Thursday November 23, 2023

What Is a Dead-End Pathway? A Conversation with Dr. James Meadowcroft

Webinar Summary

When implementing strategies to address a changing climate, how do you know if you’re on the right path? And before you’ve spent valuable time and resources, how do you know if you’re on the wrong path?  

On November 23rd, attendees joined the Transition Accelerator for a wide-ranging discussion designed to answer these questions. In this webinar, Dr. James Meadowcroft and Moe Kabbara explored the essential distinction between long-term transition pathways and short-sighted victories. Adopting a pathways perspective is at the heart of the Accelerator’s methodology, and our speakers outlined how decision-makers can avoid “dead ends” and instead take deliberate steps toward achieving transformative change.

Dead-end pathways are directions that may seem sensible in the short term, achieving positive results like specific reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, but they don’t lead to the profound, lasting changes that our shifting climate demands. In fact, dead-end pathways can drain valuable resources and delay the major shifts needed to ensure Canadian prosperity. During the webinar, attendees sent in their burning questions to our experts and helped shape a productive conversation.


James Meadowcroft, PhD

Transition Pathway Principal

James Meadowcroft, PhD, is professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University where he has held a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Governance for Sustainable Development. He has written widely on environmental politics and policy, democratic participation and deliberative democracy, national sustainable development strategies and socio-technical transitions. Recent work focuses on energy and the transition to a low-carbon society and includes publications on carbon capture and storage (CCS), smart grids, the development of Ontario’s electricity system, the politics of socio-technical transitions and negative carbon emissions.


Moe Kabbara

Vice President

Moe Kabbara is an experienced energy and climate professional with close to a decade of experience working at the intersection of technology, policy, and markets. Moe brings expertise in the areas of transportation electrification, renewable energy, energy storage, and energy efficiency. He is also a sought-after voice on zero-emission vehicle supply chain issues and has spearheaded the establishment of Accelerate, Canada’s zero-emission vehicle supply chain alliance, bringing together private and public sector players to leverage Canada’s opportunity in global ZEV manufacturing.

Prior to joining the Accelerator, Moe was a Managing Consultant at Dunsky Energy + Climate. He was also a Senior Investment Officer at the Department of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada. Moe also was the co-founder and CEO of a thermal energy storage start-up in Atlantic Canada.



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