Dutch policies to manage the transition to sustainable energy
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Many countries are committed to sustainability but are struggling with how to do this. Most countries opted for sustainability councils and the development of sustainability indicators. The Dutch government followed a different track. It believed that sustainability requires some fundamental changes in functional systems of for example energy, transport and agriculture. It conceptualised the quest towards sustainability as an issue of managing transitions in functional systems. In this paper we examine why the Dutch government became interested in transitions. We will see that transition management was attractive because it allowed different ministries to pursue their own agenda but in a different way: with more attention to innovation and learning. We will look at the model of transition management and the Dutch policies for managing the energy transition. The model is believed to be an interesting model of governance, employing an integrative and multi-scale framework for policy deliberation, choice of instruments, and actions by individuals, private and public organizations, helping society to escape lock-in while avoiding new evolutionary traps.
- transition management
- energy transition
- system innovation