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Jennie C. Stephens

Northeastern University

Based in

United States
North America

Jennie C. Stephens is a feminist climate justice scholar-activist. She is the Dean’s Professor of Sustainability Science and Policy at Northeastern University in Boston and a 2023-2024 Radcliffe-Salata Climate Justice Fellow at Harvard University. In summer 2024, she will move to Ireland where she will be Professor of Climate Justice at the National University of Ireland Maynooth. She is an international expert on climate justice, energy democracy, and climate obstruction with a focus on the urgent need for coordinated fossil fuel phaseout and justice-centered policies. Her research reveals the dangers of narrow, technocratic “climate isolationism” when the climate crisis is viewed as a scientific problem in need of a technical solution. In her book Diversifying Power: Why We Need Antiracist, Feminist Leadership on Climate and Energy (Island Press, 2020), she argues that the climate crisis requires diversifying leadership and redistributing wealth and power to move beyond narrow, masculine, technocratic “solutions” toward a more integrated, holistic transformative climate justice approach. Her forthcoming book, “Climate Justice and the University: Shaping a Hopeful Future for All (Hopkins University Press, forthcoming in 2024) reclaims universities as institutions with potential to advance climate justice, accelerate fossil fuel phaseout, and support systemic, structural, social and economic change for a more stable, healthy and prosperous future for all.

Country(ies) of Specialty

United States Ireland

Focus areas of expertise

Climate policy and politics Geoengineering Climate Justice Fossil fuels

How to Connect



Stephens, J. C. (2024). “The dangers of masculine technological optimism: Why feminist, antiracist values are essential for social justice, economic justice, and climate justice.” Environmental Values 33(1): 58-70.

Sokol, M. and J. C. Stephens (2024). “Central banks should be fighting the climate crisis – here’s why.” The Conversationhttps://theconversation.com/central-banks-should-be-fighting-the-climate-crisis-heres-why-217744.

Stephens, J. C. (2023). Gender and climate justice. Handbook on Climate Change and Technology. F. Urban and J. Nordensvard. https://www.elgaronline.com/edcollbook/book/9781800882119/9781800882119.xml, Edward Elgar436-435.

Stephens, J. C. (2023). “Reconnecting Economics Education with Today’s Global Realities.” Nonprofit Quarterly December 20, 2023

Hoicka, C. E., J. C. Stephens, Y. Zhao and P. S. Hernandez (2023). “Misalignment or exclusion? Investigating climate and energy philanthropy funding of diversity.” Energy Research & Social Science 106: 103317.

Stephens, J. C. and M. Sokol (2023). “Financial innovation for climate justice: central banks and transformative ‘creative disruption’.” Climate and Development: 1-12.

Joshua A. Basseches,  Rebecca Bromley‑Trujillo, Maxwell T. Boykoff, Trevor Culhane, Galen Hall, Noel Healy, David J. Hess, David Hsu, Rachel M. Krause, Harland Prechel, J. Timmons Roberts, Jennie C. Stephens. 2022. Climate policy conflict in the U.S. states: a critical review and way forward, Climatic Change, 170(3-4).

Stephens, J.C., and Elizabeth Allen. “A Feminist Lens on Energy Democracy: Redistributing Power and Resisting Oppression through Renewable Transformation.” Routledge Handbook of Energy Democracy. Eds. Feldpausch-Parker, AM, et al.2022.

Stephens, J. C., Kashwan, P., McLaren, D., & Surprise, K. “Toward Dangerous US Unilateralism on Solar Geoengineering.” Environmental Politics (2022): 1-3. doi:10.1080/09644016.2022.2156182

Stephens, J C. “Climate Justice, Societal Transformation, and the Role of Higher Education.” Global Council for Science and Environment.

Stephens, Jennie C. “Beyond Climate Isolationism: A Necessary Shift for Climate Justice.” Current Climate Change Reports (2022). doi:10.1007/s40641-022-00186-6

Stephens, Jennie C. “Electrification: Opportunities for Social Justice and Social Innovation.” MRS Bulletin (2022).

Stephens, J.C. “Feminist, Antiracist Values for Climate Justice: Moving Beyond Climate Isolationism.” Sacred Civics: Building Seven Generation Cities. Eds. Agyeman, Julian, Tanya Chung-Tiam-Fook and Jayne Engle: Routledge, 2022. Print.

Jorgenson, Simon, and Jennie C. Stephens. “Action Research for Energy System Transformation.” Educational Action Research 30.4 (2022): 655-70. Print.

Sokol, Martin, and J C Stephens. “Monetary Policy and Ecological Crisis: Towards a Climate Justice Approach.” Paper presented at 26th Forum for Macroeconomics and Macroeconomic Policy (FMM) Conference on ‘Post-Keynesian Economics and Global Challenges’. 2022. Print.

Hallstrom, Niclas, JC Stephens, and Isak Stoddard. “What About Geoengineering? .” The Climate Book. Ed. Thunberg, Greta. London: Allen Lane, An Imprint of Penguin Books, 2022. Print.

Fitzgerald, Joan, Gloria Schmitz, and J.C. Stephens. “Leveraging Urban Climate Action for Transformative Social Justice.” Urban Climate Justice: Theory, Praxis, Resistance. Eds. Rice, Jennifer L., Anthony M. Levenda and Joshua Long: University of Georgia Press, 2022. Print.

Boyle, Alaina D. , and J.C. Stephens. “Higher Education Needs a New Mission: How About Climate Justice? .” Boston Globe September 4, 2022 2022, sec. Ideas. Print.

Stephens JC, Kashwan P, McLaren D, Surprise K. 2021. “The Dangers of Mainstreaming Solar Geoengineering: A critique of the National Academies Report,” Environmental Politics. October 18, 2021:1-10.

Stephens JC, Kashwan P, McLaren D, Surprise K. 2021. “The risks of solar geoengineering research,” Science. 2021;372(6547):1161-1161.

Jennie C. Stephens. 2020. “Diversifying Power: Why We Need Antiracist, Feminist Leadership on Climate and Energy,” Island Press (September 2020).

Kirsten E. Jenkins, Jennie C. Stephens, Tony G. Reames, & Diana Hernández. 2020. “Towards impactful energy justice research: Transforming the power of academic engagement,” Energy Research & Social Science (September 2020).

Jennie C. Stephens & Kevin Surprise. 2020. “The Hidden Injustices of Advancing Solar Geoengineering Research,” Global Sustainability (January 2020).

Elizabeth Allen, Hannah Lyons, & Jennie C. Stephens. 2019. “Women’s leadership in renewable transformation, energy justice, and energy democracy: Redistributing power,” Energy Research & Social Science (November 2019).

Noel Healy, Jennie C. Stephens, & Stephanie A. Malin. 2019. “Embodied energy injustices: Unveiling and politicizing the transboundary harms of fossil fuel extractivism and fossil fuel supply chains,” Energy Research & Social Science (February 2019).

Jennie C. Stephens. 2019. “Energy Democracy: Redistributing Power to the People Through Renewable Transformation,” Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development (February 2019).

Jennie C. Stephens, Matthew J. Burke, Brock Gibian, Elie Jordi, & Richard Watts. 2018. “Operationalizing Energy Democracy: Challenges and Opportunities in Vermont’s Renewable Energy Transformation,” Frontiers in Communication (October 2018).

Jennie C. Stephens, Peter C. Frumhoff, & Leehi Yona. 2018. “The role of college and university faculty in the fossil fuel divestment movement,” Elements (May 2018).

Elizabeth Allen, Jennie C. Stephens, Georgine Yorgey, Chad Kruger, Sonya Ahamed, & Jennifer Adam. 2017. “Climate science information needs among natural resource decision-makers in the Northwest U.S.,” Climate Services (January 2017).

Jennie C. Stephens. 2014. “Time to stop investing in carbon capture and storage and reduce government subsidies of fossil-fuels,” WIREs Climate Change (April 2014).