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The Paris Agreement recognizes the importance of non-state (e.g. business and civil society) and sub-national (e.g. regions and cities) climate initiatives in the transition towards a low carbon society. This rapprochement of the realms of state and non-state climate action has potentially significant effects on the role of the state in climate policy-making. This project seeks to advance the research frontier and provide policy-relevant knowledge in the post-Paris policy landscape by examining the interplay between the Swedish state and domestic and transnational climate initiatives in the political quest for decarbonization. Within sectors such as renewable energy, transport Sweden has an ambitious political target to become one of the world’s first fossil fuel-free welfare states by involving non-state actors. We will map how non-state climate initiatives involving Swedish public and private actors; assess their performance in terms of effectiveness and legitimacy; appraise their political effects; and devise policy recommendations for harnessing their transformative potential. The project employs a mixed methods approach combining quantitative and qualitative methods. Novel empirical findings will be generated through semi-structured interviews, discourse analysis, a survey, participatory observation and network analyses. The project will enhance our understanding of how states and non-state actors can mobilize climate action toward low-carbon societal transition.

Contact: Karin Bäckstrand