Green Transformations

Accelerating sustainability is a priority theme of IDS. The undeniable search for more material prosperity by more and more people undermines the sustainability of human life on our planet. The newly established Green Transformations Cluster concentrates on this dilemma and the name seeks to bring this out. We define green transformations as processes of restructuring which bring the economy within the planetary boundaries.

We prioritise two big changes:

  • From fossil fuel to renewable energy
  • From throw away to circular economy.

Our research on these transformations will concentrate on two questions:

  • Who drives these green transformations or holds them back? How do these drivers differ between levels of development, institutional systems and stages of policy process?
  • Do green transformations and social inclusion reinforce each other? Under what conditions? How can these conditions be influenced by policy?

Papers and blogs arising from these projects pay particular attention to the role of Transformative Alliances in accelerating sustainability. This Briefing Paper: From Sustainable Development to the Green Transformation shows how our work fits in the green conceptual landscape and how we see the way forward.

The work on Green Transformations is being carried out in conjunction with various Centres of IDS and the University of Sussex, notably the STEPS CentreSPRU and the Centre for Global Political Economy. We also work in close collaboration with several centres in other countries which are named on the web pages of specific projects.

Key contacts

Image of Hannah Corbett
Hannah Corbett

Head of Communications and Engagement


+44 (0)1273 915640



Image of Ana Pueyo
Ana Pueyo

Research Fellow

Image of Ashish Chaturvedi
Ashish Chaturvedi

Honorary Associate

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Dirk Willenbockel

Research Fellow

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Dominic Glover

Research Fellow

Image of Emilie Wilson
Emilie Wilson

Communications Officer

Image of Hubert Schmitz
Hubert Schmitz

Emeritus Fellow

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Ian Scoones

Professorial Fellow



CDC Longitudinal Development Impact Study

The CDC Group plc is a Development Finance Institution (DFI) wholly owned by the UK government. Its mission is to support the growth of businesses and infrastructure development throughout Africa and South Asia in order to create jobs and make a difference to people’s lives in some of the...

Recent work

Journal Article

Linking Energy Access, Gender and Poverty: A Review of the Literature on Productive Uses of Energy

Energy Research & Social Science Volume 53

This article reviews the empirical literature about gender and productive uses of energy, focusing on electricity, to answer three research questions: do men and women obtain different benefits from the Productive Use of Electricity (PUE)?; which gendered constraints affect women’s chances to...

1 July 2019


Sir David Attenborough backs new report on plastic pollution

Sir David Attenborough has backed a new report revealing the stark health impacts of plastic pollution and rubbish on world’s poorest people.  The report has been co-authored by international relief and development agency Tearfund, conservation charity Fauna and Flora International, IDS and...

14 May 2019