Empowered for Action? Capacities and constraints in sub-state government climate action in Scotland and Wales

Elin Royles, Nicola McEwen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Sub-state governments have emerged as important sites of climate policy innovation, but their capacity for action has rarely been examined. Although they are devolved regions within the same state, Scotland and Wales have varying degrees of constitutional competence. We conduct an inter- and intra-regional comparison to examine whether constitutional competence shapes the scale of ambition and achievement in climate policy outputs and outcomes. Focusing on emission reduction programmes and renewable energy, while there is a clear relationship between constitutional capacity and policy ambition, it is more evident in the capacity to deliver than in policy ambition. Other factors, such as civil society strength and the politics of territorial distinctiveness, also matter in shaping ambition, in spite of limitations in decision-making autonomy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Politics
Early online date10 Jun 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • climate change
  • regional governments
  • capacity
  • climate action
  • Scotland
  • Wales

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