Just Transitions: A Political Ecology Critique

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‘Green deals’ to promote socially-inclusive decarbonization have captured the imagination of public intellectuals and advocates across the political spectrum. Such programmes are often premised upon the concept of ‘just transitions’, which aims to reconcile environmental and social concerns in the movement towards a low-carbon future. I respond to some of the underlying tensions that underpin dominant discourses in this domain by foregrounding collective, disruptive and non-capitalist forms of infrastructural transformation in the energy domain. I discuss possibilities for a more egalitarian politics and shared environmental commons in the articulation of residential energy efficiency and housing upgrades with the aid of insights from the political ecology literature, and examples from activist praxis across Europe and North America. More broadly, I highlight how well-known contradictions of labour, environmental sustainability and economic transformation are complicated by encounters with climate and energy circulations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1003-1020
Issue number4
Early online date17 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2022


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