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The impact of the financial-economic crisis on sustainability transitions: Financial investment, governance and public discourse

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  • Frank W. Geels

Abstract

The paper distinguishes four views on the impact of the financial-economic crisis on sustainability transitions (operationalized as diffusion of green niche-innovations). The first three views highlight the possibility of positive impacts of the financial-economic crisis on sustainability transitions and joint solutions: a) a comprehensive transformation of the capitalist system, b) a green Industrial Revolution, linked to a sixth green Kondratieff wave, c) green growth. The fourth view perceives the impact as mainly negative, because the financialeconomic crisis weakens public, political and business attention for environmental problems. The paper confronts these views with secondary data on three analytical categories: 1) financial investment, 2) policy and governance, 3) public opinion and civil society. Data focus on renewable energy and climate policy in the UK, Europe and the world. The paper concludes that the early crisis years (2008-2010) created a window of opportunity for positive solutions. But since 2010-2011 this window appears to be shrinking, with the financial-economic crisis having negative influences on sustainability transitions that may cause some slow-down.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank W. Geels, 2013. "The impact of the financial-economic crisis on sustainability transitions: Financial investment, governance and public discourse," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 39, WWWforEurope.
  • Handle: RePEc:feu:wfewop:y:2013:m:9:d:0:i:39
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:feu:wfedel:y:2016:m:2:d:0:i:11 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Bożena Ryszawska, 2016. "Sustainability transition needs sustainable finance," Copernican Journal of Finance & Accounting, Uniwersytet Mikolaja Kopernika, vol. 5(1), pages 185-194.
    3. Mariana Mazzucato & Caetano C.R. Penna, 2014. "Beyond Market Failures: The Market Creating and Shaping Roles of State Investment Banks," Working Papers Series 7, Institute for New Economic Thinking.
    4. repec:feu:wfedel:y:2016:m:2:d:0:i:12 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Hansen , Teis & Coenen , Lars, 2013. "The Geography of Sustainability Transitions: A Literature Review," Papers in Innovation Studies 2013/39, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    6. Eleftheria Vasileiadou & Boukje Huijben & Rob Raven, 2014. "Crowdfunding niches? Exploring the potential of crowdfunding for financing renewable energy niches in the Netherlands," Working Papers 14-11, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies, revised Nov 2014.
    7. Biscotti, Anna Maria & D'Amico, Eugenio, 2016. "What are political leaders' environmental intentions? The impact of social identification processes and macro-economic conditions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 152-160.
    8. Karl Aiginger, 2016. "New Dynamics for Europe: Reaping the Benefits of Socio-ecological Transition. Synthesis Report Part I," WWWforEurope Deliverables series 11, WWWforEurope.
    9. Urhammer, Emil & Røpke, Inge, 2013. "Macroeconomic narratives in a world of crises: An analysis of stories about solving the system crisis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 62-70.
    10. Røpke, Inge, 2016. "Complementary system perspectives in ecological macroeconomics — The example of transition investments during the crisis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 237-245.
    11. repec:spr:climat:v:145:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10584-017-2078-x is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Marko Peric & Vanja Vitezic, 2016. "Impact of global economic crisis on firm growth," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 1-12, January.
    13. Karl Aiginger, 2014. "Industrial Policy for a Sustainable Growth Path," WIFO Working Papers 469, WIFO.
    14. Martin, Chris J., 2016. "The sharing economy: A pathway to sustainability or a nightmarish form of neoliberal capitalism?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 149-159.
    15. Andreas A. Papandreou, 2015. "The Great Recession and the transition to a low-carbon economy," Working papers wpaper88, Financialisation, Economy, Society & Sustainable Development (FESSUD) Project.
    16. Marko Peric & Vanja Vitezic, 2016. "Impact of global economic crisis on firm growth," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 1-12, January.

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