Table of Contents

Low Carbon Communities

Low Carbon Communities

Imaginative Approaches to Combating Climate Change Locally

Edited by Michael Peters, Shane Fudge and Tim Jackson

Community action is a vital strategy in the fight against climate change and has increasingly informed government policy, academic inquiry and grassroots action since the start of this century. This timely and engaging volume explores both the promise of community-based action in tackling climate change and some of its limitations.

Chapter 8: Decarbonizing Local Economies: A New Low Carbon, High Well-being Model of Local Economic Development

Elizabeth Cox and Victoria Johnson

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental geography, environmental sociology, geography, human geography, politics and public policy, public policy

Extract

8. Decarbonizing local economies: a new low carbon, high wellbeing model of local economic development Elizabeth Cox and Victoria Johnson INTRODUCTION Over the next 10 years the UK will have to have responded to the challenge of building a new economic system, not only at the global and national level, but most importantly to articulate a framework of outcomes and actions required at the regional and sub-regional levels that will support more sustainable lifestyles. At the heart of our approach is the contention that the limits to adaptation are endogenous to society, a reflection of societal values, which while they can evolve and change over time, are not common across all groups in society (Adger et al., 2008). Any process of local adaptation needs to start by making explicit these diverse social values, the connection between decisions taken by individuals, households and institutions, and the outcomes created by these decisions. The desirability of these outcomes can then be tested against a set of wider societal goals. Forms of organizational structure and governance, and the scale and scope of delivery would then have to be judged in reference to their fitness to deliver these wider goals. Understanding that it is possible to change, or re-engineer, the economy to better serve societal goals at the national and local level is a first and necessary step to decarbonizing local economies. This chapter is exploratory and aims to provoke debate regarding the purpose of an economy, the required benefits flowing from it, and the...

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