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Multi-level governance: opportunities and barriers in moving to a low-carbon Scotland

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 April 2013

David Sugden
Affiliation:
School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH8 9XP
Alan Werritty
Affiliation:
School of the Environment, University of Dundee, Dundee, DD1 4HN
Janette Webb
Affiliation:
Institute of Governance, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH1 1LZ
Erica Caldwell
Affiliation:
18, Maule Street, Carnoustie, Angus, DD7 7AP
Colin Campbell
Affiliation:
The James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen, AB15 8QH
Andrew Dlugolecki
Affiliation:
Climate Research Unit, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ
Nick Hanley
Affiliation:
Economics Division, Management School, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA
Andrew Kerr
Affiliation:
Edinburgh Centre for Low Carbon Innovation and Skills, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH8 9AA

Abstract

In view of the challenge posed by climate change and the need to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, The Royal Society of Edinburgh Inquiry (2011) examined the barriers making it difficult for Scotland to change to a low-carbon society. The single most important finding is that, whilst widely desired, change is held back by the lack of coherence and integration of policy at different levels of governance. There is activity at the level of the EU, UK Government, Scottish Government, local authorities, local communities, households and civil society, but there is often a disconnection between policies at different levels. This impedes progress and also leads to mistrust among the general public. This paper brings together the background to ten primary recommendations featured in the Inquiry addressing the principal barriers. Above all, it is important to integrate the activities within city regions and to exploit opportunities in local communities. Reflecting on the Inquiry findings, we stress the economic, social and environmental opportunities to be gained from a low-carbon society and outline the step changes that need to take place within governance, city regions and local authorities and civil society.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Royal Society of Edinburgh 2012 

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