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Towards a Sustainable Society

Considerations from a Natural Science Perspective

Frans W. Saris

). If we stop mining fossil fuels and recycle all carbon, using existing technology to make the goods humans really need, the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere will decrease, as will be discussed in the section below, “Energy and Climate.” Experts are

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Fuelling Capture: Africa's Energy Frontiers

Michael Degani, Brenda Chalfin, and Jamie Cross

investments in fossil fuels and other extractive industries, including many of our own universities. Indeed, despite encouraging market signals for renewable technologies and, more importantly, calls for and experiments in decarbonization, 2019 emitted record

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Prelude to a Grid

Energy, Gender and Labour on an Electric Frontier

Kristin D. Phillips

propensity to conquer and rule, its aspirations and its climate implications, it has until just recently remained on the carbon periphery, betwixt and between national infrastructures. Its dry climate and lack of infrastructure, education and fossil fuels

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Richard Widick and John Foran

of the UN climate process, Bill McKibben of assailed the triumphalist corporate discourse: I think the key role for civil society is probably to take on the fossil fuel industry around the world. The reason we’re getting nowhere in places like

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Tim Cadman and Robert Hales

nonnatural carbon, and where the carbon that is released into the atmosphere comes from is important. Stored carbon released in the form of fossil fuels affects the atmosphere differently from carbon contained within the Earth's biosphere. There are also

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Victor Seow

This thought piece reflects on the workings of modern migration through the prism of metabolism. It contends that the metabolic idiom productively underscores how migration as a process is enabled and evoked by particular flows of materials and energy and how the movement of migrants engenders social and environmental transformations.

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Toru Terada, Makoto Yokohari, Jay Bolthouse, and Nobuhiko Tanaka

Urban and peri-urban satoyama woodlands have become focal points of restoration throughout Japan. Prior to the abrupt shift to fossil fuels in the 1950-60s, villages coppiced these woods to produce a sustainable supply of wood fuel, a process that also sustained a dynamic woodland structure rich in biodiversity. Currently, amidst a “satoyama renaissance,” thousands of volunteer groups are restoring management to abandoned woods. Yet while volunteers are the main drivers of the satoyama renaissance, volunteer management tends to be limited in spatial extent and focused on the “parkification” of woodlands. Through a case study of four satoyama restoration scenarios we found that reintroduction of coppicing for wood fuel—“refueling”—can play a role in addressing climate change through fossil fuel substitution. We suggest that this literal refueling of satoyama restoration could, in a more metaphorical sense, help to refuel restoration efforts by strengthening both restoration practice and the authenticity of restoration experiences.

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Etienne Faugier

Two quotations, two periods of history. While the lines were written a century apart, their divergent sentiments reflect more than just the passage of time. They also show how, in the space of a century, the very concept of speed has become more complex, mainly because different kinds of speed are available thanks to new technologies in communications and mobility. The juxtaposition of these two quotations show a rupture: it seems that we are slowly shifting from a status where speed was both wish and choice to one where limited movement may be forced upon us by declining fossil fuels and growing pollution.

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Carol Hager

The energy revolution poses a fundamental challenge to the German corporatist institutional model. The push for renewables in Germany arose almost entirely outside the prevailing channels of institutional power. Eventually, federal legislation helped support the boom in local energy production that was already underway, and it encouraged the further development of new forms of community investment and citizen participation in energy supply. Recently, the federal government has tried to put the genie back in the bottle by shifting support to large energy producers. But, as this article shows, the energy transition has provided a base for local power that cannot easily be assailed. The debate over German energy policy is becoming a contest between centralized and decentralized models of political and economic power. Prevailing institutionalist theories have difficulty accounting for these developments. I analyze the local development of renewable energy by means of a case study of the Freiburg area in southwestern Germany, which has evolved from a planned nuclear power and fossil fuel center to Germany's “solar region”. Incorporating insights from ecological modernization theory, I show how the locally based push for renewables has grown into a challenge to the direction of German democracy itself.

Open access

Irvin Evany Aguilar León


The 2030 Agenda, established seven years ago, still has not being implemented by most of the signed countries. Due to its breadth, implementation becomes a complex process since it is necessary to find coherence with national policies. Of the 17 SDGs, the UN declared that SDG-7, referring to affordable and clean energy, is central. For countries dependent on fossil fuels or without technology to take advantage of renewable sources, the application of SDG-7 to their energy policies is posing challenges. This article analyzes the normative coherence in Mexico of the SDG-7 goals regarding their progress and the energy and development policy during the 2015–2022 period as a representative case for the theoretical and empirical discussion on the energy-development relationship.


La Agenda 2030, establecida hace siete años, todavía no ha sido implementada por la mayoría de los países firmantes. Debido a su amplitud, la implementación se convierte en un proceso complejo, ya que se requiere encontrar la coherencia con políticas nacionales. De los 17 ODS, la ONU declaró que el ODS-7, referente a energía asequible y no contaminante, es central. Para países dependientes a energéticos fósiles o sin tecnología para aprovechar fuentes renovables, la aplicación del ODS-7 a sus políticas energéticas está suponiendo desafíos. El presente artículo analiza la coherencia normativa en México de las metas del ODS-7 respecto a su avance y la política de seguridad energética y desarrollo durante el periodo 2015–2022 como un caso representativo para la discusión teórica y empírica sobre la relación energía-desarrollo.


L’Agenda 2030, établi il y a sept ans, n’a pas encore été mis en œuvre par la plupart des pays signataires. En raison de son ampleur, la mise en œuvre devient un processus complexe, car il est nécessaire de trouver une cohérence avec les politiques nationales. Parmi les 17 ODD, l’ONU a déclaré que l’ODD-7, qui fait référence à une énergie abordable et propre, est central. Pour les pays dépendants des combustibles fossiles ou sans technologie susceptible de tirer parti des sources renouvelables, l’application de l’ODD-7 à leurs politiques énergétiques pose des défis. Cet article analyse la cohérence normative des objectifs de l’ODD-7 concernant leur progression et la politique énergétique et de développement au cours de la période 2015-2022 au Mexique comme un cas représentatif de la discussion théorique et empirique sur la relation énergie-développement.