IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Governing low-carbon energy transitions in sustainable ways: Potential synergies and conflicts between climate and environmental policy objectives


  • Hildingsson, Roger
  • Johansson, Bengt


Climate change is a central sustainability concern, but is often treated separately from other policy areas in environmental governance. In this article we study how low-carbon energy transitions might be governed in line with broader sustainability goals. We identify conflicts and synergies between low-carbon strategies and the attainment of longer-term environmental objectives by examining the Swedish environmental quality objectives as a governance arrangement. Our analysis indicates that low-carbon strategies might be compatible with preserving other aspects of ecological sustainability. However, this requires relevant flanking policies and measures for non-climate objectives, e.g. systems that control the expansion of biomass and ensure the use of sustainable methods. For such a governance system to be credible and capable, it needs to be flexible in terms of adapting to specific and changing contexts, and reflexive enough to factor in new knowledge on requirements for sustainable development and potentially changing values of future generations.

Suggested Citation

  • Hildingsson, Roger & Johansson, Bengt, 2016. "Governing low-carbon energy transitions in sustainable ways: Potential synergies and conflicts between climate and environmental policy objectives," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 245-252.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:88:y:2016:i:c:p:245-252
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2015.10.029

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    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

    1. Per Wikman-Svahn, 2012. "Radiation protection issues related to the use of nuclear power," Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Energy and Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(3), pages 256-269, November.
    2. Molnarova, Kristina & Sklenicka, Petr & Stiborek, Jiri & Svobodova, Kamila & Salek, Miroslav & Brabec, Elizabeth, 2012. "Visual preferences for wind turbines: Location, numbers and respondent characteristics," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 269-278.
    3. Pettersson, Maria & Ek, Kristina & Söderholm, Kristina & Söderholm, Patrik, 2010. "Wind power planning and permitting: Comparative perspectives from the Nordic countries," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 14(9), pages 3116-3123, December.
    4. Göran Berndes & Serina Ahlgren & Pål Börjesson & Annette L. Cowie, 2013. "Bioenergy and land use change—state of the art," Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Energy and Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(3), pages 282-303, May.
    5. Saidur, R. & Rahim, N.A. & Islam, M.R. & Solangi, K.H., 2011. "Environmental impact of wind energy," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 2423-2430, June.
    6. Kelly Levin & Benjamin Cashore & Steven Bernstein & Graeme Auld, 2012. "Overcoming the tragedy of super wicked problems: constraining our future selves to ameliorate global climate change," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 45(2), pages 123-152, June.
    7. Karin Edvardsson, 2007. "Setting rational environmental goals: Five Swedish environmental quality objectives," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(2), pages 297-316.
    8. Krook Riekkola, Anna & Ahlgren, Erik O. & Söderholm, Patrik, 2011. "Ancillary benefits of climate policy in a small open economy: The case of Sweden," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 4985-4998, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Delponte, Ilaria & Pittaluga, Ilaria & Schenone, Corrado, 2017. "Monitoring and evaluation of Sustainable Energy Action Plan: Practice and perspective," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 9-17.
    2. repec:eee:enepol:v:116:y:2018:i:c:p:277-288 is not listed on IDEAS


    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:enepol:v:88:y:2016:i:c:p:245-252. 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: .

    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.