High levels of observed city involvement in energy and climate initiatives indicate that free-riding has been much less of a barrier to local climate protection efforts than suggested by theories of collective action. This study investigates why local governments have adopted various energy and climate change policy instruments despite the non-excludability of climate benefits. This paper advances theories of institutional collective action (ICA) and policy diffusion by testing ICA based hypotheses that local officials are able to overcome collective action problems to the extent that the costs of these initiatives are minimized through policy network interactions, the extent to which climate action produces localized benefits or compliments local environmental, development or growth management efforts, and the extent to which energy and climate protection efforts generate selective benefits to elected and appointed local government officials who advance their career interests depending on the existing configurations of political system institutions. Analysis of adoptions of the Climate Protection Agreements by Florida Cities indicates larger cities are more likely to adopt climate agreement, while district elections decrease the likelihood of climate policy adoption. Moreover, economic development rather than growth management or environmental problem situation is linked to climate initiatives.
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews – Elsevier
Published: Nov 1, 2017
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