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Cities, Climate Change and Multilevel Governance

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Cities represent a challenge and an opportunity for climate change policy. As the hubs of economic activity, cities generate the bulk of GHG emissions and are thus important to mitigation strategies. Urban planning will shape future trends and the concentration of population, socio-economic activity, poverty and infrastructure in urban areas translates into particular vulnerability to increased climate hazards. City governments and urban stakeholders will therefore be essential in the design and delivery of cost-effective adaptation policies. Further, by empowering local governments, national policies could leverage existing local experiments, accelerate policy responses, foster resource mobilization and engage local stakeholders. This paper aims to develop a multilevel governance framework to explore the linkages between national, regional and local policies to address climate change. It considers the question of “what is good practice?” in the area of multilevel governance and climate change with a particular emphasis on the role of regions and cities. The approach taken in the paper is multi-disciplinary, attempting to combine insights drawing on environmental science; environmental, regional and urban development policy; and a variety of economic and political-economy issues concerning the interface between regional and urban planning and climate change. The paper begins in Section 1 with an outline of a conceptual and methodological framework for the paper. Section 2 focuses on the horizontal dimensions of governance at regional and local scale. Section 3 reviews local-national linkages in the development of climate policy, which is referred to here as the vertical dimension of multilevel governance. Section 4 reviews key institutional perspectives, focusing in particular on key ways that national governments may facilitate capacity building and decision making at local level. The conclusion provides policy recommendations. Details on many of the examples cited in different sections of the paper can be found in the Annexes A and B.

Reference information

Source:
OECD

Published in Climate-ADAPT Jun 07 2016   -   Last Modified in Climate-ADAPT Mar 04 2020

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