Cities contribute to and are affected by climate change. This is particularly significant given the exponential growth of cities. Equally cities act on climate change, adopting strategies to mitigate greenhouse gases and adapting to a changing climate. While various stakeholders are involved, this dissertation examines the role of forerunning local authorities – and their stakeholder interactions – to develop and implement urban climate strategies concerning mitigation and adaptation. A conceptual framework consisting of three elements guided the study: (1) local authorities’ governing capacities, (2) the governing modes they apply, and (3) local authorities’ interactions in a multilevel system. Methodologically, it conducted case study research including a review study and three case studies. General findings indicate forerunning local authorities combine central coordination and decentralised implementation, while increasingly partnering with stakeholders to develop and diffuse climate strategies. This study contributes to a better understanding of how local authorities in forerunning cities govern climate change.