News from Sep 09, 2016
In September 2016, the third FFU Report appeared. It is authored by FU student Johanna Reinhardt with the title “The Limits of Sustainable City Initiatives and the Necessity for a Multi-level Governance Approach to Climate Change Policy – A Case Study of Berlin”.
Cities present a unique challenge to climate governance, while they are a primary driver of climate change due totheirdisproportionatelyhigh 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 borderswhich cannot be addressedthrough 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 amulti-level governance system to max-imize the chances for success of sustainable cities initiatives. The City of Berlin is used as a case study to examine the potential of itscurrent 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 re-quire effective dialogue between players at multiple levels, enhanced streamlining policy development and distributing democratic accountability with the national level as the central player.