Understanding and promoting social transformations to address climate change

  • Start  Thursday 27 Feb 2020 4:00pm
  • Finish    Thursday 27 Feb 2020 5:00pm
  • Venue  Gottmann Room, OUCE
Portrait of Dr Stuart Capstick
Dr Stuart Capstick is interested in how people understand and act on climate change.

While there is now strong international momentum on action to tackle climate change, in order to avoid further widespread impacts there is a need for more fundamental transformations across all parts of society. Progress in reducing the UK’s emissions has largely been restricted to improving energy efficiency and decarbonising energy production, while there has been much less traction in other areas – particularly where this concerns changes to lifestyles, behaviours and social practices. In this talk I will outline the approach being taken by the new Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations, that asks how we can live differently – and better – in ways that meet the need for rapid and far-reaching emission reductions. Illustrative projects will be presented for further discussion, including those that seek to understand the views of members of the public about desirable and acceptable visions of low-carbon futures, and attempts to bring about change in real-world settings. I will also draw on work that critiques the methods and assumptions of Psychology and the behavioural sciences, offering some suggestions for a more productive way forward.


Dr Stuart Capstick is interested in how people understand and act on climate change. What determines our level of interest and concern about this topic? How can we involve people in creating a better, low-carbon society? How can the necessary sense of urgency about climate change be translated into meaningful and far-reaching emissions reduction? He is theme lead for the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations, a 5-year investment from the Economic and Social Research Council. He is also active within the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, and an author on the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change. He co-edits one of the topic domains for the journal WIREs Climate Change.

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