William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review


This interdisciplinary work contributes empirical grounding to the growing literature in law and public policy on local governments and climate mitigation. Much of the recent scholarship presents an optimistic view of the potential in local climate action. Here, we refine the optimism for local governments’ impact with new performance data that probes local progress and capacity for climate governance. Our analysis—based on a new study measuring policy choice, implementation, and influences— reevaluates a number of assumptions undergirding this scholarship and provides direction for targeted investment and research.