Urban areas, being responsible for large shares of global greenhouse gas emissions, are important arenas for achieving global decarbonisation. However, the systemic challenge of decarbonisation requires deep structural changes – transitions – that take place across multiple scales and along entire value chains. The authors argue in this article that understanding the role of urban areas for global decarbonisation therefore requires consideration of their context and analysis of urban areas' contributions to transitions that extend past the individual urban area. They develop an analytical framework that proposes three principal ways, in which urban areas can contribute to low-carbon transitions, and ten competences that regional and local governance actors should have to support it. They apply this framework to the Cologne metropolitan area in Germany to demonstrate the ability of the framework to relate urban-scale activities to more encompassing low-carbon transitions.
The paper "Competences of local and regional urban governance actors to support low-carbon transitions" by Dr. Georg Holtz, Dr. Chun Xia-Bauer, Michaela Roelfes, Dr. Ralf Schüle, Dr. Daniel Vallentin and Lilia Martens (Wuppertal Institute) concludes with future research possibilities and is available for download.