Author archive: Rebecca Willis

news Uncategorised
Letter to the Prime Minister about the proposed Cumbria coal mine
8th February 2021
0

Today, myself and a group of academic experts from across the UK and Europe wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, asking him to intervene to prevent the proposed coal mine in Cumbria going ahead. explaining why the proposed coal mine in Cumbria is unnecessary and contradicts the UK’s climate strategy.

Download the letter

research
Citizen Engagement in Energy and Climate Governance
10th November 2020
0

The UK has committed to reducing carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050. How will people respond to this challenge? What scope is there for people to live their lives differently, and how can government enable this shift? How can citizens work with government, to shape a climate strategy that works for them?

My new research initiative, a UKRI-funded Fellowship,investigates citizen engagement in energy and climate governance (here’s the website). It will use deliberative methodologies, bringing citizens together with experts to develop new understandings of the role of the individual in governance, and to co-design policy and strategy.

We have » Continue Reading.

news
Lessons from the coalface: what the Cumbria coal mine story tells us about UK climate strategy
10th October 2020
0

The UK may see itself as a climate leader, with cross-party support for a net zero goal. But, last week, local politicians granted planning permission for a proposed coal mine on the West Coast of Cumbria. Burning the coal from the mine, to make steel, will release nine million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. That’s more than double Cumbria’s total current emissions. (There’s more on the background to the mine in this briefing.)

I first wrote about the mine more than a year ago, pointing out that it was a casualty of the ambiguities » Continue Reading.

publications
Too Hot to Handle? The democratic challenge of climate change
28th September 2020
0

Scientists are clear that urgent action is needed on climate change, and world leaders agree. Yet climate issues barely trouble domestic politics. This book explores a central dilemma of the climate crisis: science demands urgency; politics turns the other cheek. Is it possible to hope for a democratic solution to climate change?

Based on interviews with leading politicians and activists, and the author’s twenty years on the frontline of climate politics, this book explores why climate is such a challenge for political systems, even when policy solutions exist. It argues that more democracy, not less, is needed to tackle the » Continue Reading.

publications
A social contract for the climate crisis
28th September 2020
0

This article, for IPPR’s journal Progressive Review, examines the relationship between citizen and state, comparing Covid-19 and climate action.

Download the article (open access)

publications
Building a Social Mandate for Climate Action: Lessons from COVID-19
28th September 2020
0

This co-authored commentary, for the journal Environment & Resource Economics, draws lessons from the COVID-19 crisis for climate change.

Download the paper (open access)

 

publications
The role of national politicians in global climate governance
28th September 2020
0

What role do national politicians think they can and should play in climate governance? This paper, published in the journal Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, tests these questions empirically, using data from interviews with 23 Members of the UK Parliament, and a focus group of civil society advocates, conducted between 2016 and 2018.

Download the paper (open access)

news
Coal culture wars are generated by money and power
9th July 2020
0

This article was published in The Times Red Box column, on 9 July. The text below is a referenced version of the same article.

Could a remote spot in the far northwest of England become the new battleground in the culture wars? A new coal mine has been proposed on the Cumbrian coast, just up the road from me. Like Brexit or colonial statues, opinions are bitterly divided. To one side, it’s obvious that the mine should go ahead. Coal is part of the UK’s proud industrial heritage, and the new mine will provide much-needed local jobs, as well » Continue Reading.

news
New book: Too Hot to Handle? The democratic challenge of climate change
10th April 2020
0

This is not the blog I expected to write to launch my book. As I sit at my desk, on a Monday morning, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting home. My kids are adjusting to a much smaller world, without school or friends. My older teen is giving my younger teen a maths lesson, while I agonise about whether it’s safe to let them go to the park. In the space of a few weeks, everything has changed.

My book, published just as the lockdown began, is about the climate crisis and democracy. Fundamentally, it’s about the relationship » Continue Reading.

recentprojects
Please see research page for details of current work
11th February 2020
0

Details of my current work on political responses to climate change can be found on the research page.