Evaluating urban climate policies : A comparative case study of Stockholm and Dublin

University essay from Stockholms universitet/Institutionen för ekonomisk historia och internationella relationer

Abstract: Climate change is a collective action problem that has been seen as something that needs a global solution. This has resulted in multilateral agreements, such as the Paris Agreement, which can largely be said to have been unsuccessful so far. This has led to an increased awareness of the potential of cities as being part of the solution. Cities are often seen as key sources of climate change, but also as key sites for climate action. The Paris Agreement needs to be implemented on all political levels to be effective. This makes cities an important site for climate policy implementation. Some scholars of urban climate governance have looked at ways to evaluate climate policies in cities as a way to improve these processes. This study means to contribute to that field. The aim of the study is to evaluate climate policies in the city plans of Stockholm and Dublin. This has been done by testing an analytical framework which made it possible to shed light on the strengths and weaknesses of the climate policies and the governance structures in the plans. By doing this it was also possible to identify challenges in using the framework and give suggestions on how the framework can be improved. The study takes the form of a comparative case study of the two cities. Document analysis was used as a method to select and analyse the data and the empirical material consisted of the city plans of Stockholm and Dublin. These are policy documents containing general development plans of the cities. It was concluded that both plans contain both strengths and weaknesses. Examples of strengths are that both plans are well-integrated with activities on the regional and national level, that responsibility for implementation is centralised on the local level, that the plans promote innovation and that the plans are connected to long-term goals and visions. Examples of weaknesses are that neither plan makes use of more hard methods such as regulation, that the Dublin City Plan is not integrated with policy on the global level and that the Stockholm City Plan lacks monitoring systems. Regarding the analytical framework it was concluded that it can be used to analyse city plans rather than metropolitan plans. By testing the framework it was also possible to identify challenges in using the framework and give suggestions on how to improve it, such as by making some of the key attributes of the plan more widely applicable.

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