Case Studies on Collaborative Climate Action: Experiences from three countries

In three case studies, we take a closer look into the practice of Collaborative Climate Action (CCA) in Japan, Rwanda, and Germany. What are the country-specific conditions under which effective collaboration develops – both formal institutions within the national political framework and informal, voluntary settings? And, what role does CCA play in these countries for implementing the goals of the Paris Agreement and raise climate ambitions?

Collaborative Climate Action in Japan: Aiming for a domino effect

Japan is the world’s third largest economy and its seventh largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Therefore, pressure for minimising CO2 emissions is high. The “Outlines of Japan’s Long-term Strategy under the Paris Agreement” proclaims a decarbonized society as the ultimate goal and outlines the vision of “achieving carbon neutral, resilient and comfortable communities and living by 2050”. In November 2020, the Japanese House of Representatives and the House of Councillors declared a climate emergency, thereby underlining the urgency of – and its dedication to tackle – climate change.

But how do the different government levels in Japan work together to reach national climate goals and to contribute to the implementation of the Paris Agreement? This case study describes what Collaborative Climate Action (CCA) looks like between Japan’s national government and its prefectures and municipalities, that are independent entities without a hierarchical relationship.

Collaborative Climate Action in Japan: Aiming for a domino effect

Collaborative Climate Action in Rwanda: Current implementation and potentials

The Rwandan decentralization process which transfers powers, responsibilities and resources from the central to subnational governments and administrative entities, lays the foundation for any collaborative climate action already undertaken today or possibly to be undertaken in the future. In that context, subnational government layers were reshaped. The institutional framework of Rwandan local governments is composed of five major administrative layers, namely 4 provinces and the City of Kigali, 30 districts, 416 sectors, 2,148 cells and 14,816 villages.

The examples given in this case study show that some forms of collaborative action have already been established and are well mainstreamed into existing governance processes in Rwanda. In particular, the so-called imihigos have the potential to pass on national climate targets even more strongly to the subnational level and to push their implementation.

Collaborative Climate Action in Rwanda: Current implementation and potentials

Collaborative Climate Action in Germany: Cities as key partners for climate action, not just stakeholders

Collaborative Climate Action in Germany exists in the form of a complex network of relationships between the levels of government, both legally regulated and voluntary and selective. The strength of CCA in Germany is based on legally established powers of all levels assigning special competences, rights and duties to each of them.

This case study investigates under which conditions such collaboration develops in practice, also in an informal, voluntary fashion. Finally, the study concludes with recommendations on how CCA in Germany could be further strengthened.

Collaborative Climate Action in Germany: Cities as key partners for climate action, not just stakeholders