Peter Newell

Peter Newell
University of Sussex · Department of International Relations

About

163
Publications
79,036
Reads
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10,071
Citations
Citations since 2016
41 Research Items
6458 Citations
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201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,000
201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,000
Additional affiliations
August 2011 - present
University of Sussex
Position
  • Professor of International Relations
April 2007 - August 2011
University of East Anglia
Position
  • Professor of International Development
January 1999 - April 2005
Institute of Development Studies
Position
  • Fellow

Publications

Publications (163)
Article
Amid growing recognition of the need for supply-side policies which set limits on the further expansion of fossil fuel extraction and use, in this article we consider possible elements of a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty (FF NPT), behind which there is growing momentum. We elaborate on the possible institutional mechanisms, principles, proced...
Article
There is a puzzle regarding the electrification of cooking. While important advances have been made in the provision of clean cooking on the one hand, and there have been heightened efforts to increase rates of electrification throughout the world on the other, the two policy objectives are often not integrated, despite the overlapping health, envi...
Book
In this Element, the authors develop an account of the role of behaviour change that is more political and social by bringing questions of power and social justice to the heart of their enquiry in order to appreciate how questions of responsibility and agency are unevenly distributed within and between societies. The result is a more holistic under...
Article
The world must ambitiously curtail greenhouse gas emissions to achieve climate stability. The literature often supposes that a low-carbon future will depend on a mix of technological innovation—improving the performance of new technologies and systems—as well as more sustainable behaviours such as travelling less or reducing waste. To what extent a...
Chapter
This chapter examines the need not just for transitions, but more fundamental transformations, in the relationship between finance, poverty and sustainability. Conventional accounts posit that mobilising finance on an ever-larger scale, especially from the private sector, is a pre-requisite to tackling poverty and achieving the Sustainable Developm...
Article
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Calls for climate justice abound as evidence accumulates of the growing social and environmental injustices aggravated or driven by climate change. There is now a considerable and diverse literature on procedural, distributional and intergenerational dimensions, including questions of recognition in climate justice. Yet its meaning, scope and pract...
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Despite three decades of political efforts and a wealth of research on the causes and catastrophic impacts of climate change, global carbon dioxide emissions have continued to rise and are 60% higher today than they were in 1990. Exploring this rise through nine thematic lenses—covering issues of climate governance, the fossil fuel industry, geopol...
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Non-technical summaryScaling sustainable behaviour change means addressing politics, power and social justice to tackle the uneven distribution of responsibility and agency for climate action, within and between societies. This requires a holistic understanding of behaviour that bridges the ‘individual’ and ‘systemic’, and acknowledges the need for...
Article
Transition scholars are increasingly addressing questions of power and politics in their explanations of the direction and form of sustainability transitions. Drawing on insights from neo-Gramscian scholarship to enhance the conceptualisation of power in sustainability transitions, we develop a theoretical account of how combinations of incumbent a...
Preprint
Behaviours change. That much we know. But there is little consensus about how best to deliberately shape and directly influence everyday behaviours around transport, food and energy use in more sustainable directions and where responsibility and agency to effect that change lies. This report of the Cambridge Sustainability Commission on Scaling Sus...
Article
Once again, the issue of race is dominating world events. Acts of police violence and the removal of statues of slave traders have drawn attention to issues of structural inequality, institutional racism and historical exploitation, particularly that which is associated with colonialism. I want to argue in this perspective article that the study of...
Article
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In a context of climate emergency and calls from the IPCC for “transformative systemic change,” we need to revisit the role of business in helping to accelerate responses to climate crisis. The scale and depth of the challenges facing business have intensified in ways which force us to refocus our research on questions of urgency and speed, as well...
Article
It is becoming increasingly clear that deep and rapid transitions in technologies, infrastructures and ways of organising the economy are imperative if we are to live safely within planetary boundaries. But what historical precedents are there for such profound shifts within short spaces of time, and what were the enabling conditions? When have tra...
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Non-technical summary Despite efforts to address the global forest crisis, deforestation and degradation continue, so we need to urgently revisit possible solutions. A failure to halt the global forest crisis contributes to climate change and biodiversity loss and will continue to result in inequalities in access to, and benefits from, forest resou...
Article
With fires, storms, social protests, and climate strikes sweeping the world, 2019 should have been a tipping point in how the world responds to global heating. This was the backdrop to the COP25 climate change summit which took place in Madrid in December 2019. This paper assesses the outcomes of the meeting and the path towards the critically impo...
Book
Cambridge Core - Environmental Policy, Economics and Law - Global Green Politics - by Peter Newell
Article
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This paper examines the political economic and governance challenges faced by African governments in operationalizing Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) as part of their pursuit of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There is a need to enrich our understanding of the diverse contexts and ways in which governments will have to navi...
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A new approach is needed to tackle the climate crisis, in which the long overlooked supply-side of fossil fuels takes centre stage. A crucial aspect of this is the need for international agreements and law to effectively and fairly leave large swathes of remaining fossil fuels in the ground. Towards that end, we make the case for a Fossil Fuel Non-...
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The geophysical phenomena of climate change impact on the existing organization of energy economies and their attendant politics in multiple ways—at times magnifying and at other times dampening pressures on contemporary energy systems. Climate change has been increasingly viewed as a 'threat multiplier'. However, the geophysical phenomena of clima...
Article
What does IPE have to contribute to pressing policy and academic debates about the urgently required transition to a low carbon global economy? Despite the obviously global, political and economic dimensions of such a transition, insights from IPE have yet to be brought to bear on the question of what form such a transition might take: the relation...
Article
Meeting the climate change targets in the Paris Agreement implies a substantial and rapid acceleration of low-carbon transitions. Combining insights from political science, policy analysis and socio-technical transition studies, this paper addresses the politics of deliberate acceleration by taking stock of emerging examples, mobilizing relevant th...
Chapter
Full-text available
The Politics of Fossil Fuel Subsidies and their Reform - edited by Jakob Skovgaard August 2018
Chapter
Climate change governance is in a state of enormous flux. New and more dynamic forms of governing are appearing around the international climate regime centred on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). They appear to be emerging spontaneously from the bottom up, producing a more dispersed pattern of governing, which Nob...
Article
Understanding how, why, and whether the trade-offs and tensions around simultaneous implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals are resolved both sustainably and equitably requires an appreciation of power relations across multiple scales of governance. We explore the politics and political economy of how the nexus around food, energy, and...
Article
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The food and agriculture sector is both a major contributor to climate change and especially vulnerable to its worst impacts. This means that much is at stake in what is a complex set of contested political dynamics as new governance agendas are rolled out. On one hand, there is a strong push for ‘climate-smart agriculture’ (CSA) and related initia...
Article
Sustainability transitions is an emerging field of research that has produced both conceptual understandings of the drivers of technological transitions, as well as more prescriptive and policy-engaged analyses of how shifts from unsustainable to sustainable forms of production and consumption can be achieved. Yet attention towards the role of the...
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This paper investigates how piloting programmes in China can promote local policy innovations. By using one of the piloting emission trading schemes (ETS) in Guangdong province as a case study, it is argued that the main features of the piloting experiments, particularly in the climate change domain, are largely different from previous local market...
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Analysing key initiatives in the area of climate-smart agriculture and the politics which surround them, this paper identifies the dominant discourses shaping the debate through a discussion of discursive sites of power and by mapping the emerging ‘regime complex’ of institutional power that operates at the interface of the climate and agrifood sys...
Article
Climate change adaptation refers to altering infrastructure, institutions or ecosystems to respond to the impacts of climate change. Least developed countries often lack the requisite capacity to implement adaptation projects. The Global Environment Facility’s Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) is a scheme where industrialised countries have dis...
Article
What is the relationship between the direction and form of an energy transition and the political economy within which it is embedded? This paper explores how the nature of (low carbon) energy transitions is strongly influenced by the process of neoliberalisation that shape energy policy in the South. We seek to understand emergent energy transitio...
Article
In an Editorial now published in “Global Environmental Change”, 18 climate policy researchers argue that analyses of equity and justice are absolutely essential for our ability to understand climate politics and contribute to concrete efforts to achieve adequate, fair and enduring climate action for present and future generations. Climate change ac...
Article
What is the role of the climate regime in facilitating rapid decarbonization of the world’s energy systems? We examine how core assumptions concerning the roles of the nation state, carbon markets and finance and technology in international climate policy are being challenged by the realities of how transitions in the energy systems are unfolding....
Chapter
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This chapter explores competing accounts of the nature and development of carbon markets. We combine ideas about the performative nature of carbon markets and the techniques and modes of governance required to allow them to operate with political economy readings of the relations of power which give rise to and characterise them. We do this in orde...
Article
There is a strong sense of malaise surrounding climate politics today. This has been created at least in part by factors such as the chasm between the scale of action required and the adequacy of current political commitments, stalemate in global negotiations, the low price of carbon, and a growing sense of indifference among the publics of some de...
Book
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Multiple ‘green transformations’ are required if humanity is to live sustainably on planet Earth. Recalling past transformations, this book examines what makes the current challenge different, and especially urgent. It examines how green transformations must take place in the context of the particular moments of capitalist development, and in relat...
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The LivingWith Environmental Change Partnership brings together 22 public sector organisations that fund, carry out and use environmental research and observations. They include the UK research councils, government departments with environmental responsibilities, devolved administrations and government agencies. The private sector is represented by...
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This paper explores the political economy of energy transition in South Africa. An economic model based around a powerful ‘minerals-energy complex’ that has previously been able to provide domestic and foreign capital with cheap and plentiful coal-generated electricity is no longer economically or environmentally sustainable. The paper analyses the...
Article
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Calls for more broad-based, integrated, useful knowledge now abound in the world of global environmental change science. They evidence many scientists' desire to help humanity confront the momentous biophysical implications of its own actions. But they also reveal a limited conception of social science and virtually ignore the humanities. They ther...
Book
It is increasingly clear that the world of climate politics is no longer confined to the activities of national governments and international negotiations. Critical to this transformation of the politics of climate change has been the emergence of new forms of transnational governance that cut across traditional state-based jurisdictions and operat...
Chapter
The world of climate politics is increasingly no longer confined to the activities of national governments and international negotiations. Critical to this transformation of the politics of climate change has been the emergence of new forms of transnational governance that cut across traditional state-based jurisdictions and operate across public a...
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There is growing international focus on how to support more integrated approaches to addressing climate change in ways that capture synergies and minimise the trade-offs between climate change mitigation, adaptation and development. These aims are embodied in the concept of climate compatible development (CCD). But what does this look like in pract...
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Going beyond a narrow account of the institutions and decision-making processes which formally govern the Clean Development Mechanism, this article explores the deeper politics and political economy of Argentina to show how relations of power within and beyond the state significantly configure the nature of carbon markets and their scope to enable...
Article
Despite significant technological advances in emerging economies, the further development of clean energy technologies in developing countries remains crucial to reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with economic development. In this paper we address two significant gaps in the growing body of literature that has assessed the role of th...
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This paper explores the political economy of the ‘just transition’ to a low carbon economy. The idea of a ‘just transition’ increasingly features in policy and political discourse and appeals to the need to ensure that efforts to steer society towards a lower carbon future are underpinned by attention to issues of equity and justice: to those curre...
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This article explores and critically examines the connections between tax and development on the one hand and tax and corporate social responsibility (csr) on the other. It does so because, while there is increasing recognition of the importance of taxation to efforts to resource the state and to finance ways of tackling poverty, there is a surpris...
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This review critically assesses a large and growing literature on multi-actor environmental governance. The first section provides an histor-ical and conceptual background to the observed increase in such ar-rangements. The second section describes the diversity of governance arrangements and the related actor constellations to address environ-ment...
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This article explores the ways in which the "global" governance of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) intersects with the "local" politics of resource regimes that are enrolled in carbon markets through the production and trade in Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs). It shows how political structures and decision-making procedures set up at th...
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With this paper we present an analysis of sixty transnational governance initiatives and assess the implications for our understanding of the roles of public and private actors, the legitimacy of governance ‘beyond’ the state, and the North–South dimensions of governing climate change. In the first part of the paper we examine the notion of transna...
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The United Nations conference in Rio de Janeiro in June is an important opportunity to improve the institutional framework for sustainable development.
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The current institutional framework for sustainable development is by far not strong enough to bring about the swift transformative progress that is needed. This article contends that incrementalism—the main approach since the 1972 Stockholm Conference—will not suffice to bring about societal change at the level and speed needed to mitigate and ada...
Book
The New Carbon Economy provides a critical understanding of the carbon economy. It offers key insights into the constitution, governance and effects of the carbon economy, across a variety of geographical settings. Examines different dimensions of the carbon economy from a range of disciplinary angles in a diversity of settings Provides ways for re...
Article
Science assessments indicate that human activities are moving several of Earth's sub-systems outside the range of natural variability typical for the previous 500,000 years (1, 2). Human societies must now change course and steer away from critical tipping points in the Earth system that might lead to rapid and irreversible change (3). This require...
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Despite ongoing faith in their ability to deliver meaningful reductions in GHG emissions as the Durban climate summit approaches in December 2011 and as the end of the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012 looms large, carbon markets have been adversely affected by low prices that are failing to drive necessary investment in low-car...
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This article focuses on the disjuncture between regulatory problems generated by the rapid development of, and subsequent trade in crop GMOs, and the ability of existing mechanisms of international governance to manage human and ecological risks associated with the new technology. The article assesses the ways in which globalisation of economic act...
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Globalisation and the international governance of modern biotechnology: promoting food security?
Article
Strong and effective systems of governance are required to steer energy finance towards the fulfilment of policy goals around energy security, energy poverty and sustainability. This article assesses and explains the nature of the contemporary governance of energy finance. It first provides a typology and analysis of the different governance dimens...
Article
  In this paper, we use insights derived from a critical evaluation of ecological modernisation theories to examine the origins and influence of new, market-based, forms of carbon governance. Focusing on two key examples—emissions trading in Europe and the global market in offsets—we argue that ecological modernisation theories can help us understa...
Article
Global policies and instruments to tackle climate change look very different once translated into domestic programmes of action, reflecting varied institutional capacity, competing priorities, and diverse political cultures and political economies. In light of these variations, this article analyses how clean energy is governed in India, both throu...
Article
IntroductionConstituting the “New” Carbon EconomyGoverning the “New” Carbon EconomyEffects of the “New” Carbon EconomyConclusions AcknowledgementsReferences
Chapter
Introduction This chapter uses the lens of accountability to analyse the strategies of a range of civil society groups in their engagement with key actors in the global regime on climate change. It seeks to account for the degree of effectiveness of these strategies in constructing and enforcing mechanisms of accountability in global climate politi...
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This paper looks at the ways in which clean energy is being governed in India. It analyses and seeks to explain the nature of governance arrangements and policy-making processes around the development of energy sources and technologies defined as ‘clean’ both by the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and beyond. Such an analysis requires an assessme...
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This paper explores the opportunities for a ‘just transition’ to low carbon and sustainable energy systems; one that addresses the current inequities in the distribution of energy benefits and their human and ecological costs. In order to prioritize policies that address energy poverty alleviation and sustainability concerns, national action and hi...
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There is now significant policy and academic interest in the governance of science and technology for sustainable development. In recent years this has come to include a growing emphasis on issues of public understanding of science and innovative processes of deliberative and inclusive policy-making around controversial technologies such as nuclear...
Book
Governing Climate Change provides a short and accessible introduction to how climate change is governed by an increasingly diverse range of actors, from civil society and market actors to multilateral development banks, donors and cities. The issue of global climate change has risen to the top of the international political agenda. Despite ongoing...
Book
Confronting climate change is now understood as a problem of ‘decarbonising' the global economy: ending our dependence on carbon-based fossil fuels. This book explores whether such a transformation is underway, how it might be accelerated, and the complex politics of this process. Given the dominance of global capitalism and free-market ideologies,...
Article
It is about social justice and the human rights of the world's poor and marginalised. Failure to act on climate change would be tantamount to a systematic violation of the human rights of the poor. (Watkins 2007) climate change has clear and immediate implications of the full realization of human rights, including inter alia, the right to life, the...
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This overview discusses a series of themes critical to understanding the governance of clean development that cut across each of the case studies showcased in this special issue. Firstly, the question of who draws the boundaries around what is to be governed, what is not, and by whom, where each of the contributions highlight conflicts over which p...
Article
This article constructs a framework for understanding and explaining the governance of clean development (CD) in order to generate insights about who is governing it, by what means, for whom and how effectively. Such a framework usefully highlights governance gaps and blind spots, issues of policy coherence and co-ordination, and the distributional...
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This paper explores the extent to which and the ways in which civil society groups are contributing to the democratisation of trade policy and politics in the Americas. It explores the strategies adopted by a range of NGOs and social movements to influence the decision-making processes and the content of the trade agenda. This includes efforts to o...