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
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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 the three interrelated themes listed below.
These different threads of work have all led to my forthcoming book A Just Energy Transition published in July 2023. This book explores how localised, democratic and place-based approaches might allow for more equitable energy transitions and climate action.
Just transitions - 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 climate resilience, local environmental voices, and the use of digital technologies in managing household energy demand.
This stems from previous work, including 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.
Right-wing populism, the environment, and energy transitions - detailing 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 the UK.
Workers and work in energy transitions – tracing how energy transitions will restructure regional economies and patterns of employment. This includes current work, in the early stages, exploring ‘stranded communities’, or those regions dependent on fossil fuel work who are at risk of being cut adrift in a low-carbon future. This has also involved discussions of how good ‘green jobs’ actually are and how workers might influence future patterns of change.
In addition to these three core themes of work, I have previously explored and written about cryptocurrency ‘mining’, data centres, the popularity of Bitcoin, the aviation sector, and climate anxiety in young people.
In addition to these routes of research, I am the Co-Lead of the Low Carbon Energy theme at the Cabot Institute for the Environment (alongside Sam Williamson and Tom Scott) and a member of the Bristol Advisory Committee on Climate Change, as well as sitting on Steering Committees for the Bristol Inclusive Economy Initiative and the Environmental Change group of the Cabot Institute for the Environment.
01/10/2023 to 31/03/2025
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
From individuals to collectives in energy systems — A social practice, identity and rhythm inspired lens
Energy Research and Social Science
Methodological lessons for negotiating power, political capabilities, and resilience in research on climate change responses
- E-pub ahead of print
Frontiers in Psychology
Environment and Planning A
- Accepted/In press
Energy Research and Social Science