Are cities coming to the rescue on climate change?

April 4, 2016 in Publications by Oscar Widerberg

We’re proud to present a new paper just published by International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economic on cities and climate change. In the paper – co-authored by Jennifer Bansard, Philipp Pattberg and Oscar Widerberg – 13 transnational city networks are scrunitized looking at how they connect, what they promise and what theire ambition levels are.

The journal is available through Open Access here.

And here’s the abstract:

Cities to the rescue? Assessing the performance of transnational municipal networks in global climate governance

Despite the proliferation and promise of subnational climate initiatives, the institutional architecture of transnational municipal networks (TMNs) is not well understood. With a view to close this research gap, the article empirically assesses the assumption that TMNs are a viable substitute for ambitious international action under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It addresses the aggregate phenomenon in terms of geographical distribution, central players, mitigation ambition and monitoring provisions. Examining thirteen networks, it finds that membership in TMNs is skewed toward Europe and North America while countries from the Global South are underrepresented; that only a minority of networks commit to quantified emission reductions and that these are not more ambitious than Parties to the UNFCCC; and finally that the monitoring provisions are fairly limited. In sum, the article shows that transnational municipal networks are not (yet) the representative, ambitious and transparent player they are thought to be.

For further questions, contact the authors of the paper.