One of the most heartening developments in climate change mitigation in recent years has been the increasing attention paid to the principle of ‘thinking globally and acting locally’. The failure of the international community to reach significant global agreements on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions has led local governments, environmental organisations and citizens themselves to focus increasingly on the local possibilities for action on climate change.
This book analyses the strengths and weaknesses of the co-production of climate policies that take place where citizen engagement and local initiatives converge with public agencies. Case studies from Northern Europe, Australia/New Zealand and the USA reveal that traditional individualist approaches to promoting environmental behaviour epitomised by information campaigns and economic incentives cannot trigger the deep behavioural changes required to materially improve our response to climate change. Only by marshalling the forces of thousands, and eventually millions of citizens, can we manage to reach environmental sceptics, reinforce political action and create the new social norms that are sorely needed in our local, and global, response to climate change.
This book will be of great relevance to scholars and policy makers with an interest in climate change politics and governance, community engagement and sustainable development.