COP21: how can Southern Africa cope with El Niño?

Today COP 21 opens in Paris. Over two weeks a new climate deal will hopefully be agreed. It is a critical juncture for humanity. As high level officials discuss options in these negotiations, many people around the world are already living with climate change and uncertainty. In Southern Africa, the effects of what is expected…

How to ensure governments stick to their Paris climate commitments

More than 146 countries covering 87% of global greenhouse gas emissions have now submitted their national pledges to tackle climate change in advance of the major climate summit in Paris. These are known as Intended Nationally-Determined Contributions. Note the language: these aren’t commitments and are only “intended”. Since collectively these INDCs would still leave us…

Why climate negotiations should tackle ‘technology injustice’

Climate change is already causing harm to vulnerable people and will continue to do so. If we accept that mitigation and adaptation alone cannot avoid all the adverse impacts of climate change, this means that there will be some unavoidable consequences. This has led to the concept of ‘loss and damage’ appearing in global climate…

Opening up democratic politics for sustainable development: reflections from STEPS America Latina

The event that launched STEPS América Latina earlier this month, ‘Opening up the development agenda’, was a great workshop. It’s rare for a meeting of this kind to be so diverse yet so coherent. And this is especially so, on a topic as challenging as the transforming of development. Despite many differences in terms of…

Spectacular cynicism: Seeing Indonesia’s fire and haze from the margins

Guest post by Zachary Anderson, University of Toronto Recently Indonesia was hit by massive forest fires, which were largely ignored by the Western media, despite their severe scale and impact. I feel moved to respond to George Monbiot’s recent opinion piece in the Guardian about the disaster, as well as comments on social media asking…

Why are some people so keen to link climate change and terrorism?

Friday’s murderous attacks in Paris came just over two weeks before the start of the COP21 conference on climate change. A crisis meeting was held on Saturday morning to determine whether the event should go ahead, with a swift resolution to continue, under heightened security. Christiana Figueres, the UNFCCC’s Executive Secretary, tweeted “Of course #COP21…

What are we doing when we do open science and inclusive innovation?

Last week I participated in the ‘launch’ event of STEPS América Latina, as part of ongoing work with researchers in the region. There, as elsewhere, we are exploring the politics of technology and science in society that support pathways to sustainable development. The event was by turns a fantastically rich, stimulating, humbling, troubling, and inspiring…

Sharing the Open Source Seed Initiative at STEPS América Latina

by Claire Luby, Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI) Claire Luby presented her work at the STEPS América Latina launch event in November 2015, as part of a panel on ‘horizontal innovations towards sustainability’. In this blogpost, Claire reflects on the impacts of property regimes on plant diversity, and what OSSI is doing to promote a…

Call for proposals: SPRU 50th Anniversary Conference

As part of the Science Policy Research Unit’s 50th anniversary in 2016, it will be hosting a major conference from 7-9 September 2016 at the University of Sussex. The conference will also be complemented by a full programme of activities to celebrate 50 years of SPRU. Over three days, based on the overarching theme of ‘Transforming…

Call for papers: 2016 Initiatives in Critical Agrarian Studies (ICAS) colloquium

A call for papers has been issued for the international colloquium on Global governance/politics, climate justice & agrarian/social justice: linkages and challenges on 4-5 February 2016 in The Hague, Netherlands. Among the speakers will be STEPS Centre director Ian Scoones. The colloquium is organised by the Initiatives in Critical Agrarian Studies (ICAS), a community of…