What Enables Local Governments to Mainstream Climate Change Adaptation? Lessons Learned from Two Municipal Case Studies in the Western Cape, South Africa.

Pasquini, L., Ziervogel, G., Cowling, R.M. and Shearing, C. 2015. What Enables Local Governments to Mainstream Climate Change Adaptation? Lessons Learned from Two Municipal Case Studies in the Western Cape, South Africa. Climate and Development [online]

25 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2015

See all articles by Lorena Pasquini

Lorena Pasquini

University of Cape Town (UCT)

Gina Ziervogel

University of Cape Town (UCT)

Richard Cowling

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Clifford Shearing

Griffith Institute of Criminology; University of Cape Town; University of Montreal, School of Criminology; University of New South Wales

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

Municipalities represent a key opportunity for implementing local adaptation to the impacts of climate change. Most research has focused on the barriers to climate change adaptation, and little research exists that considers the conditions under which a municipality is able to initiate the process of mainstreaming climate adaptation. Through a case study of two municipalities in the Western Cape of South Africa, this paper identifies the factors that enable action to be taken at the local government level. The presence of dedicated environmental champions is key, particularly within political leadership. Experiencing the costs of climate change often provides the strongest initial catalyst for action and is aided by the recognition that the local environment has value. Access to a knowledge base, the availability of resources, political stability and the presence of dense social networks all positively affect adaptation mainstreaming. It is these enabling factors that other government levels and stakeholders need to support with different interventions. We draw attention to two under-researched topics, the effect of political instability on municipal functioning and the effects of social network characteristics on facilitating institutional change.

Keywords: adaptation, local government, mainstreaming, climate change, governance

JEL Classification: K32, K14, H70

Suggested Citation

Pasquini, Lorena and Ziervogel, Gina and Cowling, Richard and Shearing, Clifford D, What Enables Local Governments to Mainstream Climate Change Adaptation? Lessons Learned from Two Municipal Case Studies in the Western Cape, South Africa. (2014). Pasquini, L., Ziervogel, G., Cowling, R.M. and Shearing, C. 2015. What Enables Local Governments to Mainstream Climate Change Adaptation? Lessons Learned from Two Municipal Case Studies in the Western Cape, South Africa. Climate and Development [online], Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2674015 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2674015

Lorena Pasquini

University of Cape Town (UCT) ( email )

Private Bag X3
Rondebosch, Western Cape 7701
South Africa

Gina Ziervogel

University of Cape Town (UCT) ( email )

Private Bag X3
Rondebosch, Western Cape 7701
South Africa

Richard Cowling

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University ( email )

Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape 6001
South Africa

Clifford D Shearing (Contact Author)

Griffith Institute of Criminology ( email )

170 Kessels Road
Nathan, Queensland QLD 4111
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://https://experts.griffith.edu.au/academic/c.shearing

University of Cape Town ( email )

Private Bag X3
Rondebosch, Western Cape 7701
South Africa

HOME PAGE: http://www.publiclaw.uct.ac.za/pbl/staff/cshearing

University of Montreal, School of Criminology ( email )

C.P. 6128 succursale Centre-ville
Montreal, Quebec H3C 3J7
Canada

University of New South Wales ( email )

Sydney
Australia

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