A Primer on Global Environmental Change

15 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2020

See all articles by Martina K. Linnenluecke

Martina K. Linnenluecke

Macquarie University

Tom Smith

Macquarie University, Macquarie Business School

Date Written: December 2019


This paper sets out the science behind global environmental change, defined by the US Global Change Research Act as ‘changes in the global environment (including alterations in climate, land productivity, oceans or other water resources, atmospheric chemistry, and ecological systems) that may alter the capacity of the Earth to sustain life’. We explain why there is still scepticism about the science in the business world and introduce eight gestalt shifts that are likely to change how executives think about environmental change and the threats and opportunities such changes present. The paper concludes with future research directions on business and global environmental change and outlines how the business case for investment in clean technology means that the transition to clean tech is inevitable.

Keywords: Global environmental change, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Planetary boundaries, Gestalt shift, Executives

Suggested Citation

Linnenluecke, Martina K. and Smith, Tom, A Primer on Global Environmental Change (December 2019). Abacus, Vol. 55, Issue 4, pp. 810-824, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3556025 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/abac.12175

Martina K. Linnenluecke (Contact Author)

Macquarie University

North Ryde
Sydney, New South Wales 2109

Tom Smith

Macquarie University, Macquarie Business School ( email )

New South Wales 2109

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