CfP RGS-IBG: Transitioning to low carbon mobilities

Call for Papers for a TGRG sponsored session at the 2015 Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Annual International Conference, 1-4 September, University of Exeter

Transitioning to low-carbon mobilities

Organisers: Debbie Hopkins, Centre for Sustainability, University of Otago (NZ) and James Higham, Department of Tourism, University of Otago (NZ)

Sponsor: Transport Geography Research Group

The 21st Century is ‘on the move’ (Sheller and Urry, 2006). In industrialised countries, people are becoming more mobile; travelling further to reach everyday activities such as employment and education, and seeking far reaching tourism destinations (Givoni and Banister, 2013). These practices of mobility demand faster, carbon-intensive transport modes including private vehicles and air travel. Despite technological efficiency gains, transport related greenhouse gas emissions are continuing to grow. The Fifth Assessment Report from the IPCC highlighted the need for ‘aggressive and sustained’ mitigation policies in order to achieve the required deep GHG reductions (Sims et al., 2014). This carbon intensity raises significant questions around the place of mobility and tourism in the Anthropocene, an era requiring transitions towards low-carbon futures.

The concept of transition provides a conceptual lens through which to examine change across temporal and spatial scales and from wide-ranging inter- and post-disciplinary positions. Low-carbon transitions will need to incorporate behavioural, technological and policy approaches. In this session we seek contributions spanning behavioural, technological and policy insights to transitions towards low-carbon mobilities.  A broad definition of mobilities is applied for this session.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Examples of historical mobility transitions (e.g. transitions to motorised transport, geographical uptake of new innovations)
  • Theoretical approaches to conceptualising low-carbon mobility transitions
  • Transitions in specific geographic contexts including national and sub-national scales
  • Transitions in car- and aero- mobilities
  • Behaviour, technology and policy transitions.

We are seeking abstracts (c.250 words) for oral presentations to explore the landscape of transitions to low-carbon mobilities from wide-ranging perspectives. We may seek interest in a journal special issue following on from this session and hope to use this session to develop ongoing dialogue between contributors.


Deadline for submission of abstracts: Wednesday 4th February 2015 Responses by: Friday 6th February 2015

Abstracts and questions should be submitted to


Givoni, M. & Banister, D. (2013). Moving Towards Low Carbon Mobility, London, UK, Edward Elgar Publishing.

Sheller, M. & Urry, J. (2006). The new mobilities paradigm. Environment and Planning A, 38, 207-226.

Sims, R., Schaeffer, R., Creutzig, F., Cruz-Núñez, X., D’Agosto, M., Dimitriu, D., Figueroa Meza, M. J., Fulton, L., Kobayashi, S., Lah, O., McKinnon, A., Newman, P., Ouyang, M., Schauer, J. J., Sperling, D. & Tiwari, G. (2014). Chapter 8 – Transport. In: Edenhofer, O., Pichs-Madruga, R., Sokona, Y., Farahani, E., Kadner, S., Seyboth, K., Adler, A., Baum, I., Brunner, S., Eickemeier, P., Kriemann, B., Savolainen, J., Schlömer, S., von Stechow, C., Zwickel, T. & Minx, J. C. (eds.) Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge, UK and New York NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.


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