While there is a large body of literature on “cities and climate change governance” that continues to grow rapidly, few scholars have considered the legal effect and normative relevance of cities’ governance activities. This thesis aims to fill this gap in the literature by examining the emergence of cities as actors that are producing and implementing norms, practices and voluntary standards that transcend state boundaries to steer the behavior of cities towards reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and developing low carbon alternatives for the future.
These norms, practices and voluntary standards impose limitations on how cities develop by requiring them to take climate risks into account and to consciously develop practices, policies and regulations to reduce their emissions of harmful GHGs from, for example, landfills, transportation systems and buildings. On this basis of the impact or effect that voluntary standards and practices have on cities and their authorities, it can be argued that they constitute normative products.