SOCIAL 

CHANGE

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  • Confronting the dependency of modern societies on fossil fuels will require structural change across many of the institutions which shape every aspect of people's lives.

  • People and society are deeply implicated in the changes required to deliver net zero to the extent that their support for transition pathways and ability to change social practices could either greatly facilitate or derail possible plans. 

  • To ensure that low carbon infrastructure and policies are accepted within society they must either resonate with current social values or a new social contract for change must be built. 

  • Changes to social practices and lifestyles can play a key role in the transition to net zero. 

  • Some argue social change requires a radical transformation of socio-economic structures and the power relations embedded within them.

  • Grassroots activism and social movements are central to social transformations and help to centre climate justice concerns.

  • Political institutions currently face multiple levels of inertia and systems of governance are acting as barriers to change.

  • Neoliberal, market-based solutions dominate the policy landscape and thinking is firmly rooted in maintaining economic growth. 

  • More effective communication and innovative approaches to governance (for example Citizens Assemblies) are essential to help overcome these political and social barriers. 

 

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