The concept of disaster as a positive force for change seems intuitive, but is covered only
occasionally in the energy transition literature. We review disaster risk and recovery literature to assess
how these types of transformations may be different, and provide a change pathway within the
popular Multi-Level Perspective framework. While incumbent systems are, by definition, stable
(making change difficult), disaster can override these challenges by providing simultaneous disruption
at all structure levels. By exceeding the capacity of the regime and its established processes and
practices, disaster provides an opportunity to reformat social structures through reconstruction and
recovery processes. Importantly, significant disruption has the ability to plasticize the landscape for a
short timeframe, with potential change within a finite deviation from existing trends. During this disruptive
period, the regime and landscape become co-dependent, with any meso-level void filled by a
combination of new and reconstructed fragments, working to restore the stability of the foundation.
The new regime must then satisfy the resultant set of socially dictated conditions set by the revised
landscape to maintain the new structure. The challenge then is not to be restrained by the swift recovery
of the previous regime, and to form a new set of conditions to deliver improved outcomes that
better balance the needs of natural and anthropogenic systems.