Solar power

Unpacking sustainabilities in diverse transitions contexts: Four key lessons from empirical research

In the late 18th century, an Indian philosopher and religious leader offered a piece of knowledge to his followers. Taking into account the diverse religious faiths that exist in societies, he proclaimed that there are as many ways [to God] as there are faiths. The plurality of perspectives and interpretations in sustainability debates astonishingly reminds…

Training group in Lomerio

Research, convening and bridging: sharing insights from the ISSC’s Transformative Knowledge Networks

by Adrian Ely (co-lead, ‘Pathways’ Network), with contributions from Joanes Atela, Mirna Inturias, Dylan McGarry, Iokiñe Rodríguez & Patrick Van Zwanenberg Working with the World Social Science Council’s ‘Transformations to Sustainability’ programme brings the privilege of engaging with an incredible range of scholars and practitioners from across the globe. The programme’s three transformative knowledge networks…

Xi Jinping and François Hollande in Paris

Can China be a global climate leader?

President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement has sparked off another round of intense global discussion on China’s potential as a global leader on climate. Since last week, there appears to be a widespread desire for China and Europe to forge a stronger alliance to lead global efforts…

presentation

Learning across continents on sustainable transformations: a visit from China to Africa

In early April I visited Nairobi for a four-day exchange visit to the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), as part of a project on Transformative Pathways to Sustainability funded by the World Social Science Council (ISSC). The project explores different sustainability challenges in 6 countries (Kenya, China, UK, Mexico, Argentina and India). The China…

Sunset in Kenya

Beyond policy statements: how politics and ecology combine in land, water and forests

Governing land, water and forests (so-called ‘nexus’ resources) is critical for sustaining livelihoods, especially in the face of emerging shocks such as climate change. This also means that the effectiveness of interventions aimed at addressing climate change and other livelihood issues will heavily depend on how these resources are governed – including how they are…

butterfly

Why rapid transitions are more possible than you might think

In the face of climate change and social inequality, changing to a greener and fairer society might feel impossible – but rapid, radical transitions may be more possible than you might think, according to a new booklet published by the STEPS Centre and the New Weather Institute.

Submarine

Is Trident Influencing UK Energy Policy?

What explains the UK government’s enthusiasm for nuclear power, despite its various problems – including technical difficulties and cost? Could one hidden factor be the pressure to support the infrastructure needed for military programmes such as Trident? SPRU researcher Philip Johnstone and our co-director Andy Stirling have been researching this question, and explore their findings…

Mobile phone with Kenyan shillings

How can solar power be part of transformations to sustainability in Kenya?

Transforming pro-poor energy access is a priority goal for many countries in Africa. Many poorer households are not connected to the grid, so use kerosene, paraffin or batteries, or have to travel to charge mobile phones. In Kenya, solar home systems (SHS) via mobile payment systems are tackling this problem by giving access to renewable…

Cement factory sending fumes up into the sky.

Exploring the social impacts of green transformations in China

A transformation lab (T-Lab) focused on China’s green transformation policy and its impacts was held in Shijiazhuang City, Hebei Province on October 22, 2016. The T-lab intended to identify  problems created through the implementation of local “green transformation” policies and sustainable pathways for the future. It was entitled “Transformative pathways to sustainability: Exploring the social…

climate change

COP22: Climate change and innovation

The 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP22) to the UNFCCC took place from 7-18 November 2016. Read research and opinion from STEPS on what happens next. This year’s COP comes shortly after the Paris Agreement enters into force. The agreement aims to keep global temperature rise this century to under 2 degrees….