Taking the temperature: investigating the factors that drive cities to join the Mayors Climate Protection Agreement
de Fontaine, Andre
de Fontaine, Andre
This study investigates the factors that lead mayors to join the Mayors Climate Protection Agreement (MCPA). Mayors that choose to join the agreement pledge to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 7 percent by 2012, and promise to support policies at the federal level to reduce global warming pollution. A logit model is used to investigate these factors with a dichotomous dependent variable indicating whether or not the mayor has chosen to join the agreement for 69 U.S. cities. The model will test the relationship of 14 independent variables -- roughly spit into three categories: political, social, and economic factors -- on the decision to join the MCPA. Because the MCPA does not contain any formal accountability mechanisms and does not usually lead to direct benefits to the cities subject to the agreement, I argue that mayors join the program principally for political reasons. The results of the study appear to bear this out with the variable measuring voter support for the Democratic candidate in the 2004 presidential election (which is used as a proxy for public opinion) exhibiting a statistically significant positive relationship with the dependent variable, net of other factors. The fact that this variable is significant even when controlling for mayoral party affiliation (which is not statistically significant) suggests that mayoral decisions are more highly influenced by constituent opinion than national party policy preferences.
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