Preprint Review Version 1 This version not peer reviewed

Factors of Change: The influence of policy environment factors on climate change mitigation strategies in the transport sector

Version 1 : Received: 31 March 2017 / Approved: 3 April 2017 / Online: 3 April 2017 (16:35:36 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Lah, O. Continuity and Change: Dealing with Political Volatility to Advance Climate Change Mitigation Strategies—Examples from the Transport Sector. Sustainability 2017, 9, 959. Lah, O. Continuity and Change: Dealing with Political Volatility to Advance Climate Change Mitigation Strategies—Examples from the Transport Sector. Sustainability 2017, 9, 959.

Journal reference: Sustainability 2017, 9, 959
DOI: 10.3390/su9060959

Abstract

There is a large potential for cost-effective solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to improve the sustainability of the transport sector that is yet unexploited, in particular in the urban context. Considering the cost-effectiveness and the potential for co-benefits, it is hard to understand why energy gains and mitigation action in the transport sector is still lagging behind the potential. Particularly interesting is the fact that there is substantial difference among countries with relatively similar economic performances, such as the OECD countries in the development of their transport CO2 emission over the past thirty years despite the fact that these countries had relatively similar access to efficient technologies and vehicles. This study aims to apply some well established political science theories on the particular example of climate change mitigation in the transport sector in order to identify some of the factors that could help explain the variations in success of policies and strategies in this sector. The analysis suggests that institutional arrangements that contribute to consensus building in the political process provide a high level of political and policy stability which is vital to long-term changes in energy end-use sectors that rely on long-term investments. However, there is no direct correlation between institutional structures, e.g. corporatism and success in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector. Environmental objectives need to be built into the consensus-based policy structure before actual policy progress can be observed. This usually takes longer in consensus democracies than in politically more agile majoritarian policy environments, but the policy stability that builds on corporatist institutional structures is likely to experience changes over a longer-term, in this case to a shift towards low-carbon transport that endures.

Subject Areas

Sustainable transport, policy implementation, governance, institutions

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