The Rapid Transition Alliance

The climate is changing faster than we are. The danger of triggering irreversible environmental damage that spirals, feeding off itself, means that winning too slowly is the same as losing. That’s why rapid, transformative changes are called for to prevent climate breakdown and create the conditions for people to thrive together.

The Rapid Transition Alliance shares examples of evidence-based hope for change whose speed and potential scale will steer us towards staying within those boundaries and which advance social justice. In practice, these are clear, quantifiable changes in our values, behaviors, attitudes, and use of resources, energy, technology, finance and infrastructure that can happen and guide what we do over the next five to ten years.

Keeping to the globally-recognised 1.5 degree upper limit on global warming means significant changes in economies, lives and jobs. Doing it fairly in the context of poverty, inequality and conflicts over resources is a huge challenge.

Large and rapid change sometimes seems hard to achieve. But big and radical changes have happened before, and they’re happening now too – in technology, finance, policies, infrastructure, attitudes and culture, all around the world.

Who we are

The Rapid Transition Alliance is being coordinated by a small group of people drawn from the New Weather Institute, the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex, and the ESRC STEPS Centre at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) and the Institute of Development Studies, and with help from our friends, colleagues and supporters. The work of the Alliance is kindly supported by the KR Foundation.

 Get involved

Find out more about the Alliance:

Media Enquiries

Sophie Marsden, Communications Officer

E: [email protected] T: +44 (0)1273 915669

Project details

start date
1 April 2018
end date
31 March 2021


Supported by
KR Foundation


Recent work

Past Event

Good COP/Bad COP? Accelerating climate action from above and below

As the world gathers in Egypt to discuss responses to the climate emergency (at the annual Climate Conference of Parties, COP 27), we ask, where is climate action occurring? Watch now We will explore ‘signs of hope’ in the climate talks –...

7 November 2022


Why COP26 failed on fossil fuels

For the first time at a key climate summit, the F word got a mention in the final text: fossil fuels. Yet even then, extensive lobbying ended with the word fossil fuels being prefaced with ‘inefficient’, leaving scope for generous interpretation, and only ‘unabated’ coal is to be...

2 December 2021


Social science research critical to tackle climate change

On the 23 September, the United Nations hosts the 2019 Climate Action Summit in New York, designed to accelerate the commitments made by nations in the Paris Agreement and re-energise the urgent need to tackle the pressing challenge of our time – climate change. At IDS, research has been...

23 September 2019