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Local Government and the Governing of Climate Change in Germany and the UK

Harriet Bulkeley and Kristine Kern
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Harriet Bulkeley: Department of Geography, University of Durham, South Road, Durham, DHI 3LE, UK,
Kristine Kern: Department of Political Science, University of Minnesota, 1414 Social Sciences Building, 267 19th Ave. South, Minneapolis, MN 55455,

Urban Studies, 2006, vol. 43, issue 12, 2237-2259

Abstract: This paper argues that, in order to address the challenges of climate change, attention needs to be focused not only at the international level but also on how climate protection policy is taking shape locally. It provides a comparative analysis of local climate change policy in Germany and the UK. By moving the focus from an analysis of the formal competencies of local government to the multiple modes of governing through which climate protection is taking place, the similarities between the two countries are brought into view. In both cases, actions are concentrated in the energy sphere and municipalities are increasingly deploying self-governing and enabling approaches to undertaken emissions reductions. The paper argues that the impacts of EU policies, financial crises and the political challenges of implementing climate change policies are changing the capacity for local intervention, with potentially significant consequences for medium- and long-term goals for climate protection.

Date: 2006
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