The Policy Analyst
Understanding the politics of climate change
Professor of Environmental Policy School of Environmental Sciences
Research Group Member, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Research Group Member, Science, Society and Sustainability
Andy’s research and policy impact activities focus on understanding the politics that emerge when attempts are made to govern large societal challenges like climate change and sustainable development, using the tools and methods of public policy.
He examines how different forms of politics play out in relation to different aspects of complex issues, including the use of new policy instruments, policy innovation, policy dismantling and policy co-ordination across sectors.
Andy is particularly interested in governing processes that occur in the EU, its member states and third countries outside of Europe. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS) and sits on the Scientific Committee of the European Environment Agency and DEFRA’s Science Advisory Council: Social Science Expert Group.
“I carry out research and comparative analysis in, and across, a number of substantive policy areas including climate change, the environment and sustainable development.”
“I’ve always been fascinated by the politics that emerge when attempts are made to govern environmental problems using the tools and methods of public policy. ‘Politics’ is often wrongly understood as an inconvenient obstacle to finding policy solutions - in particular technological solutions. Some academics use it as a convenient shorthand explanation for why societies do not meet ideals of normative theory.
Yet politics (especially democratic forms of politics) is also undeniably the primary means by which society is more likely to arrive at long-lasting and legitimate societal responses to complex inter-generational challenges such as climate change."
- Deep Decarbonisation - the democratic challenge of navigating governance traps. This five-year ERC Advanced grant project with Irene Lorenzoni at UEA seeks to explain why politicians find it so difficult to address a complex, inter-generational problem such as deep decarbonisation.
- CAST – Andy co-leads Theme 2 of the ESRC Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformation. CAST aims to build new interdisciplinary linkages to understand the profound societal transformations needed to deliver on net zero commitments by 2050.
- How do new climate policies reshape future political possibilities post Paris? – in this project, Andy is taking forward new work that builds on the main findings of a book ‘Durability by Design? Policy Feedback in a Changing Climate’, which he co-authored with Brendan Moore.
- Brexit & Environment – Andy continues to co-lead an award-winning ESRC funded academic network that seeks to understand what challenges and opportunities Brexit raises for environmental policy and governance, and the impact it will have on policymaking in the EU and across the UK.
Thinking Without Borders
“Climate change is often referred to as an immensely complex or ‘wicked’ policy challenge that has many interconnecting facets – social, economic, technological and scientific.
Single disciplines have managed to furnish important insights into the causes, consequences and solutions to climate change. But only interdisciplinary approaches that build bridges with non-academic communities will produce sufficiently well-founded, and above all, actionable research insights.”
Wiley: Contested framings of greenhouse gas removal and its feasibility: Social and political dimensions
Disaggregating the dependent variable in policy feedback research: An analysis of the EU Emissions Trading System
Political Insight: Green Brexit: Rhetoric or Reality?
Nature: Climate Change: Drivers of declining CO2 emissions in 18 developed economies