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Implications of governance structures on urban climate action: evidence from Italy and Spain

Keywords: urban climate action; multi-level governance; networks of cities; mitigation; adaptation; Italy; Spain.

Author(s): Sonia De Gregorio Hurtado, Marta Olazabal, Monica Salvia, Filomena Pietrapertosa, Eduardo Olazabal, Davide Geneletti, Valentina D’Alonzo, Efrén Feliú, Senatro Di Leo and Diana Reckien

Date: 2014-03-26

Issue: 2014-02

  Download this working paper (1 MB.)



Cities are widely recognised as being pivotal to fight climate change.
Cities magnify the drivers of climate change, experience the impacts and also concentrate the highest room for action. Given the 70% of the global emissions that cities are responsible for, national governments are unable to meet their international commitments for addressing mitigation and adaptation without the action and cooperation of cities.
In turn, the capacity of local governments to address climate change is largely determined by the institutional architecture within which they are integrated. As a result, the relationship between the different arenas of authority and the integration of cities in national and international networks is considered critical in shaping the global capacity to govern climate change. This work aims to understand how multi-level climate governance and alliances of cities (national and
international) are influencing the climate change capacity and performance of municipalities. This has been done by focusing on two national contexts of the European Union, Italy and Spain, in which climate policy, multi-level governance frameworks, the effects of the national and international networks of cities, and the climate response of cities are analysed through an extensive review of scientific and grey literature, and institutional documents. The results concur with existing literature on the importance of constructing collaborative multi-level climate frameworks at the national scale, that fully integrate the local level, in order to support cities to develop consistent climate action and raise awareness of the responsibility they have in this policy field.

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