27th PhD workshop on Intl. Climate Policy – Special session on Transnational Municipal Climate Governance

A special session on transnational municipal climate governance was held on May 29, 2015 as part of the 27th PhD Workshop on International Climate Policy. Initiated and chaired by Lena Bendlin (Environmental Policy Research Centre at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany) and, LUCID PhD candidate, Henner Busch (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies, Sweden), this special session gathered five paper presentations on the impacts of transnational municipal climate networks.

The session was kicked off by Lena Bendlin from the Environmental Policy Research Centre at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. Her paper analysed actor constellations within the Covenant of Mayors, a European transnational municipal climate network. As different network founders and members expect the Covenant to perform different functions, she reasoned that its impacts largely depend on the resulting interplay of governmental levels.

Paul Fenton from the Department of Management & Engineering, Linköping University, Sweden, joined the session via video conferencing. He presented his research on a theoretical conceptualisation of knowledge diffusion through transnational municipal networks and between and within municipalities.

In the next presentation, Nanja Nagorny from the Department of Human Geography at Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany, talked about the role of “best practice” examples in local climate governance. More specifically she investigates attempts of making climate change governable through municipal best practice examples.

Henner Busch from Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies, Sweden, presented his ongoing work on the role of transnational municipal climate networks and green city branding. His main finding was that German cities do not engage in green city branding in a wide spread manner and that research on place branding should thus approach the topic in a more careful way.

Laura Valente de Macedo (Graduate Program on Environmental Science of the Environment and Energy Institute at University of São Paulo, Brazil) concluded the special session with a presentation of her work on Sao Paulo’s engagement in transnational climate governance and paradiplomacy. She concluded that despite transnational action´s role in driving the development of municipal law on climate change in São Paulo, implementation requires a more complex set of conditions, such as local leadership, integration with other levels of government and public support at the local level.

Each paper presentation was followed by feedback from an assigned discussant and a lively discussion with the audience. In addition, further exchange between many participants was arranged and concrete output in the form of co-authored papers can be expected.

The 27th edition of the semi-annual PhD workshop was organised by Katharina Sevecke and Christian Klippert on behalf of the European PhD Network on International Climate Policy and was hosted by the SustBusy Research Center at ESCP European Business School in Berlin. 25 presentations of PhD projects were held in eight thematic sessions.

Contact: Lena Bendlin (lena.bendlin@fu-berlin.de) & Henner Busch (henner.busch@lucsus.lu.se)



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