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A coevolutionary framework for analysing a transition to a sustainable low carbon economy

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  • Foxon, Timothy J.

Abstract

This paper proposes a coevolutionary framework for analysing a transition to a sustainable low-carbon economy, based on the coevolution of ecosystems, technologies, institutions, business strategies and user practices, within a multi-level micro–meso–macro perspective. This builds on and develops previous coevolutionary analyses of long-term technological and industrial change, and recent renewed interest within ecological economics on coevolutionary approaches. Previous work has analysed how the coevolution of technologies and institutions has led to the lock-in of current high-carbon energy systems; and how the coevolution of physical and social technologies and business strategies has brought significant material and welfare benefits to the minority of the world's population living in industrialised countries. The coevolutionary framework proposed here may be used to undertake: (1) detailed empirical analyses at a micro–meso level of the challenges relating to the innovation and adoption of particularly low-carbon technologies; (2) as a framework for analysing the multi-level interaction of social and technological elements within potential transition pathways to a low carbon energy system; (3) to assess the implications for economic growth and prosperity of a transition to a low carbon economy; and (4) to assist in the development of more formal, multi-level evolutionary economic models.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 70 (2011)
Issue (Month): 12 ()
Pages: 2258-2267

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:12:p:2258-2267

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

Related research

Keywords: Coevolution; Transition pathways; Low-carbon economy; Long-term industrial change;

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Cited by:
  1. Hannon, Matthew J. & Foxon, Timothy J. & Gale, William F., 2013. "The co-evolutionary relationship between Energy Service Companies and the UK energy system: Implications for a low-carbon transition," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1031-1045.
  2. Timothy J. Foxon & Jonathan K�hler & Jonathan Michie & Christine Oughton, 2013. "Towards a new complexity economics for sustainability," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(1), pages 187-208.
  3. Gerardo Marletto, 2012. "Which Conceptual Foundations For Environmental Policies? An Institutional And Evolutionary Framework Of Economic Change," Working Papers 0112, CREI Università degli Studi Roma Tre, revised 2012.
  4. Keishiro Hara & Michinori Uwasu & Hideki Kobayashi & Shuji Kurimoto & Shinsuke Yamanaka & Yoshiyuki Shimoda & Yasushi Umeda, 2012. "Enhancing Meso Level Research in Sustainability Science—Challenges and Research Needs," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(8), pages 1833-1847, August.
  5. Heshmati, Almas, 2014. "An Empirical Survey of the Ramifications of a Green Economy," IZA Discussion Papers 8078, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Sophie BOUTILLIER & Blandine LAPERCHE & Fabienne PICARD, 2013. "L’économie de la fonctionnalité : perspective historique et illustration empirique The economy of functionality: historical perspective and empirical illustration," Working Papers 35, Réseau de Recherche sur l’Innovation. / Research Network on Innovation.
  7. G. Marletto, 2013. "Car and the city: Socio-technical pathways to 2030," Working Paper CRENoS 201306, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  8. Marletto, Gerardo, 2012. "Which conceptual foundations for environmental policies? An institutional and evolutionary framework of economic change," MPRA Paper 36441, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Zeppini Rossi, P., 2013. "A Discrete Choice Model of Transitions to Sustainable Technologies," CeNDEF Working Papers 13-11, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
  10. Fang, Guochang & Tian, Lixin & Fu, Min & Sun, Mei, 2014. "Government control or low carbon lifestyle? – Analysis and application of a novel selective-constrained energy-saving and emission-reduction dynamic evolution system," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 498-507.
  11. Anderson, Blake & M'Gonigle, Michael, 2012. "Does ecological economics have a future?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 37-48.
  12. Taylor, Peter G. & Bolton, Ronan & Stone, Dave & Upham, Paul, 2013. "Developing pathways for energy storage in the UK using a coevolutionary framework," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 230-243.
  13. Wang, Nannan & Chang, Yen-Chiang, 2014. "The development of policy instruments in supporting low-carbon governance in China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 126-135.

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