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CSSN Scholar Publications

Articulating system change to effectively and justly address the climate crisis

October 20, 2022

CSSN Scholars Diana Stuart, Bryan Petersen, and Ryan Gunderson evaluate climate proposals associated with ecosocialism and degrowth to develop strategies that can be used to effectively articulate the need for system change.


Activists and world leaders increasingly call for bold climate action. Yet proposals remain far from the transformative systemic changes required. While many remain in denial that system change is necessary, others who call for system change fail to articulate what that change would entail. It is critical that the climate movement identifies and promotes specific strategies for change. Identifying synergistic proposals associated with ecosocialism and degrowth, we describe a set of policies, programs, and strategies that have the potential to justly minimize warming and that could become key demands of climate movement organizations attempting to influence governments in the Global North. While there are stigmas associated with ecosocialism and degrowth, the described strategies can be promoted without using these terms. Articulating specific strategies for system change is necessary to challenge the powerful actors and interests that continue to maintain the status quo and our current climate trajectory.

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