Handbook of the International Political Economy of Energy and Natural Resources
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Handbook of the International Political Economy of Energy and Natural Resources

Edited by Andreas Goldthau, Michael F. Keating and Caroline Kuzemko

This Handbook offers a comprehensive overview of the latest research from leading scholars on the international political economy of energy and resources. Highlighting the important conceptual and empirical themes, the chapters study all levels of governance, from global to local, and explore the wide range of issues emerging in a changing political and economic environment.
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Chapter 9: The political economy of low carbon infrastructure in the UK

Ralitsa Hiteva, Tim Foxon and Katherine Lovell

Abstract

This chapter discusses the political economy of low carbon infrastructure, proposing an extended, and inclusive definition of low carbon infrastructure. This places emphasis on adopting a systemic approach, building on integration between different elements, interdependencies, and cumulative and networked effects of infrastructure. Changes in governance arrangements could promote more inclusive infrastructure decision-making processes and enable greater consistency in aligning with the UK’s low carbon commitments under the Paris Agreement and the Climate Change Act. This requires attention to be paid to the range of social, environmental and economic values (social justice, equality and giving people more influence in important government decisions), which struggle to find place in traditional cost–benefit analysis of infrastructure. Using a business model framework for thinking about infrastructure in terms of creating and capturing value, the chapter shows how certain elements of low carbon infrastructure can be used to address core governance challenges through two case studies: of transnational municipal networks and local supply networks.

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