Public Policy, Procedural Justice & Participation in the Low Carbon Transition
This project will evaluate how publics can have greater input into local consenting and national energy policy making, relative to incumbent large-scale utilities, to enable energy transitions that are both just and socially acceptable. It will explore the potential for innovations in digital democracy to provide greater opportunities to integrate diverse forms of knowledge into public policy and decision-making, while ensuring social equity and representativeness. Past attempts to incorporate participatory and deliberative mechanisms (e.g. citizens assemblies) at a variety of scales (local, regional and national) will be evaluated. It will review current practice in EU member states to ensure citizen participation and input into energy policy making and consenting decisions and seek to identify the mechanisms, contexts and institutions that can best ensure a stronger public voice in energy transitions. The research will involve a review of current practice across EU member states, followed by in-depth analysis of specific exemplars (e.g. Denmark, UK, Germany) comprising documentary analysis, interviews with policy makers and deliberative focus groups with a representative panel of citizens.