Special Issue "Climate Change and Human Reaction: Transformation, Governance, Ethics, Law"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sustainability and Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Felix Ekardt
Guest Editor
Rostock University, Rostock, Germany
Interests: Sustainability/ Environmental policy, global, European, national and regional governance; process of transformation and social learning towards more sustainability; Theory of justice/ human rights on international, European and national level; Legal issues in sustainability law, environmental law, economic law, constitutional law, European law and international law.
Prof. Dr. Anita Engels
Guest Editor
Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Interests: climate social science, humanities, climate ethics, climate law, climate governance, fossil fuels, Paris Agreement, behavioural change

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sustainability, i.e., the demand for long-term and globally practicable lifestyles and economies, is increasingly being understood as the central challenge of our time. This is especially true with regard to climate change. Undoubtedly, natural scientific and technical knowledge of problem relationships in dealing with nature, resources, and climate is important. However, technical change does not happen on its own. In addition, the ecological challenges are simply too great not to aim for a behavioral change, including structural change as well as technology, given the—legally binding—1.5 degrees limit in Article 2 of the Paris Agreement that may require global zero emissions in all sectors in two or three decades. This is the starting point of this Special Issue on climate change and human reaction. We want to investigate, for example, the conditions for individual and social change, the means or governance instruments for zero fossil fuels in all sectors and drastically reduced livestock emissions in 2040 or 2050, as well as normative (ethical and legal) issues. Transdisciplinary approaches should play a special role, i.e., approaches that do not operate from disciplinary boundaries but from questions of content without excessive subordination to established disciplinary dogmas. It is important to the guest editors that the Special Issue stands for pluralism and expressly gives room to uncomfortable, unexpected, and heterodox views and methods. We invite qualitative as well as quantitative studies that adhere to high quality standards and provide plausible justifications of their methodological choices and study design.

Prof. Dr. Felix Ekardt
Prof. Dr. Anita Engels
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • climate social science
  • humanities
  • climate ethics
  • climate law
  • climate governance
  • fossil fuels
  • Paris Agreement
  • behavioral change

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Influencing Factors of Public Participation in Meteorological Disaster Prevention and Mitigation
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3108; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083108 - 13 Apr 2020
Meteorological disasters have become a global challenge due to the increased prevalence and severity, and China is among the most affected countries. In this paper, based on a randomized survey in China, the authors employed a structural equation model to study the influencing [...] Read more.
Meteorological disasters have become a global challenge due to the increased prevalence and severity, and China is among the most affected countries. In this paper, based on a randomized survey in China, the authors employed a structural equation model to study the influencing factors of public participation in meteorological disaster prevention and mitigation (MDPM). It is found that the behavior of the government has a significant positive influence, with an influencing coefficient of 0.494 on the public’s willingness to participate in MDPM. The degree of community involvement also has a significant positive influence on the public’s willingness, with an influencing coefficient of 0.636. The public’s attention to meteorological events and ability to participate have less impact on their participation in MDPM, with coefficients of 0.057 and 0.075, respectively. The information acquisition has a significant negative impact, with an influencing coefficient of −0.084. There is a strong positive covariation between community participation and governmental behavior, with a covariance coefficient of 0.27, indicating that the two factors promote each other and together boost the public’s willingness to participate in MDPM. Full article
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