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2022 | Book

Managing Climate Change and Sustainability through Behavioural Transformation


About this book

This book addresses climate change and sustainability management from a transdisciplinary perspective which encompasses within itself how different humanistic disciplines can culminate with each other to move ahead with the agenda.

Issues of adapting to climate change and sustainability management have been gaining global prominence over the past few decades. There have also been volumes of literature that highlight the technical dimensions of climate change and sustainability across regions and cultures. However, they have had limited strength to bring direct and desirable impact in promoting pro-climate action and sustainability behaviour. The major reason for this is limited inclusion of pluralistic perspectives into human cognition and affect, and resultant limited public acceptability.

Although behavioural science as a discipline has taken a front seat in promoting behavioural transformation, the book argues that other humanistic fields of understanding like education, art, literature, philosophy, political science, sociology, economics, etc., have to be integrated in order to present a holistic standpoint to sustainability literature.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Climate Change and Sustainability Behaviour Management
There is enough evidence that climate change is influencing planet earth as a whole. Any change in the environment, including climate, warrants changes in human behaviour too, to cope and adapt with it. Sustainable behaviour also anticipates people to responsibly reduce carbon emissions and have environmental concerns for future generations as well. To draw effective solutions to climate change and sustainability, there is a need to understand human behavioural responses to climate change and sustainability and to switch from ‘wanting change' to actually ‘working for change’. Effective adoption of Sustainable Development Goals can help in mitigation of climate change. Alternative strategies have to be adopted to compensate the indifferent anthropogenic behaviour towards planet earth and work along the policies related to planet preservation and climate change. It can be better understood at this globally challenging times of COVID-19 pandemic outbreak which has provided us with an opportunity to check the impact of human activities on the environment while introspecting our own choices and behaviours. These changes, if practised on a large scale, will push and motivate a large number of people to follow the best practices for addressing climate change and following sustainable behavioural norms.
Parul Rishi
Chapter 2. Climate Change Risk Appraisal and Adaptation—Behavioural Processes
Climate change is caused due to human interference with nature, natural resources, and their unsustainable consumption patterns and lifestyles. Hence, it is important to know what humans think of, feel about, and wish to do about this problem. Cognitive analysis assesses the knowledge base and awareness level of respondents about various dimensions of climate change. It also includes people’s perceptions and basic factual knowledge about climate change issues as being understood by them. The climate change perception is represented as a joint function of the objective environmental conditions (for example, population density, temperature, pollution levels) and the individual characteristics of the person (for example, adaptation level, previous experience with climatic events, etc.). However, just having awareness and risk perception is not enough as one has to move ahead on the path of ‘Climate walk’ besides merely being involved into ‘Climate talk’. The chapter focuses on how different models of risk appraisal can be globally adapted to facilitate behavioural adaptation with climate change in diverse global perspectives in addition to reflecting the need for systematic research regarding climate risk appraisal and perception for future extreme weather events in diverse geo-climatic regions/countries, to take it further.
Parul Rishi
Chapter 3. Climate Change and Sustainability Communication—A Socio-Psychological Analysis
With the COVID-19 pandemic and associated loss to individual incomes as well as global economies, the disparities and inequalities in information access are further widened in developing countries, and the ‘digital divide’ expands the gap further between the ‘front-runners’ and ‘back-seaters’ of climate change and sustainability communication. This trend of widening division in different societies reinforces the already strained economies causing distortions in socio-cultural and ecological environment of almost all the regions. It warrants assuming responsibility on the part of individuals, institutions as well as governance systems worldwide to redesign their relationships with each other and the natural environment.
A psychological and social process of understanding among diverse population groups with a vision for sustainability and a solution-oriented mindset can possibly make it happen. The chapter analyses and evaluates climate change and sustainability communication from a transdisciplinary perspective integrating communication models and concepts from the disciplines of philosophy, psychology, sociology, and political science. Further, it draws examples from diverse fields of understanding and proposes its application as a management tool.
Parul Rishi
Chapter 4. Frugality and Innovation for Sustainability
We all share a common responsibility for planet earth and a collective action is warranted towards reaching the targets of sustainable development goals on behalf of all the countries. Sustainable behaviour includes within itself the inclusive approach to extend compassionate care to inhabitants of planet earth. The concept of Frugality having origin in Asian countries is a central and distinctive feature of a sustainable lifestyle warranting reduced consumption and thereby reduced impact of behavioural practices on the ‘availability and renewability of natural resources’. It has the potential to redefine our life priorities and helps us to move towards a more inclusive and sustainable society. It also establishes harmony between living systems of planet earth, which acts as the pre-condition for sustainable development. However, there is a need for transdisciplinary perspective to appreciate and apply this concept for the betterment of lives of a sizable population across the globe. The synergy between countries, disciplines, and professions can help embrace frugal innovation in a more meaningful manner as an enabling ‘driver of progress in achieving sustainable solutions’.
Parul Rishi
Chapter 5. Integrating CSR with Climate Change and Sustainability
COVID-19 has changed the way we see our world and has given a colossal opportunity to corporates to strategically place and align their business operations and CSR activities in a manner that they could draw strategic advantage out of it along with making genuine proactive as well as reactive contribution to society. It may either be in the form of fossil fuel reduction or waste management strategies or promotion of digital education infrastructure or strengthening health support network in remote areas as per need or collaborating with voluntary organizations at grass root level for running nutritional support programmes and food banks for people who have lost their livelihoods in the wake of the pandemic. Corporate organizations are expected to partner with academic institutions with strong knowledge base, to assist them in managing their CSR projects in a professional manner starting with need assessment to connecting them with professional implementing agencies to impact assessment. There is a need to equitably share the global responsibility and create a multi-stakeholder and multicentre responsible milieu. This will help develop a sense of responsibility as well as contribution among all stakeholders to take the sustainability agenda ahead.
Parul Rishi
Chapter 6. Behavioural Transformation for Sustainability and Pro-Climate Action
Human behaviour and lifestyle leaves long-term cumulative influences on sustainability of ecological systems. Climate change has primarily become a concern of psychological and behavioural sciences because of the way people have contributed to climate change through their unsustainable behavioural practices. Therefore, climate crisis across the globe cannot just be limited to explore climate solutions at the levels of corporate bodies and governance systems. Besides, there has been overwhelming importance to technological solutions for climate/sustainability promotion while paying considerably limited attention to pro-climate behavioural transformation. Behaviour-centric solutions pertaining to climate change as well as sustainability, at the level of individual, family, and community, are the starting points for any behavioural transformation to take place. The chapter focuses on the need for systematic behavioural interventions for implementing climate change/sustainability solutions. Multidisciplinary approaches integrating natural and social sciences are warranted in this regard, to give policymakers, an insight into the various behavioural challenges and barriers in order to fortify policies for climate change and sustainability.
Parul Rishi
Chapter 7. Contemplative Practices, Climate Change Adaptation, and Sustainability Management
The chapter relates climate change and sustainability to psycho-spiritual reality with the aim to strengthen behavioural adaptation to changing climatic scenario. It starts with philosophical and psycho-spiritual basis of sustainability, taking into consideration the inner world and role of contemplative practices like mindfulness and spiritual intelligence to establish the human–sustainability connect which can possibly result in behavioural transformation for sustainability and climate change adaptation. It has been explained through enhancing the knowledge base in psycho-spiritual systems; ways to overcome the psychological barriers to climate change adaptation and sustainability management and developing the capacity to address climate change linked adversities through mindfulness and other socio-behavioural techniques. Further, application of psycho-spiritual concepts is explained through Positive Psychology concepts along with their implications to benefit the environment and sustainable living.
Parul Rishi
Chapter 8. Conclusion: Looking Through a Behavior-Centric Prism
Behavioural transformation can play a key role to ensure global well-being in view of the enough evidences for anthropogenic climate change. The need of the hour is to shift the focus on behaviour-centric solutions at the level of individual, family, and community as opposed to the overwhelming attention given to mere technological solutions for climate/sustainability. Concepts like ‘Frugality’ which have a central and distinctive feature of a sustainable lifestyle necessitating reduced consumption can be very promising. Finally, contemplative practices like mindfulness and spiritual intelligence link sustainability to psycho-spiritual reality and strengthen behavioural adaptation to changing climatic scenario.
Parul Rishi
Managing Climate Change and Sustainability through Behavioural Transformation
Prof. Parul Rishi
Copyright Year
Springer Singapore
Electronic ISBN
Print ISBN