Dr Ed Atkins
BAHons(Kent), MA(Kent), MRes(Bristol), PhD
My research broadly explores the topic of 'just transition', or how sustainability and/or decarbonisation policies can be made fairer and more inclusive.
- Environmental Politics
- Energy Politics
- Digital technologies
- Environmental Justice
- Discourse Analysis
- Just transition
- Green New Deal
- Data Centres
- Energy Justice
- Net Zero
Senior LecturerSchool of Geographical Sciences
My work is focused on interdisciplinary research into energy transitions, climate change communication and a just transition. I arrived at the School of Geographical Sciences in 2018 - the same year that I completed my PhD at the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies (also at Bristol).
I work on the contested character of environmental and energy policy and politics. This is with a particular focus on the local politics of energy generation and consumption, decarbonisation and climate action. This mostly fits into three interrelated themes:
‘Just transition’ - exploring how environmental and energy policy must be equitable and inclusive. Whilst there is an urgency around discussing and mitigating climate change, it is important to ensure that nobody is excluded from or unsupported by decarbonisation. This work includes research into the aviation sector, climate resilience, local environmental voices, and the use of digital technologies in managing household energy demand.
This stems from previous work (drawing on my PhD research) into the contentious politics of hydropower, with a focus on the Brazilian Amazon region. This includes research into how hydroelectric dams can transform a waterscape and how movements against them challenge dominant understandings of hydropower as a ‘green’ energy source that has a role in energy transitions.
In addition to the above, I am currently writing a book on renewable energies and social justice - focusing on how localised, democratic and place-based approaches might allow for more equitable decarbonisation policies.
The geographies of digital technologies - analysing the role that energy demands associated with data centres and digital technologies can play in patterns of uneven development, globalisation and energy justice, as well as necessitating new policy regimes. This work includes research into cryptocurrency ‘mining’, data centres, and the popularity of Bitcoin.
The links between populism and the environment - exploring how right-wing populist politicians and movements treat climate change and environmental issues in different ways. This currently includes research into right-wing populists' treatment of net-zero agendas and decarbonisation.
In addition to these routes of research, I am a member of the Bristol Advisory Committee on Climate Change, as well as sitting on Steering Committees for the Bristol Inclusive Economy Initiative, the UK Future Earth Early Career Network and the Environmental Change group of the Cabot Institute for the Environment.
25/04/2022 to 24/10/2024
“Individual actions add up: Finding inspiration in everyday citizen actions to address inequalities in post-pandemic climate and nature emergency responses”
DescriptionThis project aims to bring a group of city partners together to consider an identified knowledge gap around the role of citizen-to-citizen engagement in responding to the climate and ecological…
08/03/2021 to 31/07/2021
01/01/2020 to 31/07/2021
Beyond energy services: A multidimensional and cross-disciplinary agenda for Home Energy Management research
Energy Research and Social Science
Energy Research and Social Science
Collecting local views on the post-Covid future of flying using online qualitative methods: A case study of Bristol, UK
Case Studies in the Environment