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Reference Number ES/V013971/1
Title Socially Just and Politically Robust Decarbonisation: A Knowledge Base and Toolkit for Policymakers (JUSTDECARB)
Status Started
Energy Categories OTHER CROSS-CUTTING TECHNOLOGIES or RESEARCH (Environmental, social and economic impacts) 100%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields AREA STUDIES (European Studies) 5%;
SOCIAL SCIENCES (Politics and International Studies) 50%;
SOCIAL SCIENCES (Sociology) 45%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Environmental dimensions) 20%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Policy and regulation) 50%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Other sociological economical and environmental impact of energy) 20%;
Other (Energy technology information dissemination) 10%;
Principal Investigator Dr M Sato
No email address given
Grantham Research Inst on Climate Change
London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Award Type Standard
Funding Source ESRC
Start Date 01 December 2020
End Date 30 November 2023
Duration 36 months
Total Grant Value £352,661
Industrial Sectors
Region London
Programme Economic Performance & Environment - Strategic Programme
 
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr M Sato , Grantham Research Inst on Climate Change, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) (100.000%)
Web Site
Objectives The overarching research question for the JUSTDECARB project is: How can the transition to a decarbonised Europe be designed to be socially just and perceived to be so by key stakeholders, even turning opponents into political allies?In order to answer this question, the project will bring together social science and humanities researchers from four disciplines (philosophy, political science, economics, and law) across four countries (Austria, Czech Republic, Norway, and UK) in pursuit of two overarching project objectives:1) Develop a 'toolkit' to help European policymakers steer transition processes in a socially just and politically robust direction (the policy objective). This toolkit will describe the steps and methods necessary for steering robust low-carbon transitions.2) Fill critical gaps in the knowledge relating to socially just and politically robust decarbonisation, with particular focus on inclusive processes and redistributive measures (the scientific objective). Research outcomes will form the knowledge base for producing the toolkit.In order to achieve these objectives, the project will explore two research themes, which will be implemented through seven interconnected Work Packages (WPs) :(A) Understanding the "winners" and "losers" from low-carbon transitions (Scientific Objective)A sound understanding of the gains and losses from decarbonisation, to whom they will accrue (absent redistributive measures), and the political behaviour of these winners and losers, is a crucial prerequisite to designing just and robust climate policies. This research theme aims to fill critical knowledge gaps concerning the philosophy, politics and economics of transitional losses and gains as they pertain to processes of decarbonisation. WP1 will address aspects of social justice of a just transition, WP2 will analyse the impact on jobs and skills in the transition to a zero-carbon economy, and WP3 will explore the driving factors in Europe behind the design and evaluation of decarbonisation processes, with aim to increase the political robustness of low-carbon transitions.(B) Designing socially just and politically robust decarbonisation policies and processes (Policy Objective)Building on research from the first theme, and adding wider insights from philosophy, political science, and law, the second theme will develop frameworks for evaluating just and robust processes (WP4) and policies (WP5) for low-carbon transitions. This research will be more applied in character, aiming to serve as a bridge between the fundamental knowledge base concerning just and robust decarbonisation (WPs 1-3) and our toolkit for policymakers (WP6). WPs 4 and 5 together fill knowledge gaps related to the applied, actionable frameworks and criteria needed to translate academic insights about just and robust decarbonisation policies and processes into real-world reforms - the objective of WP6.These two research themes and their WPs will be underpinned by robust project management (WP7), to ensure that the research objectives are fulfilled.
Abstract Climate change mitigation needs urgently to be scaled up. Yet attempts to introduce even modest climate policies in many European countries are accused of having unjust distributional effects, prompting aggrieved groups to mobilise politically to block or weaken those policies. Greater knowledge is needed about how low-carbon transitions can be structured so that they are not only socially just but are also perceived to be so by key stakeholders, thus enhancing the transition's political robustness. Two aspects of transition governance, both relatively neglected in the decades of research into climate policy instruments, seem promising: inclusive processes, by which affected groups have a genuine stake in the design and implementation of decarbonisation policies; and redistributive measures, by which governments couple decarbonisation policies with offsetting benefits - including benefits related to the socio-economic opportunities created by decarbonisation - for groups who would otherwise be vulnerable to its adverse effects.JUSTDECARB will bring together leading social science and humanities researchers from four disciplines (philosophy, political science, economics, and law) across four countries (Austria, Czech Republic, Norway, and UK) in pursuit of two overarching project objectives:1) To fill critical gaps in the knowledge base relating to socially just and politically robust decarbonisation, with a particular focus on inclusive processes and redistributive measures (the scientific objective);2) To develop a 'toolkit' to help European policymakers steer transition processes in a socially just and politically robust direction (the policy objective).The scientific objective will be pursued via two research themes. The first research theme aims to fill critical knowledge gaps concerning the philosophy, politics and economics of transitional "winners" and "losers", as they pertain to processes of decarbonisation, via novel, single disciplinary research projects. One such project will use philosophical methods to clarify the conceptual and normative issues at the heart of the "social justice" dimension of decarbonisation. The second project will use methods from micro-econometrics and labour economics to better understand the difference in skill requirements between high-carbon and zero-carbon jobs, and the implications of these skill differences for the design of climate policies and complementary labour market measures. The third project will focus on political polarisation and the political behaviour of winners and losers from decarbonisation. Using both large-n survey and small-n comparative case-study methods, this third project will study how and why opposition to climate policy develops, with a view to improving the political robustness of climate policies. The focus of the case studies will be on the phase-out of oil and gas (Norway and UK) and the phase-out of coalmining and/or coal-fired power generation (Czech Republic and Austria).Building on this work, and adding wider insights from philosophy, political science, and law, our second research theme aims to develop frameworks for evaluating the justice and robustness of, respectively: processes of public engagement applicable to the design and implementation of climate policy; and substantive climate policies, including redistributive measures. These aims will be pursued through two interdisciplinary, applied research projects.Finally, to fulfil JUSTDECARB's policy objective, the project team, in consultation with policymakers and civil society stakeholders, will develop a "toolkit for policymakers". Produced with a view to policy impact, the toolkit will take the form of a report that describes the recommended steps for policymakers to take, and methods to use, as they seek to steer transition processes in a socially just and politically robust direction across the key phases of the policy cycle.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 25/06/21