Securing accumulation by restoration – Exploring spectacular corporate conservation, coal mining and biodiversity compensation in the German Rhineland

German energy giant and coal mine operator RWE makes two products: cheap electricity and ‘pretty new landscapes’. These ‘pretty new landscapes’ are biodiversity offsets to compensate for the destruction of the ancient Hambacher Forest for the world’s largest opencast lignite coal mine in the German Rhineland. Drawing on in-depth fieldwork including participant observation and interviews…

Transformative innovations start with the social and political, not technology hardware and finance

Transformative innovations start with the social and political, not  technology hardware and finance: lessons from Lighting Africa and MECS MECS Briefing paper, September 2019 The international community has signed up to ambitious goals to tackle the dual problems of energy access and climate change. The UN’s Sustainable Energy for All aims to achieve universal energy…

Transforming Access to Clean Technology: Learning From Lighting Africa

The working paper analyses the case of Lighting Africa, which successfully transformed access to solar lighting in Kenya and, as far as we are aware, conceptualises and illustrates for the first time Lighting Africa’s approach. This builds on past STEPS research that focusses on building sociotechnical innovation systems.

Beyond Technical Fixes: climate solutions and the great derangement

Nightingale, A.J., Eriksen, S., Taylor, M., Forsyth, T., Pelling, M., Newsham, A., Boyd, E., Brown, K., Harvey, B., Jones, L., Kerr, R.B., Mehta, L., Naess, L.O., Ockwell, D., Scoones, I., Tanner, T. and Whitfield, S. (2019) Climate and Development, 2019 Climate change research is at an impasse. The transformation of economies and everyday practices is…

Destabilisation of Sustainable Energy Transformations: Analysing Natural Gas Lock-in in the case of Germany

STEPS Working Paper 106 by Louise Fitzgerald, Isabell Braunger and Hanna Brauers In recent years, natural gas has seen increased support in the context of climate change mitigation. Described as a ‘bridge fuel’ it is seen as aiding in the low-carbon energy transformation process. This is puzzling, given the high global warming potential of natural…

The Circular Economy and the Global South

Edited by Patrick Schröder, Manisha Anantharaman, Kartika Anggraeni, Timothy J. Foxon Published by Routledge, April 2019 Paperback: £23.99 Pathways to Sustainability book series Order this book Download a chapter Download the Accepted Manuscript (AM) of a chapter of the book. This document is Open Access and can be downloaded for free. Chapter 1: Sustainable lifestyles,…

The Water-Food-Energy Nexus: Power, Politics and Justice

Published by Routledge, April 2019 Paperback: £29.99 GBP Pathways to Sustainability book series Order this book Download a chapter Download the Accepted Manuscript (AM) of a chapter of the book. This document is Open Access and can be downloaded for free. Chapter 4: The Knowledge Nexus and Transdisciplinarity Download (PDF) Events The book was launched…

Engineering and Sustainability: Control and Care in Unfoldings of Modernity

SPRU Working Paper series SWPS 2019-06 (February) Forthcoming as a chapter in Diane P. Michelfelder and Neelke Doorn (eds), Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Engineering, London: Routledge, 2019 This chapter explores some underlying issues bearing on relationships between engineering and Sustainability. It aims to help point towards ways in which engineering practice might avoid some…

Bridging the gaps in understandings of uncertainty and climate change

Often there is a wide gap between how uncertainty is understood and experienced from ‘below’ by the lived experiences of local people, how it is conceptualised and represented from ‘above’ by climate scientists and experts and how the ‘middle’ – civil society, NGOs, academics – can  potentially function as brokers between the ‘below’ and ‘above’….

Uncertainty in Climate Science: Extreme Weather Events in India

In May 2018, multiple extreme weather events claimed scores of lives, damaged property and brought public life to a standstill in parts of India. In the aftermath of these events, a blame game ensued with some assigning responsibility to scientific and state agencies, and others calling for more research and accurate weather forecasts. It is…