Climate Change Strategies. An Appraisal of Six Local and Regional Strategies

The Strategies of Winnipeg, Mexico City, Stuttgart, Melbourne, Tokyo and Durban


Academic Paper, 2006

14 Pages, Grade: 2


Excerpt

Table of Content

Table of Content

Executive Summary

Introduction

Appraisal
Motivation
Targets
Integration into other policy areas
Political leadership
Suggested Measures
Implementation
Monitoring and Re-Adaptation
Limitation and Barriers

Conclusion

References

Executive Summary

The global threat of climate change is addressed throughout the world. Local level authorities compose with various motivations documents that directly or indirectly aim at carbon emission reduction. An important emitting factor is transportation. The reduction targets range from vague verbalisations to ambitious numerical commitments. To achieve these targets measure are in a way similar in all strategies but their potentials have to be specified. The implementation of the measures faces serious barriers and therefore success of the strategies is in some case questionable.

This report appraises six local and regional strategies from all over the world. A good example is established in Tokyo. Due to its urgent problem of air pollution and its great range of power over legislation Tokyo realised great success. A strategy that struggles with its responsibilities and is harmed by financial issues is presented by Stuttgart. Poor strategies are represented by Winnipeg and Durban as they have weak motivations and lacks in their strategic approaches.

Introduction

Large scale changes of the earth’s climate have become a major concern in environmental policies nowadays. Induced by greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) the issue is on the global agenda since the setup of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988. Although there had been great uncertainties in the range of climate changes the IPPC was created to output a global convention towards a stabilization of the GHG concentration in the atmosphere. Proximate the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was published in 1992 and many countries committed themselves to draw up emission reduction programs. One of the early findings of the convention’s conference of parties (COP) was the existence of a connection between climate change and the increasing emission of GHG. Therefore the Kyoto Protocol was enabled in 1997. It established legally binding emission reduction targets designated to the year 2012 based on the emission of 1990. The protocol regards six gases to be GHG (UN, 2005a). However, CO2 is reconfirmed to be the gas with the greatest influence on the climate. Therefore "the reduction of CO2 emission ... has been focus of the policy response” (Collier and Löfstedt, 1997).

Recently the post-Kyoto-Protocol era is concerned by the COP and a clear statement is made that reduction targets and measures have to go beyond 2012 (UN, 2005b).

The policy responses to these conventions pose a challenge as these "crucially depend on emission reduction objectivities integrated into other policy areas” (Collier and Löfstedt, 1997). Interrelated with economics, environment and society the climate change issue addresses in a broader sense the complex field of sustainable development.

Due to the “heterogeneous nature of emission characteristic” (Collier and Löfstedt, 1997) and the “great diversity of different countries' situations and their responsibility” (The Institute of Economic Affairs, 1997) the global approach to emission reduction necessarily has to be amended by intensive country and region specific plans.

Action on a regional and local level was stressed by the §28 of the Agenda 21 in 1992 (UNCED, 1992) and it is estimated that two of three actions have to be taken on the local level to tackle the climate change issue (Friends of the Earth, 1994). In order to support actions towards a measurable reduction in GHG on a local scale programs, such as ICLEI’s Cities for Climate Protections Campaign (CCP) or America’s Integrated Environmental Strategies program (IES), have been established. These programs work to increase the capacity of local authorities in concerns of the strategic approach to climate change.

Policies are composed to reduce CO2. Approximately a quarter of its global emission is caused by transport, including road traffic, aviation and shipping (DHL, 2005). Therefore the reduction of emission from the transport section is a challenging and potent approach to limit climate change. According to Friends of the Earth “road transport is the fastest growing source of CO2 “ and “presents the greatest threat” (1994). Aviation is regarded to see the fastest growth in nowadays (Bulkeley and Betsill, 2003). Moreover transportation is an integral part of economy and society. It is directly related to economic growth, personal mobility and freedom. Policies that go about climate change consequently “will need an integrated approach” (Friends of the Earth, 1994).

Academic coverage on this topic is rare and only a few publications directly concerning local authorities’ action on climate change are available. Academic papers used in this report are mentioned in the reference section. However, the few available documents concentrate their studies just on regional levels -- “Cases in Climate Change Policy” by Collier and Löfstedt (1997) with the focus on European reality -- or dedicate their research to one aspect -- “Cities and Climate Change” by Bulkeley and Betsill (2003) evaluates ICLEI’s CCP campaign. This report therefore assumes that findings on a regional, i.e. European, scale can be assigned to the global scale as well.

A useful source of information is provided by the publication of Friends of the Earth “the climate resolution” (1994) which examines action especially local authorities can take.

In order to assess the progress and the capability in the area of CO2 emission reduction caused by transportation this report appraises six local and regional strategies from all over the world. Besides the evaluation of the strategic approach, another focus is put on implementation and monitoring.

Following strategies have been chosen :

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Although climate change is a global problem each local authority has to deal with it in a specific way appropriated to its conditions. Therefore the appraisal of individual local approaches of different countries form an interesting start for this report. In order to lessen the complexity of this issue this report concentrates where appropriated on transport aspects.

Appraisal

Motivation

Although this report appraises climate change strategies, only two of the chosen strategies reveal this issue in their titles. Besides Stuttgart’s “Klimaschutzkonzept” (Climate Protection Concept) and Melbourne’s “Zero Net Emission 2020”, climate change and emission reduction is an integral part of the strategies but not mentioned in the titles.

Concluding from the strategy titles, Stuttgart and Melbourne aim at carbon emission reduction. However, it seems that Stuttgart’s endeavour just aims at the reduction for the sake of it and that it is not encourage by a greater vision. The opposite can be found in Melbourne’s approach. The city composed a visionary “roadmap to a climate neutral city” (City of Melbourne, 2003) with an overarching idea for the future emission characteristic and wants to end “the City’s contribution to global warming” (City of Melbourne, 2003).

The Winnipeg vision is driven by the awareness that citizens are contented with the recent quality of life in their city. Therefore the council wants to keep this status and puts “highest priority on quality of life for all citizens” (City of Winnipeg, 2001). A similar motivation can be found in Durban’s approach. The council aims at keeping the clean status of the environment.

A contrasting motivation is reflected in the strategies of Mexico City and Tokyo. These two mega-cities face serious problems of air-pollution and health of their citizens is endangered. To protect citizens and to limit impacts on health systems both councils are eager to reduce carbon emissions in “joint control” (City of Mexico, 2002) with air pollution. Tokyo additionally is aware that “the dangers of global warming are approaching” (TMG, 2005) and wants to integrate a structure of prevention.

Targets

Establishing a vision has to be combined with a set of targets against which measures and implementation can be assessed.

The variety of targets installed within these six strategies is huge. Although Winnipeg has a sophisticated approach in setting up measures, its goals are not linked to any percentages of reduction. Unexpectedly only vague verbalisations of targets, such as “committing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emission” (City of Winnipeg, 2001), are given. Even though Winnipeg is a member council of ICLEI’s Cities for Climate Protection Campaign (CCP) there is no evidence of the five milestone approach, including a baseline and reduction targets. The same lack is noticeable in the strategy of Durban. Although targets are mentioned verbally, no evidence can be found of targets connected to figures or designated years. Apparently setting numerical targets based on a certain year’s emission and fixed to a timeline of realisation is not considered in strategies of councils that are aiming at maintaining a certain 'clean' status-quo.

Contrasting to this, cities with the urgent need to reduce emissions, including Mexico City and Tokyo, or cities with a driving conviction, such as Stuttgart, attach reduction targets to their strategy. Stuttgart, for example, established a 30% reduction in carbon emissions from transportation by 2005 and a further cut of 50% by 2050 based on the city’s emissions in 1992. These targets can be considered as ambitious endeavours that are likely to cause far- reaching changes if implementation is taken seriously.

Tokyo proposed a transportation emission reduction of only 6% by 2010 based on 1992. This can be ascribed to the different focus of Tokyo’s strategy and the scale of the city’s emission problem. Although this aim is achieved at ease in all probability, structural changes and long­term problem solving are unlikely.

Integration into other policy areas

According to Collier and Löfstedt “responses to the climate change issue ... crucially depend on emission reduction objectives being integrated into other policy areas” (1997). Consequently policies cannot affect any progress in isolation and therefore an integral approach across diversified lines of action is vital. Harmonized policies are desirable. Winnipeg is aware of the all-embracing characteristic of its vision and therefore “it is intended that all other City documents, budgets, public works, programs, or developments be consistent with this Plan” (City of Winnipeg, 2001). Specified on the transportation, issue this add up to an integration of "Land Use, Urban Design and Transportation Planning” (City of Winnipeg, 2001).

Furthermore Melbourne underlines "that a single umbrella framework is needed” and that an integrated approach has to embody "consistent evaluation” (City of Melbourne, 2003)

A less advanced approach is presented in the concept of Stuttgart. Supposing that one activity can harm the effect of another and feasibilities have to be examined with economical, environmental and social aspects, the city’s concept does not put forward any ideas or measures to integrate emission reduction policy into other policy areas.

Whereas Winnipeg, Melbourne and Stuttgart are concerned about integration of their strategy there is no evidence that the other councils are about to establish an overarching paper. Nevertheless, their documents relate to a great amount of other policies and plans, such as transport plan, air-quality plans or strategic plans. Unfortunately no evidence of integration has been found in the considered papers.

Political leadership

Very similar to the findings of the previous chapter "Integration into other policy areas” the issue of political leadership reveals a favourable attitude of the Winnipeg council. It strongly believes in the importance and capability of its "IPEG 2020 Vision”. "It is Council’s intend, through the policy direction provided in this Plan, to shape the future of Winnipeg” (City of Winnipeg, 2001) underscores that this policy is not composed for the sake of its own but has a special fulfilment.

Slightly alleviated this applies to Stuttgart’s concept as well. The awareness exists that the local authority necessarily needs to be in the role of the financier.

The local authority of Melbourne generates the strongest notion of political leadership as it states that "the City must live its vision” (City of Melbourne, 2003). Although it is the most powerful, it is at the same time the vaguest.

Suggested Measures

"Putting good intentions expressed in policy documents into practice is far from straightforward” (Bulkeley and Betsill, 2003) and therefore a detailed, feasible and scheduled plan of measures must not be neglected in any concept.

[...]

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Details

Title
Climate Change Strategies. An Appraisal of Six Local and Regional Strategies
Subtitle
The Strategies of Winnipeg, Mexico City, Stuttgart, Melbourne, Tokyo and Durban
Grade
2
Author
Year
2006
Pages
14
Catalog Number
V1030673
ISBN (eBook)
9783346461841
ISBN (Book)
9783346461858
Language
English
Tags
Climate Change, Klimawandel, Strategie, Strategy, Lokal, Regional, local, Sustainabel Development, Nachhaltige Entwicklung
Quote paper
Bastian Görke (Author), 2006, Climate Change Strategies. An Appraisal of Six Local and Regional Strategies, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/1030673

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