Elgar Companion to Sustainable Cities
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Elgar Companion to Sustainable Cities

Strategies, Methods and Outlook

Edited by Daniel A. Mazmanian and Hilda Blanco

Against a backdrop of unprecedented levels of urbanization, 21st century cities across the globe share concerns for the challenges they face. This Companion provides a framework for understanding the city as a critical building block for a more sustainable future within broader subnational, national and continental contexts, and ultimately, within a global systems context. It discusses the sustainable strategies being devised, as well as the methods and tools for achieving them. Examples of social, economic, political and environmental sustainable policy strategies are presented and the extent to which they actually increase sustainability is analyzed.
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Chapter 15: Climate action planning

Michael R. Boswell, Adrienne I. Greve and Tammy L. Seale


We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. President Barack Obama, Inaugural Address, 21 January 2013 Climate action plans (CAPs) are strategic policy instruments that cities and counties across the USA are using to establish how they will address the challenge of climate change. Although these plans principally address how a community will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, primarily caused by the burning of fossil fuels, CAPs increasingly focus on how to prepare for the impacts of climate change, referred to as climate adaptation. As of 2012, over 200 US communities have adopted a stand-alone CAP based on a GHG inventory, and about the same number have a climate action plan currently in progress. A total of 1054 communities around the country have signed the Mayors Climate Protection Agreement (http://www.usmayors.org/climateprotection/ agreement.htm), which commits them to adopting a plan to reduce GHG emissions. The methods and tools for preparing CAPs have matured and robust best practices have emerged. In the book, Local Climate Action Planning, Boswell, Greve and Seale document the state of practice and provide communities with a framework for preparing CAPs (Boswell et al. 2012). Although many communities are undertaking a wide array of activities to address climate change, a CAP represents a strong approach for developing and implementing policy.

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