The normative aims of sustainability seen in terms of matching environmental integrity, equality and social justice are clear. Yet, questioning how to get there is centrally about politics.
This article presents two examples that illustrate the tensions and synergies across state, market and society alliances in accelerating sustainability. The first example addresses the question of financialization of nature by exploring the alliances created around offsets in international carbon markets under REDD+. The second
example presents alliances for green transformation in Africa through Kenya’s pro-poor renewable energy experience.
Both cases explore the importance of the political economy of the tripartite relationship between states, markets and society in tackling inequality. They also show the importance of inclusive transformation and the relevance of context in diverse sustainability pathways.