Karin Baeckstrand will be presenting a paper ‘The Politics and Governance of Decarbonization. The Interplay Between State and Non-state Actors in Sweden’.


How and under what conditions can states – in collaboration with societal actors –steer and govern in order to accelerate the large-scale decarbonization that is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement? I present novel theoretical findings and empirical insights from a forthcoming book on how the state governs through collaborative climate governance, which is a mode of governance that aims to foster cooperation, deliberation and consensus between state and non-state actors. The focus is on interplay between the state and non-state actors in Sweden, which announced its goal to become the world’s first fossil-free welfare state at the United Nations climate summit in Paris in 2015. What is role of the state in collaborative governance as well as the mix between hard (regulation) and soft modes of governance (orchestration) to achieve decarbonization in after the adoption of the 2017 Climate Policy Framework and in the context of the European Green Deal and EU’s Fit for 55 package? By highlighting state-led transformation, the book examines Sweden’s progress towards its overarching goal to become a fossil-free welfare state by 2045. Sweden’s national strategies and governance modes to achieve decarbonization and overcome carbon lock-ins through institutional, economic, technological and behavioral transformation are examined. Sweden’s path to decarbonization – like many other countries – resembles more of an incremental transition limited to certain sectors rather than the wholesale transformation toward achieving a fossil-free society.

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