Theme: Political Economy | Content Type: Journal article

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Business, Government and Policy-making Capacity: UK Energy and Net Zero Transitions

Caroline Kuzemko


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The UK government is responsible for meeting legally binding decarbonisation objectives, but it is not on track to meet its next Climate Change Act targets or the goal of Net Zero by 2050. The IPCC's Sixth Assessment Report is a stark reminder of the importance of all countries, particularly those historically responsible for greenhouse gas emissions, devising and implementing the innovative and just policy solutions required to lower emissions. Within this context, this article explores the UK's sustainable energy policy making, and why it is not on course to meet targets, through the lens of government-business relations. It analyses government policy capacity, incumbent energy company influence, and how complex relations and dependencies have affected sustainable policy (non-)decisions and outcomes. It reveals that an over-reliance on incumbent energy companies in UK energy politics, although understandable given the need to provide affordable and secure energy, has contributed towards insufficient space for cheaper and more just clean energy solutions.

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  • Caroline Kuzemko

    Caroline Kuzemko

    Caroline Kuzemko is an Associate Professor in International Political Economy at the University of Warwick, and the author of The Energy Security-Climate Nexus: Institutional Change in the UK and Beyond, 2013.

    Articles by Caroline Kuzemko
Volume 94, Issue 3

Latest Journal Issue

Volume 94, Issue 3

Includes a commentary by Colin Crouch on the dark heart of today's Conservative party, an article by Stewart Lansley tracing the history of ‘crowding out’, and its use as a justification for austerity and state deflation; and Tim Vlandas and Kate Alexander-Shaw debating the political economy of age. In our reports and surveys section, Deborah Mabbett asks where next for curbing London's emissions? The issue also includes a selection of book reviews such as Andrew Gamble on The Culture of Accountability: A Democratic Virtue by Gianfranco Pasquino and Riccardo Pelizzo, and Leila Simona Talani on Europe's Coming of Age by Loukas Tsoukalis.

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