• Are sustainability strategies the losers of austerity times?

      Fernandez, Rosa M.; University of Chester (Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Oviedo, 2015-06)
      During the last decade Europe seemed to be focused on reaching a sustainable development path and what it involved: low carbon economies, investment on renewable energies, environmental policy integration on the rest of policies, corporate social responsibility as the way forward for business behavior… The fight against climate change and the European Union international leadership on this area appeared as priority in all main forums and regulations. However the deep financial and economic crisis affecting most European economies seemed to have put on hold those priorities and made them become only wishful thinking. National budgets have been severely reduced and in some countries this has been translated on a reduction to the minimum on environmental protection expenditure, the cancellation of projects, the elimination of favourable fiscal regimes for renewable energies and even the disappearance of the institutions responsible for the implementation of sustainability measures. The purpose of this paper is to analyze how the different European economies have reacted to the crisis in the environmental and sustainability areas and to which extent austerity measures can put at risk the targets that the EU have set for the medium and long term in order to achieve a sustainable, smart and inclusive growth path. Especial focus will be given to those countries whose bail out conditions have made their national budgets subject to international scrutiny, in comparison to those whose green economy approaches have provided room for growth without compromising sustainability. The methodology will include the analysis of quantitative and qualitative sets of data, in order to assess, among other factors, the influence of internal and external actors for macroeconomic policy determination, such as political parties preferences, citizens interests and exogenous shocks. Whenever possible, the differences in policies at national and regional level will be separated, as well as the possibilities of non-consistencies in the interactions between both levels of policy implementation. It is expected that findings will confirm that those countries more severely affected by the crisis will present a lack of green economy approach prior to the crisis, which will difficult a change of course in policy making and as such, the reinforce their possibility of lagging behind the most advanced countries in the reach of sustainable growth paths.
    • I love to ride my bike: Living and promoting active mobility

      Cox, Peter; University Of Chester (2014-11-26)