Wednesday 6 November 16:00 - 17:00

Grantham Institute Boardroom
Imperial College London
South Kensington Campus

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Low-carbon well-being is political | Professor Julia Steinberger

Science & Technology

This seminar is given by Professor Julia Steinberger,Ā Professor of Social Ecology & Ecological Economics at the University of Leeds

Low-carbon well-being is political: findings from the Living Well Within Limits project

This seminar will report on several streams of research within the ā€œLiving Well Within Limitsā€ project. The Living Well Within Limits project investigates the energy requirements of well-being, from quantitative, participatory and provisioning systems perspectives. In this presentation, I will communicate individual and cross-cutting findings from the project, and their implications for the sustainability research community. In particular, I will share our most recent results on the international distribution of energy footprints by country, consumption category, and income classes, as well as results on the national characteristics that enable high well-being at low energy use. I will show that achieving low-carbon well-being, both from the beneficiary (ā€œconsumerā€) and supply-chain (producer) sides, involves strong distributional and political elements. Simply researching this area from a behaviour, social practices or economic lens is insufficient to draw out the reasons for poor outcomes and most promising avenues for positive change. I thus argue for a much stronger political economy perspective in sustainability research.


Professor Julia Steinberger researches and teaches in theĀ interdisciplinary areas of Ecological Economics and Industrial Ecology. Her research examines the connections between resource use (energy and materials, greenhouse gas emissions) and societal performance (economic activity and human wellbeing). She is interestedĀ in quantifying the current and historical linkages between resourceĀ Ā use and socioeconomic parameters, and identifying alternative development pathways to guide the necessary transition to a low carbonĀ society. She is the recipient of a Leverhulme Research Leadership Award for her research project Living Well Within LimitsĀ investigating how universal human well-being might be achieved within planetary boundaries. She is Lead Author for the IPCC's 6th Assessment Report with Working Group 3.

Practical information:

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