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Policy mixes for just sustainable regional development in industrially overspecialized regions: the case of two Norwegian petro-maritime regions

Samson Afewerki and Asbjørn Karlsen

PEGIS from Institute for Economic Geography and GIScience, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business

Abstract: Just sustainable regional development has become an all-important policy agenda in regions overspecialized in carbon-intensive industries. Just sustainable regional development requires coherent innovation policies and legitimacy to simultaneously address long-term and short-term climate, social and economic goals. We argue that an evolutionary perspective emphasizing institutional legacies (and the concept of institutional layering) is productive for analysing and designing just and sustainable policies. Drawing on a longitudinal case study of two Norwegian oil and gas-dependent regions, we shed light on the multi-scalar policy mixes and underlying political dynamics designed to shape the process. We reveal that, underpinned by the Norwegian tripartite cooperation model, the focus of the multi-scalar policy mixes in the regions has been primarily on the decarburization of the sector, rather than on its active phase-out, along with the development of the renewable energy sector, mainly through technology-push instruments. While supporting business as usual in the short term, this approach may facilitate the growth of the emerging renewable technologies and thereby meet the long-term ‘life-after-oil’ ambitions, reducing the negative impacts of transitions. In light of the urgency for a sustainability transition, we make policy recommendations that can contribute to rapid regional low-carbon transitions while ensuring long-term job security.

Keywords: Just sustainable transition; tripartite collaboration; coordinated market economy; evolutionary approach; institutional layering (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 20 pages
Date: 2021
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ene, nep-env and nep-geo
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