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Competences of local and regional urban governance actors to support low-carbon transitions: Development of a framework and its application to a case-study

Holtz, Georg, Xia-Bauer, Chun, Roelfes, Michaela, Schüle, Ralf, Vallentin, Daniel, Martens, Lilia
Journal of cleaner production 2018 v.177 pp. 846-856
governance, greenhouse gas emissions, metropolitan areas, supply chain, Germany
Urban areas, being responsible for large shares of global greenhouse gas emissions, are important arenas for achieving global decarbonisation. However, the systemic challenge of decarbonisation requires deep structural changes – transitions – that take place across multiple scales and along entire value chains. We argue in this article that understanding the role of urban areas for global decarbonisation therefore requires consideration of their context and analysis of urban areas’ contributions to transitions that extend past the individual urban area. We develop an analytical framework that proposes three principal ways urban areas contribute to low-carbon transitions and ten competences that regional and local governance actors have to support them. We apply this framework to the Cologne metropolitan area in Germany to demonstrate the ability of our framework to relate urban-scale activities to more encompassing low-carbon transitions. The paper concludes with future research possibilities.