Using social contract to inform social licence to operate: an application in the Australian coal seam gas industry

Lacey, Justine and Lamont, Julian (2013) Using social contract to inform social licence to operate: an application in the Australian coal seam gas industry. Journal of Cleaner Production, 84 1: 831-839. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2013.11.047


Author Lacey, Justine
Lamont, Julian
Title Using social contract to inform social licence to operate: an application in the Australian coal seam gas industry
Journal name Journal of Cleaner Production   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0959-6526
Publication date 2013-12-04
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jclepro.2013.11.047
Open Access Status
Volume 84
Issue 1
Start page 831
End page 839
Total pages 9
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Abstract The emerging coal seam gas (CSG) industry has been commercially active in Australia since the mid 1990s. More recently however, the development of the CSG industry has escalated rapidly with its trajectory predicted to grow into the future as gas supplies become a major and important fuel source in the transition to a lower carbon future. However, the industry has been the subject of significant social opposition. Coordinated citizen action groups taking direct action against CSG operations have delayed and even stopped CSG projects progressing. In response, the industry has recognised the importance of establishing its social licence to operate. While conflicts around CSG development tend to incorporate a combination of environmental, social, economic and technological concerns, the ethical aspects of these disagreements are rarely made explicit or explored in any depth. However, some of these more implicit ethical assumptions have begun to be formalised in the concept of social licence. The idea that a social licence represents a social contract between companies and communities is instructive. Because social contract theory describes the nature and purpose of agreement-making among members of an organised society, there are clear implications for understanding the social sustainability of those arrangements. This paper explores how consent-based and justice-based forms of social contract provide an ethical framework for the way CSG companies and communities interact.
Keyword CSG
Ethics
Justice
Mining
Procedural justice
Social contract
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
 
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Created: Thu, 06 Mar 2014, 14:10:16 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry