Understanding our responses to environmental change

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Transformation: A Social Science interrogation

web_World_Science_Report_rh_218xfreeThe World Social Science Report 2013 was launched in Paris on 15th November. The work takes stock of the unprecedented and staggering environmental challenges facing society and their potentially devastating consequences on the wellbeing of people all over the world. Global environmental change impacts everything for everyone on this planet: life support systems, livelihoods, ways of life, actions and interactions. The Report is prepared by the International Social Sciences Council and sets the agenda for social sciences globally, addresses important social science challenges, takes stock of social science contributions and capacities, and makes recommendations for future research, practice, and policy. It is a key publication for the formation of policy recommendations, funding and research priorities.

This year’s report on changing global environments draws on analysis by 150 of the world’s leading social scientists engaged in promoting environmental sustainability and tackling the global challenges and implications of environmental change. Its aim is to call on users of research to deliver solutions-oriented knowledge on today’s most pressing environmental problems.The Report argues climate change needs to be understood as a social issue. You can access the report here

I led a chapter in the report titled ‘Transformations: A Social Science Perspective” which summarises our knowledge of tansformative change and some of the assumptions made in current environmental change pronoucements about need for transformation. My co-authors are Dr Saffron O’Neill from Geography at Exeter University, and Professor Christo Fabricius from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s Sustainability Research Unit.

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