A methodological framework to assess the gaps from national energy efficiency policies to local actions within a multilevel governance system

Valeria Zambianchi, Ksenia Petrichenko

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Abstract

The role of cities has recently gained attention in the global energy arena, for instance when a delegation of 25 cities pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050 during COP23. Scientific evidence shows that cities are essential partners to work with to achieve a sustainable energy transition, while organisations such as Covenant of Mayors, ICLEI and C40 are supporting the movement towards a larger inclusion of local institutions. Historically, local governments were considered policy-takers, as they tended to implement actions following the national energy agenda. Yet, despite the progress in the energy governance system, the local energy efficiency potential is far from being fully captured. This paper aims at presenting a methodological framework to identify the gaps preventing municipalities from reaching their energy efficiency goals. Building upon theories of multilevel governance for energy policy, the paper presents an innovative methodology, assessing if and how energy efficiency policies and projects are translated from the national to the local level. The methodology includes the typology of gaps, defining commitment, action, coordination and replication gaps. Using the data collected during interviews with national and local policy makers and experts, the methodology is applied to a case study of five municipalities in Argentina. The case study demonstrates that municipalities with the presence of a coordination gap tend to be embedded within the vertical typology of multilevel governance, while those with an action gap fall under the hierarchical type. Therefore, despite the progressive role of cities and local authorities, the dynamics between national and local levels tend to be top-down. With the presence of diverse gaps within the same nation-state, diverse typologies of energy efficiency governance are present. Conclusively, regardless of the typology of the detected gaps, the dynamics between local and national level are determinant for the success of energy efficient city actions, demonstrating that the increased role of cities and the change of the system of governance has not yet fully occurred.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 2019 ECEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency: Is Efficient Sufficient?
Publication date2019
Pages591-598
Publication statusPublished - 2019
SeriesEceee Summer Study Proceedings
ISSN2001-7960

Cite this

Zambianchi, V., & Petrichenko, K. (2019). A methodological framework to assess the gaps from national energy efficiency policies to local actions within a multilevel governance system. In Proceedings of 2019 ECEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency: Is Efficient Sufficient? (pp. 591-598). Eceee Summer Study Proceedings