The Climate Emergency is the agenda of this generation. Mobilities scholarship has a vital part to play.

The impacts of anthropogenic climate change disrupt vital mobilities, create uninhabitable geographies, force human climate mobilities, and foreground that the capacity to move is unevenly distributed. Meanwhile, the transformation in local and global mobilities (from local transport to the large-scale movements of people, resources, and information around the world) is the most significant mitigation challenge. CeMoRe commits to developing research approaches that advance a just and ecological mobilities transformation, with a focus on liberty and loss, creativity and affirmative critique.

Our aspiration in the next 5 years is to address the climate emergency through creative extensions and expressions of mobilities scholarship. This includes local and global transport, but also the capabilities and patterns of movement that constitute social, political and economic life. Our aim is to enable a transformation of contemporary mobilities that prioritises climate justice, and which acknowledges that there is no contemporary issue that climate change does not speak to in some way.

We are starting from the premise that global society is in the midst of a climate emergency. Urgent analysis and urgent action are needed to transform the social, political and economic relationship of humans to each other and the planet. Rejecting the apparent paralysis of this ‘grand challenge’ CeMoRe will play a critical role in exploring and expounding immanent alternatives and the opportunities for deep, practical learning.

As a leading academic research centre in the field of mobilities, we believe it is necessary to critically engage with climate emergency framings whilst speaking to the public debate on its own terms. The best learning begins with what is known and familiar. The term climate emergency’ has accelerated action, and mobilised a generation of young people for whom such conditions of life are inevitably and inextricably entangled with their own biographies. The work of activists and educators such as Greta Thunberg and David Attenborough situate the climate emergency at the forefront of public debate, setting forth a wave that we must engage, understand, challenge and shape.

In the face of competing issues, including COVID and economic slow-down, we respond that climate emergency is the agenda of the present and future. Climate change is a challenge which exacerbates all societal issues, and in which all other concerns must be contextualized. Prioritizing climate emergency as the defining challenge of our age can leverage creativity, novel perspectives, and insight.

For these reasons CeMoRe is making the climate emergency its research focus from 2020-2025, recognizing that mobilities of every kind and scale are integral to that emergency and hold the greatest promise for transformation.

Our Agenda 2020 – 2025: Climate Emergnecy Mobilities Research

CeMoRe is thus concerned with:
Liberty, Loss, and Immobilities – What could or should disappear?
Alternatives to high carbon mobilities
Cultures and places of future mobility
Decolonising climate futures
Young people and climate emergency
Citizen Social Science, public labs, design ethnography, art & experimentation
‘Place’ and ‘place-based’ sustainability in a mobile world

At CeMoRe, colleagues will be exploring these issues via the innovative cross-disciplinary frameworks, theories and methodologies that have become our hallmark. We are committed to identifying and analysing the systems, practices, attachments and values that will have to change. This necessitates heeding the trepidations of all those who fear for the loss of their personal liberties and the pleasures of everyday life and helping those in power to imagine new social practices that will replace them. We will propose ways in which the transformation can be energised and embraced.

We look forward to working with mobilities scholars, partners and CeMoRe’s long-standing friends around the world on this agenda.

Nicola Spurling (CeMoRe Director)

Lynne Pearce (CeMoRe Co-Director Humanities)

with CeMore Associate Directors & participants of the Winter Webinar 2020:
Giovanni Bettini, Monika Buscher, James Faulconbridge, Gudrun Filipska, Manu Hohnekamp-Brueggeman, Abi Lafbery, Carlos Lopez-Galviz, Jonnet Middleton, Stephen Mosley, Lynne Pearce, Harriet Phipps, Nicki Pugh, Stephanie Sodero, Jen Southern, David Tyfield.

Please click here to register your interest in the CeMoRe climate change research initiative and be kept up to date with our progress.