You are on page 1of 14

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal

Emerald Article: US environmental governance and local climate change mitigation policies: California's story Lauren C. Heberle, Isabella M. Christensen

Article information:
To cite this document: Lauren C. Heberle, Isabella M. Christensen, (2011),"US environmental governance and local climate change mitigation policies: California's story", Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, Vol. 22 Iss: 3 pp. 317 329 Permanent link to this document: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/14777831111122897 Downloaded on: 11-12-2012 References: This document contains references to 16 other documents To copy this document: permissions@emeraldinsight.com This document has been downloaded 321 times since 2011. *

Users who downloaded this Article also downloaded: *


Lauren C. Heberle, Isabella M. Christensen, (2011),"US environmental governance and local climate change mitigation policies: California's story", Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, Vol. 22 Iss: 3 pp. 317 - 329 http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/14777831111122897 Lauren C. Heberle, Isabella M. Christensen, (2011),"US environmental governance and local climate change mitigation policies: California's story", Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, Vol. 22 Iss: 3 pp. 317 - 329 http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/14777831111122897 Lauren C. Heberle, Isabella M. Christensen, (2011),"US environmental governance and local climate change mitigation policies: California's story", Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, Vol. 22 Iss: 3 pp. 317 - 329 http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/14777831111122897

Access to this document was granted through an Emerald subscription provided by UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH PACIFIC For Authors: If you would like to write for this, or any other Emerald publication, then please use our Emerald for Authors service. Information about how to choose which publication to write for and submission guidelines are available for all. Please visit www.emeraldinsight.com/authors for more information. About Emerald www.emeraldinsight.com With over forty years' experience, Emerald Group Publishing is a leading independent publisher of global research with impact in business, society, public policy and education. In total, Emerald publishes over 275 journals and more than 130 book series, as well as an extensive range of online products and services. Emerald is both COUNTER 3 and TRANSFER compliant. The organization is a partner of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and also works with Portico and the LOCKSS initiative for digital archive preservation.
*Related content and download information correct at time of download.

The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www.emeraldinsight.com/1477-7835.htm

US environmental governance and local climate change mitigation policies


Californias story
Lauren C. Heberle and Isabella M. Christensen
University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Abstract
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate local climate change mitigation planning in California with the goal of understanding how the relationships between the state, the local air agencies, and the localities within their jurisdictions shape the willingness and capacity of local communities to plan for climate change mitigation through greenhouse gas emissions reduction. Design/methodology/approach The research: analyses documents relating to localities climate change mitigation planning activities, including the production of action plans, general plan elements, emissions inventories, or ofcial resolutions supporting mitigation planning, establishment of partnerships with other governmental and non-governmental organizations, and development of community input processes and planning committee membership and structure. It also involves measurement and descriptive analysis of variables capturing: local air agencies institutional character, orientation regarding climate change policymaking, and mitigation planning activities and programs; and localities mitigation planning processes and policies, institutional and demographic characteristics, and relationships with other sub-state entities working on climate change mitigation. Findings Intergovernmental partnerships can powerfully impact localities technical and nancial capacities for pursuing climate change mitigation planning. This exploratory study points to the potential for strong leadership by air quality control agencies to greatly inuence the decision of localities within their jurisdictions to engage in voluntary mitigation planning. Furthermore, decentralized collaboration does not prevent, and may encourage, policy harmonization through localities widespread reliance on the technical assistance from specialized non-governmental organizations. Practical implications Findings might enable advocates of local-level climate change mitigation planning to target their resources for maximal returns in terms of geographic policy coverage and pledged GHG emissions reductions. Theoretically, this study contributes to discussions on the relationship between the quality of policy outputs and various forms of environmental governance. Originality/value Climate change mitigation planning in the USA is in a formative stage. In fact, the authors found that even the California Governors Ofce of Planning and Research (OPR) must work continuously and with imperfect data to compile a list of the states local-level mitigation planning efforts. This study contributes to the growing body of knowledge of local planning policy innovations in California and highlights the importance of leadership from the regional scale for city-level engagement with mitigation planning. Keywords Climate change, Global warming, Governance, United States of America, Economic planning Paper type Research paper

US environmental governance 317


Received 21 May 2010 Revised 30 October 2010 Accepted 20 December 2010

1. Introduction The causes of, and the potential solutions to, climate change involve governments on every level global, national, state and local. In the United States, the lack of a national

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal Vol. 22 No. 3, 2011 pp. 317-329 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 1477-7835 DOI 10.1108/14777831111122897

MEQ 22,3

318

framework specifying the roles of federal, state and sub-state institutions in addressing climate change has thrown these institutions and their relationships to one another into a state of ux and creative disharmony. Complicating the situation further is the fact that the form and function of environmental governance vary across US local governments depending, in large part, on the scope of state-granted authorities and the capacities of the city and county governments. These variations permit us to analyze the impact of inter-governmental relationships and local capacity on the production of local climate change policy. California continues to strengthen its leadership position in the national climate change mitigation policy arena; having positioned itself as an environmental policy innovator among the US states, California is now pursuing internal policy coherency by utilizing increasingly tough legislation as well as generous incentive systems to inuence the policy agendas of its sub-state governments. One clear example of this strategy is the landmark AB 32 and its companion bill, SB 375, that together create a governance model in which the state air pollution regulatory agency enjoys not only considerable control over the allocation of state funds for local air pollution control activities but also a nal say in local land use planning. How do the relationships between the state, the local air agencies, and the localities within their jurisdictions shape the local communities willingness and capacity to plan for climate change and green house gas reduction or mitigation? California provides an ideal context for studying local-level variations in mitigation planning. On one hand, it offers consistency: the state actively supports policy innovations at the sub-state levels; the localities experience the same larger economic and political context; NGO access is even throughout the state; and the institutional relationships are dense, with every locality in the state under the jurisdiction of one of Californias 35 air agencies (see Figure 1). One the other hand, California provides important variation: localities have differentiated political and economic characters; local air agencies and localities have the freedom to opt in or out of climate change planning; and local air agencies have varying areas of expertise and capacity. 2. Background The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 was signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger in September, 2006. Known as Assembly Bill 32, or just AB 32, the law establishes state greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals (1990 levels by 2020 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050) and charges the California Air Resources Board (CARB) with identifying and implementing the measures for achieving these reductions within a specied timeframe. CARB can monitor and regulate GHG emissions in several ways: by developing reporting requirements for GHG emissions; by devising rules, regulations, and strategies for achieving GHG emissions reductions; and by meeting numerous strategy adoption and emissions reductions interim deadlines. In December, 2008, following a number of public workshops and comment periods, CARB adopted the Climate Change Scoping Plan (Scoping Plan) as its AB 32 compliance framework (CARB, 2008). CARB monitors the regulatory activity of Californias 35 local air quality agencies (see Figure 1). Each of the air local districts has statutory authority under federal law (the Clean Air Act enables local agencies to regulate local stationary air pollution sources) and under state law (the Mulford-Carrell Air Resources Act provides local air

US environmental governance 319

Figure 1. Location of Californias 35 local air districts

districts with primary responsibility for controlling non-vehicular sources of air pollution); furthermore, although they are primarily concerned with stationary sources, local districts do have authority to implement control measures which affect transportation sources, including automobiles (CAPCOA, 2010). The California Air

MEQ 22,3

320

Pollution Control Ofcers Association (CAPCOA) lists local agencies activities as permitting, planning and research, rule propagation for emissions control, monitoring, outreach and compliance enforcement (CAPCOA, 2010). The precise program of activities varies by agency according to jurisdiction air quality issues (which differ for rural and urban areas, for example), historical experience of the agency (considerable in the case of the Butte County Air Quality Management District which dates from 1967 and formative in the case of Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District which splintered from the South Coast Air Quality Management District in 1997), and technical and nancial capacities of the district. None of the agencies is required to monitor or control stationary sources of GHG emissions: neither AB 32 nor the Scoping Plan has (yet) articulated any responsibilities of local air agencies in GHG regulation. Given the lack of a dened role for the local air agencies, the extreme variation in the extent to which the individual agencies have voluntarily developed policies and programs to address GHG emissions, both in their internal operations and in their outreach efforts to other agencies and governmental units is to be expected. While some do not even mention climate change on their web sites, others dispense multi-million dollar loans to encourage and support local governments to engage in GHG mitigation planning. The authors ask how the air agencies policy positions interact with the interests and efforts of other sub-state entities. California has 58 counties and 480 incorporated cities, every one of which is located within a local air agency jurisdiction (League of California Cities, 2010). Hundreds of these localities have committed to climate change mitigation planning by becoming signatory members of non-binding emissions reductions agreements such as the US Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement (USCMCPA), the Local Governments for Sustainability (or ICLEI, an acronym crafted from the organizations former name, International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) Cities and Counties for Climate Protection (CCP) Campaign, and the United Nations Urban Environmental Accords. ICLEI (2010a) (AB 32 and Local Governments, 2010) claims that local governments are integral to the success of the Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) because:
Local governments control the day-to-day activities that determine the amount of energy used and waste generated as well as the long-term planning for the community from land use and zoning decisions to control over building codes and licenses, infrastructure investment, municipal service delivery and management of schools, parks and recreation areas. Local government leaders are also uniquely positioned to inuence citizen behaviors their transportation options, energy consumption patterns and general consumer decisions (ICLEI, 2010b).

Unfortunately, despite the interest among local governments in mitigation planning, relatively few of Californias well-intentioned localities have translated voluntary GHG reduction commitments into comprehensive policy or hard action. This is particularly vexing since local-level interest in mitigation planning is well-supported by Californias leadership. Certainly, Californias state and regional organizations have taken numerous actions to ease the administrative, technical and nancial burdens of mitigation planning on localities. One example is the Local Government Operations Protocol, a tool to help local governments inventory and report municipal GHG emissions that was jointly created by the Climate Registry, the California Climate Action Registry, CARB, and ICLEI (The Climate Registry, 2009).

Furthermore, localities that are not independently motivated to pursue mitigation planning are wooed and even forced into the fold by state actions. Recent history has demonstrated that, while California legislation does not mandate local action to reduce GHG emissions, it is possible to use a number of pieces of state legislation to effectively limit local autonomy where local actions threatens to interfere with the states emissions reductions goals. In an extreme example, a group of so-called climate change lawsuits have utilized the reductions targets established by AB 32 in concert with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the state environmental review statue, to challenge decisions by sub-state actors that can be expected to increase GHG emissions and therefore require mitigation plans. California Attorney General Jerry Brown led such a suit against San Bernardino County, charging that the countys comprehensive land use plan update failed to quantify and mitigate GHG emissions or explain how population growth predicted under the plan would impact the States ability to attain the GHG reduction targets established by AB 32. As a result, the county must perform an inventory of current and projected GHG emissions; create and implement a stand-alone GHG Reduction Plan; amend the general plan update to reect mitigation planning; and establish reduction targets and mitigation actions to address GHG emissions attributable to the Countys discretionary land use decisions and internal government operations (Marten Law, 2007). In addition, Attorney General Brown has given other formal comments under CEQA to several other localities (Ofce of the Attorney General, 2007). A less litigious yet equally bold strategy for achieving local action in support of state emissions reductions goals is Senate Bill 375 (SB 375) which requires some of the states metropolitan planning organizations to create a so-called Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) that will align regional transportation, housing, and land use plans to reduce the amount of vehicle miles traveled and thus attain the regional GHG reduction target (Garrett et al., 2009). SB 375 further requires that:
funding decisions for regional transportation projects be internally consistent with the strategy. In essence, SB 375 ties state transportation funding decisions to land use and links regional planning efforts for transportation and housing. Local governments will play an important role in designing and meeting these requirements in their land use and transportation plans (City of Santa Monica, 2009).

US environmental governance 321

Despite the many state-level strategies and the apparent interest of local governments, Californias localities have been slow to generate climate change mitigation policies and programs. The list of sub-state governments engaged in climate change planning compiled for and by OPR indicates that, as of October 30, 2009, only 43 localities claimed a GHG reduction policy or program. In fact, as the following discussion makes clear, the situation is even less dynamic than OPRs list might suggest. Similarly, The Public Policy Institute of California published the results of a 2008 survey of cities and counties that found that only 7 percent of the responding 280 cities and 30 counties had a completed plan, although 75 percent reported some sort of climate change work in progress. This report also states that localities cite lack of clarity on the state level as a principal reason for delaying the creation of a mitigation plan (Hanak et al., 2008). The next section closely examines the localities on OPRs October 30, 2009 list. In addition to noting the general characteristics of Californias local mitigation policies, this discussion explores whether the localities that are actively creating or executing a

MEQ 22,3

mitigation plan are anomalies, motivated by internal and unique sets of characteristics or circumstances, or beneciaries of an effective and replicable governance model. 3. Data and methods The 43 cases in this study include the 37 cities and six counties from the October 30, 2009 revision of OPRs list of plans and initiatives adopted by California cities and counties to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (see Figure 2) (California Governors Ofce of Planning and Research, 2009). Using the websites of the 43 localities, the 35 air agencies, and other state and federal agencies as needed, the authors examine the localities mitigation planning documents, GHG inventories, various institutional characteristics of the localities, and the relationship of the localities to their local air agencies. There are several data and methodological limitations that merit discussion. First, the non-random sample is drawn from a list of cities and counties that is conservative; only those localities that responded to OPRs request for information are included in the sample. The authors are aware of several more, like San Luis Obispo which had completed and publicly presented a GHG inventory draft that apparently did not ask to be named on OPRs list despite meeting the requirements for inclusion (City of San Luis Obispo, 2009). The authors did not randomly survey Californias 480 cities and 58 counties to determine the prevalence of climate change planning since the response was anticipated to be similar to that obtained by the OPR, which described its list as representative of local government plans, but is not comprehensive. (California Governors Ofce of Planning and Research, 2009). Additionally, all of the data for this study were collected from a locality or agency web site. The data are therefore limited to those localities that have a web presence and reect the extent to which relevant information was made available to the online public. Finally, there are several, varying data collection timeframes. Except where otherwise noted, air agency data were current as of October 2009, when the OPR published its list revision, while locality information (including plans and policies details and demographic and political information) was compiled as of January 1, 2010 in order to capture the last full month preceding the change of administration accompanying President Obamas inauguration. 4. Locality characteristics Of the 43 local governments that reported climate change planning activities and policies, 72.1 percent have a city council city manager form of government. A majority (60 percent) of the cities operates under a charter while the remainder formed under general law; in other words, the majority of the cities in the dataset were incorporated under their own charter rather than under state laws. All of Californias largest cities are charter cities and, more importantly, charter cities have broader powers to enact land use regulations than do general law cities (California Governors Ofce of Planning and Research, 2005). Most of the localities (53.5 percent) are urban areas that meet the US Census classication for a Metropolitan Statistical Area (having a population of more than 50,000) (State of California, 2009; US Census Bureau, Population Division, 2010).

322

US environmental governance 323

Figure 2. Spatial distribution of studied localities and local air districts

5. Network characteristics The authors are interested in the context in which these plans have developed and whether localities accessed external resources in the form of technical or nancial assistance during the mitigation planning process. (Herein, technical assistance means knowledge of climate change science and policy or expertise with emissions

MEQ 22,3

quantication or other planning software.) Therefore, the following discussion examines localities connections to their state and sub-state air agencies, external NGOs and, in the case of cities, their counties. 5.1 Connections to air agencies A total of 12 of Californias 35 air agency jurisdictions are represented in this data set. Two of our 43 cases are counties that each straddles two air agency districts: San Bernardino County crosses the Mohave and South Coast Air Districts and Sonoma County crosses the Bay Area and Northern Sonoma Air Districts. While it is possible that the more proactive air districts (South Coast in the case of San Bernardino County and Bay Area in the case of Sonoma County) inuenced these counties to engage in mitigation planning, there is no evidence to support this idea. Thus, the authors classify these counties and their plans as belonging to air district jurisdictions that are distinct from the South Coast and Bay Area districts. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) contains the majority of the studied localities (22). The remaining 21 localities are distributed among the other 11 air agency jurisdictions, with the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) containing the next highest number of localities with plans (seven). This clustering effect presents a problem for analyzing variation across air agency jurisdictions, though there is signicant variation across plans produced within the BAAQMD jurisdiction. Importantly, the clustering indicates that special attention should be paid to BAAQMD and SCAQMD (see Figure 2 and Table I). The 12 air agencies included in this data set are all independent, stand-alone agencies that are not located within a larger municipal department or agency; therefore, they enjoy a certain amount of political, economic, and programmatic autonomy. (Of the remaining 23 air agencies not included in this analysis, nine are located within a municipal department and 14 are independent.) The majority of the 12 air agencies had (as of February 2010) established internal policies to mitigate emissions from their own operations and facilities. In addition, 86 percent (37) of the 43 localities fall within the jurisdiction of an air agency that advertised a formal policy or program providing outreach and support to localities engaged in mitigation planning. Interestingly, only 9.3 percent (four) of the localities received technical assistance from
Air district jurisdiction Bay area Mendocino County Monterey Bay unied North Coast unied Sacramento Metro San Diego County San Joaquin Valley unied Santa Barbara County South Coast Yolo-Solano Mojave/South Coast Bay Area/Northern Sonoma Total F 22 1 2 1 2 2 2 1 7 1 1 1 43 % 51.2 2.3 4.7 2.3 4.7 4.7 4.7 2.3 16.3 2.3 2.3 2.3 100.0

324

Table I. Local or county plans within air district jurisdictions

their air agencies, including three within the BAAQMD jurisdiction, and only 23.3 percent (ten) of the localities received nancial assistance from their air agencies, with 6 of these in the BAAQMD jurisdiction (see Table II). The contradiction here is that, while the air agencies seemingly have good experience with establishing internal policies, it does not appear that localities are receiving technical assistance from their air agencies, with the exception of those in the BAAQMD. 5.2 Connections to other sub-state entities The data used for this study do not indicate whether localities made use of county climate change outreach programs. Even so, the authors note that 21 of the 37 cities with climate programs or plans in the sample were located in counties with a climate change outreach program and ve of the six counties in the sample offered outreach to the cities within their boundaries. Furthermore, of those cities that completed plans as of January 2010, 75 percent were located in counties with a climate change outreach program (see Table III). The majority of the localities are signatory members of GHG reduction programs sponsored by organizations like ICLEI, the USCMCPA, and the UN Urban Environmental Agenda. Most (81.4 percent) have connections to ICLEI and 67.4
Technical assistance received % 65.1 9.3 25.6 100.0 Financial assistance received % 58.1 23.3 18.6 100.0

US environmental governance 325

Received by locality No Yes NA Total (n 43)

Home air district has formal mitigation outreach program % 14.0 86.0 0.0 100.0

Table II. Air district climate change planning resources

Not complete

Plan status Complete

N/A

Total

Home county offers a climate change mitigation program? No Count 8 % within plan status 44.4 In process Count % within plan status Yes Count % within plan status Total Count % within plan status 1 5.6 9 50.0 18 100.0

4 25.0 0 0.0 12 75.0 16 100.0

3 100.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 3 100.0

15 40.5 1 2.7 21 56.8 37 100.0 Table III. Status of plan by existence of climate change outreach program in Home County

MEQ 22,3

326

percent received technical assistance from ICLEI during the mitigation planning process. The fact that cities with completed plans are likely to be located in counties with a climate program and to have received technical assistance from ICLEI suggests that external resources and support matter for local mitigation planning decisions. Furthermore, the inuence of external organizations that, like ICLEI, offer localities a set of templates and best practices can be expected to contribute to the degree of policy harmonization among Californias sub-state plans. For example, about 79 percent used ICLEIs format for reporting GHG emissions by activity sector (i.e. waste, water, utilities, transportation, etc.) and only 16.3 percent discussed climate change adaptation planning. Finally, only 23.3 percent of the localities began mitigation planning efforts prior to the passage of AB 32, a fact that suggests that most localities began mitigation planning efforts in response to perceived state pressure or in anticipation of state or federal policy changes. The 23 percent that did begin planning prior to AB 32 passage can be considered innovators. 5.3 Community involvement The authors examined localities web sites and plans for references to any sort of planning activity, precursor campaign, or other efforts to mobilize or involve the community in the mitigation planning. Nearly half of the localities (46.5 percent) did not document any community involvement efforts, although a sizeable percentage (32.6 percent) did. Additionally, 48.8 percent of localities posted process documents on the web, fullling basic requirements of public disclosure. 6. Plan and policy characteristics With an eye to understanding what process factors determine the form of a nal policy, the authors focus on the status of the plans, whether they utilized a best practice or template, and whether they specied institutional changes, implementation plans, or funding sources. Only 44.2 percent of localities indicated that their mitigation plans were completed and adopted, while another 11.6 percent posted completed plans to the web without indicating whether the plans had been adopted. A sizable number (30.2 percent) were under development. Interestingly, 4.7 percent of the localities stated that their mitigation planning processes were meant to yield guidance documents or general plan elements rather than a stand-alone policy. The remaining 9.3 percent had not yet begun the planning process and thus did not discuss the intended form of any policy output (see Table IV).
Plan status Incomplete/intended only as a guideline Incomplete/in process Completed but not adopted/stalled Completed and adopted NA Total F 2 13 5 19 4 43 % 4.7 30.2 11.6 44.2 9.3 100.0

Table IV. Status of plan

A second set of questions regarding public involvement in mitigation planning considers whether public participation levels might impact the rate of completion or adoption. The openness of the processes varied among the localities, with 23.3 percent of planning processes involving only municipal ofcials and experts, 32.6 percent of the processes open to the public, and 23.3 percent requiring some level of public involvement. As illustrated in Table V, there is a relationship between the degree of public participation in the planning process and the status of the plans, with completion rates of 40 percent for plans associated with planning processes requiring public involvement; 50 percent for those that were simply open to the public; and 80 percent for those that were closed to the public. There is evidence of policy diffusion and innovation. A large percentage of localities (46.3 percent) explicitly acknowledged borrowing some combination of templates and best practices from another locality or NGO; this percentage is sufciently large to suggest that it is common practice in local policy development to examine and adapt existing policy forms and information to local needs. In terms of process and outputs, this borrowing approach is distinct from defensive planning strategies which evidence an anticipation or perception of state or federal policy changes. Climate change mitigation involves multiple policy arenas and cross-media considerations. This kind of policy making is not readily suited to the structure of most municipal governments since municipal agencies and departments are often stove-piped, so that policy areas are isolated within distinct bureaucratic structures by ordinance, law, or tradition. Therefore, local institutional structural change is sometimes necessary: 34.9 percent of the localities completed plans recommended some level of institutional change and 16.3 percent required or enacted the change. Additionally, close to 63 percent of the plans specied implementation procedures and about 42 percent discussed funding allocations (and one plan actually allocated funding).

US environmental governance 327

Status of plan Not complete Count % within type of inclusion Complete Count % within type of inclusion NA Count % within type of inclusion Total Count % within type of inclusion

Type of public inclusion Public Ofcials/ Open to involvement experts only public required 2 20.0 8 80.0 0 0.0 10 100.0 7 50.0 7 50.0 0 0.0 14 100.0 6 60.0 4 40.0 0 0.0 10 100.0

NA 5 55.6 0 0.0 4 44.4 9 100.0

Total 20 46.5 19 44.2 4 9.3 43 100.0

Table V. Status of plan by public inclusion in planning process

MEQ 22,3

328

7. Conclusions While this exploratory study did not aim to demonstrate causal relationships, a few patterns and ideas have emerged that merit particular attention. First, municipalities that completed plans were more likely to have access to external resources (such as technical information, plan templates, and GHG estimation tools) from a county government, air agency, or organization like ICLEI. While innovators are important for establishing a path, real momentum towards broad policy diffusion comes from those localities that build resources by borrowing best practices from one another and utilizing outside knowledge resources. This will be important to acknowledge as federal and perhaps international policies lter down to US localities. Templates, technical assistance, and access to best practice information will be crucial tools as localities develop their own capacity to create and implement plans. Furthermore, many municipalities recognize that institutional changes are necessary for implementing plans. There is a growing movement to undo the policy stove-piping that occurs at the federal level; such change could impact how states and localities access federal resources and create or adjust their own structures to deal with climate change. The fact that municipalities formally recognize this in their plans bodes well for future implementation. Improved understanding of existing organizational or institutional relationships, and the lack thereof, will also be important as higher-level policies are put into place. Intergovernmental partnerships can powerfully impact localities technical and nancial capacities for pursuing climate change mitigation planning. This exploratory study points to the potential for strong leadership by air quality control agencies to greatly inuence the willingness of localities within their jurisdictions to engage in voluntary mitigation planning. Furthermore, decentralized collaboration does not prevent, and might encourage, policy harmonization through localities widespread reliance on the technical assistance from specialized non-governmental organizations like ICLEI. This study is an initial step in summarizing the state of local climate change planning efforts in a state that is commonly considered an environmental policy innovator. More systematic information should be collected from a comprehensive list of localities to provide a better picture of the actual content of the local plans and empirical, grounded studies like this one should be used to inform a larger dialogue about environmental governance of climate change at the local level.

References California Governors Ofce of Planning and Research (2005), California Planning Guide: An Introduction to Planning in California, available at: http://www.opr.ca.gov/planning/ publications/California_Planning_Guide_2005.pdf (accessed 25 April 2010). California Governors Ofce of Planning and Research (2009), List of Local Plans and Policies Addressing Climate Change, 30 October, available at: www.opr.ca.gov/index. php?aceqa/index.html (accessed 1 December 2009). CAPCOA (2010), About Us, available at: www.capcoa.org/about (accessed 15 April 2010). CARB (2008), Climate change scoping plan: a framework for change, available at: www.arb.ca. gov/cc/scopingplan/document/scopingplandocument.htm (accessed 25 April 2010).

City of San Luis Obispo (2009), Community and Municipal Operations 2005 Baseline Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory, available at: www.ci.san-luis-obispo.ca.us/community development/download/GHGInventory.pdf (accessed 25 April 2010). City of Santa Monica (2009), Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE), Chapter 3.1: Sustainability and Climate Change, available at: www.shapethefuture2025.net/PDF/luce_ 2009_documents/3.1_sustainability_and_climate_change.pdf (accessed 25 April 2010). (The) Climate Registry (2009), press release, available at: www.theclimateregistry.org/ downloads/2009/05/LGO_Protocol_provides_valuable_guidance_to_local_govs_ 063009.pdf (accessed 25 April 2010). Garrett, C., Collins-Burgard, B., Waterman, R. and Klopf, A. (2009), Addressing climate change through land use and transportation planning: Californias SB 375 and SB 732 a legislative trend? Bloomberg Finance LP, available at: www.lw.com/upload/pubContent/_ pdf/pub2554_1.pdf (accessed 25 April 2010). Hanak, E., Bedsworth, L., Swanbeck, S. and Malaczynski, J. (2008), Climate policy at the local level: a survey of Californias cities and counties, Public Policy Institute of California, November, available at: www.ppic.org/main/publication.asp?i849 (accessed 28 April 2010). ICLEI (2010a), AB32 and Local Governments, available at: www.icleiusa.org/about-iclei/iclei-by_ region/california-region/ab-32-and-local-governments (accessed 25 April 2010). ICLEI (2010b), Programs: Climate, available at: www.icleiusa.org/programs/climate (accessed 25 April 2010). League of California Cities (2010), Facts at a glance, available at: www.cacities.org/index. jsp?zonelocc&previewStory53 (accessed 25 April 2010). Marten Law (2007), Settlement requires California County to inventory and mitigate greenhouse gases, available at: www.martenlaw.com/newsletter/20070905-ghg-settlement (accessed 25 April 2010). Ofce of the Attorney General (2007), Brown Announces Landmark Global Warming Settlement, available at: http://ag.ca.gov/newsalerts/release.php?id1453& (accessed 25 April 2010). State of California, Department of Finance (2009), E-5 Population and Housing Estimates for Cities, Counties and the State, 2001-2009, with 2000 Benchmark, May, available at: www. dof.ca.gov/research/demographic/reports/estimates/e-5/2009/ (accessed 25 April 2010). US Census Bureau, Population Division (2010), Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas, available at: www.census.gov/population/www/metroareas/metroarea.html (accessed 25 April 2010). About the authors Lauren C. Heberle is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Louisville, Louisville, KY. She is also Director of the US EPA Region 4 Environmental Finance Center at the University of Louisville. Lauren C. Heberle is the corresponding author and can be contacted at: lauren.heberle@louisville.edu Isabella M. Christensen is a PhD candidate in the Louisville School of Urban and Public Affairs, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY.

US environmental governance 329

To purchase reprints of this article please e-mail: reprints@emeraldinsight.com Or visit our web site for further details: www.emeraldinsight.com/reprints