Governing Climate Change Post-2012: The Role of Global Cities, Case-Study: Los Angeles

In May 2007 Los Angeles adopted an Action Plan to Lead the Nation In Fighting Global Warming. The plan includes a CO2 emissions reduction target of 35 percent by 2030 of 1990 levels. The approach Los Angeles is taking is one of simultaneously addressing future energy and water security by investing in decentralised renewable energy and decreasing per-capita water use. Additional areas include waste management, greening of buildings and open space and addressing emissions from the transport sector. The emphasis has so far been on the supply, rather than the demand, side. While political leadership has been very important in pushing through this action plan, a mature local environmental community and membership in transnational city networks such as C40 have been instrumental in working out the details of this plan. The impact on LA’s actions on climate change will likely reach beyond city limits given the United States’ continued obstruction of international efforts to address climate change and given Los Angeles ability to act as a significant role model both domestically and internationally. This could be crucial at a time when the international community is faced with the need to translate scienitific recommendations into political action and forge a post-Kyoto deal.

Schroeder, H., and H. Bulkeley