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Evaluating the quality of municipal climate change plans in Canada

Abstract

Plan quality has become an established framework for analyzing the contents of plans and assessing their strengths and deficiencies. The research presented in this paper contributes to academic scholarship on plan quality by evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of climate change plans in 63 of the most populous communities across Canada. Plans were evaluated using a coding protocol consisting of 46 indicators based on eight plan quality characteristics: fact base, goals, policies, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, inter-organizational coordination, participation, and plan organization and presentation. The analysis revealed three key findings that are important for policy and practice. First, Canadian municipal climate change plans prioritize climate change mitigation over adaptation. Second, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation are relatively weak aspects of municipal climate change plans in Canada. Finally, despite the importance that scholars and practitioners ascribe to stakeholder engagement, Canadian municipalities appear to have given insufficient consideration to this element of the climate change plan-making process.

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Correspondence to Dave Guyadeen.

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Appendix

Appendix

Table 2 List of plans used in analysis
Table 3 Description of plan quality indicators
Table 4 Sample coding sheet

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Guyadeen, D., Thistlethwaite, J. & Henstra, D. Evaluating the quality of municipal climate change plans in Canada. Climatic Change 152, 121–143 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-018-2312-1

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