The large share of carbon emitted by energy-intensive industries in the extraction and processing of basic materials must be limited to decarbonise society and the economy. Ways in which the state can govern industrial decarbonisation and contributes to green state theory are explored by addressing a largely ignored issue: the green state’s industrial relations and its role in industrial governance. With insights from a Swedish case study, the tension between the state’s economic imperative and ecological concerns in greening industry are shown to persist. However, as the energy-intensive industry’s previously privileged position in the economy is weakening, industry is opened to decarbonisation strategies. While the case exposes a number of governance challenges, it also suggests potential areas where the state can pursue decarbonisation in energy-intensive industry and points the way to an active role of the green state in governing industrial decarbonisation and greening industry.
Keywords: Green State, industrial governance, climate policy, sustainability transitions, decarbonisation, Sweden
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