Developing Compatible Energy and Climate Strategies
The world currently faces a critical dilemma: there is a growing demand for energy but the dominant ways of producing energy is contributing significantly to anthropogenic climate change. This dilemma is at the heart of what can be termed the climate change-energy nexus. The dilemma is now widely recognized but has just recently begun to be addressed by academic research. In policy-making and politics, this arena is characterized by a great deal of horizontal and vertical complexity. Economic imperatives are driving governments to continue fossil-based forms of energy production. And very often energy issues and climate change issues are considered separately, which makes the dilemma difficult to resolve.
This program assesses the constraints on the policies and initiatives that seek to overcome this dilemma in different parts of the world. It will explore ‘compatible climate and energy strategies’ through a series of case studies from the global North and South. ‘Compatible climate and energy strategies’ are initiatives, policies and governance mechanisms that can combine the need to supply secure and affordable energy while doing so in a way that reduces current carbon emissions and builds the adaptive capacity of societies to a changing climate. Potential solutions that will be assessed include carbon capture and storage, biofuels, solar energy, wind turbines, and others. We aim to address three inter-related scientific questions:
- How can we understand compatible climate and energy strategies, and what does it mean to different actors in different contexts?
- What are the political, social and economic constraints on the emergence of compatible climate and energy strategies?
- How can the constraints on compatible climate and energy strategies be overcome?