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Todd Olive

Project investigator Todd Olive in graduation regalia in Summer 2022

Contact details


Todd undertook this project as an MASc student in Global Sustainable Development, having completed a BASc in Economic Studies and Global Sustainable Development here at Warwick in Summer 2020. His academic and research interests are in the fields of climate change and paradigms of sustainability in social, academic, and political discourse.

Todd is formerly Editor in Chief of the School for Cross-faculty Studies' student-run sustainability journal, GLOBUS (2018 - 2020), and is an Alumni Fellow of the Warwick International Higher Education Academy (2019 - 2020).

Todd is now a PhD student in Global Sustainable Development: see his department profile hereLink opens in a new window.

Out of Bounds: Mitigating the Climate Crisis Beyond the City
Scoping a Zero-Carbon Future for Development, Services, and Transport in Rural England

The findings of this project were published by the Institute of Economic Development in January 2023. You can read the full report hereLink opens in a new window.

Project background

The Climate Crisis is a widely acknowledged, highly complex challenge facing communities, businesses, and governments of all sizes (see Portner et al, 2020); to mitigate the worst of its effects, the zero-carbon transition implicates substantial and intractable challenges involving all aspects of contemporary society (see Skea et al, 2020). The literature on the Crisis, and on various of the systemic and technical challenges in decarbonisation, is extensive and varied, and for urban areas is reasonably well-explored – benefitting not only from explicit attention by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, but also by other international initiatives such as the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group – but generally fails to present a coherent and joined-up evaluation of what the transition means for rural areas, internationally and in the specific context of the UK and rural England. Along similar lines, the last detailed cogent vision for rural development, services, and living in England – setting aside the relatively vague stipulations of the prevailing National Planning Policy Framework – was written over twenty years ago under the first Blair government ("Our Countryside: The Future", Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, 2000). As such, given the importance of articulating a coherent vision for a zero-carbon rural future for enabling and encouraging emissions reduction (Phillips & Dickie, 2015), this Practice-based Project aims to examine the implications of the zero-carbon transition for several complex and highly interrelated policy fields: spatial developing and planning, transport, service provision, and jobs and economic development.

Supervisor and partner

The project is supervised by Dr Alastair Smith, Associate Professor and Education for Sustainable Development Officer in Global Sustainable Development.

The project is also supported by the Institute of Economic Development.


Using the Delphi method, this project intends to assemble a coherent understanding of the technical, social, and policy changes implied by the zero-carbon transition in each of the above areas. The study will assemble a panel of experts from across academia, industry, and policy and government organisations, to collate a range of perspectives on what the key issues are, how they are expected to evolve, what desirable outcomes might look like, and what policy measures are relevant to achieving that vision.