Newsletter 3

Newsletter 3 - December 2015

 Content


PATHWAYS position paper published
Critical appraisal of Sustainable Consumption and Production research
Rates of change in energy system: comparing future with historical trends
Outreach activities


PATHWAYS position paper published
Bruno Turnheim et al. discuss the PATHWAYS approach in a paper published in Global Environmental Change. It sets out a proposal for bridging and linking three approaches to the analysis of transitions to sustainable and low-carbon societies: quantitative systems modelling; socio-technical transition analysis; and initiative-based learning. In the paper it is argued that each of these approaches presents a partial and incomplete picture, which has implications for the quality and usefulness of the insights they can deliver for policy and practice. 

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Critical appraisal of Sustainable Consumption and Production research
In a conceptual review article, Frank Geels et al. provide a critical appraisal of Sustainable Consumption and Production research, which is currently framed by two generic positions: the reformist and the revolutionary position. This dichotomous debate is problematic, because it is intellectually stifling and politically conservative in its outcomes. Therefore, a third position is proposed, ‘reconfiguration’, which focuses on transitions in socio-technical systems and daily life practices and accommodates new conceptual frameworks.

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Rates of change in energy system: comparing future with historical trends
Mariësse van Sluisveld et al. have assessed how future patterns of energy system change in 2 °C scenarios compare with historically observed rates of change. The results of this assessment are now published in Global Environmental Change. The analysis focuses specifically on the rates of change for technology expansion and diffusion, emissions and energy supply investments. A main finding is that indicators that take into account the overall system growth find future rates of change to be broadly within historical ranges. 

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Outreach activities
In the second half of 2015, PATHWAYS was present at several conferences to present and discuss its main results. In August, several presentations and a workshop were given at the IST conference in Brighton; in September we participated in the Pressure Cooker event in A Coruña together with sibling projects ARTS and TESS; in October Joyce Zwartkruis presented her analysis on multifunctional land use in the Netherlands at the Transformations conference in Stockholm; and in November Mariësse van Sluisveld presented modeling results at the IAMC meeting in Potsdam. Both IST and IAMC called for improving research by combining scenario analyses with greater detail from socio-technical transition analyses.

 

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