Managing Water and Climate Change in Europe and North America
Edited by Inger Weibust and James Meadowcroft
Chapter 6: Climate governance in the European Union multilevel system: the role of cities
Today it is widely acknowledged that cities have become important players in governing climate change in the European Union (EU). Since climate change is a complex problem that requires action at local and regional levels, the success of EU climate change policy depends ultimately on subnational authorities. As an increasing number of citizens live in cities, a high proportion of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are generated at the local level. Thus many European cities started climate mitigation initiatives to reduce their GHG emissions as early as the 1990s. Despite these efforts, the effects of climate change have become noticeable at the local level and have triggered the development of local climate adaptation strategies. However cities are not only sites where climate change causes severe risks to natural and social systems; they are also the places where the social and technological innovations that help to cope with the new challenges are generated. Many European cities have set GHG emission targets, measure and report their emissions annually, have completed risk assessments, developed adaptation plans and have extended their reach with voluntary agreements (Carbon Disclosure Project, 2012). As European cities are strongly affected by EU climate change policy, this chapter concentrates on climate governance in the EU multilevel system. It is assumed that the implementation of EU climate change policy at local level changes local policies and, vice versa, local climate governance influences the development of EU climate policy.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.