Multi-level governance and climate action Unlocking the potential of local initiatives

October 10 | 09:00

Umwelt, Klima, Energie: Gesellschaften und ihre ökologischen Herausforderungen


Objectives of the seminar

Local and regional policies across Europe are key to achieve carbon neutrality and to advance solutions towards a better adaptation approach of climate change. However, as confirmed by a large body of literature, nimbysm and planification rules may limit the potential of area-based solutions.

In the field of energy, many communities have initiated local climate policies that help to achieve several aims : insulation from energy price spikes, better involvement of citizens, enhanced capacity to address sustainability issues through a cross-cutting approach. Many local authorities are advancing district energy solutions to improve the performance of their building stock and to reap the benefits of local energy sources. In the context of climate warming, cites and regions are also facing increasing risks regarding floods, subsidence and heat waves. Innovation is taking place in this field too but unlocking the potential of area based policies requires new governance patterns as well as relevant business models.

Altogether, area based climate policies raise several questions regarding factors that inhibit or support innovation as well as governance issues between different levels (EU, state, region, local authorities).  Effective multi-level governance is in this context instrumental to enhance resilience, to improve coordination among different levels of government and to leverage the contributions of the civil society.

The seminar aims at gaining a better understanding of the factors that accelerate or inhibit progress made in this respect, with a specific focus on France and Germany.


Gilles Lepesant, CNRS research fellow, Géographie-Cités (Paris) and research associate at the Marc Bloch Centre in Berlin,

Ulrike Zeigermann, Assistant Professor in Social Science Sustainability Studies at the University of Würzburg and research associate at the Marc Bloch Centre in Berlin,  


Ulrike Zeigermann
zeigermann  ( at )


Program Day 1 (Berlin)

09:00                                   Welcome and check-in

09.30-09.45                      Opening remarks

                                               Jakob Vogel, Centre Marc Bloch

09.45– 11:15                      Workshop 1

Climate action in a multi-governance architecture

Chair : Ulrike Zeigermann

  • Aurore Jeanne Stanislava Dudka, Università degli Studi di Milano

An institutional logic to energy communities: The case of France

  • Laura Henn, Center for Environmental Systems Research, University of Kassel
    Barriers and drivers of individual climate action
  • Benjamin Beuerle, Centre Marc Bloch, Max Weber Fellow

Pilot Region Sakhalin. Window dressing or real chance to become a trendsetter in Russian climate policy?

  • Gilles Lepesant, Research fellow at CNRS (Géographie-Cités, Paris) and research associate at Centre Marc Bloch

Energy transitions as spatial processes: a new era for German coastal areas ?

11:15 – 11:30                      Coffee break

11:30 – 12:45                     Workshop 2

Governing the opportunities and challenges of bioenergy

Chair : Benjamin Beuerle

  • Katrin Beer, Technische Universität München

Energy autonomy and regional bioeconomy in villages and rural areas – lessons learned from German bioenergy villages

  • Fenja Guhl, University of Magdeburg

Local heat transitions: A comparative case study of bioenergy villages in Baden-Württemberg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

  • Stefanie Baasch, Sustainability Research Center (artec) at the University of Bremen

Multiple fragmentation as a key challenge in residual and waste-based bioenergy and heat transitions at the local level

12h45 – 14:00                   Lunch

14:00 – 15:15                     Workshop 3

New governance patterns in rural climate policies

Chair : Elias Lüthi

  • Magali Dreyfus, Research fellow at CNRS (CERAPS, Lille)

Litigation to stop renewable energy development : a real obstacle ?

  • Michael Böcher, University of Magdeburg

Potentials and barriers for regional climate governance from a political science perspective

  • Julia Benz, University of Magdeburg

Assessing factors for success in regional climate governance. A comparison between four regions in Germany

  • Ulrike Zeigermann, University of Würzburg

Climate labs vs. unused potentials: Examining the rural-urban divide in local climate mitigation

15:15 – 15:30                     Coffee break

15:30 – 16:45                    Workshop 4

Global challenges – urban  responses

Chair : Gilles Lepesant

  • Antonin Pottier, Associate Professor at École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, researcher at CIRED, Paris and research associate at Centre Marc Bloch

Carbon footprint of cities and regions: could it be an indicator of sustainability?

  • Elisa Kochskämper, Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning (IRS)

Resilient and sustainable? Climate change adaptation strategies in the 100 Resilient Cities initiative over time and space

  • Monika Heyder, ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability

Global cooperation across regional governments committed to sustainable urban development

18:00 – 19:00                   Eine neue Welt – Widerstand

                                               Filmpremiere in Kooperation mit ARTE und dem Ciné-Club des CMB

19:00 – 20:00                   Podium discussion with Thierry Robert, Director and co-screenwriter of the                                 film

                                               Chair : Bastien Fond (Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin)

20:00                                   Reception

Program Day 2 (Feldheim)

Visit of the Energy Community of Feldheim

08:30 – 09:00                  Welcome and gathering for departure

09:00 – 10:30                   Trip to Feldheim/ Treuenbrietze

10:30 – 11:00                    Arrival in Feldheim

11:00 – 13:00                    Visit to the Feldheim energy facilities in cooperation with Neue Energien Forum

13:00 – 14:00                   Lunch break

14:00 – 15:30                    Meeting with the Mayor of Feldheim

17:00                                    Arrival back in Berlin


Centre Marc Bloch
Friedrichstrasse 191
10117 Berlin