This panel explores the heterogeneous socio-ecological effects of the diverse understandings of 'sustainability' underpinning different transition initiatives, and critically asks: Whose green? Who benefits and who suffers from particular framings and associated actions?
The growth of the technosphere, climate crises, shifting species distribution and other phenomena contribute to increasingly dramatic socio-ecological changes across the planet, impacting livelihoods and indeed survival opportunities. These changes are experienced and imagined by a variety of actors, in a variety of ways, leading to a variety of different responses. Whether top-down or bottom-up, initiatives for transitions to 'sustainability' are multiplying. From 'green economy' strategies and high-tech fixes to grassroots initiatives and social movements, envisioned sustainability transitions and the actions taken to bring these about take on a variety of forms, at different scales, and all over the world: offshore wind farms, biorefineries, carbon markets, geoengineering, tax advantages for electric cars, photovoltaic roof tiles, guerrilla gardening, ecosystem restoration camps, permaculture conventions, off-grid communities, indigenous uprisings, to name but a few. These different initiatives embody conflicting visions of a 'green' future and the pathways to get there. This panel explores the heterogeneous socio-ecological effects of the diverse understandings of 'sustainability' underpinning different transition initiatives, and critically asks: Whose green? Who benefits and who suffers from particular framings and associated actions? How are relations of power (gender, race, class and entangled inequalities) reconfigured by green transitions? What kinds of more-than-human relations are fostered or undermined? Which particular values orient any given transition initiative and its version of sustainability? We especially invite papers which address the contribution anthropology can make to a better understanding of the dynamics and politics of contemporary systemic transition.