Increasing participation in climate policy implementation: a case for engaging SMEs from the transport sector in the city of São Paulo

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In a number of cities around the world the adoption of climate policies has been driven by partnerships between multiple actors from the private sector, NGOs, and academia. With this paper we investigate the formulation and implementation processes of climate policy in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. We argue that the trend of multiactor and multilevel participation in climate policy making, detected in developed countries, can be observed in a major city from an emerging economy. We further argue that the ample engagement of actors driving the adoption of climate policies might not be reflected in policy implementation. Although São Paulo’s Municipal Climate Law was adopted after a participatory process, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from the transport sector have been largely absent from its implementation. We propose four reasons for further involvement of SMEs and suggest that participation of relevant actors and sectors is necessary in both the formulation and the implementation of climate policies.