Dr Frauke Urban
BSc, MSc, PhD
- Dr Frauke Urban
- Email address:
- 0203 0738329
- 36 Gordon Square
- Office No:
- LIDC 203
Dr. Frauke Urban is an environmental scientist specialised on the linkages between energy, climate change and development, especially climate change mitigation, low carbon development and energy policy. Her main regional interest is Asia, particularly China, India and Southeast Asia. She is currently the Principle Investigator for an ESRC-funded project on China’s rise in the hydropower dam sector and its environmental and social implications in low and middle income countries (ESRC grant ref number: ES/J01320X/1). Frauke also works as Co-Investigator on another ESRC-funded project on China’s low carbon innovation in the energy sector. Frauke currently teaches in the fields of Environmental Management and Climate Change and Development.
Frauke works as Senior Lecturer in Environment and Development at the Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (CeDEP) at the School of Oriental and African Studies SOAS. Before joining SOAS she worked as Research Fellow in Climate Change and Development at the Institute of Development Studies IDS at the University of Sussex in 2008-2011. Before that, she was Research Fellow at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands in 2004-2008 and a Visiting Researcher at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China in 2007.
AffiliationsCentre for Water and Development (CDW) - Member
Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA) - Full Member
London International Development Centre (LIDC) - Member
SOAS China Institute (SCI) - Member
- Climate Change and Development
- Energy and Development
- Environmental Assessment
- Environmental Auditing and Environmental Management Systems
- Environmental Science and Management
PhD Students supervised
- Catherine Doe Adodoadji , Climate Change and Vulnerable Coastal Communities in Ghana (working title)
- Vivian Polar Funez, Participation for Empowerment: An analysis of agricultural innovation in two contrasting settings of Bolivia - final corrections to thesis being made
Programme Director: Environmental Management
Dr. Frauke Urban works on the linkages between energy, climate change and development, especially climate change mitigation, low carbon development and energy policy. Her main regional interest is Asia, particularly China, India and Southeast Asia. She also works on China’s rise and its environmental implications in low and middle income countries.
Frauke’s new textbook “Low Carbon Development: Key Issues” has been published in March 2013 by Earthscan, Routledge. “Low Carbon Development: Key Issues” is the first comprehensive textbook to address the interface between international development and climate change in a carbon constrained world. It discusses the key conceptual, empirical and policy-related issues of low carbon development and takes an international and interdisciplinary approach to the subject by drawing on insights from across the natural sciences and social sciences whilst embedding the discussion in a global context.
She is a guest editor for the journal Environment, Development and Sustainability for the special issue “China as a new shaper of international development: The environmental implications”.
Frauke is the Principal Investigator for the project “China goes global: a comparative analysis of the impacts of Chinese hydropower dams in low and middle income countries”, led by SOAS. The project is funded by the Economics and Social Research Council ESRC under their Rising Powers Scheme. China’s rapid economic growth has created a series of pressures that has forced the country to engage more closely with a number of low and middle income countries. First, rapid growth is depleting scarce domestic natural resources, including energy resources, and so part of China’s ‘Going Out Strategy’ encourages overseas investment to access these resources. Secondly, as some sectors of the Chinese market become relatively saturated, the first generation of large state-owned enterprises liberalised under the post-1979 reforms need to internationalise and acquire new markets. Thirdly, China’s rapid technological advances –such as in energy technology- have made it possible to expand overseas. These three drivers –resource access, new markets, technological advances– come together in the hydropower sector where China is the world’s largest player in large hydropower dam projects, usually backed by state finance and state-owned enterprises. The project explores the environmental, social, economic and political impacts of China’s engagement in large dams in Cambodia, Ghana, Malaysia and Nigeria through fieldwork and document and data analysis. Time frame: 2012-2015, (ESRC grant ref number: ES/J01320X/1). Project website: China Goes Global.
Frauke is a Co-Investigator for the ESRC-funded project “Low carbon innovation in China: Prospects, Politics and Practice”, led by the University of Lancaster. This project will compare government-led, high-tech ‘indigenous innovation’ approaches with emergent, lower-tech approaches in the areas of agriculture, energy and mobility. The project’s aim is explore the extent, nature and social implications of low-carbon transitions in China, a key concern for the whole world. The project explores three case studies from energy, mobility and agriculture. Frauke leads the energy workpackage. Time frame: late 2013-2016. Project website: Low Carbon Innovation in China.
Frauke also works on the project 'Technological Trajectories for Climate Change Mitigation in Europe, China and India' funded by the Svenska Riksbanken Jubileumsfond and the Volkswagen Foundation. The project addresses two questions: a) how and why do the emerging technological trajectories for climate change mitigation in Europe, China and India differ, and b) what are the implications for strategies of international competition and cooperation at the enterprise and government level. The research is being carried out by conducting empirical analysis on two sectors: wind energy and electric vehicles. Time frame: 2011-2014.
Frauke has led and contributed to a wide range of research projects and consultancies at IDS before joining SOAS, including being the Principal Investigator for an ESRC-funded network grant on China as a new ‘shaper’ of international development. Other work at IDS included projects on low carbon development, energy policy and climate change mitigation in developing countries funded by DFID, CDKN, CAFOD, Oxfam, Climate Strategies, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the British Academy. For her PhD at the University of Groningen, Frauke conducted research on transitions to low carbon energy as climate change mitigation options for China and India, which was funded by the Ubbo-Emmius-Foundation.
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- South East Asia
Urban, Frauke (2014) Low Carbon Transitions for Developing Countries. Oxon: Earthscan, Routledge.
Edited Books or Journal Volumes
Urban, Frauke and Nordensvärd, Johan, eds. (2013) Low Carbon Development: Key Issues. London: Earthscan, Routledge.
Kelman, Ilan and Colbourn, Tim and Costello, Anthony and Georgeson, Lucien and Kovats, Sari and Maslin, Mark and Newsham, Andrew and Sammonds, Peter and Urban, Frauke and Waage, Jeff and Wilkinson, Paul (2015) 'Climate and Climate Change.' In: Waage, Jeff and Yap, Christopher, (eds.), Thinking Beyond Sectors for Sustainable Development. London: Ubiquity Press, pp. 11-17.
Urban, Frauke and Nordensvard, Johan (2013) 'Low Carbon Development: Origins, concepts and key issues.' In: Urban, Frauke and Nordensvard, Johan, (eds.), Low Carbon Development: Key Issues. Oxon: Earthscan, Routledge, pp. 3-22.
Urban, Frauke and Nordensvard, Johan (2013) 'Climate Change Economics: Financing Low Carbon Development.' In: Urban, Frauke and Nordensvard, Johan, (eds.), Low Carbon Development: Key Issues. Oxon: Earthscan, Routledge, pp. 81-93.
Urban, Frauke (2013) 'Triple Win? The Case of Climate Compatible Development.' In: Urban, Frauke and Nordensvard, Urban, (eds.), Low Carbon Development: Key Issues. Oxon: Earthscan, Routledge, pp. 202-212.
Urban, Frauke and Nordensvard, Johan (2013) 'Approaches to Low Carbon Development in Low, Middle and High Income Countries: A Conceptual Framework.' In: Urban, Frauke and Nordensvard , Johan, (eds.), Low Carbon Development: Key Issues. Oxon: Earthscan, Routledge, pp. 217-227.
Urban, Frauke and Ting, Marie Blanche and Lakew, Hilawe (2013) 'Poverty Reducation and Economic Growth in a Carbon Constrained World: The Case of Ethiopia.' In: Urban, Frauke and Nordensvard, Johan, (eds.), Low Carbon Development: Key Issues. Oxon: Earthscan, Routledge, pp. 228-239.
Urban, Frauke and Nordensvard, Johan and Zhou, Yuan (2013) 'Ride the Wind: Wind Energy in China.' In: Urban, Frauke and Nordensvard, Johan, (eds.), Low Carbon Development: Key Issues. Oxon: Earthscan, Routledge, pp. 259-269.
Urban, Frauke and Sumner, A. (2012) 'Pro-poor low carbon development.' In: Ockwell, D. and Mallet, A., (eds.), Low carbon technology transfer: from rhetoric to reality. Earthscan.
Urban, Frauke and Benders, R.M.J. and Moll, H.C. (2006) 'Modelling Transitions to Renewable Energy in Developing Countries.' In: Sastry, E.V.R. and Reddy, D.N., (eds.), ICORE 2006. Allied Publishers Pvt. Ltd., Hyderabad, India, pp. 497-502.
Siciliano, Giuseppina and Urban, Frauke and Sour, Kim and Pich, Dara Lonn (2015) 'Hydropower, social priorities and the rural–urban development divide: The case of large dams in Cambodia.' Energy Policy, 86 . pp. 273-285.
Nordensvard, J and Urban, Frauke (2015) 'The stuttering energy transition in Germany: Wind energy policy and feed-in tariff lock-in.' Energy Policy, 82 . pp. 156-165.
Urban, Frauke (2014) 'Small-scale solar is a big player in China’s clean energy mix.' China Dialogue .
Urban, Frauke (2014) 'China goes global.' International Innovation Environment Report, , 159 . pp. 83-85.
Urban, Frauke and Nordensvard, Johan (2014) 'China Dams the World: The Environmental and Social Impacts of Chinese Dams.' E-International Relations .
Urban, Frauke and Nordensvärd, Johan and Khatri, Deepika and Wang, Yu (2013) 'An analysis of China's investments in the hydropower sector in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region.' Environment, Development and Sustainability, 15 (2). pp. 301-324.
Urban, Frauke and Mohan, Giles and Cook, Sarah (2013) 'China as a new shaper of international development: The environmental implications.' Environment, Development and Sustainability, 15 (2). pp. 257-263.
Berger, Axel and Fischer, Doris and Lema, Rasmus and Schmitz, Hubert and Urban, Frauke (2013) 'China–Europe Relations in the Mitigation of Climate Change: A Conceptual Framework.' Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 42 (1). pp. 71-98.
Urban, Frauke and Nordensvärd, Johan O and Zhou, Yuan (2012) 'Key actors and their motives for wind energy innovation in China.' Innovation and Development, 2 (1). pp. 111-130.
Urban, Frauke and Lind, Jeremy (2011) 'Low carbon energy and conflict: A new agenda.' Boiling Point (59). pp. 26-27.
Urban, Frauke and Mitchell, T. and Silva Villanueva, P. (2011) 'Issues at the interface of disaster risk management and low-carbon development.' Climate and Development, 33 (3). pp. 259-279.
Mulugetta, Yacob and Urban, Frauke (2010) 'Deliberating on low carbon development.' Energy Policy, 38 (12). pp. 7546-7549.
Urban, Frauke (2010) 'Pro-poor low carbon development and the role of growth.' International Journal of Green Economics, 4 (1). pp. 82-93.
Urban, Frauke (2010) 'The MDGs and beyond: Can low carbon development be pro-poor?' IDS Bulletin, 41 (1). pp. 92-99.
Urban, Frauke (2010) 'Climate change mitigation revisited: Low-carbon energy transitions for China and India [in Chinese].' Urban Insight, 5 (2). pp. 36-53.
Urban, Frauke (2009) 'Climate change mitigation revisited: Low-carbon energy transitions for China and India.' Development Policy Review Journal, 27 (6). pp. 693-715.
Urban, Frauke and Benders, R.M.J. and Moll, H.C. (2009) 'Renewable and low-carbon energy as mitigation options of climate change for China.' Climatic Change, 94 (1-2). pp. 169-188.
Urban, Frauke and Benders, R.M.J. and Moll, H.C: (2009) 'Energy for rural India.' Applied Energy, 86 . pp. 47-57.
Van Ruijven, B. and Urban, Frauke and Benders, R.J.M. and Moll, H.C. and Van der Sluijs, J and De Vries, B and Van Vuuren, D.P. (2008) 'Modeling Energy and Development: an Evaluation of Models and Concepts.' World Development, 36 (12). pp. 2801-2821.
Urban, Frauke and Benders, R.M.J. and Moll, H.C. (2007) 'Modelling energy systems for developing countries.' Energy Policy, 35 (6). pp. 3473-3482.
Urban, Frauke and Geall, Sam (2015) Pathways Towards Renewable Energy in China: Prospects, Politics and Practices - Solar.
Tyfield, David and Ely, Adrian and Urban, Frauke and Geall, Sam and Zuev, Dennis and Urry, John (2015) Low-Carbon Innovation in China: Prospects, Politics and Practices - Innovation.
Lema, Rasmus and Nordensvard, Johan and Urban, Frauke and Lutkenhorst, Wilfried (2014) Innovation Paths in Wind Power: Insights from Denmark and Germany. GDI/DIE.
Lema, R and Nordensvard, J and Urban, Frauke and Lutkenhorst, W (2014) Innovation Paths in Wind Power: Insights from Denmark and Germany. GDI/DIE.
Naess, LO and Hagemann, M and Harvey, B and Urban, Frauke (2014) Improving Co-benefits and ‘Triple Win’ Impacts from Climate Action: The role of guidance tools. Brighton: IDS.
Lockwood, Matthew and Urban, Frauke (2012) Drivers for low carbon development: Case studies from China, Ghana and Ethiopia. Brighton: IDS / DFID.
Urban, Frauke and Nordensvard, Johan (2011) The Ambiguous Role of Corporations in Climate Change Mitigation: An Explorative Appraisal of Corporations in China, Malaysia and the US. IDS Working Paper, vol. 2011 (373).
Urban, Frauke (2011) Achieving Low Carbon Development in Ethiopia, Ghana and China – the Role of Governments, Business and Civil Society. IDS Paper for the Learning Hub on Adaptation and Low Carbon Development.
Urban, Frauke and Nordensvard, Johan and Wang, Yu and Khatri, Deepika and Mohan, Giles (2011) China and the African oil sector: channels of engagement, motives, actors and impacts. IDS Working Paper, vol. 2011 (374).
Urban, Frauke and Mohan, Giles and Zhang, Yanbing (2011) The understanding and practice of development in China and the European Union. IDS Working Paper, vol. 2011 (372).
Urban, Frauke (2011) Technology, Trade and Climate Policy: The Pursuit of Low Carbon Development in Least Developed Countries, Vulnerable Economies and Small Island Developing States. London: Commonwealth Secretariat.
Urban, Frauke and Mitchell, Tom (2011) Climate change, disasters and the energy sector: Issues at the interface of changing disaster risks, adaptation and mitigation. Strengthening Climate Resilience Discussion Paper, IDS.
Urban, Frauke and Mitchell, T. and Silva Villanueva, P. (2010) Greening Disaster Risk Management: Issues at the Interface of Disaster Risk Management and Low Carbon Development. Strengthening Climate Resilience Discussion Paper 3, IDS.
Urban, Frauke (2009) Learning for climate change mitigation finance from development assistance. Climate Strategies, London.
Urban, Frauke (2009) Enabling environments for low carbon economies: implications for least developed countries. CAFOD, London.
Urban, Frauke (2014) 'Review of: "Large Dams in Asia: Contested Environments Between Technological Hydroscapes and Social Resistance".' Mountain Research and Development, 34 (3). pp. 307-308.
Urban, Frauke (2009) Sustainable energy for developing countries – Modelling transitions to renewable and clean energy in rapidly developing countries. PhD thesis. University of Groningen, Netherlands.
Urban, Frauke and Mohan, G. (2010) 'China’s Rise – Implications for Low Income Countries.' IDS In Focus Policy Briefing (8.4).
Urban, Frauke and Sumner, A. (2009) 'After 2015: Pro-poor low carbon development.' IDS In Focus Policy Briefing (9.4).
Urban, Frauke and Wang, Yu (2009) 'Energy, climate change and low carbon development in China.' IDS In Focus Policy Briefing (8.2).