Allison Jay Sterling has been with the UNEP Copenhagen Climate Centre since 2019 specializing in socio-technical transitions. She is particularly interested in how social innovation, such as collective action or inclusive gender initiatives, can support the diffusion of climate-friendly technologies, create new local markets and economic opportunities, promote social cohesion, and positively impact life quality in developing countries.
She has published on many topics relating to sustainable development, including fossil fuel carbon emissions and energy consumption, energy efficiency, land use and biological carbon sequestration, bioenergy, waste-to-energy, bio-circular economies, smart and sustainable cities, sustainable architecture and urban well-being, consumer behavior, social acceptance of renewable energy, and collective action.
At UNEP-CCC, Allison is building academic networks to support national governments in developing strategies for carbon trading under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. Allison also works with socially innovative capacity building in local communities to support a just energy transition.
Prior to her position and UNEP-CCC, Allison was a senior researcher at the Technical University of Denmark, working with climate change, sustainable development, systems analysis and innovation. She has also lived and worked in the United States, Korea, and China. She holds a PhD in geography from the University of Maryland, a master’s in space studies, and bachelor’s degrees in mathematics, philosophy, and music.