The European Environment Agency has published a new report on transitions to sustainability, presenting different perspectives on how to achieve systemic change and the insights they offer for policy, governance and knowledge creation.
Perspectives on transitions to sustainability compiles five academic papers drafted by international experts. It mobilises and aims to build bridges between different academic communities that study sustainability transitions: socio-ecological; socio-technical; socio-economic; integrated assessment; and action-oriented approaches. Contributors include partners from the Innovation for Sustainable Development Network.
From their contrasting analytical approaches, the five papers offer shared insights into how transitions could be achieved. While emphasising that governments alone cannot start and steer transitions, they highlight the essential role of policy and public institutions in supporting local experimentation and learning, upscaling and reconfiguration.
The publication reflects the growing interest from policymakers in sustainability transitions. It follows the latest European Environment Agency five‑yearly ‘state and outlook’ report, which concluded that Europe must go beyond incremental improvements in environmental performance. Instead, it must find ways to achieve fundamental transitions or transformations in core systems, entailing 'profound changes in dominant institutions, practices, technologies, policies, lifestyles and thinking'.
Click to read the full EEA report, 'Perspectives on transitions to sustainability'.