International Agreements and Cooperation Examples: Cities for Climate Protection

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The Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) program emerged in 1993 from the climate talks in New York City.  The CCP is an experiment in local climate governance, in contrast to the supranational approach of the Kyoto Protocol and other more global and bureaucratic approaches to reducing carbon emissions.  The CCP is composed of a network of more than 550 local governments around the world, all of whom share an interest in promoting local initiatives aimed at preventing or adapting to climate change.  Its primary function (beyond the symbolic) is as a knowledge-sharing network.

Issues include (1) the symbolic power of the CCP and other local, bottom-up movements; (2) the extent to which efficiency and outcomes improve because of enhanced knowledge-sharing through local networks; (3) the extent to which local policies can be effective in mitigating climate change; (4) the potential benefits of local policies in terms of their sensitivity to and adaptability in light of disparate political, social, and cultural norms around the world; (5) the potential for the CCP and other local movements to open up conceptual space regarding the appropriate scale of climate policy, providing a contrast to more hierarchical national and global approaches.