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The impact of governance and low carbon finance on the built environment – two European case studies with a focus on regional domestic retrofitting and policy

Schmieder-Gaite, Tina 2019. The impact of governance and low carbon finance on the built environment – two European case studies with a focus on regional domestic retrofitting and policy. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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The EU’s commitment to reducing its carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 has led to an array of climate change and energy efficiency umbrella policies, some of which focused on the energy performance of the built environment. With 28 diverse member states, these policies are transposed to the national and regional level with varying degrees of efficiency and speed. This thesis explores the financial and governance dimensions of decarbonising the European domestic building stock through the examples of two case studies in Slovenia and Germany. The study analyses qualitative data from fieldwork interviews and secondary sources. Drawing on transitions and coevolutionary theory, it employs a novel analytical framework combining Foxon’s five coevolutionary systems (2011) with Geels’ multi-level perspective (2005) into a versatile analytical framework. Applying this tool, the study investigates the impact of, and coevolving interactions between governance and funding on energy efficiency in the built environment. It finds that ineffective transposition of key policies, and structural differences such as the absence of an effective regional administrative level can directly impact on low-carbon investments in the built environment. The research also finds that the effective interaction between governance and funding can have a substantial impact on domestic retrofitting. The thesis fills an important gap in the literature, namely on the influence of institutional alignments and funding in relation to socio-technical regimes such as the built environment. It contributes to a growing body of literature and knowledge on the impact of institutional finance and governance on energy efficiency in the domestic building sector. It also adds to the growing area of coevolutionary thinking within the sustainability context and showcases a useful analytical framework within the research context of building sustainability. Finally, the thesis derives policy recommendations from the case study findings and presents these for the UK and the EU context.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Architecture
Uncontrolled Keywords: Energy efficiency, socio-technical transitions, coevolution, finance, governance, energy policy, low carbon finance, Slovenia, Germany
Funders: EPSRC doctoral scholarship
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 13 August 2019
Last Modified: 30 Oct 2021 01:06

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