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Mapping city-to-city networks for climate change action: Geographic bases, link modalities, functions, and activity

Lee, Taedong, Jung, Ha Yoon
Journal of cleaner production 2018 v.182 pp. 96-104
Internet, case studies, certification, cities, climate, climate change, environmental policy, funding, information exchange, monitoring, statistical analysis
By forming city-to-city (C2C) transnational networks, cities can take action collectively against climate change. Interaction and collaboration among cities offers policymakers a chance to learn how other cities are conducting climate mitigation and adaptation measures. However, activities of C2C climate networks vary. By analyzing C2C climate networks, this study aims to identify and categorize C2C networks for climate change action, and to link the functions with levels of activity. To understand C2C climate-action networks, we suggest a framework for mapping C2C: geographic bases (domestic, regional, and global C2C), linking modalities (multilateral, and institution-led C2C), and functions (information exchange, networking, lobbying and funding, research, standards and commitments provision, and monitoring and certification). Based on this framework, we analyze the contents of C2C websites to assess current activities. We find that not all C2C networks are currently active. Statistical analysis and case studies suggest that C2C climate networks with advanced functions—such as lobbying, research, climate plans, and monitoring—are likely to actively engage with member cities. However, C2C cooperation focusing mainly on networking or information sharing is less likely to survive. Policy implications suggest that well-designed and advanced C2C networks with research and monitoring functions rather than simple networking functions can enable member cities to actively engage in climate policy cooperation.