Lab

SOcio-eNvironmental dYnAmics Research Group - SONYA

About the lab

SONYA is a research group connecting different perspectives and disciplines for the study of the links between society and environment.

Featured projects (3)

Project
LAMARTRA addresses the interlinkages between transition processes of decarbonisation and work & employment. How to understand the ongoing and future developments of the low-carbon and 'labour' transitions, and which governance strategies are available in Belgium to ensure the joint pursuit of climate targets and ‘just’ work and employment?
Project
Various network governance constellations are being developed for the stimulation, co-creation and institutional anchorage of sustainability-oriented innovation and grassroots initiatives. Beyond this bright and mobilizing side of transitions governance, this project deliberately targets its crucial but hitherto relatively neglected counterpart of exnovation. How can the existing governance arrangements and regulatory frameworks in the Brussels Capital Region be supported in dealing with the sustainable economy transition and its exnovation challenges? To find more information about our research, please follow us on our website https://exnovation.brussels/ or on facebook https://www.facebook.com/GOSETEproject
Project
TRANSIT is a European Community funded (FP7) research initiative, responding to the call for research on "Social Innovation: empowering people, changing societies". It is coordinated by DRIFT (Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands), and involves twelve separate research institutes from across Europe and Latin-America (including the UFRJ/Coppe DESIS Lab). It aims to develop a theory of transformative social innovation, by studying how networks of social entrepreneurs and families of social innovation projects contribute to systemic societal change. Website: http://www.transitsocialinnovation.eu/

Featured research (5)

La décroissance, post-croissance, ou la simplicité volontaire, proposent à des degrés divers de découpler la satisfaction de vie de la richesse matérielle. Mais à y regarder de près, quels sont nos rapports quotidiens, structurels, psychologiques, symboliques, aux objets ? Ce texte propose une libre exploration de ces interrogations en partant du monde vécu et de l'environnement direct d'un citoyen d'un pays européen. En plaçant non pas les principes, mais les objets dans leur concrétude, au centre des méditations qui suivent, apparaît une foule de questions diffractées sur plusieurs plans, à chaque fois comme reflétées par les surfaces matérielles des objets et leur omniprésence dans nos vies. La signification que nous leur donnons, les histoires dont ils sont porteurs, les réseaux et les impacts qui en sont indissociables, ce dont ils témoignent quant à nos valeurs, seront ainsi abordés. Mais aussi la pérennité ou non des objets, leur diversité comparée entre des pays industrialisés et des sociétés du passé, leur différences avec le monde naturel. S'il y a un certain nombre d'auteurs cités en appui à ce texte, ils jouent plutôt comme des inspirations, des résonances pour enrichir l'un ou l'autre sujet. Toutefois cette réflexion, plutôt d'ordre littéraire ou philosophique, formule beaucoup d'hypothèses qui ne sont pas nécessairement démontrées. Le pari est qu'elle puisse fournir certains points de réflexion utiles pour l'élaboration d'un droit post-croissance .
This paper responds to the need in innovation research for conceptual clarity and solid theory on social innovation (SI). The paper conceptualizes SI as changing social relations, involving new ways of doing, knowing, framing and organizing, and theorizes transformative social innovation (TSI) as the process of SI challenging, altering, or replacing dominant institutions in a specific social-material context. Three advances towards TSI theory are proposed. First, we reflect epistemologically on the challenges of theory-building, and propose an appropriate research design and methodology. Middle-range theory is developed through iteration between theoretical insights and comparative empirical study of 20 transnational SI networks and about 100 associated initiatives. Second, we synthesize various innovation theories and social theories into a relational framework that articulates the distributed agency and institutional hybridization involved. Third, we formulate twelve propositions on the emergence of SI initiatives, on the development of SI ecosystems, on institutionalization processes, and on the historical shaping of SI. The paper ends with a critical assessment of the advances made, also identifying further challenges for TSI theory and practice.
How much finance should be provided to support climate change adaptation and by whom? How should it be allocated, and on what basis? Over the years, various actors have expressed different normative expectations on climate finance. Which of these expectations are being met and which are not; why, and with what consequences? Have new norms and rules emerged, which remain contested? This article takes stock of the first 25+ years of adaptation finance under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and seeks to understand whether adaptation finance has become more justly governed and delivered over the past quarter century. We distinguish among three "eras" of adaptation finance: (1) the early years under the UNFCCC (1992-2008); (2) the Copenhagen shift (2009-2015); and (3) the post-Paris era (2016-2018). For each era, we systematically review the justice issues raised by evolving expectations and rules over the provision, distribution, and governance of adaptation finance. We conclude by outlining future perspectives for adaptation finance and their implications for climate justice.
Most households in Uganda depend on traditional use of wood fuels associated with huge environmental and health issues. Even with the future development of a sustainable national grid, small-scale solutions like efficient biomass stoves, biochar, and biogas installations will remain important. Despite the apparent benefits from clean cooking resulting from “dissemination” programs since the 1980's, many developing country households have been slow to adopt them. Hence, questions arise concerning commercially viable business development. This study takes a qualitative approach and actors-based perspective from the major players at the supply-side of the clean cooking on biomass market sector. A field research in Kampala (Uganda) explored the success factors according to local private actors' perceptions. The confrontation between these perceptions and a literature-based success-factor framework revealed original insights in terms of enabling conditions to strengthen the supply-side, related to the demand-side and the clean cooking market. First, becoming a ‘clean cooking champion’ is still highly dependent on the role of supportive and intervening development programs, especially in terms of financing, capacity-building, and awareness-raising. Second, up to now, carbon finance is an additional incentive rather than a determining factor for business activities in the clean cooking sector. Third, while some policies and targets exist, private sector respondents lament the lack of a level playing field and the competition of the informal cooking sector. Thus, this research provides an empirical basis for a possible approach to leverage private sector experience and expertise to improve access to clean cooking on biomass in Uganda. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2211464518302525
The sources and governance of climate finance have been widely debated since the 2009 climate change summit in Copenhagen, when rich countries promised to provide US$ 30 billion in additional climate finance by 2012 and to mobilize US$ 100 billion a year by 2020 to address the mitigation and adaptation needs of developing countries. Have developed countries respected their financial commitments? Which countries have been the main beneficiaries of international climate money? As simple as these questions may seem, answers to them have proved to be highly controversial and have contributed to a continuous erosion of trust between Parties in international climate negotiations. This article explores the controversies around international climate finance figures. It examines how the lack of internationally agreed modalities to account for climate finance has given rise to a plethora of accounting and reporting practices that leads to widely contrasting statements on climate finance. We show that, despite some gaps, the Paris Agreement’s “enhanced transparency framework” could lead to marked improvements in the way climate finance is accounted and reported.

Lab head

Maria Mancilla Garcia
Department
  • Institute for Environmental Management and Land-use Planning (IGEAT)

Members (16)

Edwin Zaccaï
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles
Bonno Pel
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles
Romain Weikmans
  • Finnish Institute of International Affairs
Bauler Tom
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles
WMJ Achten
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles
Julien Vanhulst
  • Universidad Católica del Maule
Samuel Lietaer
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles
Marine Lugen
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles
A. Paige Fischer
A. Paige Fischer
  • Not confirmed yet
G R Meredith
G R Meredith
  • Not confirmed yet
Fanny Lajarthe
Fanny Lajarthe
  • Not confirmed yet
S. M. Alexander
S. M. Alexander
  • Not confirmed yet
K. Ingold
K. Ingold
  • Not confirmed yet