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Barriers to climate change adaption in the Australian property industry

Georgia Warren-Myers (Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)
Anna Hurlimann (Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)
Judy Bush (Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)

Journal of Property Investment & Finance

ISSN: 1463-578X

Article publication date: 23 March 2020

Issue publication date: 5 August 2020

Abstract

Purpose

To identify barriers to climate change adaptation in the Australian property industry.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews with twenty-four stakeholders from a diverse cross-section of the Australian property industry were undertaken in 2018 and 2019.

Findings

A range of barriers to action on climate change were identified. These barriers centre around (1) information: lack of clear, reliable, and trusted sources of climate change information; (2) cost: competing economic demands, and the perceived threat that investing in climate change action poses to competitiveness; and (3) regulation: the inaction of governments thus failing to provide a regulatory environment to address climate change.

Research limitations/implications

The qualitative research provides perspectives from actors in different sectors of the Australian property industry. While it provides an in-depth understanding of the barriers to addressing climate change adaptation, it is not necessarily a nationally representative sample.

Practical implications

The study identifies barriers to climate change adaptation, and establishes practical ways in which the Australian property industry can address these barriers and the role that government regulation could have in generating industry-wide change.

Social implications

Climate change poses significant challenges to society. Built environments are significant contributors to climate change, and thus the property industry is well-placed to make positive contributions to this global challenge.

Originality/value

Limited research has examined barriers to climate change action in the property industry. This research provides novel insights from the perspective of key actors across a diverse range of property industry sectors. This new knowledge fills an important gap in understanding how to address climate change in Australia and broader contexts.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

We acknowledge the research assistance by Laura Curtoni with data analysis and Jenny Pitts identifying potential interviewees. The research was funded through a Research Development Grant from the Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Citation

Warren-Myers, G., Hurlimann, A. and Bush, J. (2020), "Barriers to climate change adaption in the Australian property industry", Journal of Property Investment & Finance, Vol. 38 No. 5, pp. 449-462. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPIF-12-2019-0161

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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