Institutionalizing climate change mitigation and adaptation through city advisory committees: Lessons learned and policy futures

Elsevier, City and Environment Interactions, Volume 1, September 2019
Gopfert C., Wamsler C., Lang W.
Municipal advisory committees are becoming increasingly influential in guiding decision-making processes that address climatic issues. According to the Adaptigation Institutionalization Framework (included in the recent IPCC report), the implementation of such participatory structures is vital for the effective, joint institutionalization of climate change mitigation and adaptation. However, there is a lack of empirical evidence to support this claim. Against this background, this paper tests the Adaptigation Framework using the example of municipal advisory committees in Germany. Based on a review of 107 cities, and social network analyses of 20 cities, we develop a typology of advisory committees, examine their stakeholder constellations, and assess how they influence municipalities’ capacity to institutionalize joint mitigation and adaptation goals in sector policy and planning. Our results and the developed social network analysis approach can be used by cities worldwide to systematically analyze and enhance participation structures to address climate change more effectively. We conclude with some recommendations for future research and policy.