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

Delphine Gibassier (Audencia Business School, Nantes, France)
Giovanna Michelon (Department of Accounting and Finance, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK)
Mélodie Cartel (UNSW, Sydney, Australia)

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal

ISSN: 2040-8021

Article publication date: 9 March 2020

Issue publication date: 23 April 2020




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.



Gibassier, D., Michelon, G. and Cartel, M. (2020), "The future of carbon accounting research: “we’ve pissed mother nature off, big time”", Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 477-485.



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