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Webinar: Addressing Paradoxes in Environmental Governance: Consumer Demand, Sufficiency and Work
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Webinar: Addressing Paradoxes in Environmental Governance: Consumer Demand, Sufficiency and Work

Date: March 07, 2024

Time: 12:00 UTC  (07:00 EST | 13:00 CET | 21:00 JST)

Platform: ZOOM LINK

Early Career Researchers Webinar Series on Sustainable Lifestyles Session 2

Pia Mamut, Halliki Kreinin (& Stefanie Gerold)


This session will present and bring together discussions on environmental governance, sufficiency and sustainable work/post-work from two chapters of the forthcoming handbook and Pia Mamut’s recently published volume “Sufficiency – an emerging discourse?”.

The presentation will highlight the critical paradox in environmental governance where, despite over five decades of growing scientific understanding of the negative environmental impacts of unchecked production and consumption, societies and governments have largely failed to make needed changes, leading to escalating environmental and social crises. While climate policy has (rightly) focused on reducing consumer demand, it has neglected the broader economic and social contexts that prioritise growth over sustainability. Superficial treatment of sustainability, as in the EU’s Green Deal, and the vague application of key concepts such as sufficiency prevent meaningful environmental progress, despite their recognised importance. The focus on consumption and consumer demand has also neglected the production side, including paid work, even though production precedes consumption. Over the years, work has become central to shaping the lives of individuals and influencing their ability to adopt sustainable behaviours (i.e. ‘work-and-spend cycle’, time scarcity). Despite the critical role of work in sustainability, it has been largely neglected in policy discussions. This neglect persists despite growing awareness of the need for structural shifts towards low-carbon sectors and a reorientation of work towards socially useful outcomes.

Speaker BIO

Pia Mamut has a background in political science (Universities of Münster, Germany, and Twente, The Netherlands) and sustainability science (Lund University, Sweden). Her doctoral work at the University of Münster explored the concept of sufficiency as a normative source for socio-ecological transformation. She examined how sufficiency is understood and applied within environmental and social science discourses, as well as in the local discourses of German “energy and climate model regions”. Her areas of research expertise include sustainable consumption, post-growth, transformative change at universities, and the intersections between democracy, civic participation and sustainability. Presently, Pia works as a senior researcher in the EU 1.5° Lifestyles project, titled “Policies and Tools for Mainstreaming 1.5° Lifestyles”. The project is a collaborative effort involving 10 partners from 7 countries, aimed at facilitating structural change towards 1.5° lifestyles societies.

Speaker BIO

Halliki Kreinin joined RIFS in January 2024 as a researcher for the EU 1.5° Lifestyles project. Previously, she held positions as a Postdoctoral researcher and Project Coordinator for the project in Münster from February 2022 to January 2024. Dr. Kreinin earned her PhD in Social and Economic Sciences and an MSc in Social-Ecological Economics and Policy from the Institute for Ecological Economics, WU Vienna. Additionally, she holds an MA in International Relations from the University of St Andrews, Scotland. Her doctoral research focused broadly on the social-ecological transformation of work, just transition, and environmental labour studies, including the connection between work and overconsumption.

Hosted by the Future Earth Knowledge-Action Network on Systems of Sustainable Consumption and Production | Handbook of Research on Sustainable Lifestyles

The Handbook on Sustainable Lifestyles is an initiative supported by the SSCP KAN. This webinar series is an opportunity for Early Career Researchers (ECRs) who are contributing to topics that will be featured in the Handbook to present their work.