The future of carbon accounting research: “we’ve pissed mother nature off, big time”

Delphine Gibassier, Giovanna Michelon, Mélodie Cartel

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial (Academic Journal)peer-review

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The purpose of this paper is to review the contributions of the special issue papers while presenting four broad research avenues.

The paper is based on a review of current literature on climate change and carbon accounting.

The authors propose four broad avenues for research: climate change as a systemic and social issue, the multi-layered transition apparatus for climate change, climate vulnerability and the future of carbon accounting.

Practical implications
The authors connect this study with the requested institutional changes for climate breakdown, making the paper relevant for practice and policy. The authors notably point to education and professions as institutions that will request bold and urgent makeovers.

Social implications
The authors urge academics to reconsider climate change as a social issue, requiring to use new theoretical lenses such as emotions, eco-feminism, material politics and “dispositifs” to tackle this grand challenge.

This paper switches the authors’ viewpoint on carbon accounting to look at it from a more systemic and social lens.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477 - 485
Number of pages9
JournalSustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal
Issue number3
Early online date11 Mar 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Mar 2020

Structured keywords

  • AF Accountability Sustainability and Governance


  • carbon accounting
  • system thinking
  • avoided emissions
  • science-based targets
  • climate breakdown
  • climate vulnerability


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