Cities and the governance framing of climate change

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8 Citations (Scopus)


The article examines cross-discourse of the EuropeanMobilityWeek (EMW) campaign launched at the European level and analyses how it is adapted in six European cities. The objective is to unveil a governance framing that unmasks how cities shape their climate leadership discourse according to their governance aspirations and capacity. By looking at the adaptations across cities' discourses, this research acknowledges the need to confront the limitations and challenges that cities encounter to effectively contribute to global climate governance. It suggests that a governance framing exposes these challenges by showing the different realities of cities when they highlight particular governance modes in their discourse. The methodology combines critical discourse analysis and corpus techniques to analyse a total of 18 campaigns in different temporal, geographical and political contexts. EMW's discourse issued at European level is used as the reference corpus to examine how cities reframe their discourse by weakening or strengthening two governance modes characterised as an action-taking approach that focuses on the steering role of government, and a decision-making approach that highlights the city's interdependencies in a societal context. Learning more about discourse as a vindicator of governance modes in urban climate governance can contribute to a better understanding of how climate transitions are actually put into practise. The research suggests that climate leadership attributed to cities is in fact a complex and dynamic reality that has to be cautiously examined in order to understand the challenges of climate transitions.

Translated title of the contributionCiudades y marco de gobernanza del cambio climático
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-30
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Policy and Governance
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2021


  • city
  • climate change
  • discourse
  • framing
  • governance


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