Framing branching points for transition: policy and pathways for UK heat decarbonisation

Lovell, Katherine and Foxon, Timothy J (2021) Framing branching points for transition: policy and pathways for UK heat decarbonisation. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 40. pp. 147-158. ISSN 2210-4224

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This paper develops the use of the branching point concept as a tool to support key decisions for reorienting systems for sustainability. In this approach, a pathway is seen as arising from accumulation of many specific decisions which create momentum in a particular direction and so reinforce the irreversibility of the pathway. Three complementary approaches to branching point analysis are identified within the transitions literature: 1) in pathway-scenarios for sustainability, 2) framing key decision-points in historical analysis, 3) to deconstruct the politics of transition pathways. A case study of UK heat decarbonisation is used to apply the branching point concept. This analysis highlights the tension where a policy approach, framed by a sector-wide target, interacts with distinct socio-technical responses and an alternative policy approach to decision-points is proposed. This paper demonstrates the potential to develop branching point analysis into a tool to support and help structure policy decisions for transition.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Branching point, Pathways, Heat decarbonisation, Policy decisions
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Research Centres and Groups: The Sussex Energy Group
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2021 08:44
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2022 17:30

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
O-STET – Operationalising Socio-Technical Energy TransitionsG2537EPSRC-ENGINEERING & PHYSICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH COUNCILEP/S002707/1