The Limits of Sustainable City Initiatives and the Necessity for a Multi-Level Governance Approach to Climate Change Policy - A Case Study of Berlin

Reinhardt, Johanna— 2016

Cities present a unique challenge to climate governance, while they are a primary driver of climate change due to their disproportionately high levels of global energy consumption, they are also particularly vulnerable to its consequences. Recently, a trend has emerged of sustainable city initiatives that aim to develop urban climate policies on a local scale to allow the transition to a low carbon society. However, climate change transcends political and administrative borders which cannot be addressed through isolated climate policy. This suggests the need for a governance network that acts at multiple levels and integrates a variety of stakeholders as suggested by multi-level governance theory. This thesis aims to identify the optimal design of a multi-level governance system to maximize the chances for success of sustainable cities initiatives. The City of Berlin is used as a case study to examine the potential of its current climate policy framework and its aim to become a leading city in climate action. Based on interviews with experts of the policy process, this analysis determines that an optimal multi- level governance system would require effective dialogue between players at multiple levels, enhanced streamlining policy development and distributing democratic accountability with the national level as the central player.

TitleThe Limits of Sustainable City Initiatives and the Necessity for a Multi-Level Governance Approach to Climate Change Policy - A Case Study of Berlin
AuthorReinhardt, Johanna
PublisherForschungszentrum für Umweltpolitik
Date201603
Source(s)
Appeared InFFU-Report 03-2016, Forschungszentrum für Umweltpolitik, FU Berlin, Berlin.
TypeText