Sustainable Energy Transition in Russia and Ghana Within a Multi-Level Perspective
This paper is a case study based on a critical review of existing literature and primary data through interviews to investigate energy transition framing and manifestation in the Global South. It provides critical insights into sustainable energy transition in Ghana and Russia within a multi-level perspective (MLP). We argue that whereas Ghana’s energy transition concepts and policies are mirrored by landscape, regime, and niche, practical transitioning has been slow due to inadequate resources and incentives, limited historical culpability in global greenhouse gas, and the country being locked-in to existing hydrocarbon socio-technical systems. The MLP approach is useful in describing energy technologies, markets, and consumption practices. But in Russia, social policy at distinct levels is united by centralised energy law and technical systems, as well as institutional rules and differences based on costs in economic regions. This paper contributes to the energy transitioning discourse within the Global South using Russia and Ghana as cases to highlight how transition policies and practices differ from country to country, driven by economic, political, social, cultural, and historical elements with global frameworks serving as guides. Rigid application of landscape, regime, and niche concepts is challenged in describing and analysing the context-specific nuances in sustainable energy transition policy across spaces. There is a fundamental challenge of mechanically fusing a one-fits-all approach to sustainable energy transitioning in developing countries and societies due to differences in historical contributions to climatic issues and inequality of access to resources and technologies. Energy transition processes and practices should be compatible with social justice.