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Urban Climate Change Policies in the Transportation Sector: Approaches and Outcomes

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Document pages: 19 pages

Abstract: Climate change is a problem with global reach, yet thousands of cities across the globe are seeking to limit their greenhouse gas emissions. Why do some cities enact ambitious climate change mitigation policies while others do not? And what accounts for the variation in strength of urban mitigation policies? Examining projects to reduce emissions from transportation in 55 cities in six European countries, we find that increased multiparty competition is associated with more and stronger emission reduction initiatives in this sector. One potential explanation is that ruling majorities feel greater pressure to perform on environmental policy in a competitive electoral situation. At the same time, and contrary to expectations from the literature on US cities, we find no evidence that the ideological leanings of city councils or the presence of green parties have any effect on the extent of emission reduction measures. Future research should examine more closely the mechanisms between institutions, local party systems, and environmental policies at the city level.

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