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Environmental governmentality in eThekwini municipality : a case study of the COP17/CMP7 : responsible accommodation campaign.

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Along with increasing awareness of the realities of environmental degradation and climate change, governments around the world are now implementing strategies aimed at mitigating and adapting to these changes. While a significant effort is being made to negotiate environmental and climate politics at the international level, the importance of local environmental and climate governance has received more attention recently, as it is acknowledged that both the causes and the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation inevitably originate and happen locally. This dissertation aims to contribute to the research on climate change mitigation and adaptation in the African context through the analysis of local environmental and climate governance and governmentality in eThekwini municipality in South Africa. The aim of the study was to explore environmental governmentality in eThekwini municipality, by reflecting on the processes and outcomes of the COP17/CMP7 Responsible Accommodation Campaign, a part of the Greening COP17/CMP7 programme in Durban in 2011. Within this there were five main objectives: 1) to describe the current state of environmental and climate governance in eThekwini municipality, 2) to identify and explore the factors driving the COP17/CMP7 Responsible Accommodation Campaign, 3) to describe and evaluate the outcomes of the COP17/CMP7 Responsible Accommodation Campaign, 4) to reflect on the opportunities and challenges of the COP17/CMP7 Responsible Accommodation Campaign, and 5) to reflect on how the COP17/CMP7 Responsible Accommodation Campaign reveals the form of governmentality present in eThekwini municipality. The research consisted of three parts; observation of the planning processes of the Campaign, qualitative interviews with key stakeholders in the Campaign, and a questionnaire for a sample of the participants of the Campaign. Through an analysis based on the Focaultian governmentality theory, and Bulkeley and Kern’s (2006) local climate governing framework, the study shows that Durban’s environmental governance is mainly in the form of self-governing and governing through enabling, motivated by the ‘rationalities’ of greening the economy and creating a green event destination brand for the city. While these policies are welcomed by a portion of the private sector, this study has found that a broader aspect of governing modes and ‘technologies’ of rule is needed if the policies are to affect the broader population, in this case the hospitality sector. This requires the city government to continue to take responsibility as a leader of environmental and climate governance, and move towards a mode of governing that also involves the provision of incentives and services that enable more responsible business and individual practices in the city. The findings of this study provide useful insights into the needs of the hospitality sector specifically, as well as the form of governmentality in the city in general, that can inform future climate policy making in Durban.


Thesis (M.Dev.Studies)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 2012.


Climatic changes--eThekwini Metropolitan Area., Climatic changes--Environmental aspects--eThekwini Metropolitan Area., Greenhouse gases--eThekwini Metropolitan Area., Environmental degradation--eThekwini Metropolitan Area., Theses--Development studies.