Does public participation lead to more ambitious and transformative local climate change planning?

Massimo Cattino, D. Reckien

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

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The scientific literature is inconclusive with regard to whether public participation leads to more ambitious and transformative local climate governance. We review the scientific literature and, for climate adaptation, interpret whether the level of participation is associated with transformative potential of adaptation. For mitigation, we analyze whether public participation in local climate plans is significantly related to local greenhouse gas reduction targets. We find that public participation has a positive impact on both, the transformative potential of adaptation and the ambition for mitigation. The influence of participation on adaptation is stronger than the influence on mitigation. Based on our review, we highlight four conditions under which public participation can lead to potentially transformative action and greater local climate ambition, that is, recognition of all actors, their clear and meaningful engagement in all decision making stages, full decision-making power of the involved public, and the support of a logic of welfare.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-110
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent opinion in environmental sustainability
Early online date28 Sep 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


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