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Transnational Institutional Governance to tackle Global Climate Change: Lessons from European Emissions Standards for Commercial Transport Vehicles
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project Innovations and Entrepreneurship. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2015 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Institutions that crossed over national boundaries might have been in place for a while, but institutionalization induced by globalization, or in this case Europeanization, is rather a contemporary phenomenon. In the early 1990’s Euro emissions standards emerged as an EUwide regulatory framework to reduce exhaust gas emissions from motor vehicles. Initially it was low demanding in comparison to the more stringent standards already existed in the US and Japan for commercial vehicles. Nevertheless, with stepwise reductions in each release since then, the Euro-VI currently stands among the most stringent emissions standards for commercial vehicles.

The distinctive feature of Euro emissions standards however does not merely concern stringent measures, but rather the supra-national institutional characteristics for environmental regulation that can be considered as a role model in the design of governance systems for transitioning towards low fossil carbon societies. Particularly, with differences in the social and politico-economic structures among national institutional systems, it is crucial to acknowledge the imperative role of institutional interactions in an international context. The aim with this paper is to draw lessons from European experience in governing environmental regulation in transnational institutional settings that could be extended further to the development, diffusion and implementation of low fossil carbon societies of the future.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified Environmental Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-114398OAI: diva2:789768
Available from: 2015-02-20 Created: 2015-02-20 Last updated: 2015-02-20
In thesis
1. Sustainability Transitions in Established Industries: The case of European Commercial Transport Vehicles
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sustainability Transitions in Established Industries: The case of European Commercial Transport Vehicles
2015 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

With the increasing trends in trade of goods and services as well as the expansion of road infrastructure and networks, commercial road transport has dominated a significant share of inland and urban logistics in the world and particularly in Europe. This includes not only the basic supply of citizens’ needs through long-haul traffic and short-distance city trucks but also by providing urban services such as courier delivery, household waste  pickup and refuse collection as well as passengers movements by public bus transport and inter-city coach transit.

Meanwhile, concerns over air quality problems and environmental sustainability of road transportation have soared up as more and more vehicles travelled on fossil fuels resulting in more pollution, particularly in dense urban areas. The problem is not only limited to the air pollution and adverse health effects caused by exhaust gas emissions, but also dependency on fossil fuels as non-renewable sources of energy and as a major contributor to global warming and climate change over the long time.

Having said that, the purpose of this thesis is to provide an understanding that could be helpful in envisioning sustainability transitions in an established industry setting which is dominated by a very few number of incumbent firms who retain majority of the market share as well as current technological paradigm which mainly determines the choice of technological solutions in this field.

Study results suggest that sustainability transitions can be envisaged through evolutionary processes that include both technological and institutional change at the same time. Regarding technological change, the role of incumbent firms must be considered as important sources of knowledge, skills, experience as well as R&D investment capital and the pool of critical human expertise that would otherwise remain unexploited if their competences were not effectively absorbed in synergies for sustainability transitions. This is termed as regime-driven transformation in this study.

Meanwhile, continuous landscape pressure have to be maintained through effective regulatory frameworks that govern further reductions in the greenhouse gas emissions and to engage incumbents in a collectively shared envisioning of sustainability transitions. This can be enabled by bringing back the role of institutions as an alternative (complementary) entry point to the existing literature on sociotechnical transitions. In doing so, the predominant notion of institutions as the rigid and static structures that constrain innovation is questioned. Instead, it is suggested that institutions can provide resources and structures for actors to engage and for technologies to advance and thus to facilitate long-term sustainability transitions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2015. 86 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1707
Sociotechnical transitions, Multilevel Perspective, System Innovations, Environmental Innovation, Systems of Innovation, Institutions, Environmental policy, Environmental regulation
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified Environmental Engineering
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-114399 (URN)978-91-7519-130-0 (print) (ISBN)
2015-02-26, ACAS, A-huset, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Available from: 2015-02-20 Created: 2015-02-20 Last updated: 2015-02-20Bibliographically approved

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Borghei, Behbood
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Project Innovations and EntrepreneurshipThe Institute of Technology
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