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date: 04 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Climate change is a global problem, but it stems from local emissions and its impacts are also felt differently in different locations. Thus, the problem spans geographic scales from the rural village or urban neighborhood to the planet. This poses a conundrum for policy makers. This article describes how responsibility for addressing climate change should be divided, coordinated, and enforced among governmental entities ranging from municipalities to international institutions, and the factors which influence the decision. It considers some of the issues involved in determining which activities should be assigned to what geographic units of government. Apart from taking on mitigation efforts, it also considers adaptation where in both instances the issue is between local tailoring of climate policy and a more uniform approach. This article, for convenience, refers to the geographically more extended unit of government as the ‘nation’, and the smaller one as the ‘state’.

Keywords: climate governance, geographic unit of government, geographic scale, international agreement, mitigation efforts

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