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Funding Awarded for Research on Just Transitions in the Asia-Pacific

11 November 2021
SEI is delighted to congratulate Visiting Fellow Dr Gareth Edwards, SEI Acting Deputy-Director Professor Susan Park and Dr Robert MacNeil, on the award of funding for crucial research into Australia’s just transition from coal.

SEI warmly congratulates Dr Gareth Edwards, Professor Susan Park and Dr Robert MacNeil on their successful application for funding through the British Academy’s Just Transitions to Decarbonisation in the Asia-Pacific programme.

Noting the invaluable contributions that the humanities and social sciences make to grappling with climate change, the Academy’s call for applications sought projects engaged in exploring the needs, impacts and implications of just transitions in diverse sectors, for diverse groups, that include diverse approaches to justice, and consider how to build capacities and capabilities for adaptation as well as mitigation.

Gareth, Susan and Robert’s project, A just transition away from coal in Australia, was one of seven projects awarded funding in this round. The full list of awards, spanning research teams in the UK, India, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Japan and China, may be found here.

The project interrogates the possibility of a just transition from coal in Australia, noting that Australia’s domestic electricity remains coal-dependent and Australia remains the world’s largest coal exporter. Australia’s ability to achieve a just transition will have significant implications for efforts to decarbonise in Asia-Pacific and the world, both directly through the coal supply chains Australia is embedded in and enables and indirectly through Australia’s regional diplomacy and development aid.

Building from this context, the project will examine how a ‘just transition’ is being defined in Australia, explore the key challenges to achieving it, and aim to set out a new broader approach to just transition which helps shape global efforts to justly achieve the climate action that is urgently needed.

Welcome to Dr Gareth Edwards

Alongside congratulating Gareth, Susan and Robert on their funding success, SEI would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Gareth to the Institute and introduce him and his research to our members:

Dr Gareth Edwards is an Associate Professor in the School of International Development at the University of East Anglia. After completing his PhD at the University of Sydney, he worked in the Department of Geography at Durham University and the Department of Geography and Sustainable Development at the University of St Andrews.

His research is concerned with understanding and theorizing justice in the context of environmental governance dilemmas. It has focussed on the neoliberalization of nature, the urban politics and governance of climate change, the politics of climate justice and the political ecology of coal in the context of climate change. He has published in leading journals including Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Progress in Human Geography, Global Environmental Change, and WIREs Climate Change.

Gareth is visiting the Sydney Environment Institute as part of a Leverhulme International Fellowship through which he is examining the case for ‘just coal’ in Australia and India and its implications for climate justice theory, climate policy and the justice of the energy transition.

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