City Governments and Climate Change

  • Stephen Jones


This chapter provides an overview of city governments in the context of climate change. The information presented summarises the issues associated with city government action on climate change. Of particular concern are the factors such as the position of cities as both contributors to and casualties of climate change, the multiple objectives of government action on climate change, and the role of networks and alliances of city governments in responding to climate change. In setting the scene for more in-depth coverage of performance management, the chapter will bring attention to issues relevant to the implementation of climate policy by city governments that have been taking action. The remainder of the chapter will focus on the critical issues associated with the application of performance by both individual city governments and network alliances that have been attempting to establish consistent approaches across their member city jurisdictions.


  1. Acuto, M., Morissette, M., & Tsouros, A. (2017). City Diplomacy: Towards More Strategic Networking? Learning with WHO Healthy Cities. Global Policy, 8(1), 14–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ammons, D. (2015). Getting Real About Performance Management: Using Performance Information to Improve Services is Key. Public Management. December. ICMA Publications, PM Magazine.
  3. APSC (Australian Public Service Commission). (2007). Tackling Wicked Problems: A Public Policy Perspective. Canberra: Australian Government.Google Scholar
  4. Barrett, J., Peters, G., Wiedmann, T., Scott, K., Lenzen, M., Roelich, K., & Le Quéré, C. (2013). Consumption-Based GHG Emission Accounting: A UK Case Study. Climate Policy, 13(4), 451–470.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Baur, A. H., Lauf, S., Foerster, M., & Kleinschmit, B. (2015). Estimating Greenhouse Gas Emissions of European Cities—Modeling Emissions with Only One Spatial and One Socioeconomic Variable. Science of the Total Environment, 520, 49–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Betsill, M. M., & Bulkeley, H. (2004). Transnational Networks and Global Environmental Governance: The Cities for Climate Protection Program. International Studies Quarterly, 48(2), 471–493.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Betsill, M., & Bulkeley, H. (2006). Cities and the Multilevel Governance of Global Climate Change. Global Governance, 12, 141–159.Google Scholar
  8. Betsill, M., & Bulkeley, H. (2007). Looking Back and Thinking Ahead: A Decade of Cities and Climate Change Research. Local Environment, 12(5), 447–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bouckaert, G., & Halligan, J. (2008). Managing Performance: International Comparisons. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Broto, V. C., & Bulkeley, H. (2013). A Survey of Urban Climate Change Experiments in 100 Cities. Global Environmental Change, 23(1), 92–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bulkeley, H. (2010). Cities and the Governing of Climate Change. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 35, 229–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bulkeley, H. (2013). Cities and Climate Change. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  13. Bulkeley, H., & Betsill, M. (2005). Rethinking Sustainable Cities: Multilevel Governance and the ‘Urban’ Politics of Climate Change. Environmental Politics, 14(1), 42–63. doi  10.1080/0964401042000310178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Burch, S. (2009). In Pursuit of Resilient, Low Carbon Communities: An Examination of Barriers to Action in Three Canadian Cities. Energy Policy, 38(12), 7575–7585.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. C40. (2015). Cities 100: 100 Solutions for Climate Action in Cities. C40 and Sustainia.
  16. CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project). (2014). Protecting Our Capital: How Climate Adaptation in Cities Creates a Resilient Place for Business.
  17. City of Philadelphia. (2015). Greenworks Philadelphia.
  18. City of Stockholm. (2015). Stockholm Action Plan for Climate and Energy 2012–2015. Stockholm.Google Scholar
  19. Dubnick, M. (2005). Accountability and the Promise of Performance: In Search of the Mechanisms. Public Performance and Management Review, 28(3), 376–417.Google Scholar
  20. Einstein, K., Glick, D., & Lusk, K. (2014). Mayoral Policy Making: Results from the 21st Century Mayor’s Leadership Survey. Boston: Boston University Initiatives on Cities.Google Scholar
  21. Fan, J. L., Hou, Y. B., Wang, Q., Wang, C., & Wei, Y. M. (2016). Exploring the Characteristics of Production-Based and Consumption-Based Carbon Emissions of Major Economies: A Multiple-Dimension Comparison. Applied Energy, 184, 790–799.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Florida, R. (2014). The Rise of the Creative Class—Revisited: Revised and Expanded. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  23. Giest, S., & Howlett, M. (2013). Comparative Climate Change Governance: Lessons from European Transnational Municipal Network Management Efforts. Environmental Policy and Governance, 23(6), 341–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. GLA (Greater London Authority). (2011). Managing Risks and Increasing Resilience: The Mayor’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. London: GLA.Google Scholar
  25. Golden, E. (2015). Mpls. Mayor: Debate Over Climate Change Not an Issue at Pope’s Summit, Star Tribune, July 22.Google Scholar
  26. Gordon, D., & Johnson, C. (2017). The Orchestration of Global Urban Climate Governance: Conducting Power in the Post-Paris Climate Regime. Environmental Politics, 26(4), 694–714.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gustavsson, E., Elander, I., & Lundmark, M. (2009). Multilevel Governance, Networking Cities, and the Geography of Climate-Change Mitigation: Two Swedish Examples. Environment and Planning C: Government & Policy, 27(1), 59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hakelberg L. (2011). Governing Climate Change by Diffusion. Transnational Municipal Networks as Catalysts of Policy Spread, Forschungszentrum fuer Umweltpolitik, Freie Universitaet Berlin, FFU-Report 08-2011.Google Scholar
  29. Hill, M. (2005). The Public Policy Process. Harlow: Pearson.Google Scholar
  30. Hoornweg, D. (2015). A Cities Approach to Sustainability. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Toronto. Department of Civil Engineering.Google Scholar
  31. Hoornweg, D., & Freire, M. (2013). Building Sustainability in an Urbanizing World: A Partnership Report. Urban Development Series Knowledge Papers No. 17. World Bank, Washington, DC: © World Bank.
  32. Howlett, M., & Ramesh, M. (2003). Studying Public Policy: Policy Cycles and Policy Subsystems. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Hupe, P. L. (2011). The Thesis of Incongruent Implementation: Revisiting Pressman and Wildavsky. Public Policy and Administration, 26(1), 63–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hupe, P., & Hill, M. (2007). Street-Level Bureaucracy and Public Accountability. Public Administration, 85(2), 279–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ibrahim, N., Sugar, L., Hoornweg, D., & Kennedy, C. (2012). Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Cities: Comparison of International Inventory Frameworks. Local Environment, 17(2), 223–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives). (2009). ICLEI Statement of Mayors and Local Governments on Failure of International Community to Act on Climate Change.
  37. IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change). (2014a). Summary for Policymakers. In O. Edenhofer, R. Pichs-Madruga, Y. Sokona, E. Farahani, S. Kadner, K. Seyboth, A. Adler, I. Baum, S. Brunner, P. Eickemeier, B. Kriemann, J. Savolainen, S. Schlmer, C. von Stechow, T. Zwickel, & J. C. Minx (Eds.), Climate Change 2014, Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change). (2014b). Final draft Report, dated 17 December 2013, of the Working Group III contribution to the IPCC 5th Assessment Report “Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change” Chapter 12, Human Settlements, Infrastructure and Spatial Planning.,d.dGo
  39. Jones, S. (2012). A Tale of Two Cities: Climate Change Policies in Vancouver and Melbourne: Barometers of Cooperative Federalism? International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 36(6), 1242–1267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Jones, S. (2015). ‘If You Can Make It Here, You Can Make It Anywhere’: Performance Management and PlaNYC Climate Change Initiatives. Regional Studies. doi  10.1080/00343404.2015.1052389.
  41. Kennedy, C., Steinberger, J., Gasson, B., Hansen, Y., Hillman, T., Havráek, M., Pataki, D., Phdungsilp, A., Ramaswami, A., & Mendez, G. V. (2010). Methodology for Inventorying Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Global Cities. Energy Policy, 38(9), 4828–4837.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kenny, M., & Cox, L. (2015). ‘Bigger Threat than Terrorism’: Barack Obama Signals Australia. India and China Must Improve on Climate Change.
  43. Kolbert, E. (2015). The Siege of Miami. The New Yorker. December 21.
  44. Krause, R. M. (2011). Policy Innovation, Intergovernmental Relations, and the Adoption of Climate Protection Initiatives by US Cities. Journal of Urban Affairs, 33(1), 45–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Krause, R. M., Feiock, R. C., & Hawkins, C. V. (2016). The Administrative Organization of Sustainability Within Local Government. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. doi  10.1093/jopart/muu032.
  46. Lipsky, M. (1980). Street Level Bureaucrats. Nova York: Russel Sage.Google Scholar
  47. Lipsky, M. (2010). Street-Level Bureaucracy, 30th Ann. Ed.: Dilemmas of the Individual in Public Service. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  48. McCann, E. (2013). Policy Boosterism, Policy Mobilities, and the Extrospective City. Urban Geography, 34(1), 5–29. doi  10.1080/02723638.2013.778627.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Mi, Z., Zhang, Y., Guan, D., Shan, Y., Liu, Z., Cong, R., Yuan, X. C., & Wei, Y. M. (2016). Consumption-Based Emission Accounting for Chinese Cities. Applied Energy, 184, 1073–1081.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Minx, J., Baiocchi, G., Wiedmann, T., Barrett, J., Creutzig, F., Feng, K., Förster, M., Pichler, P. P., Weisz, H., & Hubacek, K. (2013). Carbon Footprints of Cities and Other Human Settlements in the UK. Environmental Research Letters, 8(3), 035039.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Moynihan, D. P. (2009). Through a Glass, Darkly: Understanding the Effects of Performance Regimes. Public Performance & Management Review, 32(4), 592–603.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Nam, T. (2014). Assessing Operational and Collaborative Performance Management: A Case Study of PhillyStat. International Journal of Public Administration, 37(8), 514–527.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Obama, B. (2014). FACT SHEET: 16 U.S. Communities Recognized as Climate Action Champions for Leadership on Climate Change.
  54. OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development). (2008). State of the Public Service. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  55. OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development). (2009). Measuring Government Activity. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  56. OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development). (2010). Cities and Climate Change. Paris: OECD Publishing. doi  10.1787/9789264091375-en.Google Scholar
  57. Osofsky, H. M., & Koven Levit, J. (2007). The Scale of Networks: Local Climate Change Coalitions. Chicago Journal of International Law, 8(2), 409.Google Scholar
  58. O’Toole, L. J., Jr. (2000). Research on Policy Implementation: Assessment and Prospects. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 10(2), 263–288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Peck, J., Theodore, N., & Brenner, N. (2009). Neoliberal Urbanism: Models, Moments, Mutations. SAIS Review of International Affairs, 29(1), 49–66.Google Scholar
  60. PLANYC (City of New York). (2007). PlaNYC: A Greener, Greater New York. New York City Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability, New York, NY.Google Scholar
  61. Pope Francis. (2015). Final Declaration on Workshop on Climate Change.
  62. Pressman, J. L., & Wildavsky, A. B. (1973). How Great Expectations in Washington are Dashed in Oakland: Or, why It’s Amazing that Federal Programs Work at All, this Being a Saga of the Economic Development Administration as Told by Two Sympathetic Observers who Seek to Build Morals on a Foundation of Ruined Hopes. University of California Press.Google Scholar
  63. Román, M. (2010). Governing from the Middle: The C40 Cities Leadership Group, Corporate Governance. The International Journal of Business in Society, 10(1), 73–84.Google Scholar
  64. Rykkja, L. H., Neby, S., & Hope, K. L. (2013). Implementation and Governance: Current and Future Research on Climate Change Policies. Public Policy and Administration, 29(2), 106–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Schreurs, M. A. (2008). From the Bottom Up Local and Subnational Climate Change Politics. The Journal of Environment & Development, 17(4), 343–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. SEF (South East Florida). (2012). Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact.
  67. Seto, K. C., Dhakal, S., Bigio, A., Blanco, H., Delgado, G. C., Dewar, D., Huang, L., Inaba, A., Kansal, A., Lwasa, S., McMahon, J. E., Müller, D. B., Murakami, J., Nagendra, H., & Ramaswami, A. (2014). Human Settlements, Infrastructure and Spatial Planning. In O. Edenhofer, R. Pichs-Madruga, Y. Sokona, E. Farahani, S. Kadner, K. Seyboth, A. Adler, I. Baum, S. Brunner, P. Eickemeier, B. Kriemann, J. Savolainen, S. Schlömer, C. von Stechow, T. Zwickel, & J. C. Minx (Eds.), Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  68. Shigeto, S., Yamagata, Y., Ii, R., Hidaka, M., & Horio, M. (2012). An Easily Traceable Scenario for 80% CO2 Emission Reduction in Japan Through the Final Consumption-based CO2 Emission Approach: A Case Study of Kyoto-City. Applied Energy, 90(1), 201–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Sterck, M., & Scheers, B. (2006). Trends in Performance Budgeting in Seven OECD Countries. Public Performance & Management Review, 30(1), 47–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Taylor, D., & Balloch, S. (2005). The Politics of Evaluation. Bristol: The Policy Press.Google Scholar
  71. UN Habitat. (2015). Guiding Principles for City Climate Action Planning, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).
  72. WHO (World Health Organisation). (2014). Ambient (Outdoor) Air Quality and Health, Fact Sheet 313.
  73. World Bank. (2010). Cities and Climate Change: An Urgent Agenda, Urgent Development Series, Knowledge Papers. Washington.Google Scholar
  74. WRI (World Resources Institute). (2015). Global Protocol for Community Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories: An Accounting and Reporting Standard for Cities. C40 Cities and ICLEI.
  75. Young, A. (2007). Forming Networks, Enabling Leaders, Financing Action: The Cities for Climate Protection campaign. In S. C. Moser & L. Dilling (Eds.), Creating a Climate for Change: Communicating Climate Change and Facilitating Social Change (pp. 383–398). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Jones
    • 1
  1. 1.University of QueenslandCoorparooAustralia

Personalised recommendations