The local governance of climate change: new tools to respond to old limitations in Esmeraldas, Ecuador

Andrés Luque, Gareth A S Edwards, Christophe Lalande

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    This article argues that climate change, seen as a socially constructed anticipation of AQ1 natural disasters and a future-risk that plays out in present politics [Beck, U. and van Loon, J., 2011. Until the last ton of fossil fuel has burnt to ashes: climate change, global inequalities and the dilemma of green politics. In: D. Held, M. Theros and A. Fane-Hervey, ed. The governance of climate change. London: Polity, 111–135], is enabling the emergence of new modes of governance in cities of the global south. The article focuses on the process by which the city of Esmeraldas, Ecuador, developed a Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Strategy. Within the context of climate change adaptation, Esmeraldas mobilised new discourses, stakeholders, and planning mechanisms to address pre-existing urban planning and development limitations. This discursively enabled the municipality’s ongoing governance project by leveraging resources, creating consensus, and informing practice. Climate change adaptation thus became an important mechanism for engaging with local priorities, particularly those of the most vulnerable populations, and for bridging the gap between the formal world of policymaking and the reality of life in the city, which is more often structured by informality.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)738-751
    JournalLocal Environment
    Issue number6
    Early online date3 Dec 2012
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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