IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/ecolec/v70y2011i12p2258-2267.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

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

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Foxon, Timothy J., 2011. "A coevolutionary framework for analysing a transition to a sustainable low carbon economy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(12), pages 2258-2267.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:12:p:2258-2267
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2011.07.014
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800911002898
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Herbert A. Simon, 1955. "A Behavioral Model of Rational Choice," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 99-118.
    2. Unruh, Gregory C. & Carrillo-Hermosilla, Javier, 2006. "Globalizing carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1185-1197, July.
    3. Foxon, T. J. & Gross, R. & Chase, A. & Howes, J. & Arnall, A. & Anderson, D., 2005. "UK innovation systems for new and renewable energy technologies: drivers, barriers and systems failures," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(16), pages 2123-2137, November.
    4. Nelson, Richard R. & Nelson, Katherine, 2002. "Technology, institutions, and innovation systems," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 265-272, February.
    5. Unruh, Gregory C., 2002. "Escaping carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 317-325, March.
    6. Smith, Adrian & Stirling, Andy & Berkhout, Frans, 2005. "The governance of sustainable socio-technical transitions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1491-1510, December.
    7. Gual, Miguel A. & Norgaard, Richard B., 2010. "Bridging ecological and social systems coevolution: A review and proposal," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 707-717, February.
    8. Norgaard, Richard B., 2005. "Bubbles in a back eddy: A commentary on "The origin, diagnostic attributes and practical application of coevolutionary theory"," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 362-365, September.
    9. Hodgson, Geoffrey M., 2010. "Darwinian coevolution of organizations and the environment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 700-706, February.
    10. Dosi, Giovanni, 1993. "Technological paradigms and technological trajectories : A suggested interpretation of the determinants and directions of technical change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 102-103, April.
    11. Nelson, Richard R. & Sampat, Bhaven N., 2001. "Making sense of institutions as a factor shaping economic performance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 31-54, January.
    12. Foray, Dominique, 1997. "The dynamic implications of increasing returns: Technological change and path dependent inefficiency," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 733-752, October.
    13. repec:cup:apsrev:v:94:y:2000:i:02:p:251-267_22 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Marechal, Kevin, 2007. "The economics of climate change and the change of climate in economics," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 5181-5194, October.
    15. Arthur, W Brian, 1989. "Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-In by Historical Events," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 116-131, March.
    16. Richard R. Nelson, 1995. "Recent Evolutionary Theorizing about Economic Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 48-90, March.
    17. Verbong, Geert & Geels, Frank, 2007. "The ongoing energy transition: Lessons from a socio-technical, multi-level analysis of the Dutch electricity system (1960-2004)," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 1025-1037, February.
    18. Røpke, Inge, 2009. "Theories of practice -- New inspiration for ecological economic studies on consumption," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(10), pages 2490-2497, August.
    19. Kallis, Giorgos & Norgaard, Richard B., 2010. "Coevolutionary ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 690-699, February.
    20. Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh & Albert Faber & Annemarth M. Idenburg & Frans H. Oosterhuis, 2007. "Evolutionary Economics and Environmental Policy," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 12511.
    21. Lipsey, Richard G. & Carlaw, Kenneth I. & Bekar, Clifford T., 2005. "Economic Transformations: General Purpose Technologies and Long-Term Economic Growth," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199290895.
    22. Geels, Frank W., 2006. "The hygienic transition from cesspools to sewer systems (1840-1930): The dynamics of regime transformation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 1069-1082, September.
    23. Manner, Mikko & Gowdy, John, 2010. "The evolution of social and moral behavior: Evolutionary insights for public policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 753-761, February.
    24. Staffan Jacobsson & Anna Bergek, 2004. "Transforming the energy sector: the evolution of technological systems in renewable energy technology," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(5), pages 815-849, October.
    25. Carlota Perez, 2002. "Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2640.
    26. Markard, Jochen & Truffer, Bernhard, 2008. "Technological innovation systems and the multi-level perspective: Towards an integrated framework," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 596-615, May.
    27. Geels, Frank W., 2002. "Technological transitions as evolutionary reconfiguration processes: a multi-level perspective and a case-study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1257-1274, December.
    28. Chris Freeman & Luc Soete, 1997. "The Economics of Industrial Innovation, 3rd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 3, volume 1, number 0262061953, January.
    29. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-337, May.
    30. Vatn, Arild, 2005. "Rationality, institutions and environmental policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 203-217, November.
    31. Jeroen Bergh, 2007. "Evolutionary thinking in environmental economics," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 17(5), pages 521-549, October.
    32. ., 1998. "Technological Change," Chapters,in: The Elgar Companion to Classical Economics, chapter 127 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    33. Garud, Raghu & Karnoe, Peter, 2003. "Bricolage versus breakthrough: distributed and embedded agency in technology entrepreneurship," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 277-300, February.
    34. R. Bolton & T.J. Foxon, 2011. "Governing Infrastructure Networks For A Low Carbon Economy: Co-Evolution Of Technologies And Institutions In Uk Electricity Distribution Networks," Competition and Regulation in Network Industries, Intersentia, vol. 12(1), pages 2-27, March.
    35. Bowen, Alex & Fankhauser, Samuel & Stern, Nicholas & Zenghelis, Dimitri, 2009. "An outline of the case for a ‘green’ stimulus," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24345, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    36. Unruh, Gregory C., 2000. "Understanding carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 817-830, October.
    37. Kallis, Giorgos, 2007. "When is it coevolution?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 1-6, April.
    38. Malerba, Franco, et al, 1999. "'History-Friendly' Models of Industry Evolution: The Computer Industry," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(1), pages 3-40, March.
    39. Richard R. Nelson, 2003. "Physical and Social Technologies, and Their Evolution," LEM Papers Series 2003/09, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    40. Paavola, Jouni & Adger, W. Neil, 2005. "Institutional ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 353-368, May.
    41. Arild Vatn, 2005. "Institutions and the Environment," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2826.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:12:p:2258-2267. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.