Challenges in Sustainability (CiS; ISSN 2297-6477, published by Librello Publishing House, Basel, Switzerland) is an international, open access, academic, interdisciplinary journal dedicated to the publication of high-quality research articles and review papers on all aspects of global environmental and transformational change toward sustainability. The objective of the journal is to be a front-runner for original science that stimulates the development of sustainability solutions in an era of global environmental change. CiS defines its place at the interface between natural, socio-economic, and the humanistic sciences, creating a unique platform to disseminate analyses on challenges related to global environmental change, associated solutions, and trade-offs.


The Library has vol. 1(2013) to current

Recent Submissions

  • The Future of Divestment: Proliferations of Counter-Hegemonic and Post-Extractive Divestment Movements

    Gareth Gransaull; Evelyn Anita Austin; Guy Brodsky; Shadiya Aidid; Truzaar Dordi (Librelloph, 2022-04-01)
    Fossil fuel divestment has quickly become the largest divestment campaign in history, drawing attention to the large discrepancy between national climate commitments and the continued support of the fossil fuel industry. Yet, fossil fuel production and emissions continue to escalate rapidly. Our question is: what's next for the divestment movement? We propose a conceptual framework that identifies two waves of divestment leadership in which public pressure campaigns move towards targeting the extractive economic structures and predatory behaviors that permit fossil fuel extraction, and unsustainable resource extraction more generally, to continue without limit. Building on the three waves model of divestment, we postulate that a fourth wave of fossil fuel divestment organizing has already begun, one that focuses on banks, insurers, and other financiers of fossil fuel projects. Further into the future, we envision a fifth wave of divestment campaigns, whereby divestment is used in climate and environmental activists' arsenal to target firms that engage in environmentally damaging and unjust behaviors such as destructive mining activities, overconsumption, predatory debt or arbitration processes, or Indigenous rights violations. While divestment is not a panacea and does not displace the work of existing post-extractive or climate justice campaigns, we argue that divestment is a powerful tool that can be used to complement and amplify the work of environmental justice activists in other contexts beyond fossil fuels. This paper offers actionable suggestions for current and future activists and frames divestment as a tactic that will proliferate within other environmental movements in the transition towards a post-growth economy.
  • An Approach to Justifying Normative Arguments in Sustainability Science, with Insights from the Philosophy of Science and Social Theory

    David O'Byrne (Librelloph, 2022-06-01)
    In this paper, I put forward an argument that sustainability science can make objectively grounded normative claims about what courses of action society should pursue in order to achieve sustainability. From a survey of the philosophy of science, social theory and sustainability science literature, I put forward an approach to justifying these normative arguments. This approach builds on the insight that social theories are value-laden and that dominant and pervasive social practices find their justification in some social theory. The approach: (i) focuses on the analysis of concrete cases; (ii) paying attention to the social practices that produce environmental problems and the theories that support those practices; (iii) examines alternative theories, and (iv) justifies a normative position by identifying the most comprehensive theoretical understanding of the particular case. Although the approach focuses on the analysis of particular cases it does not rely on value relativism. Furthermore, while the focus is on the role of science in producing normative arguments about society’s trajectory, it maintains space for the inclusion of the values of the public in environmental decision-making. However, while this approach aims to provide a rational basis to normative positions, it does not presume that this will lead to social consensus on these issues.
  • Towards Financial Sustainability: Beneficiaries’ Perception and Performance of Community Water Supply Services in Ghana

    Emmanuel Kwame Nti; Camillus Abawiera Wongnaa; Nana Sampson E. Edusah; Dadson Awunyo-Vitor; Vasco Baffour Kyei (Librelloph, 2021-02-01)
    Revenue mobilization is critical for community-managed water systems to overcome financial constraints and to achieve financial sustainability. Using data from beneficiaries of a community managed water supply system in Ghana, we employed descriptive statistics, chi-square, perception index and document review of the system’s financial reports to assess beneficiaries’ views and perception on revenue mobilization for operations and maintenance, system expansion as well as sustainability of the project. The results showed that revenue mobilization for sustainability of operations and maintenance is significantly influenced by water connection type and religion while marital status, age and income of beneficiaries determine sustainability of the project’s expansion. The findings further revealed a significant relationship between sustainability of replacement of the project’s accessories and water connection type as well as gender, marital status, age and income of beneficiaries. The average perception index of 3.2 showed that beneficiaries perceived revenue mobilization as very good for replacing the water system’s accessories. Revenue mobilization is able to support the water system’s expansion to help meet the increasing water demands. In addition, with an average perception index of 3.6, the beneficiaries’ perception was that revenue was enough to fund operations and maintenance. Furthermore, the document review of the system’s financial reports confirmed beneficiaries’ perception of sufficiency of revenue for operations and maintenance. Finally, we found weaknesses in revenue mobilization with over 40% of bills in arrears, mostly from private users. To build resilience to the financial crisis with enhanced innovations, the study recommends the institution of effective debt recovery strategies such as the provision of pre-paid metering for private users, adoption of a public standpipe pay-as-you-fetch system as well as the introduction of smart tap technology for public standpipes in community-managed water supply systems.
  • A Multi-Criteria Approach for Assessing the Sustainability of Small-Scale Cooking and Sanitation Technologies

    Ariane Krause; Johann Köppel (Librelloph, 2018-06-01)
    To reduce the consumption of firewood for cooking and to realise recycling-driven soil fertility management, three projects in Northwest Tanzania aim to provide the local smallholder community with cooking and sanitation alternatives. The present study proposes an integrated approach to assess the sustainability of the small-scale cooking and sanitation technologies. Based on the multi-criteria decision support approach (MC(D)A), we developed a decision-specific, locally adapted, and participatory assessment tool: the Multi-Criteria Technology Assessment (MCTA). Pre-testing of the tailored tool was set up with representatives of Tanzanian and German partners of case study projects. From a methodological perspective, we conclude that the MCTA uses a set of relevant criteria to realise a transparent and replicable computational Excel-tool. The combination of MC(D)A for structuring the assessment with analytical methods, such as Material Flow Analysis, for describing the performance of alternatives is a promising path for designing integrated approaches to sustainability assessments of technologies. Pre-testing of the tool served as a proof-of-concept for the general design of the method. Future applications and adjustments of the MCTA require the inclusion of end-users, a reasonable and participatory reduction of criteria, and an increase of feedback loops and group discussions between participants and the facilitator to support a common learning about the technologies and thorough understanding of the perspectives of participants.
  • Identifying Context-Specific Categories for Visualizing Livability of Cities—a Case Study of Malmö

    Kyoko Takahashi; Shogo Kudo; Norikazu Furukawa; Doreen Ingosan Allasiw; Eigo Tateishi; Joakim Nordqvist (Librelloph, 2018-11-01)
    Livability is a concept being applied to cities, even though it is vague. Worldwide, there are several livable city ranking schemes in use, which compare the livability of cities by making use of standardized indicator sets. The research presented here recognizes, as a point of departure, that each city is unique, implying that comparisons of cities by standardized categories only does not adequately reflect the reality of each city. A qualitative approach to identify context-specific categories of livability is proposed and employed to the case of Malmo ̈ in Sweden. Through interviews, nine context-specific categories were identified and visualized. The findings of the study demonstrate that a qualitative approach enables a more in-depth description of livability categories because it can capture and illustrate relationships among the categories. An explicit awareness of such relationships may provide a more holistic perspective to city officials and planners as they aim to improve the livability of their cities. The study concludes that a qualitative approach in identifying context-specific categories can complement existing assessment schemes and allow a better grasp of livability challenges to cities.
  • Enabling Transformative Research: Lessons from the Eastern and Southern Africa Partnership Programme (1999-2015)

    Cordula Ott (Librelloph, 2017-02-01)
    World leaders at the 2015 United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in New York have re- confirmed the relevance of sustainability as the guiding paradigm in countering the development and climate crisis of the Anthropocene. Recent decades however, have been characterized by confusion, contestations, and arbitrariness in defining the nature and pathways of sustainable development. Humanity must urgently find ways to unlock the potential of the sustainability paradigm and organize a sustainability transforma- tion. An emerging sustainability science community has already established considerable consensus on essential features of transformative science and research. Sustainability scholars are providing growing evidence that an emancipatory and democratic construction of sustainable development and more equitable, deliberative, and democratized knowledge generation are pivotal in tackling sustainability challenges. These findings are further underpinned by experiences gained in the Eastern and Southern Africa Partnership Programme (1999–2015)—a rare case of a long-term, transnational, and transdisciplinary research en- deavour already completed. The programme fulfilled the dual role which is compulsory in transformative research: It generated contextualized knowledge and innovation at the science–society interface while simultaneously securing meaningful participation and Southern agency in a co-evolutionary process. This paper offers insight into the programme’s adaptive structure and implementation processes, which fostered deliberation, capacity development, and joint programme navigation benchmarked against local needs and broader sustainability demands. The ESAPP experience confirms that, if taken as the overarching frame of reference for all actors involved, the sustainability paradigm unfolds its integrative and transformative power. It enables sustainability-oriented actors from all scientific and practical fields to seek consilience between differing development and innovation paradigms and synchronize their development agendas and research frameworks on behalf of societal co-production of knowledge and innovation. Accordingly, the sustainability paradigm has the power to guide development and innovation policy, and practice out of the current confusion and ineffectiveness.
  • Sustainability Science in the Light of Urban Planning

    François Mancebo (Librelloph, 2017-02-01)
    The purpose of this article is to demonstrate that, as part of its mission, sustainability science can change the way planners engage with urban problems on three points: First, that effective standard planning is an illusion, and the crucial task for urban planners should be considering—on a place-based rationale—the long-term consequences of decisions, policies and, technology change. Second,how it is necessary to develop collaborative planning and co-production of knowledge. Third, to build effective actions on the basis of collaborative planning, it is crucial to take first into account how the population and the institutions respond to and resist change. Conversely, this paper shows that urban planning is also a breeding ground for consolidating the theoretical framework of sustainability science, considering that cities can be seen as paragons of both socio-ecological systems and complex adaptive systems—a position that is discussed throughout the article. Bringing sustainability science and urban planning in closer dialogue with each other, to exploit their potential synergies, has not been done sufficiently: It is an important gap in the academic literature that this article aims at filling.
  • Building Urban Agricultural Commons: A Utopia or a Reality?

    Pierre Donadieu (Librelloph, 2016-04-01)
    There are several categories of urban agriculture which need to be distinguished if we want to efficiently feed urban inhabitants with local agricultural produce while benefiting from other functions filled by urban agricultural landscapes: namely, eco-systemic functions or ecological and social functions. The second function will focus on methods to regulate unbuilt land in urban areas which have virtually no regulations and others which have strict controls preventing construction. The last will consist of possibilities to build, what I would refer to as, urban agricultural commons: in other words, tangible and intangible resources produced with farmers and gardeners for the inhabitants; for their local consumption and for the quality of the living environment, based on a political principle for common action. The concept of common is derived from the works of socioeconomist E. Ostrom (1990; [1]) and French philosophers P. Dardot et C. Laval (2014; [2]): “What is built in common”. It was applied to urban agriculture and landscape (Donadieu, 2012, 2014; [3,4]). The concept of urban agriculture has been used worldwide in the last twenty years by researchers, especially in France by A. Fleury (2005; [5]) and P. Donadieu(1998; [6]), in Mediterranean regions (Nasr and Padilla, 2004; [7]), in Asia, Africa and North and South America—all through the publications of the Resource Centres Urban Agriculture & Food Security (RUAF; [8]).
  • Challenges in Sustainability: Another Brick in the Wall

    Barry Ness; José Alberto Fernandez Monteiro (Librelloph, 2014-04-01)
    We are proud of Challenges in Sustainability's (CiS) fruitful start. A variety of quality research articles, editorials and notes have been published on a range of themes and topics, including sustainability governance [1], improved cookstoves [2,3], the potentials of 3-D printing in the global South [4], and the need for consiliences between the natural and social sciences and the humanities [5], to name just a few. Furthermore, despite the journal's short history, we are pleased with its high visibility, where numerous articles have been viewed or downloaded over 1200 times since publication. The high exposure rate and the quality of publications affirm our aspirations for stable growth and development in the future.
  • Action Research: An Essential Approach for Constructing the Development of Sustainable Urban Agricultural Systems

    Antonia Djmela Bousbaine; Christopher Robin Bryant (Librelloph, 2016-04-01)
    How can research contribute more directly to promoting and leading to sustainable solutions and projects? This article suggests that one of the most important research approaches capable of achieving this is the Action Research approach. This involves the researcher taking on a number of roles when working with other actors (e.g. citizens, farmers, local elected officials, citizen associations, government representatives. . . with the specific set of actors depending upon the nature of the subject being investigated and for which solutions are sought). The roles that the researcher can play involve providing appropriate information to the other actors, providing counseling to them, organizing and animating meetings with the actors, and accompanying the whole process involving all the actors. These roles are essentially played out by the researcher when the other actors request the researcher to assume whichever roles they consider to be significant. The fundamental notion is that through this process the actors appropriate the sustainable solutions as their own, and the researcher helps them achieve this. This article is based on: a) a synthesis of pertinent research using the Action Research approach (specifically in relation to sustainable agricultural systems in periurban territories), and b) specific research undertaken by the two co-authors of the article, all in the context of periurban agricultural systems during the last 8 years, as well as on some of their publications. The necessary characteristics of Action Research and the researchers involved are identified, namely: a) patience; b) an emphasis on process; and c) an emphasis on participation on the part of multiple actors.
  • Urban Agriculture, Commons and Urban Policies: Scaling up Local Innovation

    François Mancebo (Librelloph, 2016-04-01)
    May urban agriculture be the cornerstone that helps reconfigure more sustainable cities and if so, under which conditions? And if so, what type of urban agriculture? Such are the two issues underlying this article. Why not counteracting urban sprawl by fostering what could be called “rural sprawl”, by introducing nature and rural characteristics such as farming within the city, in its interstitial areas and wastelands? In this perspective, urban agriculture becomes a common good, bringing people together and reshaping the whole urban fabric that would eventually propose a radical remaking of the urban. Urban agriculture lends particularly well to long-lasting urban policies, especially those turning environmental “bads”—such as brownfields and wastelands—into environmental “goods” and urban amenities. Urban agriculture in interstitial abandoned urban areas may be one of cities’ main seedbeds of creative innovation. It is all about the right to decide and the power to create, renewing and deepening what Henri Lefebvre called The Right to the City.
  • Sustaining Welfare for Future Generations: A Review Note on the Capital Approach to the Measurement of Sustainable Development

    Thorvald Moe; Knut Halvor Alfsen; Mads Greaker (Librelloph, 2013-05-01)
    Measuring sustainable development based on analytical models of growth and development and modern methods of growth accounting is an economic approach—often called the capital approach – to establishing sustainable development indicators (SDIs). Ecological approaches may be combined with the capital approach, but there are also other approaches to establishing sustainable development indicators—for example the so-called integrated approach. A recent survey of the various approaches is provided in UNECE, OECD and Eurostat [1]. This review note is not intended to be another survey of the various approaches. Rather the objective of this paper is twofold: to present an update on an economic approach to measuring sustainable development—the capital approach—and how this approach may be combined with the ecological approach; to show how this approach is actually used as a basis for longer-term policies to enhance sustainable development in Norway—a country that relies heavily on non-renewable natural resources. We give a brief review of recent literature and set out a model of development based on produced, human, natural and social capital, and the level of technology. Natural capital is divided into two parts—natural capital produced and sold in markets (oil and gas)—and non-market natural capital such as clean air and biodiversity. Weak sustainable development is defined as non-declining welfare per capita if the total stock of a nation's capital is maintained. Strong sustainable development is if none of the capital stocks, notably non-market natural capital, is reduced below critical or irreversible levels. Within such a framework, and based on Norwegian experience and statistical work, monetary indexes of national wealth and its individual components including real capital, human capital and market natural capital are presented. Limits to this framework and to these calculations are then discussed, and we argue that such monetary indexes should be sustainable development indicators (SDIs) of non-market natural capital, and physical SDIs, health capital and social capital. Thus we agree with the Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi Commission [2] that monetary indexes of capital should be combined with physical SDIs of capital that have no market prices. We then illustrate the policy relevance of this framework, and how it is actually being used in long term policy making in Norway—a country that relies heavily on non-renewable resources like oil and gas. A key sustainability rule for Norwegian policies is to maintain the total future capital stocks per capita in real terms as the country draws down its stocks of non-renewable natural capital —applying a fiscal guideline akin to the Hartwick rule. <br />
  • A Review of 'Energy and Transport in Green Transition: Perspectives on Ecomodernity'

    David Harnesk (Librelloph, 2016-06-01)
    The book “Energy and Transport in Green Transitions – Perspectives on Ecomodernity” deals with the societally and scientifically crucial topic of energy and climate change mitigation. The book starts by setting high ambitions as the authors attempt “to go beyond both the extremism of the anti-capitalist critique and the radical enthusiasm of techno-economic positivism” in their exploration to find ways to resolve political, economic and technological entanglements “to boost a greener economy and culture”. It aims to so through a regional comparative study that looks at mature Western economies, the rapidly developing China, and the developing economies in sub-Saharan Africa. The authors present an excellent descriptive historical review for those interested in the broader picture of energy production and automobile sector in the regions addressed. However, in an attempt to cover as much ground as possible while assuring "maximum accessibility”, the authors' explanation of the dynamics of change involved is not conveyed in an analytically convincing manner.<br />
  • Mobile Open-Source Solar-Powered 3-D Printers for Distributed Manufacturing in Off-Grid Communities

    Debbie L. King; Adegboyega Babasola; Joseph Rozario; Joshua M. Pearce (Librelloph, 2014-04-01)
    Manufacturing in areas of the developing world that lack electricity severely restricts the technical sophistication of what is produced. More than a billion people with no access to electricity still have access to some imported higher-technologies; however, these often lack customization and often appropriateness for their community. Open source appropriate tech­nology (OSAT) can over­come this challenge, but one of the key impediments to the more rapid development and distri­bution of OSAT is the lack of means of production beyond a specific technical complexity. This study designs and demonstrates the technical viability of two open-source mobile digital manufacturing facilities powered with solar photovoltaics, and capable of printing customizable OSAT in any com­munity with access to sunlight. The first, designed for com­munity use, such as in schools or maker­spaces, is semi-mobile and capable of nearly continuous 3-D printing using RepRap technology, while also powering multiple computers. The second design, which can be completely packed into a standard suitcase, allows for specialist travel from community to community to provide the ability to custom manufacture OSAT as needed, anywhere. These designs not only bring the possibility of complex manufacturing and replacement part fabrication to isolated rural communities lacking access to the electric grid, but they also offer the opportunity to leap-frog the entire conventional manufacturing supply chain, while radically reducing both the cost and the environmental impact of products for developing communities.
  • Sustainability of Fiscal Policy in Democracies and Autocracies

    Stefan Wurster (Librelloph, 2015-01-01)
    This paper tries to identify the fiscal sustainability record of democratically and autocratically governed countries by applying various performance indicators (credit worthiness, payment defaults, national debt, foreign assets) and also to clarify what effect the characteristics of a regime have on consolidation efforts in a country. The study identifies two key findings. While in the past, democracies have clearly found it easier to preserve their credit standing and solvency and to avoid government bankruptcy, a similar advantage can no longer be detected for democracies in terms of reducing national debt and foreign debts. Why democracies, in spite of their arrangements with a sensitivity for the public good and for due process, are finding it so difficult to avoid shifting their debts to future generations, to undertake cutback measures and to provide sufficient financial foresight, can in principle be interpreted as the other side of the coin, namely highly presence-oriented interests boosted even further through the short "democracy-specific time horizon".
  • Sustainability Challenges in an Urban Century: Can We Change Urbanization Paths to Make Cities the Solutions for Rather than the Drivers of Global Problems?

    Jose Antonio Puppim de Oliveira (Librelloph, 2019-03-01)
    Is urbanization a danger or a solution to global sustainability? What institutions need to change to make urban areas more sustainable? In examining urbanization rates in countries over time, we see that they are often more correlated to carbon dioxide emissions than per capital income [1]. This tells us that urbanization patterns of the last 100 years have contributed to the increase in carbon emissions. We therefore need to develop a new kind of urbanization in order to tackle global challenges. However, reports about global changes often portray urbanization as “a problem”. Cities are polluted and increasingly crowded; urban inhabitants consume proportionately more resources and are responsible for a large portion of carbon emissions ([2], p. 927). As a urban planner, when I read those reports it seems I am looking at the books of urban planning in the last century, particularly those on urbanization in the colonies, where urbanization was presented as an unwanted process that caused a lot of harms to the “civilization” [3,4]. We must therefore change the discourse on how we describe urbanization if we want to transform it, as it will not be stopped. We must stress the many benefits that urbanization has brought to society, which are the main reasons people want to come to the cities in the first place. A question to be considered is therefore how to make urban life compatible with global challenges? i.e., how can we continue implementing/developing urbanization and the benefits that come with it without disproportionally increasing carbon emissions, the destruction of ecosystems and unsustainable consumption. There are many opportunities for win-win strategies between global sustainability challenges and development in urban areas, or synergies, such as climate co-benefits, i.e., tackling climate change and promoting development, particularly in some developing countries where cities are still being built and the path of urbanization can be changed [5,6]. Nevertheless, despite all we have learned about urbanization and the possible co-benefits opportunities since the last century, we lack understanding of the contextual and institutional conditions that make those solutions emerge. <br />
  • Analyzing Effects Of Climate Variability In The Nexus Of Informal Microfinance Institutions: A Case Study Of Tharaka South Subcounty, Kenya

    Caxton Gitonga Kaua; Thuita Thenya; Jane Mutune Mutheu (Librelloph, 2021-02-01)
    <p>Climate variability is variation of climate elements from the longterm mean state on all spatiotemporal scales. Climate variability affects microfinance institutions directly and indirectly through physical and transition risks. However, no studies have analyzed the effects of climate variability in relation to informal microfinance institutions. The study, therefore, aimed to analyze the effects of climate variability in relation to informal microfinance institutions. It used a descriptive study design and multi-stage sampling design. Data was analyzed using thematic analysis, descriptive analysis, and Kendall’s tau-b correlation analysis. The study found a positive trend in climate variability (τ<em><sub>b</sub></em> = 0.174, α>0.05). Local people are highly vulnerable to climate variability as confirmed by 98.7% of the respondents who observed that climate variability affects their livelihoods. This vulnerability stems from the effect of climate variability on access to capital assets and livelihood strategies. Vulnerability to climate variability has a significant negative effect on loan repayment performance, loan access and sustainability, and hence on informal microfinance performance (τ<em><sub>b</sub></em> = - 0.109**, <em>P</em><0.01). Nevertheless, climate variability increases participation in informal microfinance institutions as shown by the positive relationship with the number of people who joined informal microfinance institutions (τ<em><sub>b</sub></em> = 0.239**, <em>P</em><0.01) and the number formed per year (τ<em><sub>b</sub></em> = 0.137, <em>P</em><0.01) from 1981 to 2018. This is because informal microfinance institutions help vulnerable households in building resilience to climate variability as observed by 80.8% of the respondents.. The characteristics of informal microfinance institutions have positive or negative relationships with vulnerability to climate variability. These relationships are and could be further leveraged upon to address effects of climate variability on informal microfinance institutions. Detailed contextual analysis of informal microfinance institutions in the nexus of climate variability is thus imperative to inform actions aimed at cushioning the groups and their members against the impacts.</p>
  • A Conceptual Research on the Contribution of Integrated Management Systems to the Circular Economy

    Louis Maximilian Ronalter; Camila Fabrício Poltronieri; Mateus Cecilio Gerolamo; Merce Bernardo (Librelloph, 2022-06-01)
    Companies worldwide strive to become more sustainable, and, in this context, the circular economy (CE) gains importance as alternative system as opposed to the linear economy. Since executive mangers around the world work with management systems (MSs) to guide and improve organizational operations, this work aims to explore how integrated MSs (IMS) as business tools can contribute to the adoption of CE principles at the corporate level. To achieve this objective, a systematic literature review is performed, which results in a synthesis sample of 18 academic papers. The findings reveal how MSs contribute to CE adoption and, therefore, demonstrate that managers can use IMS to foster CE implementation. In addition, the findings highlight the importance of institutional intervention in the transition from a linear towards a circular designed economy. The paper contributes to academia by linking the concepts of IMS and CE, synthesizing the current academic knowledge at hand, and proposing a comprehensive research agenda that sets the path for future academic investigations. In a practical perspective, the paper contributes also to managers since it emphasizes how IMS can be used to incorporate circular business thinking into operations management.
  • Sustainability Transformations: Emerging Pathways Toward Safe and Just Futures for People and the Planet

    Christopher J Orr; Katie Kish (Librelloph, 2022-04-01)
    We are pleased to introduce the third special issue in Challenges in Sustainability entitled Sustainability transformations: Emerging pathways toward safe and just futures for people and the planet.
  • An Expert Elicitation of Public Acceptance of Renewable Energy in Kenya

    Bob van der Zwaan; Francesco Dalla Longa; Helena de Boer; Francis Johnson; Oliver Johnson; Marieke van Klaveren; Jessanne Mastop; Mbeo Ogeya; Mariëlle Rietkerk; Koen Straver (Librelloph, 2019-03-01)
    This article reports evidence for substantial public support for the large-scale deployment of three renewable energy options in Kenya: wind, solar PV, and geothermal energy. With these renewable technologies, the government of Kenya could make a large contribution to reaching its national commitment under the Paris Agreement. Prices, infrastructural needs, and land-use requirements importantly contribute to shaping public opinion about these renewable energy alternatives, in different ways and directions for wind, PV, and geothermal energy. While overall the evaluation of these technologies is positive, public authorities should be wary of the possible inconveniences and drawbacks associated with them. Anticipating and, where possible, mitigating these shortcomings in national climate and energy development plans could preclude some of them becoming possible hindrances for broad-scale adoption of wind, PV, and geothermal energy. Furthering quantitative public acceptance studies, like the one presented here based on (semi-)expert elicitation and information-choice questionnaires, can assist in Kenya fully reaching its national climate and energy ambitions. More generally, we argue that the establishment of affordable, clean, and secure energy systems, as well as the mitigation of global climate change, can benefit from stakeholder engagement and public survey analysis like the one performed in our study – in developing countries as much as in the developed part of the world.

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