Rebecca Elliott will present the paper, ‘Contradictions of multi-level climate governance: The United Kingdom’s incoherent localism in climate policy’ by Drs Leon Wansleben (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies), Ned Crowley (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies) and Rebecca Elliott (LSE). 


‘The UK government has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, ultimately to achieve ‘net zero.’ To accomplish this transition, central and local authorities are relying on the UK’s peculiar – and evolving – system of multi-level governance to efficiently allocate resources, target regions with greatest need and potential for decarbonisation, and transfer information and knowledge vertically and horizontally across units of government. Many observers have described the manifold problems with Britain’s centre-local relations and multi-level governance structure, though more often in regard to economic development than climate policy. Drawing on survey and interview data from local climate officers across the country, the presentation will examine a) how the UK’s multi-level governance, particularly the system for allocating central government money, shape local climate action and green industrial policies across places; and b) how local governance actors navigate this structure in pursuit of net zero/decarbonisation objectives. The presentation concludes by suggesting how local net zero strategies can cohere with–or conflict with–national and local objectives around economic growth and Levelling Up.’

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