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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Cristina Neesham
This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Taylor and Francis Group, 2020.
For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Climate change is a key societal and economic challenge. Despite widespread recognition for the need for urgent action on climate change, transformation to a zero carbon economy is still elusive. While there are detailed accounts of organisational responses to climate change impacts, little is known about climate change inaction. We adopt the theoretical framework of resilience in social-ecological systems to explore the change processes needed to overcome climate change inaction. Through an in-depth case study of an Australian energy company, we identify the impediments to climate change action due to rigidity and scarcity traps at three levels: micro (organisation), meso (industry), and macro (government). These traps inhibit transformation from a fossil fuel regime to a renewable energy regime. Our study contributes to a multi-level theory of organisational inaction on climate change by identifying specific causal factors that erode systemic adaptive capacity, increasing the probability of rigidity and scarcity traps. We find that different inaction occurs at all three levels, and is closely interconnected (across levels) within a social-ecological system, due to dynamic antecedents (e.g. changing individual attitudes, business practices, and government policies). Competencies, resources, and cultural changes can help organisations traverse rigidity and scarcity traps to overcome climate change inaction.
Author(s): Mishra K, Neesham C, Coghill K, Stubbs W
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Australasian Journal of Environmental Management
Issue: ePub ahead of Print
Online publication date: 18/05/2020
Acceptance date: 16/04/2020
Date deposited: 25/05/2020
ISSN (print): 1448-6563
ISSN (electronic): 2159-5356
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Group
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