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Ten essentials for action-oriented and second order energy transitions, transformations and climate change research


Fazey, I and Schapke, N and Caniglia, G and Patterson, J and Hultman, J and van Mierlo, B and Sawe, F and Wiek, A and Wittmayer, J and Aldunce, P and Al Waer, H and Battacharya, N and Bradbury, H and Carmen, E and Colvin, J and Cvitanovic, C and D'Souza, M and Gopel, M and Goldstein, B and Hamalainen, T and Harper, G and Henfry, T and Hodgson, A and Howden, MS and Kerr, A and Klaes, M and Lyon, C and Midgley, G and Moser, S and Mukherjee, N and Mueller, K and O'Brien, K and O'Connell, DA and Olsson, P and Page, G and Reed, MS and Searle, B and Silvestri, G and Spaiser, V and Strasser, T and Tschakert, P and Uribe-Calvo, N and Waddell, S and Rao-Williams, J and Wise, R and Wolstenholme, R and Woods, M and Wyborn, C, Ten essentials for action-oriented and second order energy transitions, transformations and climate change research, Energy Research and Social Science, 40 pp. 54-70. ISSN 2214-6296 (2018) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.erss.2017.11.026


The most critical question for climate research is no longer about the problem, but about how to facilitate the transformative changes necessary to avoid catastrophic climate-induced change. Addressing this question, however, will require massive upscaling of research that can rapidly enhance learning about transformations. Ten essentials for guiding action-oriented transformation and energy research are therefore presented, framed in relation to second-order science. They include: (1) Focus on transformations to low-carbon, resilient living; (2) Focus on solution processes; (3) Focus on 'how to' practical knowledge; (4) Approach research as occurring from within the system being intervened; (5) Work with normative aspects; (6) Seek to transcend current thinking; (7) Take a multi-faceted approach to understand and shape change; (8) Acknowledge the value of alternative roles of researchers; (9) Encourage second-order experimentation; and (10) Be reflexive. Joint application of the essentials would create highly adaptive, reflexive, collaborative and impact-oriented research able to enhance capacity to respond to the climate challenge. At present, however, the practice of such approaches is limited and constrained by dominance of other approaches. For wider transformations to low carbon living and energy systems to occur, transformations will therefore also be needed in the way in which knowledge is produced and used.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:climate change, essentials, transdisciplinarity, sustainability, action research, sustainability transitions
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Environmental management
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Adaptation to climate change
Objective Field:Climate change adaptation measures (excl. ecosystem)
UTAS Author:Cvitanovic, C (Dr Christopher Cvitanovic)
ID Code:123535
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:148
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2018-01-11
Last Modified:2019-12-03
Downloads:104 View Download Statistics

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