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Sustainability: a long-term journey

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  1. Sustainability: a long-term journey René Kemp MERIT & TNO-STB

  2. On sustainability • Sustainability is about protection and creation • Requirements of sustainability are multiple and interconnected • Pursuit of sustainability hinges on integration • Core requirements and general rules must be accompanied by context-specific elaborations: • Diversity is necessary • Surprise is inevitable • Transparency and public engagement are key characteristics of decision making for sustainability • Explicit rules and processes are needed for decisions about trade-offs and compromises • The end is open

  3. Key elements of SD strategy • policy integration • common objectives, criteria, trade-off rules and indicators • information and incentives for practical implementation • programmes for system innovation (Kemp, Gibson and Parto, 2004)

  4. To sustain meansto innovate

  5. This is accepted by the Commission • The Commission emphasises the role of policy at the EU scale, to generate major public and private investments in crucial sustainability-related areas – including the development and application of new, “environmentally-friendly” technologies – and more broadly to be catalyst for “institutional reform”, changes in corporate and consumer behaviour, and “innovative solutions” that create new, high-quality jobs (EC 2001b:2-3).

  6. And by the OECD in its 4 policy priorities • Making markets work for SD • Strenghtening the decision-making processes for SD • Fostering SD through scienceand technology • Making their policies more coherent andmutually supportive, and opening markets in ways that ensure that the benefits from globalisation and technological advance are widely shared

  7. But innovation is different things Policy innovation Technological innovation New sociotechnical systems that are interrelated

  8.  Natural gas  Hydrogen? Example of system innovation Coal

  9. SD is a non-ending process of adaptive change But: It is useful to view it as a transition process--to something more sustainable

  10. A transition is the result of many changes and not a deterministic process (source: Butter et al., 2002)

  11. Transition management …. is a deliberate effort to work towards a transition in a stepwise, adaptive manner, utilising dynamics and visions … in which different visions and routes are explored: system innovation and optimisation

  12. Societal goals Political margins for change Existing policy process: short-term goals (myopic) State of development of solutions Sustainability visions Transition management: oriented towards long-term sustainability goals and visions, iterative and reflexive (bifocal) Transition Management: bifocal instead of myopic

  13. Organizing a multi- actor network Developing sustainability visions and transition-agendas Evaluating, monitoring and learning Mobilizing actors and executing projects and experiments The cyclical, iterative nature of transition management

  14. Mathematically transition management = current policies + long-term vision + vertical and horizontal coordination of policies + portfolio-management + process management. ... is bottom-up and top-down, using strategic experiments and control policies

  15. Transition management in the Netherlands The energy transition

  16. Sustainable energy economy: • economically efficient (‘profit’) • reliable (‘people’) • minimal negative environmental and social impacts (‘planet’) • Long term goals, combined with • Concrete short term steps • …and successes...

  17. Biomass Policy Renewal New Gas Sustainable Rijnmond Eff. Energy Chains Areas of interest in the Energy transition

  18. Biomass 20-40% of primary energy supply ‘Vision’ ‘Strategic goals’ 10-15% in power prod. 15-20% in traffic 2020 A. Gasification B. Pyrolysis ‘Transition Paths’ Expv 2 à 3 % C. Biofuels Exp 2003 EOS EOS : experiments : R&D Exp 2050

  19. No definitive choice is made as to technological means • Different routes are investigated • Decisions are made in an interative way • Support is temporary • Each option has to proof its worth • Technology choices are made at the decentralized level

  20. What’s new about transition management? • The orientation to transition goals (less short-termism) • The orientation to learning and innovation (helps to overcome the preference for quick results, and policy reliance on technical fixes) • Alignment of different policy domains (helps to deal with fragmented policies) • Programmes for system innovation based on visions of sustainability • Less domination by vested interests: opening up of policy process

  21. Would this be something for the EU? The Commission expects much from sustainability assessment and good governance (-) Innovation is a strategic area for EU policy: Lisbon strategy, Innovation Action plan, ETAP (+) The Commission has demonstrated a willingness and capacity for engaging in transitions (single market, EMU, economic convergence) (+) ?

  22. Transition management and other governance approaches • Planning • Incremental Politics • Adaptive governance • Interactive governance • Multi-level governance

  23. Instruments of transition policy New institutions Transition policies and institutions Transition councils  Joint-decision making Transition goals Transition agendas  Transition arenas Innovation policy ----------------------- ·Innovation alliances ·R&D programmes for sustainable technologies ·User experiments ·Alignment policies to transition goals Science police --------------- ·Assessment of system innovations · Knowledge about past transition ·Policy analysis Programmes for system innovation Sector policy ------------------------------ ·niche management (procurement) ·infrastructure for system innovation ·longer term goals and visions

  24. Conclusion Transition management is not a “megalomaniac” attempt to control the future But an attempt at goal-oriented modulation: It is a “journey to a better world” in which system innovations are explored, gradually (alongside the route of system improvement)

  25. Strategies for eco-innovation • Making companies proactive • Improving sustainability assessment by companies and customers • Improving the system of innovation for eco-innovation • Targeted policies for eco-innovations • The use of market-based instruments • Policy integration Kemp and Munch Andersen (2004)