Speak Your Mind

Climate Change and Public Administration:

A Blog Commentary Symposium

Guest Editors
Nives Dolšak and Aseem Prakash


Table of Contents

Climate change and public administration: An introduction
Nives Dolšak and Aseem Prakash


Section 1: How legal and administrative frameworks influence climate policy
1. Cary Coglianese and Shana Starobin
The legal risks of regulating climate change at the subnational level

2. Yuen Yuen Ang
Why China can’t fix its environment simply by adjusting targets

3. Joseph Pallazzo, Owen R. Liu, Sarah E. Anderson, and Christine Tague
Institutional connectivity and water conservation during drought

4. Harald Fuhr, Thomas Hickmann, Chris Höhne, Markus Lederer, and Fee Stehle
How global climate governance initiatives reconfigure public authority in developing countries


Section 2: Cities as climate policy innovators
5. Lena Bendlin
The dilemma of orchestrating non-state climate action

6. Susan M. Opp and Samantha L. Mosier
Counting money: Cities love climate policies if they generate local benefits

7. Amelia Clarke and Eduardo Ordonez-Ponce
City scale: Cross-sector partnerships for implementing local climate mitigation plans


Section 3: Managing multiple dimensions of climate policy
8. Gian-Claudia Sciara
Working with what you have: California’s SB 375

9. Alex Lenferna
Washington state’s carbon tax initiative: Lessons in getting carbon taxes via referendums

10. Susan Sterett and Adam Eckerd
Beyond the blame game. How Norfolk is building public solidarity to respond to climate change

11. Sierra Cameron Woodruff
Who to engage to create high quality adaptation plans


Section 4: New administrative arrangements for climate policy
12. Elizabeth Baldwin
New governance of the electricity sector: states as policy laboratories

13. Shane Day
What can we learn from Native American relocation as a response to climate change?

14. Victoria Herrman
The dangers of ad hoc climate change relocation policy in America


Section 5: Emission trading systems
15. Sanjay Patnaik and Jorge Rivera
The future of emissions trading: Implications for public administration

16. Rama Mohana R. Turaga and Anish Sugathan
What makes market mechanisms for emissions abatement work in India?

17. Matto Mildenberger
The political benefits of inefficient climate policies


Section 6: Information, training, and knowledge in climate policy
18. Saudamini Das
Moderating the impacts of extreme weather like heat waves through public awareness campaign

19. Nicole Darnall, Justin M. Stritch, Stuart Bretschneider, Lily Hsueh, and Won No
How cities are addressing climate change through sustainable purchasing

20. Evgenia Gorina, Brett Cease, Doug Goodman, and Romeo Abraham
Environmental sustainability adoption and financial management in U.S. cities

4 responses

  1. From a UW School of Marine Affairs student – A quick thought to add to Shane Day’s post:

    Coastal communities are at risk from climate change, and many need to relocate inland. Native American lands are particularly vulnerable because they are disproportionately affected by drought, extreme weather, and sea level rise. They lack the funding and resources to respond to damaging events, let alone move their communities. There is no set administrative structure for relocation – the main options are small federal grants or land swap agreements with national parks.

    National parks are the ancestral homelands of many tribal nations. However if tribes move back, the land will no longer be undeveloped, and protected species may be put at risk. When humans settle an area, habitats are destroyed and the wildlife is forced to relocate, often leading to endangerment of species in already-stressed ecosystems. This response to Day’s blog adds that it is important to recognize climate-induced changes affect animals as well as humans, and community relocation is an added stressor.

    This is by no means an argument against tribes relocating to favorable land, it is instead a reminder that detrimental effects to ecosystems need to be considered when there is no choice but to relocate.

  2. In her blog, Saudamini Das illustrates that “soft” strategies that communicate risk-prevention techniques for extreme weather events can be effective tools for climate adaptation. Soft adaptation strategies include community education and involvement and targeted communication through social networks. Their biggest strengths are that they are fast-acting, cost-effective, and can reach a large audience.

    Recently, soft techniques in the form of social media networks have been effectively utilized in flooding events to decrease the damage and injury anticipated from extreme flooding. In the US, social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have the potential to act as strong tools in communicating flood adaptation and risk prevention strategies. Each media outlet currently boasts almost 209 million and 60.9 million users respectively in the US, demonstrating the breadth of the audience that can be reached by government agencies attempting to communicate flood-risk adaptation. Access to both platforms is free, which underscores cost-effectiveness.

    One limiting factor, however, is that accessibility determines who can communicate and who is excluded. Data show that user age groups are disproportionately distributed, signaling a discrepancy in demographics and potential weakness when communicating risk-prevention. Access is also restricted to those with devices that support social media, another disproportionate limiting factor. Because of these limitations, social media’s role in communication should not be the primary strategy for climate and extreme weather event adaptation, but it should be seriously considered as a tool alongside hard adaptation techniques given its instantaneity, large reach and cost-effectiveness.

  3. The severity of impacts from climate change varies according to exposure, vulnerability, and adaptive capacity which prompted multi-levels of government to begin drafting adaptation plans to proliferate socio-economic resilience while reducing climate change threats. However, to ensure adaptation plans are high-quality and successful, it is necessary to evaluate who prepares these plans, and the actors involved throughout the development process.

    In the blog written by Sierra Woodruff, I agree with the author that taskforces overseen by interdisciplinary members will have the capacity to produce stronger plans because of their ability to formulate new partnerships, access to resources, and align goals across jurisdictions. Whereas environmental departments are limited to intradepartmental collaboration based on organizational mandates and minimal requirements to interact with external groups.

    Establishing a polycentric governance framework may be the key to successful adaptation planning by overcoming several barriers related to adaptation planning such as financial resources and limited climate data. Additionally, an assortment of actors that vary in scale, jurisdiction, and mission, can lead to a comprehensive scope of adaptation goals that serves a wider range of stakeholders, increasing accessibility for other actors to participate in the planning process and improving plan visibility and transparency.

    Furthermore, adaptation planning is at a critical moment in time where their effectiveness depends on the coordination of the actors involved. It is imperative that the public and private sectors amalgamate efforts to yield a range of ideas, mainstream priorities, and leverage occupational expertise; Thus, urban planners and taskforce groups should be responsible for the preparation of adaptation plans.

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