Governments can play a key role in influencing social change through their various instruments—legislation, strategies, plans, financial including for example subsidies, taxes, charges and fiscal transfers, as well as permits and incentives. Our climate research in British Columbia described the benefits of implementing a coordinated suite of instruments that reduced GHG emissions in that province without effecting GDP.
Our recent governance research is looking into what new governance arrangements must be in place for a carbon neutral society. We have just published illustrative inventories of federal legislation and of federal strategies and plans for the period 2013 to 2023 to inform our research. We were surprised by the diversity of initiatives that had been put in place which leads us to assume that there are large implementation gaps and time lags between their development and action on the ground. Their adoption can be further delayed or ended when there are regime changes with opposing ideological beliefs or political agendas.
Image by Paul Couvrette, 2023