Meeting sustainability and low-carbon objectives will require radical departures from existing socio-technical trajectories. This justifies a continued search for more ambitious system transformation pathways and clarity as to how they can be realized.
The aim of this article is to unpack the feasibility of such sustainability transitions pathways (STPs) by identifying the analytical dimensions that need to be considered to address challenges for transitions governance and specifying how they can inform comprehensive evaluation efforts.
The authors offer practical examples of how multiple forms of knowledge can be mobilized to support strategic decision-making, and so complement traditional modelling-based scenario tools. They base their evaluation of STPs on a broad understanding of feasibility and elaborate a frame to mobilize three proposed “facets” of STPs; representations for exploring sustainability transitions potentials, as well as the conditions under which STPs may have greater chances of becoming realized.
The resulting evaluation frame yields specific prescriptions about STPs’ feasibility that can help focus interdisciplinary research on the relevance of mobilizing a plurality of forms of knowledge in evaluation efforts, a more detailed understanding of the potential of a given solution or pathway, and more detailed assessment of different key dimensions.
The paper ends with a discussion of how the notion of STPs feasibility can help to open up decision-making processes and what tangible types of interventions are relevant.