The result of the first research phase of the project was an outline of the playing field of local climate policy. The utility of options and instruments from the playing field is examined on the basis of literature and interviews with local governments. In the process, barriers for the implementation of options are illustrated. The evaluation of the playing field in practise shows that local governments often utilise only a part of their playing field. Even local governments that excel and are familiar throughout the country in relation to one particular task area ignore other task areas.
The reasons why options and instruments are not fully utilised vary per task area: not enough internal support; lack of clear policy framework; climate policy must join in with other targets or local governments depend on cooperation of other actors. Nevertheless, generally speaking the success and failure factors in utilising options in the local government playing field are often related to the sphere of cooperation with other parties and the input of knowledge in the organisation of the local government. Moreover, the importance of climate is not made explicit enough in many task areas.
The options in climate policy for local governments are influenced by social developments. In the study three trends are examined with respect to their influence: developments in the area of liberalisation of the energy market, the position of local governments in national environmental policy and changes in local democracy. These trends result in a complication of the role of local governments. Local governments must show more initiative than in the past. Liberalisation leads to a more business-oriented relationship with energy companies and probably lower energy prices. Larger freedom of policy results in more space for establishing local priorities, but does not necessarily result in more attention for local climate policy. Participation can result in a larger support for climate policy but also forces local governments to provide more explanation.
The risk exists that more attention will be paid to the short-term quality of life issues instead of the long-term climate problems. In order to reinforce contributions from local governments to climate policy, a systematic integrative approach is needed. The ideal model focuses on formulating a so-called climate care system. Similar to quality and environment care systems, a systematic introduction of a (climate) interest in a broad field of activities and decisions are involved. We distinguish some necessary basic steps and elements.
|Name||C-serie Energieonderzoek Centrum Nederland|
|Publisher||Energieonderzoek Centrum Nederland|