Achieving carbon reduction: Learning from stories of vision, chance and determination

Margaret Gearty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A rationale for exploring examples of where carbon reduction has occurred is presented as being potentially valuable and complementary to streams of research that focus on the many barriers to decarbonising our society. Research being carried out on this basis as part of the Carbon Vision, Lowcarbonworks, programme is described. The value of a narrative-based approach is discussed as a way to circumvent some of the challenges that can be implicit in using purely analytical or conventional case analysis where the mess of human encounter, serendipity and emotion can simply disappear from the account. Drawing on an action research methodology called Learning History, research centred on local government in the UK explores ways to evoke accounts that are highly individual yet serve the purpose of celebrating, amplifying and inspiring others to undertake actions in their own locale. A short example of the approach using an excerpt from one of the five learning histories featured in the research is offered. It is the story of how an innovative piece of low-carbon policy, the Merton Rule, came into being. Implications of the approach are briefly considered. Reprinted by permission of Greenleaf Publishing
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-94
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of corporate citizenship
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Business studies.
  • Environmentalism
  • Corporatism
  • Action research
  • Ethics
  • Local government
  • Environmental policy
  • Carbon emissions
  • Sustainability
  • Corporate culture


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