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2020-Vision: understanding climate (in)action through the emotional lens of loss

Jones, Lisa; Halstead, Florence; Parsons, Katie; Le, Hue; Ha Bui, Ly Thi; Hackney, Christopher; Parsons, Daniel


Hue Le

Ly Thi Ha Bui

Christopher Hackney


We are the midst of a climate emergency requiring urgent climate action that is as yet unforthcoming on both the scale and at the speed needed. This paper considers this current state of inaction and how we might understand the processes of attitudinal and behavioural change needed through the emotional framework of loss. These issues are further explored through the additional lens of the year 2020, a year of tumultuous social change created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The paper draws parallels with and looks to learn from the ways in which the collective loss experienced as a result of COVID-19 may offer a sense of hope in the fight not just against climate change but for climate justice. The paper argues that appropriate leadership that guides widespread climate action from all is best sought from those groups already facing the loss of climate change and therefore already engaged in climate-related social action and activism, including youth and Indigenous peoples.


Jones, L., Halstead, F., Parsons, K., Le, H., Ha Bui, L. T., Hackney, C., & Parsons, D. (in press). 2020-Vision: understanding climate (in)action through the emotional lens of loss. Journal of the British Academy, 9(s5), 29-68.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 4, 2021
Online Publication Date Sep 15, 2021
Deposit Date Jul 16, 2021
Publicly Available Date Sep 22, 2021
Journal Journal of the British Academy
Publisher British Academy
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Issue s5
Pages 29-68
Keywords Climate change; Activism; Climate action; Climate movement; Climate justice; 2020; COVID-19; Loss; Emotion; Hope; Youth; Social action
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