Globe dripping water

The political challenges of deep decarbonisation: towards a more integrated agenda

  • Andrew Jordan
  • Irene Lorenzoni
  • Simon G. Schaub
Review Article


  • The EU’s Farm to Fork strategy (F2F) marks the first time that the EU addresses food sustainability covering both production and consumption (ref. 1, p. 586). The flagship initiative under the F2F strategy is an entirely novel Framework for a Sustainable Food System (FSFS). The FSFS is being developed at a time where the war on Ukraine has resurfaced the debate on food security, in particular that the initiatives under the F2F will lead to a decrease in EU food production and export (ref. 2, p. 15) and increased world food insecurity (ref. 3, p. 11). On the other hand, Röös et al. (p. 14)4, Pörtner et al. (p. 470)5 and Schiavo et al. (p. 40)6 argue that food insecurity will rather be a consequence of an unsustainable food system that threatens long-term food production. They state that a shift to agroecological practices, as promoted in the F2F strategy, can provide food security if in conjunction with demand-side dietary change, also promoted in the F2F strategy. It is clear that EU citizens will be important in order to demonstrate public support for the F2F strategy in general, and for the FSFS in particular. However, the abstract nature of the new Framework for a Sustainable Food System, the FSFS, may pose difficulties for citizens to exert political pressure on the next European Commission, on Member State governments and on the European Parliament. To make the FSFS more tangible as to what it could contain, I will outline three concrete policy proposals that the new law could include: (1) foster enabling food environments; (2) introduce a new incentives regime for food producers; (3) recognise animal welfare in the definition of a sustainable food system.

    • Camilla Björkbom
    Comment Open Access
  • Climate change adaptation is increasingly being addressed by public, private, and hybrid governance institutions across global, regional, national, sub-national, and local scales. Strengthening emerging forms of trans-scalar adaptation action is critical for addressing urgent climate risks. However, critics point to growing climate injustices and public legitimacy perceptions of the emerging forms of trans-scalar adaptation governance remain in question. As scholars of legitimacy repeatedly tell us, legitimacy is crucial for effectively addressing policy problems. Adaptation governance will only work well when groups affected by climate change, as well as state and non-state actors, have confidence in global governance institutions and so feel it is worthwhile engaging with them, taking notice, discussing, participating, and accepting the norms and rules they promote. This commentary argues that we need more research on legitimacy in trans-scalar adaptation governance. Despite the importance of legitimacy for governing adaptation effectively, assessments of sociological legitimacy—i.e., legitimacy in the eyes of different stakeholders—are scant. Existing contributions on the issue of sociological legitimacy typically focus on climate governance institutions in general or in the area of mitigation, but not in the area of adaptation. The social science research community could significantly improve data and research on legitimacy in adaptation governance, in particular by investigating how climate justice may generate legitimacy perceptions in adaptation governance. In turn, this knowledge can be used to assist policymakers in enhancing legitimacy in trans-scalar adaptation governance.

    • Lisa Dellmuth
    • Maria-Therese Gustafsson
    Comment Open Access