Projects per year
Areas of Expertise
Energy and climate change mitigation; historical and future energy transitions; pro-environmental behaviour.
I was a Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences at UEA until the end of 2021 when I moved to the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford. I was also a researcher in the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research for which I jointly coordinated the Accelerating Social Transformation research theme. I retain a Honorary Professor position at UEA and a visiting researcher affiliation with the Tyndall Centre.
My research interests lie at the intersection between innovation, behaviour and policy in the field of energy and climate change mitigation. I work both at a systems level on scenarios and modelling of climate change mitigation transformation pathways, and at a micro level on consumer innovations, technology adoption and pro-environmental behaviour.
I joined the Tyndall Centre and UEA in September 2010 from the London School of Economics where I was a teaching fellow. I have a PhD from the University of British Columbia in Canada on the social and behavioural determinants of energy use. Prior to my PhD, I worked for a number of years in the private sector in both renewable energy finance and climate change policy.
- 2010 - 2021: Professor (formerly Reader) in Energy and Climate Change, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of East Anglia.
- 2009 - 2010: Teaching Fellow, Department of Geography & Environment, London School of Economics.
- 2008 - 2009: Post-Doctoral Researcher, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Austria), and Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden).
- 2004 - 2008: PhD in Resource Management and Environmental Sustainability, University of British Columbia (Canada).
- 1994 - 2004: Various private sector roles in energy finance and climate policy.
Key Research Interests
Charlie's research interests lie at the intersection between innovation, behaviour and policy in the field of energy and climate change mitigation. He works at both a systems level and at a micro level.
At a systems level, Charlie works on long-term energy transitions both historically and into the future. He works in general meta-analytic terms across diverse samples of technologies, contexts, and change dynamics. He is particularly interested in using empirical evidence from historical patterns of change to inform and strengthen scenario narratives and modelling projections of future change towards net-zero targets. Charlie’s projects in this field include an EU-H2020 project called ‘NAVIGATE’ on integrated assessment modelling for climate policy and the role of low-carbon lifestyles, and a UK-ESRC project called ‘CAST’ on social and governance transformations for climate change including the contribution of lifestyle change.
At a micro level, Charlie works on technology adoption and diffusion, low-carbon behaviours and lifestyles, and the effectiveness of behaviour change interventions. Charlie’s projects include a UK-EPSRC project called ‘EnergyREV’ on the role of smart, local energy systems and spatial variation in UK uptake, an EU-ERC Starting Grant called 'SILCI' on how social influence mechanisms help spread low-carbon consumer innovations, and an EU-ERC Consolidator Grant called 'iDODDLE' on digitalisation impacts on climate change. Charlie's research is either directly policy-relevant, or has clear implications for policy. He has collaborated with, advised, or provided input to national and global policy assessments including Mission Innovation, UNEP’s Emission Gap reports, the Exponential Carbon Roadmap, the International Energy Agency, and the UK Committee on Climate Change.
Charlie has written numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as two books, one with Arnulf Grubler on energy technology innovation systems (published by CUP) and one with Tom Hargreaves on smart home users (published by Springer). Charlie has also contributed to IPCC assessment reports and the Global Energy Assessment.
I have taught on energy and climate change issues, at both a systems level and at a micro-level. During my time at UEA, I organised and taught a postgraduate module on energy and climate change, and I contributed to various undergraduate modules on social science research methods, energy and people, and environmental field skills.
Postgraduate Research Opportunities
Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals
In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):
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Next generation of AdVanced InteGrated Assessment modelling to support climatTE policy making (NAVIGATE)
Kriegler, E., Wilson, C., Guivarch, C., KORNEK, U., PAROUSSOS, L., Riahi, K., SHA, F., Schaeffer, R., TRUTNEVYTE, E., VUUREN, D. & Pettifor, H.
1/09/19 → 31/08/23
Centre for Climate Change Transformations (C3T)
Jordan, A., Lorenzoni, I., Tregaskis, O. & Wilson, C.
Economic and Social Research Council
1/05/19 → 30/04/24
The impacts of digitalised daily life on climate change
Wilson, C., Pettifor, H. & Vrain, E.
1/10/21 → 31/12/21
Advancing energy and well-being researchRao, N. D. & Wilson, C., Feb 2022, In: Nature Sustainability. 5, 2, p. 98-103 6 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile11 Citations (Scopus)8 Downloads (Pure)
Local conditions for the decentralization of energy systemsArvanitopoulos, T., Wilson, C. & Ferrini, S., 14 Nov 2022, (E-pub ahead of print) In: Regional Studies.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile4 Downloads (Pure)
Social influence in the adoption of digital consumer innovations for climate changeVrain, E., Wilson, C., Kerr, L. & Wilson, M., Mar 2022, In: Energy Policy. 162, 112800.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review8 Citations (Scopus)
The discontinuance of low carbon digital products and servicesVrain, E., Wilson, C. & Andrews, B., Dec 2022, In: Technological Forecasting and Social Change. 185, 122051.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile6 Downloads (Pure)
Translating global integrated assessment model output into lifestyle change pathways at the country and household levelHanmer, C., Wilson, C., Edelenbosch, O. Y. & van Vuuren, D. P., 1 Mar 2022, In: Energies. 15, 5, 1650.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile5 Citations (Scopus)5 Downloads (Pure)
UK ministers doing little towards 2050 emissions target, say top scientists (Jan 2020)
Corinne Le Quere & Charles Wilson
24/01/20 → 25/01/20
2 items of Media coverage
Press/Media: Press / Media