Governance for a low-carbon society

A speedy transition to low or zero carbon energy systems is necessary to reach the ambitious goals for reducing carbon emissions set for 2050. Governing such a transition without recession or upheaval presents a challenge to society which is unprecedented. This report is about governing transitions toward a low-carbon society. Governance is a concept that is used to describe how societies, organisations and networks are collectively steered and governed. Different from government it emphasises steering enacted in cooperation and deliberation between public authorities and private actors. It includes energy and climate policies, and policy integration, but also the forms and rationalities of steering, e.g., by money, orders, or talk. A low-carbon society is one in which carbon emissions are below what is required for long-term stabilisation of greenhouse gases. Transition governance for a low-carbon society includes all purposeful mechanisms and measures aimed at steering social systems towards making the transition.

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