What if trade-offs in sustainability transitions are not just about technical problems of optimization, but reflect political problems of power asymmetries and ethical dilemmas?
Lecture Series ‘Ecological Inequality’
The transition towards sustainability might be something we can no longer afford to avoid. But how will the benefits and costs be distributed, and how will it affect inequality? In the wake of the Katowice Climate Change Conference urging the world to embrace rigorous measures, discussions do not only revolve around the efficacy of climate policies, but also around their equity. Who is paying for these measures? Who are the winners and losers of such transition processes?
In this series, we use the concept of ecological inequality to shed light on the (potential) inequality implications of sustainability transitions, and the trade-offs embedded in these processes. Explore how transition processes may run the risk of increasing polarization between haves and have-nots. And what about the other way around? Under what conditions can sustainability measures have the potential to mitigate inequalities and to challenge existing wealth and power relations?
Trade-Offs in Sustainability Transitions
What if trade-offs in sustainability transitions are not just about technical problems of optimization, but reflect political problems of power asymmetries and ethical dilemmas? Ecological inequality may be a useful concept to explore these political and ethical dimensions, and to understand the socially differentiated impacts of environmental change. It can be used to examine how people’s use of, access to, and capacity to transform resources might affect inequality.
Tonight, professor Katrina Brown examines different dimensions of ecological inequality and how they play out in the trade-offs inherent in many interventions in environmental conservation and poverty alleviation. How can transdisciplinary and reflexive approaches help us to engender both pro-social and pro-environmental change?
About Katrina Brown
Katrina Brown is Professor of Social Science at the University of Exeter (UK). Professor Katrina Brown is an environmental social scientist working at the interface of international development, environmental change and sustainability. Her research focuses on how individuals and societies understand and respond to change, and their different capacities for adaptation and transformation.
Key issues of interest in her work are resilience, vulnerability and adaptation, and the different policy options for dealing with environmental change. She has conducted research in the areas of climate change, management of coastal resources, terrestrial conservation, forest ecosystems and ecosystem services. Her recent book, Resilience, Development and Global Change resulted from an ESRC Professorial Fellowship, Resilient Development in Social Ecological Systems, and presents a re-visioning of resilience for development. Katrina is committed to interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research. In 2013 she won the first ‘AXA Outlook’ award for pioneering work in Kenya on resilience and poverty using Forum Theatre, which was the subject of a National Geographic film in 2014.