The role of discourse and linguistic framing effects in sustaining high carbon energy policy--An accessible introduction
This paper seeks to provide an accessible introduction to the relevance to energy policy of a fundamental insight from the policy sciences. This concerns the role that the linguistic framing of policy problems and solutions can play in sustaining the dominance of existing policy positions. The paper introduces a discourse perspective to understanding the policy process and uses it to analyse four central goals pursued in energy policy: access, security, efficiency and environmental acceptability, drawing on examples from UK policy documents. It introduces readers to how, as well as requiring technical and economic solutions, a transition to a low carbon energy system will also require a 'reframing' of energy policy problems and solutions in a way that either connects with, or overrides the powerful discourses that shape energy policy today.
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