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

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Hannah Corbett

Head of Communications and Engagement


+44 (0)1273 915640



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Ana Pueyo

Research Fellow

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Ashish Chaturvedi

Honorary Associate

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Dirk Willenbockel

Research Fellow

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Dominic Glover

Research Fellow

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Emilie Wilson

Communications Officer

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Georgina Powell-Stevens

Hub Administration Manager

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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...


Unlocking the economic benefits of productive uses of energy for women

The productive use of energy is considered to be an essential element to unleash the income generation and poverty reduction potential of energy access interventions. Based on this assumption and the fact that women in developing countries experience energy poverty and access to decent work...

Recent work

Journal Article

Can China Lead in Multilateral Environmental Negotiations? Internal Politics, Self-Depiction, and China’s Contribution in Climate Change Regime and Mekong Governance

The impacts of China’s intensified efforts to engage in regional and global environmental governance is widely noted and debated. With rapidly increasing economic and political influence, China has been gradually changing its attitude and strategy in negotiations over some of the most...

19 February 2019


The Circular Economy and the Global South

The circular economy is a policy approach and business strategy that aims to improve resource productivity, promote sustainable consumption and production and reduce environmental impacts. This book (which is published on the 4 April 2019) examines the relevance of the circular economy in the...

30 November 2018


Is CRISPR the next big thing in international development?

The gene editing technology CRISPR/cas9 has been creating a buzz in the biotech science world over the last few years. More recently, it has become a significant new field in the context of the bioeconomy and could, potentially, become a game changer for international development. Viewed by some...

7 September 2018