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The psychosociology of climate response for environmental sustainability


05Marsolar construction site in Malawi with a boabab tree

The psychosociology of climate response for environmental sustainability – How relationships ‘make’ and ‘unmake’ aspirations for justice in the transitions

Global efforts to enhance climate action and environmental sustainability are evident, particularly in the push for net-zero energy transitions. COP28 in Dubai marked a milestone with countries committing to reduce fossil fuel reliance. Regional entities, including the African Union, are actively engaging in ESG (environmental, social and governance) and sustainable energy initiatives. Ghana, Nigeria, and the Philippines are early adopters of National Energy Transition plans, emphasising ESG principles. However, challenges arise, primarily due to ambiguous notions of 'justice,' leading to contested policies, misunderstood actions, and negative impacts on communities participating in climate, energy, and environmental programs.

How should communities, societies, governments, and investors in the environmental sustainability (and energy) sectors interact to contribute positively towards addressing climate change, environmental sustainability, and just and equitable transitions?

The panel will discuss this question from the perspective of relationship building. It will interrogate first, the factors that reinforce or undermine the quality of relationships - at the community, national, international, corporate levels; and second, examine how those factors have a bearing on the outcome of climate action for environmental sustainability and/or just energy transitions.


  • Veronica Nonhlanhla Jakarasi – Chartered Development Finance Analyst, Institute of Sustainability and Development.
  • Dr Justin See – Human Geographer and Fellow at Sydney Environment Institute, University of Sydney.
  • Nasir Alfa Mohammed – Lawyer and Pracademic in Energy Resource Governance, University of Ghana.
  • Dr Annette Hubschle – Chief researcher in Global Risk Governance and Environmental Sustainability, University of Cape Town.
  • Dr Evan Hamman Research Fellow, Centre for Environmental Governance, University of Canberra.
  • Dr Nicholas Pope Researcher in Political Economy and Geography, King’s College London.

Chair: Dr Clement Sefa-Nyarko, African Leadership Centre, King's College London.

This event will be held online. A Zoom link will be emailed to participants on registering.

This event is part of Africa Week 2024 organised by the African Leadership Centre at King's. Learn more about Africa Week 2024.

About the speakers

Veronica Nonhlanhla Jakarasi

Veronica Nonhlanhla Jakarasi (Nee Gundu) is a Chartered Development Finance Analyst, and Executive Director of the Institute of Sustainability and Development Finance in Zimbabwe. She is the former Head of Climate Finance at Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund, Kenya, and has 15 years of experience in sustainability, climate finance and diplomacy, thought leadership, financial literacy and natural capital management. Veronica is the Lead Negotiator on Mitigation for the African Group of Negotiators under the global climate negotiations and she leads the Group of 77 and China on Gender and Climate Change issues.

Dr Justin See

Dr Justin See is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Sydney Environment Institute and is affiliated with the School of Geosciences at the University of Sydney. As a human geographer, his research investigates the intersecting dimensions of power, injustice, and inequality reflected in the planning and implementation of climate change adaptation projects across space, class, and time. He draws upon climate justice, critical development, post-development, and decolonial theories to re-imagine how to do climate adaptation in a just and equitable manner. His current research investigates the impacts of climate buffer infrastructure as climate adaptation in the Philippines.

Nasir Alfa Mohammed

Nasir Alfa Mohammed is a lawyer, policy analyst and a pracademic in the field of energy and extractive resources governance (Oil, Gas & Mining). He is currently a Lecturer at the University of Ghana School of Law, where he has been teaching aspects of oil and gas law . As a lawyer and consultant, Nasir currently works as Senior Associate Consultant at Ali-Nakyea and Associates (A-N & A), a private law firm in Accra where he provides legal opinions and consulting services to oil, gas and mining companies. At the policy front, Nasir previously served as Member of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) representing the Ghana Bar Association (GBA). Nasir also worked as Policy Advocacy Officer with the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), during which he led NRGI’s legal reform and policy advocacy agenda in Ghana.

Dr Annette Hübschle

Annette is a chief research officer in the Global Risk Governance programme in the Public Law Department at the University of Cape Town, where she is also responsible for the Environmental and Planetary Futures research group. Her current research focuses on the governance of safety and security with a specific focus on the structure and functioning of illegal markets, natural resource extraction (especially oil and gas), environmental restorative justice, as well as the interface between licit and illicit economies and criminal networks.

Dr Evan Hamman

Evan Hamman holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce, a Masters in Environmental Science and Law, and a PhD. His research focuses on questions of implementation and compliance with environmental law. He has an ongoing interest in the role of regulation in governance as well as the phenomenon of ESG (environmental, social and governance) and its use by corporate actors. Evan is the co-author of two recently published books: Implementing the World Heritage Convention: The Politics of Compliance (Edward Elgar, 2023) and Natural Capital, Agriculture and the Law (Edward Elgar 2022). 

Dr Nicholas Pope

Nicholas is an early career researcher at King's, with a background in political economy and geography. He is currently working on his ‘Green Transition Risks’ project about the social and ecological risks linked to the drive for critical minerals required for the energy transition, with a focus in the Amazon rainforest.

Dr Clement Sefa-Nyarko

Clement is a Lecturer in Security, Development and Leadership in Africa, at the African Leadership Centre at King's. He is both an academic and international development practitioner with over a decade’s experience in designing, managing and leading several projects in Africa and the Asia Pacific. His expertise includes design thinking and application of methodological innovations to research and evaluation of programmes in almost all social and political contexts in Africa, especially Ghana, Kenya, South Sudan and Nigeria.

At this event

Clement Sefa-Nyarko profile image

Lecturer in Security, Development and Leadership in Africa

Nicholas Pope 540

Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow

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