Local Government's Resource Commitment to Environmental Sustainability: Capacity, Conservatism, and Contractual Dynamics
Local governments are leading sustainability efforts through a range of initiatives, often voluntarily. While a spate of research exists to explain what drives these voluntary decisions, we are still limited in understanding how localities follow through with the resources to implement their adopted plans. This is particularly the case for environment and climate protection programs that are transboundary in nature and thus require more innovative and longer-term approaches than those that are relatively low-cost and easier to implement with future savings. This research examines local investment in promoting three of these program areas: air quality, biodiversity preservation, and ecological restoration. It investigates how local governments vary according to resource commitment and what factors explain those variations. We find several factors significant, including community capacity, political ideology, and institutional arrangements for service production and delivery. Variations are, however, found across different types of resource commitment, suggesting a more complex picture of local resource availability for advancing sustainability efforts.
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