The climate is changing faster than we are. The danger of triggering irreversible environmental damage that spirals, feeding off itself, means that winning too slowly is the same as losing. That’s why rapid, transformative changes are called for to prevent climate breakdown and create the conditions for people to thrive together.
Rapid transition shows examples of evidence-based hope for change whose speed and potential scale will steer us towards staying within those boundaries and which advance social justice.
In practice, these are clear, quantifiable changes in our values, behaviours, attitudes, and use of resources, energy, technology, finance and infrastructure that can happen and guide what we do over the next five to ten years.
Keeping to the globally-recognised 1.5 degree upper limit on global warming means significant changes in economies, lives and jobs. Doing it fairly in the context of poverty, inequality and conflicts over resources is a huge challenge.
Large and rapid change sometimes seems hard to achieve. But big and radical changes have happened before, and they’re happening now too – in technology, finance, policies, infrastructure, attitudes and culture, all around the world.
Evidence-based hope – drawing on inspiring and varied stories of rapid transition – shows what kind of changes are possible, how people can help to shape them, and what conditions can make them happen. There’s no shortage of talk about the potential of greener technologies and long-term environmental targets, but change is needed now and we want a bigger conversation on the immediate possibilities of rapid transition and more sustainable behaviour.
That is what the Alliance is for. We will gather, share and demonstrate evidence of what is already possible to remove excuses for inaction and show ways ahead. These might be stories of community action, innovative policy or very personal, pivotal moments that allow us to see the world differently. If you know good stories please get in touch and share them.
Each story of change introduces and explores examples of rapid transition to build understanding and debate about the circumstances in which change happens quickly. Most are collectively produced without intending to be definitive, or necessarily reflecting the views of all Alliance members.
The Rapid Transition Alliance is being coordinated by a small group of people drawn from the New Weather Institute, the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex, and the ESRC STEPS Centre at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) and the Institute of Development Studies, and with help from our friends, colleagues and supporters. The work of the Alliance is kindly supported by the KR Foundation.