Climate change is a serious environmental, security and socio-political challenge. Its impact is already visible at community level around the globe. Tackling this challenge requires urgent action, with the engagement of local governments and communities needed.
The focus of Local Governments and Climate Change is on how small and medium-sized communities in Europe are effectively responding to climate change, with a particular focus on different approaches used in sustainable energy planning and implementation. A number of cases presented show the result of different (and often combined) motivations and actions. The most effective responses are those with a holistic, integrated and long-term approach, addressing both climate change mitigation and adaptation, based on citizen and other local stakeholder involvement. Local climate action means addressing different sectors, from buildings to waste, but also involving the industry and business sectors. The focus is on engaging communities on a large scale.
Local governments, together with other actors, play an essential role in this regard: creating a vision for the community, developing relevant strategies, implementing effective policies and rolling out actions. They lead citizens, act in an exemplary manner, and improve energy use in services.
The context they act in is also important, influencing approaches taken with framework conditions (enabling or blocking) , financing, and energy security issues are addressed. A number of important international and European community-specific developments.
"This is a timely book that addresses an urgent problem. Not only does it draw our attention to the role of local government in addressing climate change but it also highlights the issue with regard to small and medium sized communities, which is where the majority of Europe's population actually lives. Moreover, the emphasis on participation is important in an age where the legitimacy of government action is increasingly being questioned."
Rob Atkinson, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK
"Municipalities matter! With clear arguments and multiple case studies Maryke van Staden and Francesco Musco show how mayors and local governments can - and must - lead in climate action. "
Michael Hebbert, University of Manchester, UK
"This book tackles the climate change agenda as it relates to small and medium sized communities. It provides a wide ranging evaluation of the issues and the actions that are being developed to deal with those issues and fills a significant gap in our understanding and in the academic and professional literature. It should be read and digested by all practitioners, politicians, academics and students who are involved or interested in this key area of local governance."
Joe Doak, University of Reading, UK