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Climate change: transitions to sustainability
Climate change: transitions to sustainability

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3 Governance, citizenship and sustainability

3.1 Who will make the decisions?

Where will the decisions be made that will result in meaningful action on climate change, and who will make them stick? Following climate change politics in the media can give the impression that most of the action on climate change is going on between national decision makers in international forums. It is important to keep in mind that these forums have resulted from persistent pressure from a combination of grassroots environmental activists and a global network of science and policy experts. These top-down and bottom-up pressures are just some of the changing conditions under which politicians and government officials have to work. To help you think about how societies can make steps towards sustainable development, this section unpicks this context of new approaches to decision making, and includes discussion of the impact of environmental change issues on these approaches. It looks at the emergence of the notion of governance, and goes on to consider the (related) rise to prominence of new ways of thinking about citizenship.