The influence of context dynamics in the course of the climate change mitigation policy instruments’ (PIs) deployment cycle, usually causes a need for policy adaptation mechanisms to ensure that policies can meet the sector needs efficiently and effectively. In this paper, we argue that important contextual factors are the ones that are perceived to have a great impact over policy effectiveness by key related actors. By examining more thoroughly those effects over PIs, as perceived by policy and market actors, useful feedback on observed policy adaptations can be highlighted. In this context, the aim of this paper is to present a conceptual framework which seeks to investigate the impact of key external factors on policy decision-making. This framework is then applied to policies intended to foster sustainability in the Greek building sector. Contextual parameters that are influential over the effectiveness of the national energy conservation measures are identified through a stakeholder survey. Cluster analysis is then employed for the elicitation of three distinct decision-making priorities’ scenarios. General macroeconomic trends, energy costs, characteristics of the building sector and socio-institutional factors are prioritized differently from various types of actors and induce certain types of PI changes. Distinguishing among the different types of PI change can help explain better under which contextual circumstances policy adaptations occur and provide guidance to other policy makers when found in similar decisional contexts.
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