Session: Cultural Issues in Sustainability

Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures Stream


Day 2, Parallel Session 2B: 1:30pm – 3:00pm

Location: Storey Hall (Building 16), Conference Room 1, Level 7, Room 7

Chair: Kim Neylon (University of Melbourne)


Mark Dean Cultural Responses to Climate Change: Cultivating Lifestyle Activism through Alternative Knowledge Productions 

  • Presenter and main author: Mark Dean (Australian Workplace Innovation and Social Research Centre)
  • Abstract: The environmental policies of Australian governments often posit individual citizen-consumers as primary agents for change through notions like sustainable consumption. These policies are subjectively neoliberal in nature. The consumption-based behaviours cultivated are thus most often driven by rational economic motives and aims, rather than any intrinsic and collective-based desire to protect the environment. I consider the possibilities of alternative knowledge, subjugated by the dominant neoliberal knowledge framework, to offer a potential basis for empowering alternative pro-environmental behavioural changes that more deeply politicise consumption and augment collective social action. To investigate what motivates and influences individuals to such alternative forms of pro-environmental behavioural change, I conducted qualitative interviews with 12 “knowers” – highly engaged pro-environmental individuals. I interpret their subjugated knowledges to empower various pro-environmental lifestyle behavioural changes that permit action beyond the neoliberal paradigm and empower local forms of knowledge-based lifestyle activism. My study’s findings suggest that these individuals are strategically positioned to translate their subjective interpretations of less-visible alternative knowledges into broader and more familiar socio-cultural discourses. This may help to build stronger collectively-based pro-environmental lifestyles and make lifestyle activism more culturally appealing as to increase social and economic pressure on governments to develop stronger environmental policy aims.
  • About the presenter: Mark is a research officer at the Australian Workplace Innovation and Social Research Centre (WISeR) at The University of Adelaide. He completed a Bachelor of Social Sciences with First Class Honours in Gender Work & Social Inquiry in 2012, also at The University of Adelaide. Since graduating Mark has provided research assistance to ongoing projects at WISeR. Mark’s research interests are in building socio-cultural and socio-economic resilience to the neoliberal political economy, and in 2014 he plans to commence a PhD by research into creating a local currency for regional social and economic development in Adelaide’s north.
Huy Nguyen Anh Pham How Does the French Capital Market React to Announcement of Environmental Regulations?

  • Presenter and main author: Huy Nguyen Anh Pham (RMIT University)
  • Abstract: We investigate the impact of announcements of European environmental regulations on the French equity markets. Using a well-established event study methodology, we assess whether these announcements are value constructive for environmentally-friendly businesses and value destructive for polluters. Additionally, we estimate the change in systematic risk using asset pricing models. According to the results generated, the French capital market was particularly sensitive to the European Union Emission Trading System (EU ETS) announcements. Chemicals, mining, oil and gas industries show negative reactions whilst other polluters such as electricity and industrial transportation exhibit surprising positive abnormal returns reactions. We observe that a move towards a greener nation has a mixed effect on abnormal returns with apparent sector-by-sector differences. Moreover, the effectiveness of the policies is questionable in certain instances on the grounds of whether or not they achieve their desire targets.
  • Co-authors: Associate Professor Vikash Ramiah (RMIT University) and Professor Imad Moosa (RMIT University)
  • About the presenter: Huy is currently a PhD candidate and research assistant at RMIT University. His PhD is entitled “The effect of European Environmental Regulations on Capital Markets”. Earlier last year, he completed a Bachelor of Business (Economics & Finance) – (Applied) with Distinction.