Decarbonising industry: a places-of-work research agenda

EADSON, William, VAN VEELEN, Bregje and BACKIUS, Stefan (2023). Decarbonising industry: a places-of-work research agenda. The Extractive Industries and Society, 15: 101307.

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Deep decarbonisation of extractive and foundational industries will involve widespread social and economic change. Research on previous industrial restructuring has demonstrated that resultant changes will be geographically uneven, especially without countervailing state intervention. Such change has been shown to matter for both the nature and location of work in those industries as well as for the wider wellbeing of places. Concentrations of economic activity create place-based economic and sociocultural dependencies. As such industries and industrial work often become entwined with workers’ and communities’ cultural identities. It is important to understand implications of industrial change for work, for place, and – as we argue here – relations between work and place. Building from a semi-systematic review of existing literature on industrial decarbonisation, work and place, we extend prevailing political economic approaches to economic change, to also set out an original approach to decarbonising extractive and foundational industries, which we term ‘places-of-work’. This approach is embedded in acknowledgement of the deep economic and cultural relations between work and place, which also plays out in processes of industrial decarbonisation. The approach builds from cultural and feminist approaches to economic change to emphasise sets of interrelations important to study of industrial decarbonisation as geographic phenomenon. Such an approach means extending the role of the state not as solely, or even primarily, focused on provision of training or employment opportunities, but as requiring adoption of a place-based approach to remaking economic and cultural characteristics of a location and its people. In setting out our alternative agenda, we seek to develop new insights that enable us to understand how industrial transitions potentially act within, and impact upon, places and their cultural identities, and the role of the state in reinforcing and disrupting these to support just transitions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1604 Human Geography; 4104 Environmental management; 4404 Development studies; 4406 Human geography
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SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2023 15:07
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 13:31

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