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How are Italian and Spanish cities tackling climate change? A local comparative study

Keywords: urban climate action; mitigation plan; adaptation plan; Spain; Italy; Urban Audit

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

Date: 2014-03-26

Issue: 2014-03

  Download this working paper (1 MB.)



Cities are widely recognised as being pivotal to fight climate change.
They magnify the drivers of climate change, experience the impacts and also concentrate the highest room for action. Although urban areas are broadly claimed to be climate leaders, there is no archetype of right actions given the highly contextual differences among them. Yet, the how and why cities respond to global environmental challenges in the context of increasingly competitive economies needs further research. In this paper we aim at advancing in this regard by assessing the state of the art on urban climate actions in two European Mediterranean Countries:
Spain and Italy that face similar climate change challenges. Based on an extensive review of documents, we analyse mitigation and adaptation plans of 26 Spanish and 32 Italian Urban Audit cities, as representative samples. Our results show relevant differences between Spanish and Italian cities in terms of the starting time of their climate actions as well their implementation. We concur with existing literature in that mitigation is more advanced than adaptation actions and take evidence in both countries and we also demonstrate that international and national networking initiatives are being instrumental in engaging cities in climate action.

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