Survival of the Greenest
Chapter 3: Environmental Policy and Transition Management from an Evolutionary Perspective
3.1 INTRODUCTION The evolutionary concepts and insights described in Chapter 2 will be translated in this chapter into suggestions for environmental policy and transition management. To illustrate the relevant principles and instruments, we will focus in particular on the transition to sustainable energy. The complexity of the energy system means that a great variety of scenarios can be sketched on the basis of any relevant combination of elements, such as degree of (de)centralization, energy source, energy carrier, technology and the extent of system integration. Through backcasting, the paths leading to these static scenarios can be derived, which in turn suggest policies that set adequate conditions for innovation and the selection environment. The notion of ‘transition’ has its origins in population dynamics, so it ties in well with the evolutionary concepts that are used in this book (see also Kemp, 1997; Rotmans et al., 2001; Geels, 2002a, b). A social transition can be deﬁned as ‘a gradual and ongoing process of social change, leading to structural changes in society (or a complex subsystem thereof)’ (Rotmans et al., 2000). Transitions thus actually represent system changes. They closely relate to system innovations as perceived in the literature on technological change. Various features and classiﬁcations of social and technological transitions frequently appear in the literature on sustainability and technological change. From a temporal perspective transitions can be said to consist of the temporal phases pre-development, take-oﬀ, acceleration and stabilization. In addition, most transitions comprise changes at various spatial or system...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.