Experimental governance and urban climate action – a mainstreaming paradox?

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Abstract

This article reflects on experimental governance in the context of stimulating urban climate action in the European Union (EU). Experimental governance endorse and support climate action by encouraging the transfer of urban innovations by upscaling climate best practices in and across cities in the EU. Policymakers, practitioners and academics view this as increasing urban climate activities and as a path to cope with urban climate change mitigation challenges. The article describes and analyses the complexities ingrained in experimental climate governance by studying the climate trajectory of the mid-sized city of Turku in Finland. The article increases the understanding of urban climate governance challenges and advocate for a debate regarding the norms used to incentivize innovative urban climate action. These norms do not consider urban variances and fail to contextualize exchange of innovative climate action experiences. The feasibility of experimental governance as expanding urban climate action in and across cities is dubious, as it increases short-term disjointed climate action, rises the possibilities for misaligned action routines that may desynchronize urban actor orientation, and decreases organizational transparency, ultimately complicating a mainstreaming of urban climate efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100139
JournalCurrent Research in Environmental Sustainability
Volume4
Issue number100139
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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