Existing energy policies remain well short of achieving a rapid transformation to a low carbon system of energy supply. One of the principal reasons has been political resistance from incumbent fossil fuel industries. In this paper Christian examines the role of business actors in the US energy sector and asks what should policymakers do? Drawing on new empirical data, primarily semi-structured interviewers with business actors across the US energy sector, he argues that there are specific strategies policymakers can employ to help overcome the resistance from incumbent fossil fuel industries. Specifically these are to: entrench and build existing interests via targeted sector specific policies; exploit inter-industry and intra-industry divisions; and shift existing interests with policies that induce changes in industry investment and structure.
About the speaker
Dr. Christian Downie is an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow (2018-2021) in the School of Regulation and Global Governance at The Australian National University. He was previously a Vice Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of New South Wales. Christian has worked as a foreign policy advisor to the Australian Government’s Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and a climate policy advisor to the Department of Climate Change. He has spent time teaching or researching at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the London School of Economics, and in policy think tanks in Canberra and Washington D.C. Christian is the author of more than 20 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters including publications in Global Environmental Politics, Energy Policy, Global Governance, International Affairs, and Third World Quarterly. His first book, The Politics of Climate Change Negotiations, was published in 2014.