A systemic approach to mapping participation with low-carbon energy transitions

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Low-carbon transitions demand long-term systemic transformations and meaningful societal engagement. Most approaches to engaging society with energy and climate change fail to address the systemic nature of this challenge, focusing on discrete forms of participation in specific parts of wider systems. Our systemic approach combines comparative case mapping of diverse public engagements across energy systems with participatory Distributed Deliberative Mapping of energy system futures. We show how UK public participation with energy is more diverse than dominant approaches posit. Attending to these more varied models of participation opens up citizen and expert views, values and visions of sustainable energy transitions, revealing support for more distributed energy system futures that recognise the roles of society. Going beyond narrow, discrete understandings of communication and public engagement towards systemic approaches to mapping participation can provide plural and robust forms of social intelligence needed to govern low-carbon transitions in more socially responsive, just and responsible ways.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-259
Number of pages10
JournalNature Energy
Early online date4 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

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