Constructing thirst for low-carbon transition: an insight into Latvia’s business narratives

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Abstract

The European Green Deal is presented as the EU’s new growth strategy. Successful implementation of this obligation, however, depends not on the regulatory framework but the commitment of all actors to take an active part. Informed by strategic narrative conceptual framework this study explores how the main drivers of economy – the enterprises – internalize the obligation to ensure low-carbon transition. We focus on business narratives in Latvia – a country with up to now low degree of environmental awareness both at political and societal level – to uncover business reception of low-carbon development perspectives. Exploring the public communication of 30 most valuable Latvian enterprises in a two-year period of 2020-2021 in such sectors as energy, transport, agriculture and forestry, waste management, manufacturing and retail, we have built a matrix, which demonstrates similarities and differences in rhetoric across sectors regarding fossil fuel consumption and energy efficiency. Findings show that 10% of all information in the enterprises’ websites is related to climate change or environment. Across the sectors, a narrative of corporate responsibility emerges as the dominant narrative, emphasising that Latvian business environment transforms and the entrepreneurs have already become or aim to become environmentally responsible in the nearest future. However, specifically in the energy sector the aspects of climate change as an opportunity for Latvia's economy alongside the need to comply with the EU policies and to protect the environment prevail. Altogether energy efficiency, transition from fossil to renewable energy resources, state support for low-carbon energy as well as digitalization are the topics, which are discussed the most. This study demonstrates that the enterprises have a potential to lead towards low-carbon economy by constructing an enabling discursive environment. It is particularly important in the post-communist context, where actors other than government may be more trustworthy to foster public demand and change in habits.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2022
EventEnergy and Climate Transformations: 3rd International Conference on Energy Research & Social Science - University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 20 Jun 202223 Jun 2022
https://www.elsevier.com/events/conferences/international-conference-on-energy-research-and-social-science/program

Conference

ConferenceEnergy and Climate Transformations
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityManchester
Period20/06/2223/06/22
Internet address

Keywords*

  • Climate change
  • Low-carbon transition
  • Energy sector
  • Narrative

Field of Science*

  • 5.6 Political science
  • 2.7 Environmental engineering

Publication Type*

  • 6. Other publications

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