Cities and Climate Change

image of Cities and Climate Change

As the hubs of economic activity, cities drive the vast majority of the world’s energy use and are major contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions. Because they are home to major infrastructure and highly concentrated populations, cities are also vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, such as rising sea levels, warmer temperatures and fiercer storms. At the same time, better urban planning and policies can reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions and improve the resilience of urban infrastructure to climate change, thus shaping future trends.  

This book shows how city and metropolitan regional governments working in tandem with national governments can change the way we think about responding to climate change. The chapters analyse: trends in urbanisation, economic growth, energy use and climate change; the economic benefits of climate action; the role of urban policies in reducing energy demand, improving resilience to climate change and complementing global climate policies; frameworks for multilevel governance of climate change including engagement with relevant stakeholders; and the contribution of cities to “green growth”, including the “greening” of fiscal policies, innovation and jobs. The book also explores policy tools and best practices from both OECD and some non-member countries.  

Cities and Climate Change reveals the importance of addressing climate change across all levels of government. Local involvement through “climate-conscious” urban planning and management can help achieve national climate goals and minimise tradeoffs between environmental and economic priorities at local levels. The book will be relevant to policy makers, researchers, and others with an interest in learning more about urbanisation and climate change policy. 



Local-National Climate Policy Linkages

Chapter 8 reviews the vertical dimension of climate governance, focusing on local-national interactions and co-ordination in the development of climate policy. Multi-level governance is a critical issue for national governments, the large majority of which have agreed to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to inevitable climate change. A key issue for national policy makers is what they can do to empower cities to become more effective in the design and implementation of policies for mitigation and adaptation to climate change and to take advantage of the opportunities to learn from city-scale experimentation and action. These include policies driven from the top by national or regional governments as well as from the bottom by local policy approaches and innovations that may subsequently be scaled up to regional or national responses. A hybrid of the two frameworks provides top-down incentives and guidance while leaving room for city-level leadership and innovation. Partnerships with the private sector are shown to be an important feature in hybrid frameworks. Climate priorities also call on national governments to integrate mitigation and adaptation goals into national regional development policy frameworks, although only a few countries can provide successful models for climate-sensitive regional development policy.


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