, 2016). However, in most studies, empirical evidence derives from cases in the global North. ...
... Eleven capital cities with GHG emission inventories and climate related policies are ICLEI members. Together they represent an estimated population of over 33.3 million inhabitants (IBGE, 2016 Municipal governments in Brazil were empowered by TMNs in many ways as they became acknowledged stakeholders in the international arena, participating in shaping a global urban agenda and in setting ambitious mitigation goals sharing (Bulkeley and Betsill, 2005;Andonova et al., 2009;Gordon and Acuto, 2015;Hickmann, 2016). They gained access to resources, such as knowledge, technology and funding for environmental actions, and positioned themselves as environmental leaders visà-vis national government, as demonstrated by their often more ambitious voluntary GHG emission reduction targets (see Bouteligier, 2014;Setzer et al., 2015). ...
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As nations agreed on a bottom-up approach to establish the Paris Agreement in 2015, Non-state Actors (NSAs) became increasingly acknowledged as key players in the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). In a mostly urbanised world, local governments have a major part to play in designing and implementing climate policies that will help overcome carbon lock-in and enable the transition to a sustainable low-carbon future. Transnational municipal networks (TMNs) have a well-documented history of contributing to multilevel climate governance and supporting experiments in local climate action in many countries. In Brazil, urban climate experimentation has increased since 2005 and accelerated after 2015. Based on empirical evidence from a national survey and two Brazilian metropolises, the study demonstrates that TMNs have been drivers of the municipal climate agenda in Brazil, but there is no evidence so far that urban governance experiments have resulted in significant greenhouse gas emission reductions. Furthermore, the collective impact of cities' experimentation on the national climate agenda is yet to be verified. In light of multilevel climate governance and the urban experimentation conceptual framework, we contend that while there is no documented evidence that local climate action has affected Brazil's ability to meet its mitigation goals, cities' paradiplomacy and policy experiments have strengthened a multilevel approach to climate governance and contributed to positive change towards a sustainable transition. Furthermore, a closer look at policies across scales and their interactions will help our understanding of how to improve t'he institutional framework for climate governance in Brazil and secure GHG emission reductions, thus contributing to global goals beyond 2020.
... This is especially so in light of recent plaudits accorded to high profile networks as sources of hope and optimism (Barber, 2013;Global Solutions Network, 2014;Oxford Martin Commission, 2013). While careful analysis of transnational networks like the C40 Climate Leadership Group is much needed (Acuto, 2013;Bouteligier, 2013;Lee, 2013;Gordon 2013;Gordon and Acuto, 2015) it is essential to recognize that if cities are to play a major role in achieving global decarbonization most of them will do so as part of regional or national networks (Keiner and Kim, 2007). This underlines the importance of assessing and understanding the impact that these networks have in bringing cities together, engendering engagement, and coordinating actions so as to produce collective effects. ...
... This is not necessarily problematic, as the participation of city-networks operating domestically, regionally, and transnationally may best serve the distinct interests of cities with different demographic or geographic realities. What it suggests, however, is the importance of what Abbott et al. (2015) refer to as orchestration, in the form of bridging mechanisms that link disparate networks together to allow for coordination (Hale and Roger, 2014) and to avoid the dangers of self-selection and incoherence (Gordon 2016 forthcoming;Gordon and Acuto 2015). ...
Article
There is substantial evidence that the global governance of climate change must pass through cities. While formal networks offer cities a means of generating effects that extend beyond their own borders, it remains unclear as to whether such networks can address collective action barriers and implementation gaps. City-networks, after all, are limited in their efforts to govern and must rely on information, service provision, and soft forms of coercion if they are to steer their members past these considerable challenges. This article contributes to extant efforts to assess their ability to do so by addressing two gaps in the literature. First, the article focuses on the Partners for Climate Protection (PCP), a city-network that has received little attention to date. Second, through analysis of two Canadian cities (Toronto and Winnipeg), the article provides an empirical illustration of the limitations of network authority and influence, and offers some thoughts on what this means for networked urban climate governance in Canada and beyond.
... Within the UNFCCC we have seen the creation of NAZCA and the Lima-Paris Action Agenda, both of which aim to include the climate governance activities of cities, as well as the increased provision of formal opportunities for cities to contribute to interstate negotiations. 10 City-networks like C40 and ICLEI have, over the same period, undergone meaningful transformations intended to increase their capacity to encourage and coordinate their constituent members (Acuto 2013, Lee 2013, Gordon and Acuto 2015. At the same time, new initiatives such as the Compact of Mayors (led by the newly created UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change) have been created with the goal of augmenting the capacity for coordination across and beyond city-networks (Compact of Mayors 2014). ...
... Evidence of this form of orchestration can be found in the internal consolidation of individual city-networks, most prominently the C40, whose member cities have come to converge around a common set of climate governance norms and practices (authors, Arup 2015). Such convergence has been produced within the C40 through a process of political contestation between a variety of actorscities such as New York; philanthropic organizations such as Bloomberg Philanthropies, CIFF and RealDania; non-governmental organizations such as the Clinton Foundation; and international financial institutions such as the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bankwho have undertaken efforts at orchestrating cities towards particular kinds of actions and joint objectives (Gordon 2015, Gordon andAcuto 2015). ...
Article
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Cities have come to play an important role in the global governance of climate change, and are increasingly recognized as a crucial component of the post-Paris climate regime. Based in part on their jurisdictional authority, shared commitment to action and disdain for negotiations, there is considerable optimism that cities can meaningfully contribute to the creation of an effective bottom-up global response. Focusing on the processes through which cities themselves are being steered towards particular actions and objectives, attention is directed towards the recent explosion of efforts to engender coordinated efforts and activities between cities through the conceptual lens of orchestration. The practice of orchestration is unpacked, and the importance of identifying who orchestrates, how, and in the service of which/whose objectives is highlighted. Thus, analysis is oriented towards the politics and power dynamics of orchestration, and a step is taken towards critically assessing the promise and potential of ongoing activities in the realm of global urban climate governance.
... The steadily growing number of transnational city networks, the high number of cities joining them globally and their potential significance for tackling climate change stands in a certain contradiction to the rather little research that has been conducted on them. Generally, a more careful analysis of those networks is urgently required (Bouteligier 2013;Lee 2013;Gordon and Acuto 2015;Gordon 2016). Furthermore, it needs to be better understood why municipalities decided to join them and what they expected from the membership (Gore 2010;Niederhafner 2013). ...
... The key move was about local governments taking the lead ahead of their national governments, aspiring to put their names on the global map (Pattberg and Widerberg 2015). Increasingly considered as global climate governors (Gordon, 2016) cities started facing an emerging tension between contributing to meaningful global climate governance and addressing the specific and practical local challenges (Gordon and Acuto 2015). The shift from government to network governance provides local institutions access to flows of opportunities, while 'creating the illusion of empowering all even if in practice, accountability, legitimacy, legality and equity are compromised as the most powerful actors influence the whole governance process' (Gupta et al. 2015, 217). ...
Chapter
The water-soil-waste nexus is more relevant than ever. UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) covering food, water, climate and biodiversity can all significantly be served by applying wastewater and compost to soils, thereby potentially increasing food production, combating water scarcity while higher contents of soil organic matter are effective for climate mitigation and preserving biodiversity. The hydrology and soil science disciplines produce enormous amounts of methods and data, but the interaction between both disciplines is, unfortunately, rather limited. Interdisciplinarity, let alone transdisciplinarity, tends to suffer. UNU-FLORES initiated reports on 17 case studies from all over the world dealing with wastewater application to agricultural soils. These highly informative studies showed that the water-soil-waste nexus is still quite skewed with major emphasis on waste composition and quality focused on agricultural production, including health and safety, but hardly any information on hydrology and soils. The cases also indicated that policy studies focusing on rules and regulations are still in an infant stage, the more so since waste application to soils not only involves health risks but also faces unique emotional and psychological barriers. Successful waste application systems to the soil can only be developed with true and genuine engagement of stakeholders to the research process as part of transdisciplinary case studies. Presenting successful results of such case studies to the policy arena, based on a thorough analysis of both technical and socio-economic aspects, are potentially quite effective and can also be the source of innovative research ideas.
... However, more research is needed on the role of networks in urban experimentation, specifically. The relative absence of networks in the experimentation literature constitutes a conceptual gap, since it is clear that networks have facilitated experimentation and raised the level of ambition among cities learning from and competing with each other with regard to the deployment of low-carbon technologies and policies (Gordon and Acuto, 2015;Davidson and Gleeson, 2017). In recent research with ARUP and C40 cities, we have shown that between 2011-2015, the growing number of 'climate actions' 2 in C40 members has been accompanied by a growth in the importance of cityto-city collaboration: in 2015, 30 per cent of all climate actions in (66) C40 cities were being delivered through cityto-city collaboration, of which 44 per cent involve collaboration via a specific C40 network (C40 and ARUP, 2015a). ...
... It must be recognised that networked urban experimentation is fuelling extensive physical retrofits to cities the world over, resulting in material infrastructures that are very often far more longlived than the political interests that created them. With limited experimentation on the ways we govern this material embodiment of climate action, infrastructures could further stabilise conditions for uneven development that make the 'urban age' a fundamentally socio-economically polarised epoch (Gordon and Acuto, 2015;McGuirk et al., 2015). ...
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Over the past few decades, cities have repeatedly demonstrated high levels of ambition with regard to climate action. Global environmental governance has been marked by a proliferation of policy actions taken by local governments around the world to demonstrate their potential to advance climate change mitigation and adaptation. Leading ‘by example’ and demonstrating the extent of action that it is possible to deliver, cities have aspired to raise the ambition of national and international climate governance and put action into practice via a growing number of ‘climate change experiments’ delivered on the ground. Yet accounts of the potential of cities in global environmental governance have often stopped short of a systematic valuation of the nature and impact of the networked dimension of this action. This article addresses this by assessing the nature, and challenges faced by, urban climate governance in the post‐Paris era, focusing on the ‘experimentation’ undertaken in cities and the city networks shaping this type of governance. First, we unpack the concept of ‘urban climate change experimentation’, the ways in which it is networked, and the forces driving it. In the second and third parts of the article, we discuss two main pitfalls of networked urban experimentation in its current form, focusing on issues of scaling experiments and the nature of experimentation. We call for increased attention to ‘scaling up’ experiments beyond urban levels of governance, and to transformative experimentation with governance and politics by and in cities. Finally, we consider how these pitfalls allow us to weigh the potential of urban climate ambition, and consider the pathways available for supporting urban climate change experimentation.
... As Toly (2008, p. 341) noted, participating in transnational municipal networks provides cities with significant opportunities, amongst others, to enter into 'inter-municipal dialogue[s]' and pool their global influences. City networks are noted also to raise the level of ambition among cities learning from and competing with each other with regard to the deployment of low-carbon innovations and policies (Broto and Bulkeley, 2013;Davidson and Gleeson, 2018;Gordon and Acuto, 2015). These new forms of cross-national networking are potentially framing and reframing urban governance and strategy, and the way we conceive of cities, and their policies and politics, in an age of planetary urbanisation (Acuto, 2011;Merrifield, 2013). ...
... Such convergence has been generated in the C40 via the process of political mobilisation amongst different actorscities such as London, Stockholm and Jaipur; philanthropic organisations including Bloomberg Philanthropies; or non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as the US Green Building Council and Clinton Foundation. These entities have attempted to orchestrate cities towards specific climate positive actions and joint objectives (Gordon and Acuto, 2015;Gordon and Johnson, 2017). In this circumstance, it is apparent that the C40 provides the fundamental institutional context for supporting the delivery of climate-positive experiments and projects within its member network. ...
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In the last decade, there has been a marked growth in formalised city networks. City networks of late have transcended beyond municipal collaborations towards more complex networked governance arrangements. City networks are noted also to raise the level of ambition among cities learning from and competing with each other with regard to the deployment of low‐carbon technologies and policies. Over the last two decades, at least nine urban climate networks have been established around the world. This article consolidates the academic literature on C40 within the context of three key themes that are drawn upon from earlier work of Davidson et al. with the goal of drawing out the key implications of researching, and putting into practice, urban studies in an age of increasingly networked urban governance and the role of city networks. We conclude the paper with articulating a new research agenda that places a focus on the effects of city networks on institutional relevance of traditional planning in ways that have not yet been considered in practice and scholarship. We argue a key challenge is to align and potentially synthesise these traditional and new forms of city shaping in an urban age era of rapidly unfolding endangerment. Importantly, the questions we raise suggest that both new knowledge and action are needed to ensure these powerful and innovative forces for urban change (possibly disruption) align closely with what is arguably the gravest consideration in the urban age, the imminent threat to planetary well‐being from climate warming.
... Since the early 2000s, authors (Bulkeley & Betsill, 2013;Bulkeley et al., 2014;Gordon & Acuto, 2015) have recognized a 'second wave' of municipal action on climate change, characterized by a broader range of transnational networks and a growing interest in adaptation and mitigation, as well as a more political approach to urban climate governance. Historically, the main emphasis of these city networks was the local and regional development of infrastructure and energy, a concern of developed countries, where most of these municipal climate networks are active (Bulkeley et al., 2014). ...
Chapter
In this chapter, we examine ICLEI’s Cities for Climate Protection Campaign (CCP) in Brazil to determine how transnational municipal networks have enabled local governments to undertake more experimental forms of climate governance and intervention. This chapter is divided into two sections. First, we discuss the role of transnational municipal networks in fostering experimentation in climate governance. Next, we assess ICLEI’s CCP implementation in Brazilian cities by mapping climate change experiments throughout the campaign’s 3 phases. The first phase, from 2001 to 2005, breaks ground for climate experiments in Brazilian cities. In the second phase, from 2005/6 to 2011, we explore two sets of climate experiments. In the third phase, from 2011/12 to present, we show how cities are moving forward with experiments. By establishing the connection between transnational municipal networks as collective agents and urban climate experimentation in Brazilian cities, this chapter aims to contribute to literature on urban climate governance taking place in the Global South. Our analysis showed that ICLEI has placed Brazilian cities in the climate change debate by bringing the issue to their political agenda and has driven climate governance experimentation in Brazilian cities.
... Bringing cities into the accountability discussion offers a means of expanding the domain of initiatives under examination, and assessing how city-networks fit into broader processes of global climate governance (Gupta 2010;Mason 2008;Hsu et al. 2015;Jordan et al. 2015). At the same time, bringing an accountability orientation to the study of cities and global climate governance offers a means of responding to calls for conceptual innovation needed to better understand both the politics of city-networks (Andonova et al. 2009;Bulkeley and Betsill 2013;Bulkeley and Kern 2009;Okereke et al. 2009) and their transformative potential (Gordon and Acuto 2015). ...
Article
Cities are increasingly seen as essential components of the global response to climate change: setting targets, taking action, and rendering themselves accountable to global audiences for their efforts. Why cities are making themselves globally accountable in the absence of compulsion or obligation, and what it means for cities to operate simultaneously as global and locally accountable actors, constitute important puzzles for scholars of global climate politics. In this article I set out the basic parameters of this phenomenon, and offer a conceptual framework with which to parse the politics of accountability in networked urban climate governance. I apply this framework to identify three distinct forms of accountability present in the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group: an external politics of recognition; a network politics of ordering, and; an internal politics of translation. The article explores each for their distinct political processes, orientation, and power dynamics, and offers some propositions with respect to how they interact, and what it means both locally and globally when cities make themselves globally accountable.
... In one respect, corporations, foundations, and international aid agencies are seen to be filling a need that stems from a lack of local and network capacity. At the same time they entail relations of financial, technical and political dependence that may limit the ability of city networks to contribute to achieving the 1.5 C target [6,51,67]. ...
Article
This article reviews existing scholarship on the ability of transnational city-networks to contribute to achieving a global 1.5 C target. Its principal observation is that city-networks have become increasingly involved in pooling resources, setting agendas, sharing policies, and reporting emissions reductions, but more needs to be known about how precisely transnational city-networks are achieving verifiable emissions reductions at the urban scale. The article identifies a focus in contemporary research on direct and indirect pathways through which city-networks can potentially effect transformative change, and highlights four key issues in need of further research: burden-sharing within and across city- networks; the suite of possible policy options they are embracing and endorsing; the role and voice of marginal cities and vulnerable urban populations, and; the governance challenges related to moving from experimentation to collective global effect.
... Elsewhere Acuto and Rayner ask whether city-networks are in fact unsettling global gridlock only to instantiate new "lock-ins"-in the form of urban infrastructure, fixed investment, and modes of city engagement in global affairs-that may themselves be ecologically unsustainable (Acuto & Rayner, 2016). To this end there are indications that what Bernstein calls the "compromise of liberal environmentalism"-whereby an interest in assuring ecological preservation is tied to an ongoing commitment to economic growth and expansion-is being reproduced rather than replaced in many, if not most, city-networks as a result of the heavy emphasis on opening space up for cities to be global actors, and a corollary willingness to re-enact the status quo with respect to how to govern climate change (Acuto, 2013c;Bernstein, 2001;Gordon, 2013;Gordon & Acuto, 2015). Recent developments such as the commitment of New York City to divest municipal pension plans from fossil fuel investments, and the City's requirement that all private buildings larger than 25,000 square feet must undergo energy efficiency retrofits or upgrades lend credence to the notion that existing urban power structures are being opened up with the entry of new voices (like the civil society organization 350.org) and are in fact serving to unsettle existing systems of influence (Neumann, 2018; Office of the Mayor, 2017). ...
Article
Cities are increasingly central to the global governance of climate change, and much of their activity takes place within city‐networks operating at national, regional, and global scales. As the scope and ambition of city activities have been augmented over the past decade, so the scholarship has evolved as well. I set out in this review article to trace this evolution by focusing on four lines of inquiry organized around the conceptual foundations of governance experimentation, horizontal coordination, vertical integration, and political contestation. As we stand at the cusp of a vital moment in the global response, I suggest the need for a concerted effort to direct more, and more sustained, attention to the last of these. I argue that careful, critical, and creative thinking with respect to the power relations shaping the role of cities as global climate governors offers a means through which scholars can best contribute to augmenting the capacity for a just and effective urban contribution to the global effort. This article is categorized under: • Policy and Governance > Governing Climate Change in Communities, Cities, and Regions
... The centrality of corporations and NGOs to environmental issues means GEP scholars are likely to remain at the forefront of IR scholarship on nonstate governance (e.g., Wapner 1996Wapner , 2002Bloomfield 2017a). The growing role of cities in global environmental governance is also extending the research to include substate actors (Bulkeley and Betsill 2013;Gordon and Acuto 2015;Simon 2016;Johnson 2018). Some fairly big and vital questions remain in the field. ...
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This chapter identifies gaps and emerging issues to distill an agenda for high-impact and original research in global environmental politics. Justin Alger and Peter Dauvergne divide their overview of this research agenda into five categories: global political economy; international institutions and nonstate governance; ecological crisis; climate politics; and scholar activism and engaged research.
... Moreover, within the organisation there is 'a certain degree of formalisation and institutionalisation', meaning that the joining cities 'gain access to certain rights (and in most cases obligations) and that the TMNs themselves gain agency through a formal status and infrastructure (staff, offices, and headquarters)' (Busch 2015, p. 6). Increasingly considered as global climate governors (Gordon 2019) cities started facing an emerging tension between contributing to meaningful global climate governance and addressing the specific and practical local challenges (Gordon and Acuto 2015). Meanwhile, they are prompting local governments to take the lead, ahead of their national governments (Rosenzweig et al. 2010) aspiring to be part of the solutions and to put their names on the global map (Pattberg and Widerberg 2015). ...
... The C40 network was created in 2005 and today consists of more than 90 of the largest cities in the world, representing over 600 million people and one quarter of the global economy (C40, 2017). In recent years, the network has increasingly focused on achieving tangible global/local effects with regard to climate change mitigation and adaptation (Gordon & Acuto, 2015). We particularly identify three different modes through which C40 seeks to enable urban climate action, which are (a) knowledge exchange, (b) technical support and capacity building, and (c) paradiplomatic relations with senior public officials and mayors (Interview 14). ...
Article
Numerous scholars have lately highlighted the importance of cities in the global response to climate change. However, we still have little systematic knowledge on the evolution of urban climate politics in the Global South. In particular, we lack empirical studies that examine how local climate actions arise in political-administrative systems of developing and emerging economies. Therefore, this article adopts a multilevel governance perspective to explore the climate mitigation responses of three major cities in South Africa by looking at their vertical and horizontal integration in the wider governance framework. In the absence of a coherent national climate policy, Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban have developed distinct climate actions within their jurisdictions. In their effort to address climate change, transnational city networks have provided considerable technical support to these cities. Yet, substantial domestic political-economic obstacles hinder the three cities to develop a more ambitious stance on climate change.
... Previous publications have pointed out that more careful analysis of TMCNs is urgently required (Bouteligier 2013;Gordon 2013Gordon , 2016Lee 2013;Gordon and Acuto 2015). This gap was filled for a few TMCNs through a few case studies, mainly focused on Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) (Feldman 2012;Zeppel 2013;Van Staden et al. 2014;Fenton and Busch 2016). ...
Article
The steady emergence of transnational municipal climate networks demonstrates that cities are globally joining forces to tackle climate change. However, we still know little about how these increasingly influential organisations function. By modifying and extending an existing network typology through the development of a set of new dimensions and indicators additional examination criteria, this paper aims to better define, systemise, and distinguish the different networks. The paper reveals demonstrates that there are very exclusive elite networks only open to a limited number of municipalities and very inclusive mass networks open to almost all municipalities. Moreover, many networks vary significantly in terms of organisational structure, governance, or the number of involved private, public, or other partners. Additionally, the paper raises critical questions to be addressed by future qualitative research. These should be focused on gaining a better understanding of the role and significance of the various network partners as well as the existing collaboration in several networks.
... These local political actors and policymakers have progressively adopted the "sense of great responsibility" and "immense possibility" as global actors to address the challenges of global climate change in their respective zones of influence [28]. This premise is based on the widely used slogan "global problem, local solution" that promotes a local or subnational-oriented approach, as stressed by Ostrom [29] "national governments are too small to govern the global commons and too big to handle smaller scale problems." ...
Article
Energy transition requires systematic changes, not only to energy technologies but also to the broader political, social, environmental, and economic assemblages that are built around energy production and consumption. Changes in the energy supply and the shift toward renewable energy resources cannot be comprehensively understood without considering the implications of spatial and policy dimensions. This study examined the subnational energy transition in Sao Paulo state, Brazil, and discusses the role of policies and governance in energy transition. The historical series of energy production and consumption of Sao Paulo state were analyzed from 1980 to 2019, and the institutional frameworks that promoted energy transition were also explored. The results show that the effective final consumption of each energy source in the analyzed period (40 years) increased. Despite the increasing proportion of renewable energies (particularly ethanol), fossil fuel consumption grew in this period, which shows a tendency of addition rather than a thorough energy transition. Furthermore, energy governance remains largely dependent on a centralized approach in Brazil. Although there is a growing debate regarding the role of decentralized solutions, energy policy and regulation are still not considered to be the responsibilities of local governments. Cross-sectoral cooperation focused on territorially oriented solutions can improve spatial order by integrating local level capabilities into multilevel governance for the energy transition.
... Few sectoral studies exist on such interlinkages too (Kengoum and Tiani 2013) and enabling conditions (Dang et al. 2003;Duguma et al. 2014b). When compared to international and national institutions, local governments and cities are increasingly becoming emerging global climate governors (Gordon and Acuto 2015), also through more direct governance structures (Bulkeley and Betsill 2003). Whereas many cities now develop and publish Climate Change Action Plans (hereafter referred to as CCAPs), the majority remain focused on mitigation actions. ...
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Reduction of carbon emissions and climate-resilience in cities are becoming important objectives to be achieved in order to ensure sustainable urban development pathways. Traditionally, cities have treated climate mitigation and adaptation strategies in isolation, without addressing their potential synergies, conflicts or trade-offs. Recent studies have shown that this can lead to inefficiencies in urban planning, conflicting policy objectives and lost opportunities for synergistic actions. However, in the last few years, we have observed that cities are increasingly moving towards addressing both mitigation and adaptation in urban planning. Cities need to pay particular attention and understand the rationale of both policy objectives whilst considering the integration of the two policies in urban planning and decision-making. This study presents an analytical framework to evaluate the level of integration of climate mitigation and adaptation in cities' local climate action plans. We tested this framework in nine selected major cities, representatives from all inhabited continents, which are frontrunners in climate action both in their regions and globally. We applied the framework in order to evaluate the level of mitigation and adaptation integration in cities' CCAPs and further explored the different types of mitigation-adaptation interrelationships that have been considered. A scoring system was also devised in order to allow comparing and ranking of the different CCAPs for their level of integration of adaptation and mitigation. The paper draws good practices to support cities in developing climate change action plans in an integrated way. Climatic Change
... What remains undervalued is the diplomatic role played by city networks, and more specifically their secretariats. City networks are treated conceptually as either venues for or tools in global politics-a framing which emphasizes city rather than city network agency (Gordon 2018;Gordon and Acuto 2015;Bouteligier 2013;Lee 2013). This framing emphasizes the role that CNSs play as facilitators of city-to-city learning, as platforms through which cities can act in different venues and at different scales. ...
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The increasing number and broadening functions of transnational city networks suggests a need to rethink prevailing conceptualizations of city networks. This chapter focuses on one under-theorized dimension of city network agency: the role and impact of city network secretariats (CNSs). It examines the sources of CNS authority and the conditions under which they enact independent agency in global politics. Examining the case of urban climate diplomacy, specifically the CitiesIPCC conference which took place in March 2018, this chapter argues that CNSs can act as autonomous agents in international forums, shaping the global governance agenda and the local governance activities of cities themselves. Drawing on the work of Barnett and Finnemore (Rules for the world: International organizations in global politics. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2004) and Jinnah (2014), we suggest that theories of bureaucratic autonomy can help us understand the nature of CNS agency, as well as the conditions under which it might be most influential.
... Such disappointment has been spurred by the experience of the failure of the climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009 when the heads of state and government of the major powers could not agree on a new climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol (Hoffmann, 2011). As a result, several scholars pointed to alternatives to the tenacious intergovernmental attempts to establish a regulatory framework for dealing with climate change and many of them devoted particular attention to cities and their networks (Chan et al., 2015;Gordon & Acuto, 2015;Romero-Lankao et al., 2018). ...
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Cities and their governments are increasingly recognized as important actors in global sustainability governance. With the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, their role in the global endeavor to foster sustainability has once again been put in the spotlight. Several scholars have highlighted pioneering local strategies and policies to implement the Sustainable Development Goals and render urban areas more sustainable. However, the question of how such urban sustainability actions are embedded in complex interactions between public and private actors operating at different levels has not been studied in enough detail. Building upon a multi-level governance approach, this article explores the entanglement and interconnectedness of cities and local governments with actors and institutions at various levels and scales to better capture the potential and limitations of urban policymaking contributing to global sustainability. The article finds that on the one hand cities and their governments are well positioned to engage other actors into a policy dialogue. On the other hand, local authorities face considerable budgetary and institutional capacity constraints, and they heavily rely on support from actors at other governmental levels and societal scales to carry out effective sustainability actions in urban areas.
... The early years of the C40 network still largely resembled the first wave of city networks aimed at encouraging cities to put climate change on the local agenda. Since 2010, however, the network has been shifting its focus and seeks to initiate tangible global/local effects rather than triggering symbolic action by a few pioneering cities. Accordingly, C40 now serves as a prime example of the second wave of city networks framed within a mainstream economic rhetoric alongside a turn to city-led or mayordriven initiatives (Gordon and Acuto 2015). ...
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Scholars of world politics have recently devoted growing attention to the inner workings of international organizations. While this research strand has considerably enhanced our knowledge on the impact of international bureaucracies on global policy-making, their interplay with transnational actors has not been analyzed in much detail. Against this backdrop, the present article addresses the question of why and under what circumstances international bureaucracies and transnational actors work together. Building upon a resource-exchange approach, the article specifically explores the determinants of varying levels of inter-organizational collaboration between the World Bank and transnational city networks in the policy domain of climate change. We contend that the resource-exchange perspective bears great potential to understand inter-organizational dynamics as it takes the motivations on both sides of the relationship into account. In contrast to conceptualizations of international organizations as regulators, principals, or orchestrators, this approach leaves conceptual room for analyzing their bureaucracies as partners of transnational actors.
... In relation to orchestration, under the Climate Positive Development Program, participating cities (with their associated projects) have come to converge around the common goals of becoming climate positive and delivering low-carbon developments. Such convergence has been generated in the C40 via the process of political contestation among different actors, that is, cities such as London, Stockholm, Jaipur; philanthropic organisations including Bloomberg Philanthropies; or nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) such as the US Green Building Council and the Clinton Foundation, which have attempted to orchestrate cities towards specific climate positive actions and joint objectives (Gordon 2013;Gordon and Johnson 2017;Gordon and Acuto 2015). With reference to Gordon and Johnson (2017), it can be considered that for all four best model projects situated in four of the C40 cities, the orchestration mode is 'coordinating', by which the C40 network is intermediary and the Bloomberg Philanthropies and individual cities are considered orchestrators. ...
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Climate change is one of the most challenging environmental and social problems for contemporary urban planning. In response to this phenomenon, city networks have emerged as new configurations of urban climate governance that encourage the implementation of experiments such as testing new solutions regarding sustainable transport. While city networks are gaining momentum and influence as effective platforms to transform and scale up pilot experiments into city-wide schemes, little is known regarding their role in conditioning and leveraging such urban experiments Our paper investigates the underexplored nature of urban experiments within city networks and provides a better understanding of how these networks condition urban experiments. To this end an analytical model has been developed and applied to the case of the C40 Climate Leadership Group (C40) and its Climate Positive Development Good Practice Guide. Our findings suggest that the C40 encourages variation in local climate experiments and the generation of new and innovative climate solutions in member cities. In particular they reveal that the implementation of climate positive experiments has passed the 'variation' stage, is currently in the 'selection' stage, and likely to move towards the 'retention' stage in the near future. Potential experimentation outputs of the case are identified as built environment change, new citizen practices, policy change, infrastructural change and new technology. Noticeably, we consider that the C40 plays an important role in providing fundamental institutional support to implement and leverage climate projects within its member cities.
... Moreover, within the organisation there is 'a certain degree of formalisation and institutionalisation', meaning that the joining cities 'gain access to certain rights (and in most cases obligations) and that the TMNs themselves gain agency through a formal status and infrastructure (staff, offices, and headquarters)' (Busch 2015, p. 6). Increasingly considered as global climate governors (Gordon 2019) cities started facing an emerging tension between contributing to meaningful global climate governance and addressing the specific and practical local challenges (Gordon and Acuto 2015). Meanwhile, they are prompting local governments to take the lead, ahead of their national governments (Rosenzweig et al. 2010) aspiring to be part of the solutions and to put their names on the global map (Pattberg and Widerberg 2015). ...
Chapter
Over the past years a considerable number of municipalities joined together in networks that address climate change mitigation and more and more also adaptation. The presented research focuses on one key aspect of those networks: The sharing of knowledge and experience among the member cities, referred to as city-to-city learning. Due to climate change cities worldwide are facing enormous challenges that require an acceleration of the learning process of how to respond to them. Transnational city networks can help to provide a platform for learning from each other and connect cities to work together. However, the questions are how useful and effective these knowledge sharing processes are in practice, and how existing networks can facilitate and improve them. This was examined through interviews with key stakeholders representing cities that joined transnational networks. Main results were that cities are interested in learning from their peer cities that face similar challenges, and to follow the examples and adopt the strategies of pioneering cities. The contribution of networks were particularly seen in i) facilitating knowledge sharing, ii) promoting the adaptation and resilience work within the own city council, iii) providing (easier) access to funding and, most importantly, iv) enabling the establishment of informal city-to-city relationships based on mutual trust. Furthermore, some city representatives asked for a stronger involvement of the private sector in order to finance the municipalities’ climate change action, whereby the network could act as a facilitator.
... Such disappointment has been spurred by the experience of the failure of the climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009 when the heads of state and government of the major powers could not agree on a new climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol (Hoffmann, 2011). As a result, several scholars pointed to alternatives to the tenacious intergovernmental attempts to establish a regulatory framework for dealing with climate change and many of them devoted particular attention to cities and their networks (Chan et al., 2015;Gordon & Acuto, 2015;Romero-Lankao et al., 2018). ...
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The 2030 Agenda of the United Nations comprises 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 sub-targets which serve as a global reference point for the transition to sustainability. The agenda acknowledges that different issues such as poverty, hunger, health, education, gender equality, environmental degradation, among others, are intertwined and can therefore only be addressed together. Implementing the SDGs as an ‘indivisible whole’ represents the actual litmus test for the success of the 2030 Agenda. The main challenge is accomplishing a more integrated approach to sustainable development that encompasses new governance frameworks for enabling and managing systemic transformations. This thematic issue addresses the question whether and how the SDGs set off processes of societal transformation, for which cooperation between state and non-state actors at all political levels (global, regional, national, sub-national), in different societal spheres (politics, society, and economy), and across various sectors (energy, transportation, food, etc.) are indispensable. In this editorial, we first introduce the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs by providing an overview of the architecture of the agenda and the key challenges of the current implementation phase. In a second step, we present the eleven contributions that make up the thematic issue clustering them around three themes: integration, governance challenges, and implementation.
... However, apart from a small number of studies (e.g. Bouteligier, 2015;Gordon, Forthcoming;Gordon and Acuto, 2015) And to what extent are local and national governments able to set the terms of discourse and investment? What this suggests is a need to ask who has a voice within networks like the C40? ...
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The synthesis provided by Davidson et al. offers a welcome contribution to the study of cities and city‐networks, providing an agenda and an analytical framework that may be used for understanding and addressing critical questions of political economy, knowledge dynamics and local/institutional dimensions of urban climate governance.
... Moreover, within the organisation there is 'a certain degree of formalisation and institutionalisation', meaning that the joining cities 'gain access to certain rights (and in most cases obligations) and that the TMNs themselves gain agency through a formal status and infrastructure (staff, offices, and headquarters)' (Busch 2015, p. 6). Increasingly considered as global climate governors (Gordon 2019) cities started facing an emerging tension between contributing to meaningful global climate governance and addressing the specific and practical local challenges (Gordon and Acuto 2015). Meanwhile, they are prompting local governments to take the lead, ahead of their national governments (Rosenzweig et al. 2010) aspiring to be part of the solutions and to put their names on the global map (Pattberg and Widerberg 2015). ...
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Cities are increasingly joining forces through transnational municipal networks. The presented research focuses on one of the key services of these organisations: providing a platform for city-to-city learning. Interviews with representatives of networks and cities showed that through network organisations local policymakers aim to connect with peers from cities that face similar challenges or that are considered frontrunners. However, the main perceived added value of the studied network organisations is around their function as facilitator of personal networking among local policymakers. While learning certainly takes place and is actively promoted by some networks, most peer-exchanges are about the sharing of knowledge and do not qualify as learning. Therefore, we suggest to distinguish thoroughly between mere 'knowledge sharing' and processes of in-depth learning. Moreover, we call for more research focussing on the role of frontrunner cities in providing 'solutions', particularly up to which point these are helpful and down-scalable.
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en Local governments have emerged as important players in climate change governance, both at home and on the international stage. Likewise, action by states and provinces has been increasingly highlighted, particularly as national actors have moved slowly to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But to what extent do local governments act independently from state and provincial governments in the area of climate change mitigation? Using an explicit process tracing approach, the article tests two hypotheses regarding the influence of upper level subnational governments on local policy. In Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, a city that is a climate change leader, provincial government intervention cannot explain the results of climate change mitigation policy making. This suggests that local governments can exercise an important degree of autonomy over climate change policy, but also implies that where municipalities are less independently committed to climate action, active upper level government intervention will likely be needed. 摘要 zh 地方政府在本土国家和国际舞台上都扮演着气候变化治理的重要参与者。同样,各州和各省实施的行动也日益突出,尤其是当国家行为者逐步减少温室气体排放时。然而,在气候变化缓解方面,地方政府采取的行动在何种程度上独立于州政府和省政府?通过使用清晰过程追踪法,本文测试了两个假设,后者有关于上级州政府/省政府对地方政策产生的影响。在不列颠哥伦比亚省温哥华市加拿大(该市为气候变化领导者),省政府干预无法解释气候变化缓解方面的政策制定所产生的结果。这说明地方政府能在气候变化政策一事上实行相当程度的自治,但这同时加拿大暗示:如果市政在气候行动一事上的自治能力较小,则很可能需要上级政府进行干预。 Resumen es Los gobiernos locales han surgido como actores importantes en la gobernanza del cambio climático, tanto en el hogar como a nivel internacional. Del mismo modo, la acción de los estados y las provincias ha sido cada vez más destacada, especialmente a medida que los actores nacionales se han movido lentamente para reducir las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero. Pero, ¿en qué medida los gobiernos locales actúan independientemente de los gobiernos estatales y provinciales en el área de mitigación del cambio climático? Utilizando un enfoque de rastreo de procesos explícito, el artículo prueba dos hipótesis sobre la influencia de los gobiernos subnacionales de nivel superior en la política local. En Vancouver, Columbia Británica, Canadá, una ciudad que es líder en cambio climático, la intervención del gobierno provincial no puede explicar los resultados de la política de mitigación del cambio climático. Esto sugiere que los gobiernos locales pueden ejercer un grado importante de autonomía sobre la política de cambio climático, pero también implica que cuando los municipios se comprometan de manera menos independiente con la acción climática, es probable que se necesite una intervención gubernamental activa de alto nivel.
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Municipalities worldwide are increasingly exposed to the impacts of climate change manifesting in a higher incidence of natural hazards. In order to respond to these challenges, local governments need to search for solutions that proved to work elsewhere. Learning exchanges with peers from other municipalities - on the national and international level – appear to be a promising approach for local policymakers. Indeed, particularly in the last two decades cities were globally joining together in transnational municipal climate networks that promote city-to-city learning and the sharing of knowledge among its members. However, our current understanding of the functioning of these network organisations and the significance of the learning processes they facilitate is still very limited. Little is known about their impacts on the ground (e.g. on policy formulation). Moreover, despite numerous attempts to theorise and define policy learning, we still do not know how policymakers actually learn. Drawing mainly on various literature streams on governance and policy learning and policy mobilities literature this thesis explores how learning exchanges among local policymakers within transnational municipal climate networks affect local climate policymaking. The outlined question was explored through expert interviews with local policymakers and representatives of transnational municipal climate networks. The thesis is composed of three distinct research papers. At first, the various transnational municipal climate networks needed to be better defined, systemised and distinguished from another. This was done by way of a two-step desk research methodology consisting of an extensive academic literature study and an analysis of sources provided by the examined network organisations. A key finding was that there are very exclusive elite networks only open to a limited number of municipalities on the one hand, and very inclusive mass networks open to almost all municipalities on the other. Moreover, there is a stark differentiation between traditional public governance oriented networks and new emerging non-state funded networks that call for stronger private-public partnerships. In a further step, a global survey addressing key network and local representatives explored the learning opportunities leveraged from transnational municipal climate networks. In particular, the forms in which city- to-city learning is taking place within networks, alongside a perception of its helpfulness and significance by the policymakers involved. The findings generally confirm that through the participation in climate networks policymakers are enabled to learn from and with their peers from municipalities 9 facing similar challenges. Indeed, in many cases, transnational municipal climate networks act as crucial facilitators of valuable personal contacts among local policymakers. Moreover, it was shown that only some exchanges among local policymakers qualify as learning while the major parts of them were around the sharing of knowledge. The global survey also revealed that many policymakers regard study visits an effective network tool to initiate in-depth learning exchanges. Therefore, in the final paper of the thesis, study visits in climate change adaptation organised by a consortium of European municipal climate networks were investigated. Several interviews with policymakers participating in the study visits showed that – under certain conditions – they increase the credibility of policies within a municipal administration and can initiate policy adoption. However, the research also raises critical questions about the mass suitability of one-sided learning exchanges of inexperienced municipalities from frontrunner or pioneering municipalities. Instead, a stronger emphasis should be placed on mutual learning exchanges between more equal partners that learn and improve together. http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12571/9733
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In recent decades, climate city networks, understood as formalized subnational governance networks that have climate change as their focus, have emerged, linking cities to the global climate governance regime and helping them to take climate action locally. Such city networks are considered an essential aspect of urban climate policy and governance. Scholarship on climate city networks has illustrated that such networks can no longer be understood as homogenous groups of organizations; rather, they show heterogeneity in how they seek to attract and engage with member cities. In this article, we unpack this heterogeneity and interrogate the various ways in which climate city networks attract and engage with their members. We are particularly interested in understanding what typifies climate city networks with an active member base. In studying 22 real-world climate city networks, we uncover five distinct types of networks with an active member base. The typology illustrates the rich, but bounded, variety of climate city networks, and helps to clarify how climate city networks can be effective in encouraging their member cities to take local climate action.
Chapter
To capture the many complexities, we adopt a broad approach to urban governance, encompassing the diverse combinations of formal, informal and/or customary/traditional institutions and practices in urban areas of the Global South. The broad arguments are illustrated with appropriate examples and boxed case studies to illustrate important dimensions of diversity but also the scope for generalisation. In many contexts, inclusion of urban ecology, biodiversity, and green–blue infrastructure within urban governance is quite novel, thus presenting challenges to often rigid and outdated systems in times of unprecedented change. Hence, the chapter addresses key aspects needing change, including guidelines and examples of how this has been and can be achieved. A comprehensive and holistic approach is vital to provide a logical context for prioritisation and integration. This will facilitate joined-up action to achieve multiple co-benefits through targeted interventions rather than a scatter gun approach. Novel approaches that prioritise transdisciplinary co-design or co-production over conventional adversarial and top-down expert-led mechanisms have considerable potential in this regard. These are examined across relevant spatial scales, from key global agreements and conventions, to national initiatives, local authorities and the potential of transnational municipal networks.
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Cities are increasingly included in discussions of climate governance and lauded as sources of innovation, leadership, and experimentation. But can they succeed where states have failed in producing meaningful collective actions and effects? To respond to this pressing question requires understanding whether cities can achieve more than rhetorical commitment to coordinated action, whether they can come together and coordinate their actions. To answer this question my dissertation addresses the puzzling ability of the C40 Climate Leadership Group to achieve internal coherence. Leveraging a novel dataset of over 4700 discrete urban climate governance actions, I demonstrate empirically that the cities of the C40 have come not only to cohere around a common project, employ common practices of climate governance, but that the C40 has converged around a common set of governance norms: shared ideas as to the role of cities in global climate governance, the ways in which cities can and should engage in governance, and how governance should be practiced. I introduce a novel conceptual framework that interweaves elements of social constructivism and network analysis with Bourdieu’s social field theory, and demonstrate how reconceiving the C40 as a governance field illuminates currents of power that operate beneath the still waters of nominal and voluntary cooperation, and provides a means of explaining how convergence has been pursued, contested, and produced by actors who claim and wield various sorts of power and authority. The dissertation applies this novel conceptual apparatus to demonstrate why contestation was paramount between 2005 and 2010, and how convergence was produced from 2011 on. Put simply, the C40 only achieved convergence once there was an actor with enough power to overcome resistance and secure complicity from its members, with such power translated into influence through the mechanism of recognition.
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Esse artigo analisa como as cidades brasileiras estão respondendo aos riscos das mudanças climáticas em termos de estratégias políticas de adaptação
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Cambridge Core - Environmental Policy, Economics and Law - Urban Climate Politics - edited by Jeroen van der Heijden
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The demographic transition of the late 20th and early 21st centuries has shifted the locus of urbanizing populations from the global North to the global South. As the theoretical epicenter of urban scholars and policymakers adjusts to accommodate this transition, some realignment in how ideas are weighted and applied is inevitable. This recalibration, while not necessarily comfortable for those in established positions of intellectual power, is desirable and maybe even overdue. The overarching argument presented here is that recent work on neoliberalism, despite its quality and relevance for many places, will need to be "provincialized" in order to create intellectual space for alternative ideas that may be more relevant to cities where the majority of the world's urban population now resides. To this end, we explore the limits to the critique of neoliberalism-a perspective that has assumed hegemonic dimensions in the progressive geographical literature. In seeking post-neoliberal insights, we highlight two bodies of work that also address issues of urban injustice. The first is the largely practice-generated literature on poverty and its amalgamation into a resurgent literature focused on the right to the city. The second theoretical framework we explore as a counterpoint to the neoliberal crtitique is the nascent debate about the size and shape of the subnational state, arguing that it is time to bring to the fore the difficult question concerning the most appropriate form of urban government. Finally, we suggest that if the state is to be an important component in the urban developmental landscape, all sorts of initiatives in research and capacity-building will be needed, giving substantially greater attention to documenting urban change on hitherto under-researched cities, and learning from practice how to transform the theoretical canon to ensure 21st-century relevance.
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Global climate governance conducted in settings such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Major Economies Forum, and Group of Twenty (G20) has proven incapable, to date, of generating an effective response. Greenhouse gas emissions have steadily increased since the issue was added to the global agenda in the early 1990s and prospects appear slim for a single, all-encompassing international legal agreement. Outside the formal regime, however, there are signs of dynamism as non-nation state actors engage in a variety of climate governance experiments. Cities, and city-networks such as the C40 Climate Leadership Group, represent important sources of innovation in the broader system of global climate governance: they challenge prevailing norms regarding who should govern climate change, and how coordinated governance responses can be generated. This paper presents a brief history of the C40, and assesses, drawing on ideas from network theory, some of the opportunities and limitations of networked climate governance. Recognizing that cities, and city-networks, exist within a broader multi-level governance context, the paper concludes with some thoughts related to updating Canadian federal climate policy in order to leverage and enable innovative city-network governance initiatives, address gaps in current federal climate policy, and link climate change to other, pressing issues, on the urban agenda.
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Why do some cities join transnational climate change networks while others do not? This study examines the factors that drive cities' participation in transnational climate change networks, such as the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and the Cities for Climate Protection program. Hierarchical analysis of 256 cities in 118 countries suggests that the degree of cities' globalization, or their level of "global cityness," is positively associated with the cities' membership in the global networks. The level of individual cities' integration into the international economy and transportation grid is crucial for sharing ideas of global environmental responsibility. This tendency is found both in global cities of both developing and developed countries. Hierarchical models also suggest that attributes of cities-not country attributes such as democracy, income level, and being an Annex I country under the Kyoto Protocol-account for cities' memberships in transnational networks.
Article
Cities have become crucial actors for the global governance of climate change. Their increased activity in this field is reflected by the rising number of adoptions of local climate strategies in an original sample of 274 European cities from 1992 to 2009. Using event history analysis, I find that this spread is promoted by transnational municipal networks (TMNs) successfully deploying strategies for governance by diffusion, their impact exceeding that of most alternative explanatory factors cited in the literature. Given their capacity to foster the spread of climate policy innovations among cities, TMNs can thus be expected to play a decisive role in a climate governance system that is becoming increasingly fragmented, polycentric, and transnational.
Book
It is increasingly clear that the world of climate politics is no longer confined to the activities of national governments and international negotiations. Critical to this transformation of the politics of climate change has been the emergence of new forms of transnational governance that cut across traditional state-based jurisdictions and operate across public and private divides. This book provides the first comprehensive, cutting-edge account of the world of transnational climate change governance. Co-authored by a team of the world's leading experts in the field and based on a survey of sixty case studies, the book traces the emergence, nature and consequences of this phenomenon, and assesses the implications for the field of global environmental politics. It will prove invaluable for researchers, graduate students and policy makers in climate change, political science, international relations, human geography, sociology and ecological economics. Provides the first comprehensive account of transnational climate change governance Offers three different conceptual lenses through which to examine these issues Will appeal to those seeking to understand the potential and limits of alternative responses to climate change
Article
In this paper, we argue for an approach that goes beyond an institutional reading of urban climate governance to engage with the ways in which government is accomplished through social and technical practices. Central to the exercise of government in this manner, we argue, are ‘climate change experiments’– purposive interventions in urban socio‐technical systems designed to respond to the imperatives of mitigating and adapting to climate change in the city. Drawing on three different concepts – of governance experiments, socio‐technical experiments, and strategic experiments – we first develop a framework for understanding the nature and dynamics of urban climate change experiments. We use this conceptual analysis to frame a scoping study of the global dimensions of urban climate change experimentation in a database of 627 urban climate change experiments in 100 global cities. The analysis charts when and where these experiments occur, the relationship between the social and technical aspects of experimentation and the governance of urban climate change experimentation, including the actors involved in their governing and the extent to which new political spaces for experimentation are emerging in the contemporary city. We find that experiments serve to create new forms of political space within the city, as public and private authority blur, and are primarily enacted through forms of technical intervention in infrastructure networks, drawing attention to the importance of such sites in urban climate politics. These findings point to an emerging research agenda on urban climate change experiments that needs to engage with the diversity of experimentation in different urban contexts, how they are conducted in practice and their impacts and implications for urban governance and urban life.
Book
Case study rich, this volume advances our understanding of the significance of 'the city' in global governance. The editors call for innovation in international relations theory with case studies that add breadth to theorizing the role sub-national political actors play in global affairs. Each of the eight case studies demonstrates different intersections between the local and the global and how these intersections alter the conditions resulting from globalization processes. The case studies do so by focusing on one of three sub-themes: the diverse ways in which cities and sub-national regions impact nation-state foreign policy; the various dimensions of urban imbrications in global environmental politics; or the multiple methods and standards used to measure the global roles of cities. © Mark Amen, Noah J. Toly, Patricia L. McCarney and Klaus Segbers 2011. All rights reserved.
Article
Little interest has thus far been paid to the role of cities in world politics. Yet, several are the examples of city-based engagements suggesting an emerging urban presence in international relations. The Climate Leadership Group, despite its recent lineage, is perhaps the most significant case of metropolitan intersection with global governance. To illustrate this I rely on Actor-Network Theory (ANT) to develop a qualitative network analysis of the evolution of the C40 in the past seven years from a limited gathering of municipal leaders to a transnational organisation partnering with the World Bank. Pinpointed on the unfolding of a twin diplomacy/planning approach, the evolution of the C40 can demonstrate the key role of global cities as actors in global environmental politics. These cities have a pivotal part in charting new geographies of climate governance, prompting the rise of subpolitical policymaking arrangements pinpointed on innovative and hybrid connections. Yet, there remains some important rational continuity, in particular with neoliberalism, which ultimately limits the revolutionary potential these cities might have for international relations.
Article
U.S. state and local governments have become active participants in the global economy as they promote trade, investment, tourism, and technical and cultural exchanges. All 50 states sponsor international programs, and 41 states maintain over 110 offices in 24 countries. More than 1000 cities are also engaged in long-term international activities. Altogether, states and localities are spending hundreds of millions of dollars annually on international projects. The proliferation of subnational government ties beyond America's borders is complicating intergovernmental relations and posing questions of constitutionality, jurisdiction, and propriety. Nonetheless, such grass-roots efforts are vital if the United States is to maintain its economic competitiveness in a complex global arena. Regularized institutional linkages should be established between the federal, state, and local governments, and there should be extensive inter-governmental cooperation in formulating U.S. economic and foreign policy strategies for the 1990s and beyond.
Article
This study examines the network structure of policy learning in the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, which is a network of the world’s largest cities committed to tackling climate change issues. Among forty members and nineteen affiliate members, we ask the question with whom do cities learn and why? How are policy-learning relationships associated with cities’ multi-stakeholder governing body, policy performance, and cultural similarities? While studies on learning have analyzed conditions facilitating learning, quantitative studies of local government learning in global networks are rare. To facilitate the investigation into learning, we conceptualize learning as a process comprising information seeking, adoption and policy change, and focus on information seeking as the foundation step in the learning process. This social network analysis using the exponential random graph model reveals the cities that seek information and those that are information sources are different subgroups. Furthermore, analysis of nodal attributes suggests that transmunicipal learning in the C40 network is facilitated by the presence of a multi-stakeholder governing body; homophily of culture (language and regional proximity); and higher level of climate change policy performance. Creating a multi-stakeholder governing body could ensure participatory representativeness from citizens and relevant stakeholders to enhance climate change policy engagement and decision making as well as policy learning.
Article
The authors draw on the concept of a ‘sustainability fix’—a political discourse which allows development to proceed by accommodating both profit-making and environmental concerns—to analyze how municipalities muster support for development in the face of worries about negative environmental impacts. The case of Whistler, British Columbia, a tourist resort with an official orientation toward sustainable development, is used to illustrate the politics of balancing economic and environmental commitments. The authors deepen the sustainability fix concept by addressing: first, how such a fix is achieved through the assemblage of local and extralocal resources—specifically, ‘imported’ policy models which direct attention to certain definitions of problems and legitimate specific types of policy solutions; and second, how the politics of municipal policy-making is about more than contention and how it involves the sort of ongoing and broadly defined learning that has been largely undertheorized in the local politics literature. A key point is that local politics and policy making are always also extralocal in various ways. They involve a local politics of policy mobility. The authors expand on this premise to show how Whistler’s model of sustainability planning has recently been circulated to other municipalities with similar social, economic, and environmental conditions. Keywords: policy mobilities, sustainability, politics of learning, The Natural Step (TNS), Whistler BC
Article
The past decade has witnessed a growing interest among scholars of international relations, and global environmental governance in particular, in the role of transnational networks within the international arena. While the existence and potential significance of such networks has been documented, many questions concerning the nature of governance conducted by such networks and their impact remain. We contribute to these debates by examining how such networks are created and maintained and the extent to which they can foster policy learning and change. We focus on the Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) program, a network of some 550 local governments concerned with promoting local initiatives for the mitigation of climate change. It is frequently asserted that the importance of such networks lies in their ability to exchange knowledge and information, and to forge norms about the nature and terms of particular issues. However, we find that those local governments most effectively engaged with the network are mobilized more by the financial and political resources it offers, and the legitimacy conferred to particular norms about climate protection, than by access to information. Moreover, processes of policy learning within the CCP program take place in discursive struggles as different actors seek legitimacy for their interpretations of what local climate protection policies should mean. In conclusion, we reflect upon the implications of these findings for understanding the role of transnational networks in global environmental governance.
Article
South Africa, being a developing nation, is faced with many challenges, including poverty and one of the world's highest HIV/AIDS infection rates. It is within this context that this paper presents an overview of the role played by major stakeholders in climate change mitigation policies, with the focus on two South African cities, namely Cape Town and Johannesburg. This paper aims to identify the internal and external factors that act as barriers to, or promote, climate change mitigation policy development and implementation in South African cities. These may take the form of the city's internal structures, political interventions and support, and external factors including partnerships with outside organizations, including all tiers of government, non-governmental organizations and academic institutions. The media and an energy crisis in the Cape prove to play an unexpected role in assisting Cape Town to implement climate change mitigation measures.
Article
Obra que reconstruye el origen y evolución de las actuales redes transnacionales que, con la utilización de las nuevas tecnologías informativas como recurso organizador y aglutinador, han logrado constituirse en movimientos más o menos presionadores en la defensa de los derechos humanos, de la protección ambiental y de una mayor equidad de género, entre otros.
Article
Purpose – This study aims to analyze city networks as they face the challenges of global warming. It seeks to introduce the notion of “governance from the middle” as an alternative to traditional intergovernmental policy. This is developed by focusing on the particular experiences of the C40 Cities Leadership Group and discussing its prospects and risks. Design/methodology/approach – CCI works with a number of commercial banks, institutional investors, international financial institutions and other capital providers to design financing programmes and source capital. Findings – The C40 Group illustrates some fundamental traits of city networks with a hybrid governance structure, combining traditional public institutional structures with market-based arrangements, organizationally and qualitatively governing from the middle. Critical factors in this dynamic are the use of an external implementing body, providing new organizational opportunities for the network, and the prominence given to an integrated procurement process, which develops incentive structures for action and effectively connects actors at various levels of society. The latter emphasis on market-incentives as a template for action is an innovative governance feature but not the panacea many want. The complex nature of the governance arrangement itself, the structural asymmetries among its members, and the diversified set of issues the network intends to address are all factors that remain to be researched. Originality/value – The study provides new perspectives on the conceptual discussions about governance by introducing the notion of “governance from the middle”. These allow us in turn to continue research about the role of market-arrangements in linking global and local ambitions. This could have a decisive policy impact on climate governance in general.
Article
What roles do, can and should cities and their agents play on the international stage? Has the “rescaling” of political authority expanded urban governments' foreign policy space? Can the advocates of urban empowerment exploit cities' growing economic clout to harness urban development? To answer these questions, and to shed light on the international frontiers of metropolitan governance, this study explores the frictions between cities' foreign ambitions and states' collective efforts to preserve their sovereign rights and prerogatives. It proceeds in two parts: to probe the anarchical society's stake in the urban age, the first part maps the transnational activities of cities and their agents. It discusses urban aspirations, surveys foreign engagements and reviews their salience and limitations. To gauge states' collective response to the tentative expansion of metropolitan rule, the second part examines on what terms UN‐Habitat, the Cities Alliance and the World Bank harness urban development in poorer and more fragile parts of the world. The study concludes with a critique of the view that international relations are bound to orbit local concerns.
Article
The emergence of a new urban form, the global city, has attracted little attention from International Relations (IR) scholars, despite the fact that much progress has been made in conceptualising and mapping global cities and their networks in other fields. This article argues that global cities pose fundamental questions for IR theorists about the nature of their subject matter, and shows how consideration of the historical relationship between cities and states can illuminate the changing nature of the international system. It highlights how global cities are essential to processes of globalisation, providing a material and infrastructural backbone for global flows, and a set of physical sites that facilitate command and control functions for a decentralised global economy. It goes on to argue that the rise of the global city challenges IR scholars to consider how many of the assumptions that the discipline makes about the modern international system are being destabilised, as important processes deterritorialise at the national level and are reconstituted at different scales.
Article
8 While the Conference of the Parties wrangle at an international scale with climate policy, a quiet and effective 9 set of policies and measures is being implemented at a local scale by municipalities across the globe. This study 10 examines the motivation municipalities have for undertaking policies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, when 11 the theory of free-riding would predict that local administrations should find it difficult to unilaterally reduce their 12 emissions for the benefit of the global climate. Through interviews with officials and/or staff in 23 municipalities in 13 the United States enacting climate policy, data are gathered that suggest local government abatement policies are 14 primarily a top–down decision based on what officials or staff members believe to be "good business" or rational 15 policy choices. They are primarily driven by the potential for cost savings and other realized or perceived co-benefits 16 rather than by public pressure. Economic data from some dozen municipal projects are analyzed, finding justification 17 for the often-disputed claim that at least initial reductions in emissions can be made at cost savings.-benefits of climate policy 20 1. Can cities overcome "free-rider" obstacles? 21 As nations have debated details of the Kyoto Protocol, the first government to actually adopt an emis-22 sions reduction target was a city: Toronto, Canada (Young, 1995). In 1990, 7 years before the Kyoto 23 Protocol targets were established, the city council unanimously passed a resolution setting a target to 24 reduce Toronto's carbon dioxide emissions to 20% below 1988 levels by the year 2005 (Harvey, 1993). 25 Worldwide, municipalities have followed with their own targets. This study examines the motivation 26 behind such municipal action on climate change in the United States, and performs a brief analysis of the 27 extent to which their perceptions of savings were valid.
Article
The paper contributes to the research on understanding local global warming politics. Strategic documents from The Cities for Climate Protection Campaign (CCPC) are analysed to show how CCPC has constructed climate change protection as a local issue. The paper's premise is that the climate change issue must be translated or framed to enable actors to work with this problem in a local context, and that successful framing requires establishing a coherent method of describing social reality. CCPC emphasises that the different elements of local and global sustainable development agendas can be mutually reinforcing, and that climate change protection can be reconciled with local priorities and initiatives that reduce greenhouse gases (GHG). It is argued that this framing of climate change makes it difficult to see why and how climate change should be an important concern for local communities. The modest reductions of GHG in CCPC cities thus far highlights that finding meaningful new ways of linking the global and the local should be a core concern of CCPC.
Article
This paper surveys transnational city networks for sustainability to determine the substance of their work and the potentials for more efficient and successful implementation of sustainable development through networking. It also analyses the challenges and limits of sustainability-oriented networking, taking into account issues such as network organization, priorities, strategies, and communication methods as factors for success. A wide breadth of goals and means characterizes sustainability networks although most are organized and maintained in a very similar fashion. The large gap existing between regions active in networking and others and the fact smaller, more regionally-oriented cities play a dominant role in sustainability-related networks dem-onstrate the latent potential of such networking and the unique dynamics at work.
Article
This study examines opportunitie s for and obstacles to the mitigation of climate change in US cities using the example of the Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) campaign sponsored by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives. The CCP experience suggests a number of ways in which municipal governments can control greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions but also highlights several obstacles that make it dif � cult for local of � cials to do so. First, climate change is generally framed as a global issue. The CCP experience suggests that climate change is most likely to be reframed as a local issue when the preferred policy response (controlling GHG emissions) can be linked to issues (e.g. air quality) already on the local agenda. Secondly, even when local governments recognise that they should do something to control GHG emissions, institutiona l barriers make it dif � cult for municipalitie s to move from political rhetoric to policy action. Finally, it is questionable whether local initiatives can make meaningful contribution s to climate change mitigation in the absence of policy changes at the state and national levels.
Article
Studies of the urban governance of climate change have proliferated over the past decade, as municipalities across the world increasingly place the issue on their agendas and private actors seek to respond to the issue. This review examines the history and development of urban climate governance, the policies and measures that have been put into place, the multilevel governance context in which these are undertaken, and the factors that have structured the posibilities for addressing the issue. It highlights the limits of existing work and the need for future research to provide more comprehensive analyses of the achievements and limitations of urban climate governance. It calls for engagement with alternative theoretical perspectives to understand how climate change is being governed in the city and the implications for urban governance, socioenvironmental justice, and the reconfiguration of political authority.
Book
The global response to climate change has reached a critical juncture. Since the 1992 signing of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the nations of the world have attempted to address climate change through large-scale multilateral treaty-making. These efforts have been heroic, but disappointing. As evidence for the quickening pace of climate change mounts, the treaty-making process has sputtered, and many are now skeptical about the prospect of an effective global response. Yet global treaty-making is not the only way that climate change can be addressed or, indeed, is being addressed. In the last decade myriad initiatives have emerged across the globe independently from, or only loosely connected to, the "official" UN-sponsored negotiations and treaties. In the face of stalemate in the formal negotiations, the world is experimenting with alternate means of responding to climate change. Climate Governance at the Crossroads chronicles these innovations--how cities, provinces and states, citizen groups, and corporations around the globe are addressing the causes and symptoms of global warming. The center of gravity in the global response to climate change is shifting from the multilateral treaty-making process to the diverse activities found beyond the negotiating halls. These innovations are pushing the envelope of climate action and demonstrating what is possible, and they provide hope that the world will respond effectively to the climate crisis. In introducing climate governance "experiments" and examining the development and functioning of this new world of climate policy-making, this book provides an exciting new perspective on the politics of climate change and the means to understand and influence how the global response to climate change will unfold in the coming years.
Article
Research on climate change policy and politics has become increasingly focused on the actions and influence of subnational governments. In North America, this attention has been particularly focused on why subnational governments have taken action in the absence of national leadership, what effect action might have on future national climate policy, and whether the collective action of networks of municipal governments are reshaping and challenging the character of national and global climate governance. This paper examines Canadian municipal climate in light of the absence of a comprehensive and effective climate national strategy. The paper considers various reasons why local governments in Canada have not been central players in national plans, and why their actions have not been more influential nationally. The paper argues that the potential influence of Canadian municipalities on national climate policy is weak, given the loose nature of the network and the long-held structural view that municipalities are not significant units of political analysis in national political and policy debates. The paper concludes by considering the constraints and opportunities of subnational climate networks and municipal network analysis. Copyright 2010 by The Policy Studies Organization.
Article
This article focuses on a variant of multi-level governance and Europeanization, i.e. the transnational networking of local authorities. Focusing on local climate change policy, the article examines how transnational municipal networks (TMNs) govern in the context of multi-level European governance. We find that TMNs are networks of pioneers for pioneers. Copyright (c) 2009 The Author(s). Journal compilation (c) 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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