Climate change is one of the most challenging issues of our time. As key sites in the production and management of emissions of greenhouse gases, cities will be crucial for the implementation of international agreements and national policies on climate change. This book provides a critical analysis of the role of cities in addressing climate change and the prospects for urban sustainability. In the post-Rio era, international organizations and transnational networks have promoted the need for local action on global environmental issues. Part I considers the implications of these developments for understanding global environmental governance and urban sustainability. It outlines international and national responses to climate change, and documents the evidence to date on local responses to climate change, examining in detail the international Cities for Climate Protection programme. Part II presents a series of case-studies drawn from this transnational network in the UK, USA and Australia. Each case-study examines the development and implementation of local climate change policy, focusing on the issues of energy conservation, planning and transport.
Part III compares the experience of the case-study cities in addressing climate change, and assesses the implications of these findings for urban sustainability and global environmental governance. Cities and Climate Change is the first in-depth analysis of the role of cities in addressing climate change. The book argues that key challenges concerning the resources and powers of local government, as well as conflicts between local goals for economic development and climate change mitigation, have restricted the level of local action on climate change. These findings have significant implications for the prospects of mitigating climate change and achieving urban sustainability. This book provides a valuable interdisciplinary analysis of these issues, and will appeal to students and researchers interested in sustainability at local and global scales.