Morals and climate decision-making: insights from social and behavioural sciences

Lau, Jacqueline D., Song, Andrew M., Morrison, Tiffany, Fabinyi, Michael, Brown, Katrina, Blythe, Jessica, Allison, Edward H., and Adger, William Neil (2021) Morals and climate decision-making: insights from social and behavioural sciences. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 52. pp. 27-35.

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Abstract

Decisions about climate change are inherently moral. They require making moral judgements about important values and the desired state of the present and future world. Hence there are potential benefits in explaining climate action by integrating well-established and emerging knowledge on the role of morality in decision-making. Insights from the social and behavioural sciences can help ground climate change decisions in empirical understandings of how moral values and worldviews manifest in people and societies. Here, we provide an overview of progress in research on morals in the behavioural and social sciences, with an emphasis on empirical research. We highlight the role morals play in motivating and framing climate decisions; outline work describing morals as relational, situated, and dynamic; and review how uneven power dynamics between people and groups with multiple moralities shape climate decision-making. Effective and fair climate decisions require practical understandings of how morality manifests to shape decisions and action. To this end, we aim to better connect insights from social and behavioural scholarship on morality with real-world climate change decision-making.

Item ID: 68661
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1877-3435
Copyright Information: © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. In accordance with the publisher's policies, the Author Accepted Manuscript of this paper is available Open Access from ResearchOnline@JCU under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial No Derivative Works licence, from 11 June 2023.
Funders: ARC CoE Coral Reef Studies
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2021 03:42
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4406 Human geography > 440699 Human geography not elsewhere classified @ 70%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4101 Climate change impacts and adaptation > 410199 Climate change impacts and adaptation not elsewhere classified @ 15%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4410 Sociology > 441002 Environmental sociology @ 15%
SEO Codes: 19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1901 Adaptation to climate change > 190199 Adaptation to climate change not elsewhere classified @ 40%
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280123 Expanding knowledge in human society @ 40%
19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1905 Understanding climate change > 190599 Understanding climate change not elsewhere classified @ 20%
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