Framing and reframing sustainable bioenergy pathways: The case of Emilia Romagna

Working Paper
  • Published 01/10/16
  • ISBN: 9781781183311

STEPS Working Paper 88

This paper addresses the case of bioenergy development in Emilia Romagna, using and building on a ‘pathways to sustainability’ approach (Leach et al. 2010). It represents the first attempt to apply the ‘pathways’ approach to a European context, investigating the dominant narratives and system framings that led to particular pathways of bioenergy development in the Italian region from 2000 onwards. It then explores how alternative framings emerged as a result of material system changes, and documents how these served to re-frame debates over the following decade. The paper points to a tentative result of this reframing – a redirection of pathways to smaller-scale bioenergy development that addresses the socio-economic needs and environmental concerns of local farmers and communities. The paper makes a concrete contribution to the ‘pathways’ approach by providing a detailed analysis of how framings evolve dynamically as a result of feedbacks between different situated knowledges, framings and the material properties of the system.