Moving beyond “mitigation and adaptation”: examining climate change responses in New Zealand

Shona Louise Russell, Alison Greenaway, Fiona Carswell, Sean Weaver

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    5 Citations (Scopus)


    Despite the apparent failure of international negotiations and renewed criticism of the accuracy of climate science, responses to climate change continue in households, cities, fields, and meeting rooms. Notions of “doing something about”, or “taking action on” or “mitigating and adapting” to climate change inform practices of carbon trading, restoring native forests, constructing wind turbines, insulating houses, using energy efficient light bulbs, and lobbying politicians for more or less of these actions. These expressions of agency in relation to climate change provide the focus of our enquiry. We found that relationships or social networks linked through local government are building capabilities to respond to climate change. However, the framework of “mitigation–adaptation” will need to be supplemented by a more diverse suite of mental models for making sense of climate change. Use of appropriate languages, cultural reference points, and metaphors embedded in diverse histories of climates and change will assist actors in their networked climate change responses.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-19
    JournalLocal Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability
    Early online date14 Jun 2013
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • climate change, action, governance, New Zealand, social networks


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