The dual challenge of sustainability transitions

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In this essay we argue that sustainability transitions include two challenges: on the one hand a long-term change to various technologies and infrastructures, while on the other hand ensuring that consumer criteria change in the same move. Transitions that fail to do so will disappoint in the end. We review two sustainability-oriented transitions where criteria have changed: the hygienic transition around 1900 and the waste management transitions at the end of the 20th century. While in these cases the values, perceptions and criteria of people changed as part of the transition, this does not seem to apply to sustainable mobility and energy, where the main target is decarbonisation. What is missing is a reconsideration of individual mobility and conspicuous energy use.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-124
JournalEnvironmental innovation and societal transitions
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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