Research Director at the Thailand Environment Institute
All Sessions by Speaker: Pakamas Thinphanga
March 7, 2018
Cities and the Challenge of 1.5C Assessing modes mechanisms and manifestations of coordination in global urban climate governance in Salon 11
13:30 - 15:00
The transformative potential of cities in pursuing a global target of limiting mean temperature rise to 1.5C represents a source of much hope and optimism. City-networks including, inter alia, C40, ICLEI, and the Climate Alliance are working to fostering transnational city coordination; meta-networks like the Global Covenant of Mayors for Energy and Climate have been forged to link cities together in a more comprehensive manner; smaller initiatives like the Climate Neutral Cities Alliance are working to stimulate holistic sustainability transitions in, and across, a select number of urban settings, and; global initiatives have emerged in the form of the New Urban Agenda and the urban SDGs. Cities are, in other words, more ambitious and more globally engaged than they have ever been. Yet it remains unclear whether, how, and with what effects they can coordinate their actions to achieve such meaningful collective and global impact.
On the question of global urban coordination we want to use this session to highlight and organize a focused discussion around three important themes prevalent in contemporary academic and policy research: (1) The interaction of networked city initiatives, and questions related to assessing linkages and relationships (consolidation, competition, formal or informal coordination) between them in what is now a relatively robust governance domain; (2) The impact of domestic contexts and institutional/political configurations on enabling transformative networked urban governance across national contexts, and; (3) The local impacts and implications as increasingly well-networked global urban efforts are translated back into particular urban contexts, especially with respect to the relationship between urban transformation and questions of equity, participation, and development. Each of these constitute separate research agendas yet all are linked together by a common interest in better understanding how, and with what implications, cities are contributing to the global objective of 1.5C.