BRIEFING PAPER: The political economy of sunset and sunrise corporate strategies: risks and opportunities for business and society

Summary

Authors:

Brunilde Verrier
Neil Strachan

University College London

The political economy of sunset and sunrise corporate strategies: risks and opportunities for business and society

Energy intensive industries are at the heart of the socio-economic fabric of the UK, and many other countries. However, the low-carbon industrial transition requires both major technical achievements as well as societal transformations. In this landscape, incumbent industries face a difficult position:

  • They need to manage the decline of carbon-intensive assets to ensure their own continued business performance
  • They need to retain their industrial competitiveness for national energy resilience and security
  • They are also expected to continue to provide stable employment and be a foundation for socio-economic stability in specific towns and cities.

The strategic positioning of firms towards decarbonisation can entail important risks or benefits to business performance and society.  This brief illustrates the political economy of industry strategies – i.e. their connection with markets, citizens, and the state, to highlight potential vicious and virtuous cycles of transformation in national energy pathways.

This project was funded by IDRIC (under EPSRC award number: EP/V027050/1). The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of IDRIC. Neither IDRIC nor EPSRC can be held responsible for them.