Date of Award:

12-2019

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Environment and Society

Advisor/Chair:

Roslynn Brain McCann

Co-Advisor/Chair:

Sarah Klain

Third Advisor:

Peter Howe

Abstract

In the absence of national leadership on climate policy, municipalities are adopting resolutions to reduce their carbon footprint and transition to clean energy. However, what leads to successful adoption of these resolutions and how to effectively implement climate goals at the community level needs further exploration. To investigate these questions, this thesis examines the resolutions adopted in Salt Lake City, Park City, and Moab, Utah to transition to 100% renewable electricity by 2032. Data was collected through documents, such as city reports and newspapers, and interviews with government officials, city staff, and community members involved with the resolution process. A time series analysis and thematic analysis were used to determine casual events and identify fundamental themes within the data. Each city’s plan for resolution execution was compared to the approaches and techniques outlined in the community-based social marketing framework and the theory of diffusion of innovations. These findings deliver a transferable five-step framework to assist other cities in adopting similar resolutions and strategies to engage community members with practices that will help cities achieve these ambitious resolutions.

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