Amanda Boyd (and co-authors) recently had a paper published in the journal Energy Research & Social Science. The article examines the following: 1. Community responses to new energy development in Canada, 2. three questions communities are asking about the governance of new energy projects, 3. how a lack of effective governance is eroding public trust, and 4. the need for innovations in governance that will engage rather than marginalize communities. Below you will find the citation information for the article and the abstract.
Shaw, K., Hill, S. D., Boyd, A. D., Monk, L., & Einsiedel, E. F. (2015). Conflicted or constructive? Exploring community responses to new energy developments in Canada. Energy Research & Social Science, 8, 41-51.
A large-scale transition to low-carbon energy sources is necessary to mitigate climate change. In practice, however, when new energy projects are proposed in specific places and regions, their proponents often face public resistance. This paper is a synthesis of a multi-investigator study of community responses to new energy developments in four Canadian provinces. We identify three questions that communities are asking about the governance of these projects: (1) Are the decision-making and regulatory processes open, rigorous, and accountable? (2) Have local people been meaningfully engaged? (3) Are the costs and benefits fairly distributed? Overall, we argue that public resistance is often a legitimate response stemming from inadequate governance of energy development. Specifically, and partly because of the changing role of government in policy-making and regulation, local communities lose trust that governance reflects and will protect their social and ecological values. We conclude that innovation in community engagement is needed, particularly in the context of rapid institutional change and governments that might be unable or unwilling to oversee inclusive decision-making processes.