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Regional governance, innovation and low carbon transitions: exploring the case of Wales

Wang, Yan and Eames, Malcolm 2010. Regional governance, innovation and low carbon transitions: exploring the case of Wales. Presented at: Knowledge Collaboration & Learning for Sustainable Innovation ERSCP-EMSU conference, Delft, The Netherlands, 25-29 October 2010.

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With the rapid development of its iron and coal industries, by the mid-18th Century South Wales arguably emerged as the world’s first carbon-based economy. Since the mid-20th century ‘landscape’ changes, associated with: i) energy regime shifts from coal to oil and gas; and ii) globalisation and neo-liberalism have combined to drive the equally rapid deindustrialisation of the Welsh economy: a process which has left a structural legacy of economic and social deprivation across much of the region. In this context devolution and the establishment of a Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) with a statutory duty to promote sustainable development, has presented both unique opportunities and challenges. Despite limited powers WAG is determined that Wales will play an internationally leading role in tackling climate change. Rather than simply acting as a ‘policy taker’, WAG has established ambitious targets which exceed current UK and international commitments: including a 3% annual reduction in GGE in areas of devolved competence; all new buildings to be zero carbon; and to produce as much electricity from renewable sources as is consumed in Wales by 2025. This paper will explore the politics of sustainable regions through the governance of energy and innovation in Wales. Particular attention will be paid to: i) insights from past transitions; ii) the economic and political context of devolution; iii) the emergence of a distinctive Welsh ‘transition’ narrative; iv) and the role of innovation in the built environment, and associated regional innovation systems, not only in delivering WAG’s carbon reduction targets but also its social and economic objectives.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Uncontrolled Keywords: sustainable regions: transitions; low-carbon; innovation
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2019 02:10

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