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Friends of the Earth as a Policy Entrepreneur: ‘The Big Ask’ Campaign for a UK Climate Change Act

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Publication details

JournalEnvironmental Politics
DateAccepted/In press - 11 Aug 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 24 Aug 2017
DatePublished (current) - 9 Nov 2018
Issue number6
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)994-1013
Early online date24/08/17
Original languageEnglish


Friends of the Earth’s (FoE) ‘Big Ask’ campaign played a critical role establishing the path-breaking UK Climate Change Act (CCA) 2008. FoE exploited the window of opportunity that opened in climate politics during 2006, first to win cross-party support for the Bill and then to strengthen its content. It then rolled-out the ‘The Big Ask’ across Europe, helped by an innovative collaborative seminar programme with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The Multiple Streams Framework is used to identify FoE as an effective policy entrepreneur shaping the agenda-setting process. This contributes to the policy entrepreneurship literature where there are relatively few examples of effective collective entrepreneurship by environmental NGOs, and makes an original empirical contribution through a detailed analytical narrative about a remarkably successful ENGO campaign. Qualitative methodology is employed, drawing on public and private documentary sources and interviews with key campaigners, politicians and officials involved in climate policymaking.

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© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details

    Research areas

  • Climate Change Act; climate policy; The Big Ask; Friends of the Earth; policy entrepreneur; Multiple Streams Framework


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