Transforming the governance of energy systems: the politics of ideas in low-carbon infrastructure development in Mexico and Vietnam

Maryna Henrysson*, Cary Yungmee Hendrickson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Transforming energy systems is increasingly recognized as a societal response to mitigating climate change, with potential to catalyse a paradigmatic shift towards decarbonization. The article looks at the diversity of claims presented to ascribe meaning to policy problems (i.e. structural conditions, contextual technical or ideational appeals to values), and framed within wider institutional perspectives for reform, development, and strategies for addressing climate change in Mexico and Vietnam. The findings suggest both governments maintain a more exclusive than inclusive form of energy governance and retain centralized power over renewable energy and climate change mitigation responses. This is not only because of technological infrastructural lock-ins, but also because they maintain a more exclusive than inclusive form of energy governance that is justified and legitimized by the need for energy supply and access security, and green growth as a source of continuous economic growth. Framing broader energy reforms as part of climate change mitigation goals allow for incumbent actors to further legitimise a conservative neoliberal agenda. These two cases offer insights into how newly emerging economies are facing energy sector reforms while being confronted with energy sector transformations dictated by the climate change mitigation agenda.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClimate and Development
ISSN1756-5529
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • development discourse
  • discursive institutionalism
  • energy systems
  • Low-carbon electricity infrastructure
  • transformational change

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