Cement factory sending fumes up into the sky.

Exploring the social impacts of green transformations in China

pA 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…

Beyond two-dimensional perspectives: Sustainable energy access as adaptation and mitigation?

Earlier this year, the Institute of Development Studies convened a one day meeting of scholars to discuss the emerging field of the politics of climate change adaptation. I study sustainable energy access, which doesn’t conventionally get counted as adaptation, so I wondered to what extent the politics of adaptation extends to the framing of sustainable…

How do we reform fossil fuel subsidies?

The idea of reforming fossil fuel subsidies is attracting attention in both academic and policy circles. The environmental and economic aspects of subsidies and their reform have been much debated, but the political aspects are less prominent in the discussion. STEPS member Peter Newell gave a keynote talk at ‘The Politics of Fossil Fuel Subsidies…

How the Sustainable Development Goals create a political space to reimagine development

When the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were agreed last September, there was much expectation about how they could help get sustainability back on the development agenda, and push the international community to develop new approaches to development. A declaration, covering both north and south, sought to identify a new era for development that was universal,…

Earth Day: are we astronauts or toads?

It’s 50 years since the first image of the Earth from space was beamed back home from Lunar Orbiter 1. It’s hard for us now to imagine, or remember, what it meant back then. For the first time, humans could see a real image of their home as a whole. The picture, and others that…

Credit: STEPS Centre

A year of STEPS: 2015 highlights

As it’s nearing the end of 2015, here are some highlights you may have missed from the STEPS Centre’s last 12 months. We’ll see you next year! Our coverage of the COP21 climate conference STEPS members wrote blogs, organised events and reflected on the future of climate change action around the Paris conference in December….

STEPS at the IST2015 Sustainability Transformations conference

This week the International Sustainability Transitions Conference takes place at Sussex University, hosted by the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU). The event kicks off on the afternoon of 25 August and runs till the end of the week. Transitions and transformations are a major component of the STEPS Centre’s work, and are the theme of…

Are Common Wealth Trusts the way forward for a sustainable and equitable future?

STEPS co-director Andy Stirling responds to a recent article on the Great Transition Initiative website by Peter Barnes, which makes the case for Common Wealth Trusts as a way of reducing the inequality and destruction of nature that result from contemporary capitalism, while keeping the benefits that markets provide. Peter Barnes is absolutely right to…

Does the Anthropocene mean we have to ‘put democracy on hold’?

Our co-director Andy Stirling is at the 2015 conference of the International Society for the Systems Sciences in Berlin today, and sent us this abstract of his keynote, ‘Emancipating Transformations: from Anthropocene control to culturing systems’: “Current global environmental governance reverberates with talk of a new ‘Anthropocene epoch’ defined by ‘human domination’, in which a…

Unpacking multiple “shades of green” to make hope possible

Sandra Pointel, Associate Tutor, SPRU This year will see the culmination of two major global agreements for climate change and development. From 30 November to 11 December, worldwide negotiators will gather in Paris at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to hammer out a…