McGloughlin, Jackie S. and Sweeney, John
Multi-level climate policies in Ireland.
Irish Geography, 44 (1).
Global greenhouse gas concentrations continue to rise even though there are binding
international agreements and national commitments for emission reductions. While some
states and local governments around the world are taking action to reduce emissions and
adapt to the inevitable climate change impacts, overall collective goals are not being realised
and this implementation gap may be due to multi-level governance failures. To date there has
been limited research of Irish climate measures with a significant gap at the subnational level.
This research explores whether city and county councils are the lowest, most effective, level
for climate change actions in Ireland through a nationwide survey and a review of all relevant
government policies at local, regional and national levels. This research reveals that the local
climate measures are isolated best practice examples rather than being widespread throughout
the country. This study concludes that there is limited vertical integration among Irish
government levels as evidenced by three things: survey responses from local authority staff
members, limited incorporation of higher-level objectives into local policy documents, and
limited details in national level policies as to local level implementation. Similar to
municipalities in other countries, Irish local authorities face challenges which are hindering
their advancement of climate measures. If the higher-level collective goals are to be achieved
in Ireland, the national government will need to drive forward the climate change agenda
with formalised commitments and mandatory local implementation.
||This is a preprint of an article submitted for consideration in Irish Geography © 2011 [copyright Taylor & Francis]; Irish Geography is available online at: www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00750778.2011.615984. This article is written within the framework of the CoCoAdapt project 2007-CCRP-
2.2.6 and supported by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) as part of the STRIVE
programme 2007-2013. Thanks go to the local authority staff members for their cooperation
and input into this research. The authors also wish to thank Professor Mark Boyle, Ronan
Foley, and two anonymous reviewers for their comments on the draft of this article.
||climate change; governance; subsidiarity; environmental policy;
||Social Sciences > Geography
Prof. John Sweeney
||13 Dec 2011 16:35
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||Taylor & Francis
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