A mission perspective on emissions reduction at the city level: the case of Glasgow, Scotland

Allan, G. J., Waite, D. and Roy, G. (2023) A mission perspective on emissions reduction at the city level: the case of Glasgow, Scotland. Climate Policy, (doi: 10.1080/14693062.2023.2213223) (Early Online Publication)

[img] Text
298142.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.



City leaders around the world are setting ambitious targets for emissions reductions. Yet the pathway to achieving this remains largely unspecified. Starting with this objective, the paper explores the merits of deploying a mission-oriented framework within the context of a ‘wicked problem’ by looking at a mid-sized city, Glasgow, which has a target for net zero by 2030. Focusing on themes drawn from one high-emitting sector – transport – the paper points to the real-world policy implications that stem from such a mission-oriented approach to suggest aspects of the approach that may be usefully developed further. The latter hinges on a-priori considerations given to: agency, boundaries and inter-temporality, leading to questions about the nature and scope of wickedness and argues that core issues of wickedness – uncertainty, contestation and complexity – can be amplified in local and multi-layered policy making contexts. Key policy insights: Many cities are looking to reduce emissions including establishing net zero targets and a mission-oriented framework – ‘concrete targets within a challenge that act as frames and stimuli for innovation’ (Mazzucato and Dibb, 2019) – has been a popular framing vehicle. Such a framework reveals challenges inherent in such a ‘wicked problem’ at urban scales, which are interwoven with regional and national issues, institutions and influences. Exploring these for Glasgow, which hosted COP26, we highlight the policy ‘problem’ and ‘solution’ space for mid-sized cities more generally. We highlight three dimensions that reflect the nature of the urban decarbonization challenge: agency – the responsibilities of various actors in delivering change; boundaries – the interactions between actions to reduce emissions alongside wider policy ambitions such as a ‘Just Transition’ and ‘green jobs’; and intertemporal issues – including how ambitions for rapid change might interact with the glacial progress of structural policy change.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Roy, Professor Graeme and Waite, David
Authors: Allan, G. J., Waite, D., and Roy, G.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Economics
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Climate Policy
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1752-7457
Published Online:21 May 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 The Authors
First Published:First published in Climate Policy 2023
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record