Chain responsibility impacts of the European energy transition: making the European Green Deal sustainable and just for all using lessons from the United Kingdom's governmental strategy

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Sustainable social transformations are complex and require new governance tools and forms of cooperation to achieve fundamental societal change. This research aimed to offer insights on how transformations can be facilitated through effective management by governmental actors. With the introduction of the European Green Deal, the EU outlined their vision of transforming to a sustainable and just society through the transition of key economic sectors. However, the current EU policies to address sustainability and justice issues related to economic activities are not effective. To examine how European policies targetting market actors could become more successful, theory testing at two stages was performed. First, the UK was selected as a case study to test which factors are present in their initiatives which are recognised to be the most effective governmental approach to CSR. The success factors identified by Aaronson (2003) on the effective role of governments in promoting global CSR were applied to the UK case. This research shows that 1) a clear definition of CSR; 2) one agency in charge of the initiative; 3) (dis)incentives for participation and compliance; 4) benchmarking governmental progress and responsible behaviour; 5) regular assessment of corporate progress and the effectiveness of the initiative; and the additional factors 6) public information disclosure and 7) continuous interaction between actors, are the success factors for the UK. Second, these factors were applied to the EU case study to offer an explanation for their failing policies, which led to the conclusion that the EU strategies perform well on factor 1 and 6 and relatively poor on the other factors. For the EU to improve the effective management of social transitions more factors should be present in their current strategies.
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