Local governments as drivers for societal transformation: towards the 1,5 °C ambition

Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability

Local governments have an important role in reducing GHG required for meeting the 1.5 °C ambition.

  • Local transformation processes are complex and context dependent.
  • Cross-sectoral networks and policies is a precondition for societal transformation.
  • Sustainable development strategies align well with transformation.

The political ambition of curbing global average temperatures to 1.5 °C above preindustrial levels requires significant and profound changes to societal organisation, energy use and consumption. It will not be sufficient to maintain or incrementally change status quo, rather it will require radical and paradigmatic transformative changes. Local governments have dual roles in social transformation: to transform within their own organisation, and to act as a catalyst for transformation locally. We find that key factors for transformation include pursuing and institutionalising a long-term sustainable development agenda; and building networks established between different parts of the municipal organisation, and between the municipalities and local businesses, civil society groups and other relevant actors.