Carbon control regimes, eco-state restructuring and the politics of local and regional development
Environmental regulation is having an increasingly important impact on the practice and politics of local and regional economic development. For more than a decade, localities and regions have strived to incorporate principles of environmental sustainability into spatial development plans and policies (Haughton and Counsell 2004). For some practitioners and policy makers, promoting sustainable forms of local and regional development (e.g. eco-industrial parks, green infrastructure, biofuels and other ‘alternative’ sources of energy, environmental industry clusters, etc.) is not much more than a place marketing tool (Deutz and Gibbs 2004). For others, it is seen as good economic development practice – see, for example, the Cornwall Sustainable Energy Partnership in the United Kingdom (UK) (Aubrey 2007) and the Global Green USA (2005) report on Los Angeles in the United States (US), both of which aim to use renewable energy projects as a catalyst for economic regeneration. However, in general we would argue that such attempts to ‘green’ local and regional economies have met with very mixed success as suggested by a continuing preference for promoting economic competitiveness over
and above meeting environmental and social targets.