Theses Master's

Lessons Learned from the Success of Municipal Climate Policy in British Columbia, Canada, and its Applications to the Rest of the Country

Qian, Casey

Despite Canada’s shortcomings in climate change policy, the province British Columbia has been praised internationally as a leader in municipal climate policy development. While there is much to learn from British Columbia’s success, there is perhaps more to gain from studying its shortcomings in transitioning from policy adoption to implementation and measurable progress. The purpose of this narrative review is to use an exploratory search approach to find drivers and barriers to municipal climate action in British Columbia, and ways to apply these findings to the rest of the nation. The key drivers found are the presence of extensive provincial-level legislature to guide local climate planning, and co-benefits of climate policies to address local concerns. Barriers to B.C. municipal climate action include poor policy implementation, a lack of climate adaptation policies, and the rigidity of broader economic and political structures limiting local change. Lessons applicable to the rest of Canada are to design more stringent provincial legislature, and for senior government to aid municipalities in capacity-building, particularly when it comes to data collection and progress assessments. Future research could explore the tensions of climate mitigation versus adaptation and multi-level governance, and methods to more regularly assess existing local climate plans and their progress.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Sociomedical Sciences
Thesis Advisors
Cunningham, Niki
M.P.H., Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
Published Here
April 11, 2023