I have been researching the social, economic and environmental implications of climate change since 2006 when I had the privilege of visiting South America.
At the time, a new, large pulp mill was constructed in Uruguay, which was hotly contested due to its potential environmental impact. Although producing pulp and paper is essentially a chemical process and requires huge amounts of water (with the associated water pollution issues involved), this big, contested plant also issued carbon offsetting credits, due to the fact that it was burning residual biomass for power generation.
It was then that I learned about the contested realities of new ‘carbon-neutral’ – or what we today mostly call ‘net-zero’ – business models. Since then I have conducted – together with researchers and climate activists from around the world – extensive research on climate change, focusing on the role of organisations (particularly business, civil society and policymakers) and their transition pathways to a low-carbon society.
My climate change research feeds directly into a large module I teach at the University of Exeter, called ‘Business and Climate Change’, which is attended by over 300 undergraduate and postgraduate students both at the Streatham and Penryn Campuses.
I've published three open access books on climate change:
(click on the images to get access to them)
Negotiating Climate Change in Crisis
Steffen Böhm and Sian Sullivan (eds)
Climate change negotiations have failed the world. Despite more than thirty years of high-level, global talks on climate change, we are still seeing carbon emissions rise dramatically. This edited volume, comprising leading and emerging scholars and climate activists from around the world, takes a critical look at what has gone wrong and what is to be done to create more decisive action.
Composed of twenty-eight essays—a combination of new and republished texts—the anthology is organised around seven main themes: paradigms; what counts?; extraction; dispatches from a climate change frontline country; governance; finance; and action(s). Through this multifaceted approach, the contributors ask pressing questions about how we conceptualise and respond to the climate crisis, providing both ‘big picture’ perspectives and more focussed case studies.
This unique and extensive collection will be of great value to environmental and social scientists alike, as well as to the general reader interested in understanding current views on the climate crisis.
The contributions collected in this special issue of ephemera question the underlying ideologies and assumptions of carbon markets, and bring to light many of the contradictions and antagonisms that are currently at the heart of ‘climate capitalism’.
Upsetting the Offset: The Political Economy of Carbon Markets
Upsetting the Offset engages critically with the political economy of carbon markets. It presents a range of case studies and critiques from around the world, showing how the scam of carbon markets affects the lives of communities.
These are my core peer-reviewed journal articles on climate change-related topics:
Greening Capitalism? A Marxist Critique of Carbon Markets - Journal page - Open access
Ten reasons why carbon markets will not bring about radical emissions reduction - Journal page - Open access
‘Fixing’ the climate crisis: capital, states, and carbon offsetting in India - Journal page - Open access
EDF Energy's green CSR claims examined: the follies of global carbon commodity chains - Journal page - Open access
Transactional colonialism in wind energy investments: Energy injustices against vulnerable people in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec - Paper is open access
Prefigurative Partaking: Employees’ Environmental Activism in an Energy Utility - Journal page - Open access