The role of goal-setting in urban climate governance
Peer reviewed, Journal article
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionEarth System Governance. 2021, 7, (1-10). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esg.2020.100088
This article argues that goal-setting is an important, albeit understudied, part of urban climate governance scholarship. By using goal-setting theory, the article introduces concepts and perspectives capable of shedding new light on the political aspect of cities' climate strategic work. Climate goal-setting is studied within a wider urban governance context, as a way to activate a multitude of internal and external actors for shared goals and purposes. The article analyses levels of ambiguities of urban climate goals, and in light of different politico-institutional settings it explores possible contextual implications for cities’ climate governance. Through a comparative analysis of four cities – Copenhagen, Cape Town, Oslo and Gothenburg, the article identifies two distinct approaches. An inclusive approach containing ambiguous all-encompassing climate goals, consensus-oriented political decision-making, a broad administrative entity with weak mandate and close and long-term stakeholder collaboration. An efficiency-oriented approach including clear and problem focused climate goals, instrumental political decision-making, a special-purpose administrative entity with a wide and clear mandate and targeted and temporary stakeholder collaboration. The article concludes by posing some key questions that should guide further research on the exact relationship between these variables.