Imaginative Approaches to Combating Climate Change Locally
Edited by Michael Peters, Shane Fudge and Tim Jackson
Michael Peters, Shane Fudge and Tim Jackson The climate challenge is above all a challenge for governance. Fossil fuels have been for two centuries or more the invisible currency of everyday life. They are deeply implicated in the complex patterns of modern living. How we live, how we work, how we eat, how we get around: all depend intimately on access to high quality energy sources. This means primarily a dependency on the consumption of fossil fuels. And that in its turn has led to carbon emissions at levels which are now clearly recognized as unsustainable. Shifting those patterns, weaning ourselves from carbon dependency, is more than just a technological task. It calls on society to untangle the structures of provision and build new, more sustainable practices, infrastructures and forms of social organization. Governance is key to this endeavour. The challenge of climate change for governance is, in part, a challenge about scale. ‘Think global, act local’ emerged in the 1990s as a familiar axiom in response to global environmental challenges like climate change. The new millennium brought a dawning realization of how difficult this exhortation was to follow. Global challenges demand global responses. International climate policy claimed centre stage in environmental politics through the Kyoto Protocol. And yet achieving the goals of the Protocol proved elusive. A part of the reason for this was the failure of Kyoto to create a global emissions cap. But even the playing out of reduction targets to the national level turned out to...