Steering by accident: unintended governance strategies in action (Shove…
Steering by accident: unintended governance strategies in action (Shove 2016)
2005- Japanese government introduced 'Cool Biz' as part of a wider effort to reduce co2 emissions. Designed to persuade organisations to use less air conditioning, was remarkably successful. Let indoor temperatures rise to 28 degrees and modifying dress codes. Energy consumption and co2 emissions dropped. Deliberately steering energy demand
Policy initiatives can have unintended consequences and unanticipated consequences that arise as a result of unexpected processes
Framing policy interventions
Not to involve pricing, taxation or regulation, instead framed as an instrument of persuasion
Turning down the air conditioning was one of a handful of tips in the broader programme of awareness raising and advice constituting the 'team minus 6' campaign
Cool Biz programme has several related parts- a media campaign, and programme of events, fashion shows etc to attract media coverage
Government led the way- no ties in cabinet meetings during summer months and nor buildings heated or cooled between 20-28 degrees.
It was defined and understood as an exercise in eco-consciousness raising. More knowledge of environmental behaviours would lead individuals to change their behaviour and turn down the air conditioning. However, evidence shows it has little or no impact on peoples reported environmental awareness and commitment. It did cascade through multiple policies and feed into a range of social and cultural processes.
Situating policy interventions
Cool Biz entered a coexisting flow of events and was caught up in a range of trends and histories
Timing, cooling and clothing
Cultural history of the business suit- 1870s Japan, considered modern and part of a rapidly changing world, ties and jackets to counter the cooling, Cool Biz re-normalised what has been common prior to mechanical cooling
Timing and sartorial politics
In 2005, wearing an open necked shirt made the prime minister as looking go-ahead and modern in contrast t tradition
Timing and Climate change politics
Cool Biz as a policy which focuses on individual behaviour and choice, influencing the market as well as the cooling choices of individuals and businesses
The realm of policy options is fluid, situated with past interventions which create or foreclose future opportunities
Policies in practice
Conceptualised as a simple behavioural campaign and was designed and evaluates in these terms and the outcome was achieved in considerable energy saving
Reconfiguring the fabric of daily life
Cool biz was bound up with the details and the social organisation of respect, politeness and hierarchy
Had to reansform established codes of interaction, the policy had become part of daily practice
Visualisation led to the levelling of office life and related hierarchies
Equally there was more uncertainty about what to wear, and more complications than before
Responses to Cool Biz and interpretations of the scale and type of adjustment involved differed from one business sector to another: for example adapting to Cool Biz was reportedly more challenging for people employed in financial companies and banks, as compared with those involved in the media.
For women in these situations, Cool Biz entailed a welcome return of warmer temperatures but had no further consequences for the meaning or symbolic significance of office wear.
Rather than removing established hierarchies and distinctions, Cool Biz modified the ways in which these were enacted. It is at this level that policy has effect ‘on the ground’
Did nothing to limit the use of air conditioning in shops, cinemas or transport systems
Cool Biz represents what looks like a momentary and somewhat eccentric effort to harness fashion to the cause of climate change.
Building codes in opposition to the ministry of environment reproduced the convention of 22 degrees