Local Democracy and the Legitimization of Climate Action in Rural Municipalities of Sweden, Chile and the US

Case studies in rural Chile, Sweden and the US, show that climate policy often leads to conflicts with other rural development objectives. Rural municipalities thus need new tools to balance climate change action with other important local demands. This brief highlights how national- and state-level implementation of the Sustainable Development Goal 13 (climate action) interacts with local forestry, agricultural and urban development decisions. Those interactions present new challenges for rural municipalities which must deal with both climate change itself and international climate initiatives. Policy issues are analysed to illustrate how democratic innovations can generate more legitimate climate action in rural municipalities.

This policy brief is a result of the ICLD Local Democracy Academy 2020