Assessing Tightly Bundled, Complete & Technology/ Sector-Specific Policy Mixes to Enable Technology Development & Adoption to Mitigate Climate Change & Support a Transition towards a Low-Carbon Energy Future in Canada

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Wickham, Marc




This thesis examines policy mixes that were designed and implemented to enable technological developments and adoption, to mitigate climate change and support a socio-technical transition to a low carbon energy future. This thesis seeks to assess the early experience with a new experimental policy mix approach, implemented by the Canadian federal Department of Natural Resources since 2016, in which the policy instruments in the policy mix are more 'tightly bundled' in terms of design, implementation and evaluation; 'complete' in covering the technology innovation chain; and 'technology/sector-specific', compared to the traditional, highly siloed policy mix approach. The thesis' hypothesis is that the experimental approach is likely to result in hypothesized improvements and benefits, compared with the conventional approach, specifically improvements in consistency of elements, coherence of processes, and comprehensiveness of the policy mix. The thesis uses a comparative case study approach to compare 3 experimental case studies against 3 conventional cases, and seeks to answer 4 research questions directly related to the assessment of the experimental approach, to test the hypothesis and obtain additional insights about the experimental policy approach. The thesis results in a primary conclusion and six supporting conclusions. The primary conclusion is that the experimental approach shows significant promise, has merit, and results in benefits and improvements, including improvements in the three indicators (confirming the hypothesis), and lower administrative costs, compared to the conventional approach. This is an important conclusion that suggests that the experimental approach has the potential to be a more effective policy mix approach than the conventional approach. This is sufficient evidence to support further experimentation with and study of the experimental approach in the future. The six supporting conclusions provide additional insights which could be useful in future implementation, including: a preliminary theory of change that provides a causal relationship to explain improvements and benefits; suggestions as to opportunities to further improve the experimental policy mixes, in the future and barriers and constraints that would need to be addressed to reduce implementation risks.


Public Administration
Environmental Sciences




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Doctor of Philosophy: 

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Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Public Policy

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Theses and Dissertations

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