If Not Now, Then When? Pathways to Embed Climate Change Within Social Policy

Carolyn Jane Snell, Sarah Anderson, Harriet Thomson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Climate change is arguably the defining issue of our time, with global impacts. Yet to date, scholarship within social policy has remained relatively fragmented and disparate, leaving an urgent need to start comprehensively embedding environmental thinking across all domains of the discipline (Williams, 2021). Responding to this challenge, this paper draws together existing work at the nexus of social policy, the environment, and climate change. The paper then presents findings from workshops held with social policy scholars, policymakers, and practitioners, using these discussions to propose pathways to embed climate change within the discipline. The paper represents a significant contribution to knowledge within the field as it seeks to both broaden discussions about social policy and climate change; to identify theoretical and empirical relationships that exist between the two fields but have not been fully recognised in existing scholarship; and to bring new perspectives and voices into the discussion.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalSocial Policy and Society
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the University’s Research Publications and Open Access policy.


  • Climate crisis
  • climate change
  • environment
  • social policy
  • eco-social policy
  • sustainable welfare

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