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The impact of energy resources on climate policy: Case studies of Hawaii and Victoria
thesisposted on 2022-03-29, 03:06 authored by Elizabeth Edmonds
This research considers the key drivers and inhibitors to climate policy development with a particular focus on the role of a jurisdiction’s underlying energy resource. The states of Hawaii in the United States and Victoria in Australia are chosen as case studies given their differing energy resources: Hawaii has no native fossil fuels resources but abundant renewable energy options while Victoria has an economy traditionally reliant on cheap, plentiful brown coal. The Advocacy Coalition Framework is applied as the analytical tool to understand why the two states, despite the different incentives provided by their energy resources, developed similar climate policies in the earlier period of policy response to global warming. Analysis finds that the stable parameter of natural resources is counter-balanced by other fundamentals and policy drivers including enhanced path dependency and public opinion. The state-level analysis indicates subnational governments may offer a different context for climate policy development and supports the other limited academic work that promotes the role of states within federal political structures taking a lead on responding to climate change.