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date: 13 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The goal of this article is to move away from a simplistic, dualistic framing of corporate action by presenting an overview that highlights the heterogeneity of corporate responses. Corporations vary in their awareness of climate change, their climate practices and policies, in the motivations guiding their climate strategies, and in the meanings corporate executives and others ascribe to their actions. This article follows a three-part structure. The first section identifies three areas of corporate activity that can be used to compare and rank corporate responses to climate change: business practices, political action, and corporate governance. The second section analyzes drivers of corporate climate action, which include the physical, regulatory, reputational, and liability risks of climate change and the associated technological, regulatory, and reputational opportunities. In the final section, it theorizes the likely contribution of corporations to the global project of climate protection.

Keywords: corporate responses, corporate action, climate strategies, corporate executives, liability risks

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