Environmental Regulation in Cities and Other Localities
The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law series
Edited by Benjamin J. Richardson
Chapter 3: Local Climate Change Law and Multi-level Governance in North America
Scott Pasternack* 1. INTRODUCTION As ‘engines of the global economy’, cities consume much of the world’s energy and resources, resulting in numerous greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that contribute significantly to climate change impacts. Ironically, cities are often the most vulnerable to these impacts.1 Fortunately, many cities are responding. They have entered into multi-city agreements, completed GHG emission inventories, adopted GHG reduction targets, pursued innovative green financing, and adopted local laws and policies to meet these commitments. However, given the magnitude of the problem, more is needed.2 Essential to the adoption of local climate change actions has been the interactions among and between different levels of government, various jurisdictions within the same level of government, non-profit organizations, business associations, and community groups. Such multi-level governance (MLG) approaches to climate change are what this conundrum continues to require in order to attain effective solutions. Neither efforts to adopt comprehensive, federal climate change legislation in Canada and the United States – the focus of this chapter – nor efforts to replace or update the Kyoto Protocol3 have yet to succeed. Part 2 of this chapter provides an overview of MLG, and Part 3 offers Canadian and US examples of local climate change actions reflective of such approaches. The views expressed in this chapter are the author’s and do not reflect the policies and positions of the Toronto City Council or the City of Toronto. 1 See Jan Corfee-Morlot et al., Cities, Climate Change and Multilevel Governance, Environmental Working Paper 14 (OECD, 2009) 8, 13. 2...
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