Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

A clean energy future isn’t set in stone

Social scientists and geoscientists must work together to critically evaluate and develop feasible visions for a sustainable future. Is a clean-energy economy more viable than a degrowth future?

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    Wilkinson, B. H. Geology 33, 161–164 (2005).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Cooper, A. H., Brown, T. J., Price, S. J., Ford, J. R. & Waters, C. N. Anthropocene Rev. 5, 222–229 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Hoggard, M. J. et al. Nat. Geosci. 13, 504–510 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Jasanoff, S. & Kim, S.-H. Sci. Cult. 22, 189–196 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Kerschner, C., Wächter, P., Nierling, L. & Ehlers, M.-H. J. Clean. Prod. 197, 1619–1636 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Andersen, M. S. & Massa, I. J. Environ. Policy Plan. 2, 337–345 (2000).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Buttel, F. H. Geoforum 31, 57–65 (2000).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Hickel, J. & Kallis, G. New Political Econ. 25, 469–486 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Vadén, T. et al. Environ. Sci. Policy 112, 236–244 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Vadén, T. et al. Environ. Politics 30, 462–476 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Sovacool, B. K. et al. Science 367, 30–33 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Kuipers, K. J. J., van Oers, L. F. C. M., Verboon, M. & van der Voet, E. Glob. Environ. Change 49, 106–115 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Murguía, D. I., Bringezu, S. & Schaldach, R. J. Environ. Manage. 180, 409–420 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Sonter, L. J. et al. Nat. Commun. 8, 1013 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Dellink, R., Chateau, J., Lanzi, E. & Magné, B. Glob. Environ. Change 42, 200–214 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Kothari, A., Demaria, F. & Acosta, A. Development 57, 362–375 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Kallis, G. et al. Annu. Rev. Env. Resour. 43, 291–316 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Millward-Hopkins, J., Steinberger, J. K., Rao, N. D. & Oswald, Y. Glob. Environ. Change 65, 102168 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Renn, J. The Evolution of Knowledge: Rethinking Science for the Anthropocene (Princeton Univ. Press, 2020).

    Book  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Seidl, R. et al. Ambio 42, 5–12 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Toivanen, T. et al. Anthropocene Rev. 4, 183–198 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

We thank A. Mol and A. Beaulieu for engaging with drafts of this article, and H. Faller for editing the work.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Thomas Franssen.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Franssen, T., de Wilde, M. A clean energy future isn’t set in stone. Nat. Geosci. 14, 636–637 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-021-00822-0

Download citation

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing