The co-evolution of the climate change issue and the car industry in the EU: the case of Spain
Serrano Valverde, Bosco
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This work aims to study the co-evolution of the climate change problem and its strategic responses from European automakers. This is done in two steps and at two levels. Firstly, by examining the co-evolution of the EU´s position regarding climate change, its passenger car policies, and the (lobbying) responses of the industry. Here, it is observed how due to the relentless lobbying influence of automakers through powerful member states as Germany, the EU has historically avoided establishing policies to tackle carbon emissions from passenger cars. Secondly, and as a case study, Spain was selected for further socio-political research. For this purpose, system innovation studies are introduced and, particularly, the Dialectic Life Issue Cycle (DILC), a theoretical framework, developed by Penna and Geels (2012), is applied. Following this model, a mixed methodology with a quantitative socio-political analysis of various time-series and an in-depth qualitative study of primary sources is used. The application of this model served to analyse how technological transitions take place in several phases, alongside a pressing broad societal problem as climate change. As expected, the technological shift is slow and unwanted by automakers, which refrain from assuming any risks, and hence, take a long time to commit to alternative low-carbon emission technologies.