Mapping actors involved in climate change policy networks in the UK

TitleMapping actors involved in climate change policy networks in the UK
Publication TypeTyndall Working Paper
SeriesTyndall Centre Working Papers
Tyndall Consortium Institution


Secondary TitleTyndall Centre Working Paper 66
Keywordsactors, climate change policy networks, Mapping, UK
AuthorsTurnpenny, J., A. Haxeltine, T. O'Riordan, and Lorenzoni. I
Year of Publication2005

In order for climate change research to be policy-relevant, knowledge of the policy process is vital both in informing the research questions and determining where within the process the results will have most influence. In trying to better understand this requirement, this paper uses a policy network approach to map the climate change policy process at national and regional scales in the UK based on a series of in-depth interviews with UK climate policy shapers. We examine the interactions between policy process and production/interpretation of scientific knowledge and explore the implications for future research-policy relationships. We find that climate change considerations are 'mainstreamed' in the UK, resulting in a complex political process of overlapping influences and conflicting objectives from many public, private, NGO and other sectors. At the national scale, the network forms a discourse coalition, while at the regional scale, we have a more goal-focussed action network. This distinction is partly a consequence of the centralisation of climate change policy in the UK and the uneasy relationship to devolution and implementation. Finally we outline some consequences for research of this network of policy processes. These include more attention to the machinery of adaptation and mitigation, close working with regional development agents, notably in energy, water, biodiversity and housing, and a critical look at sustainability and spatial planning.

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