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  • Living reference work
  • © 2022

The Palgrave Handbook of Social License to Operate and Energy Transitions

Palgrave Macmillan
  • Unique: No other work captures range of content and scope

  • Timely: SLO is an area of growing importance

  • An overview of varied legal jurisdictions and governance

Part of the book series: Palgrave Studies in Energy Transitions (PSET)

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About this book

The SLO concept originated in the mining industry but over recent years its use has also been extended over large infrastructure, energy, extractive and industrial projects. Of relevance, given public opposition to renewable and low carbon energy infrastructure deemed by many as necessary to fighting climate change and facilitating the ongoing energy transition, it has been extended to incentivise such deployment. At the same time, it is also being used to improve the acceptability (or reduce barriers) to fossil fuel projects.

In simple terms, the SLO concept refers to: 1) the ongoing acceptance of a company or industry's standard business practices and operating procedures by its employees, stakeholders and the general public; and 2) the level of acceptance or approval by local communities and stakeholders of proposed developments and their operations. Specifically, the SLO concept can be summarised as attempts to secure acceptance by local communities and stakeholders, in order to build public trust in such activities and prevent social conflict, whereas such attempts are premised on engagement between mining companies, governments and civil society to ensure that mineral resource extraction contributes to nation­al and local development, and that damaging impacts on host communities and the environment are mitigated or otherwise managed.


  • social license to operate
  • SLO
  • energy transitions
  • energy policy
  • energy law
  • extractive industries
  • sustainable energy
  • fossil fuel divestment
  • stakeholder engagement

Editors and Affiliations

  • Lecturer in Energy and Environmental Law, School of Law, University of Stirling, Stirling, United Kingdom

    Geoffrey Wood

  • Dept. of Asian and International Studies, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China

    Jędrzej Górski

  • Research Fellow, SEI Headquarters – Energy & Industry Transition Team, Linnégatan, Sweden

    Gokce Mete

About the editors

Dr Geoffrey Wood is a Lecturer in Energy and Environmental Law at Stirling University Law School in Scotland. He holds a PhD in low carbon energy governance from the Centre for Energy Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy (CEPMLP) at the University of Dundee. An interdisciplinary energy and environmental law, policy and regulatory specialist, his research and teaching focuses on the development of legal and governance frameworks for sustainable energy transitions to optimise policy delivery in terms of environmental, social, economic, political, and technological outcomes. Recent research includes exploring the impact of austerity on environmental decision making in Scotland, a critical analysis of policy risk and politics on low carbon energy deployment in the UK and Scotland, the role of definitions in renewable and low carbon energy governance. He has published extensively on energy and environmental issues, and has published over 40 articles, books, book chapters and other publications, including two books ‘The Palgrave Handbook of Managing Fossil Fuels and Energy Transitions’ (2019) and ‘A Critical review of Scottish Renewable and Low Carbon Energy Policy’ (2017). Geoff is also Series Editor of the major new Palgrave Studies in Energy Transitions (PSET) handbook series (forthcoming, Palgrave 2021), Co-Series Editor for the 'Energy, Climate and Environment' book series (Palgrave), and Editor-in-Chief for the 'Encyclopedia of Renewable and Low Carbon Energy' (forthcoming, Palgrave). Currently also a Researcher in global energy transitions at the University of Dundee and a Guest Lecturer in energy, climate and environment at Glasgow Caledonian University, Geoff has previously held research, lecturing and consultancy positions for various organisations including the Scottish Government, the Offshore Renewables Institute, Royal Society of Edinburgh, and the Extractives Hub (a joint UK Government-University of Dundee project). 

Dr Gokce Mete is Head of Secretariat of the Leadership Group for the Industry Transition hosted by the Stockholm Environment Institute and Founding Member of the Women in Green Hydrogen Network. LeadIT explores how policy, finance and business practices in hard-to-abate industry sectors can be aligned to achieve climate neutrality consistent with Paris Agreement. At SEI, she also project leads an initiative co-creating evidence for oil and gas transitions in the North Sea focusing on just transitions, hydrogen, CCUS and offshore wind. In addition, she is leading a new project which aims to create greater coherence between policies to reduce GHG emissions in the road transport and construction sectors and on green public procurement targets in the EU.

Dr Jędrzej Górski has primarily conducted research and published on various aspects of international trade, global economic governance and government procurement. His expertise also covers social entrepreneurship, regulatory environment for infrastructural projects, energy and natural resources. Prior to joining academia, Jędrzej worked for two years in the Warsaw Office of the CMS Cameron Mckenna LLP. Jędrzej's publications include an edited volume "The Belt and Road Initiative, Law, Economics, And Politics" (Brill Nijhoff 2018) co-edited with Julien Chaisse. and a report for the European Commission titled "Regulatory Framework on Environmental Impacts and Community Acceptance of Shale Gas" (May 2018) co-authored with Christine Trenorden.

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