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Abstract

Recent GHG emissions trends are in stark contrast with the Paris Agreement’s target to hold the increase in average global warming to “well below 2 °C and pursue efforts to stay below 1,5 °C” by the end of the century compared with preindustrial times. This disconnect has further unveiled the limitations of current knowledge production and communication processes in Southern European countries, where fast institutional changes are needed to address the potential impacts as well as the opportunities for transformation derived from High-End Climate Change (HECC). The prevailing knowledge deficit-model – aimed at producing ‘more knowledge’ about climate impacts, vulnerabilities and long-term scenarios to decision makers – has long proven inadequate in tackling the many complexities of the present socio-climate quandary. The growing emphasis on assessing and implementing concrete solutions, demand new and more complex forms of agent interactions in the production, framing, communication and use of climate knowledge; and in particular, explicit procedures able to tackle difficult normative questions regarding assessment of solutions and the allocation of individual and collective responsibilities. To explore these challenges, we analyse the views of 30 Spanish knowledge contributors and users of the latest UN IPCC AR5 report and share the insights gained from the implementation of a participatory Integrated Assessment procedure aimed at developing innovative solutions to high-end climate scenarios in Iberia. Our analysis supports the view of the need to institutionalise transformation, and in particular underlines the potential role that transformative climate boundary organisations could play to address such difficult ethical choices in different contexts of action.

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... However, there is limited understanding of how to do that in practice. Despite increasing interest in the 'human dimension' of global environmental change across a variety of disciplines [8,[18][19][20][21][22][23], the arts are a forgotten dimension in IPCC reports: a word search in IPCC AR5 shows that the term 'arts' (in the sense of artistic practice) does not appear [24]. In this article, we position the arts as key contributors to processes related to social learning, as they are particularly well-suited to give access to sources of knowledge and to drive action relevant for climate transformations. ...
... So far, this work has focused on managing carbon emissions and adaptating to climate impacts [14]. Despite advances in climate adaptation literature, limited knowledge is available on how to promote and bring about transformative changes in the cultural dimensions of climate change [20 ]. ...
... Sound decisions depend on both factual understanding and values [33]. Improving societies' capacities to respond to climate change requires an open and engaging transdisciplinary processes with large and diverse populations aimed at sharing experiences, cocreating knowledge and reimagining public goals [20 ]. While the effective communication of climate science is an important component of public mobilization, and making climate change more personally relevant has been suggested as a key predictor for climate change engagement [34], public engagement hinges on complex social and psychological mechanisms [35,36]. ...
Article
The search for decisive actions to remain below 1.5 C of global temperature rise will require profound cultural transformations. Yet our knowledge of how to promote and bring about such deep transformative changes in the minds and behaviours of individuals and societies is still limited. As climate change unravels and the planet becomes increasingly connected, societies will need to articulate a shared purpose that is both engaging and respectful of cultural diversity. Thus, there is a growing need to 'raise the temperature' of integration between multiple ways of knowing climate change. We have reviewed a range of literatures and synthesized them in order to draw out the perceived role of the arts in fostering climate transformations. Our analysis of climate-related art projects and initiatives shows increased engagement in recent years, particularly with the narrative, visual and performing arts. The arts are moving beyond raising awareness and entering the terrain of interdisciplinarity and knowledge co-creation. We conclude that climate-arts can contribute positively in fostering the imagination and emotional predisposition for the development and implementation of the transformations necessary to address the 1.5 C challenge.
... At present, there is very little research about communication of HECC information specifically. According to Tàbara et al. (2017) 'a major difficulty in the assessment and communication of HECC is dealing with potential system discontinuities, abrupt changes and tipping points and their implications for policy'. Our surveys confirm that provision of HECC information is challenging but do not provide insight into why this is the case. ...
... Partial answers can be found from smaller, qualitative surveys about limitations to the use of climate change information. Tàbara et al. (2017) found that Spanish knowledge contributors found little actionable use for IPCC information: it was overly complicated, not specified at the local level and not sufficiently oriented towards solutions. Similarly, Capela Lourenço et al. (2019) reported that information is not usable because (i) it is not adequately tailored to the decision-making circumstances (e.g. ...
Article
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We surveyed members of the adaptation community about their views on high-end climate change—here defined as global average temperature increase exceeding 2 °C at the end of the century—at consecutive conferences in 2016 and 2018. Most strikingly our surveys show that a majority of the community disagrees that the Paris Agreement has reduced the possibility of the world reaching dangerous levels of climate change. Consistent with this, around two thirds of people consulted are considering high-end climate change or using high-end scenarios in their work all the time, or starting to. However, this is still not done by all. Preparedness for the specific threats posed by high-end impacts is not keeping pace, and more work needs to be done to strengthen the research basis and understand adaptation needs under high-end climate change. Moreover, views on finding information on impacts and tools for decision-making have not changed between 2016 and 2018, showing that there is no improvement. This situation underlines that the adaptation community needs to do better in supporting exchange of information and data between all actors—in addition to finding and filling knowledge gaps. Despite this, there is widespread support for avoiding delaying large-scale adaptation until we have more certainty.
... The main purpose of this paper is to present an innovative participatory methodology that is designed to assess the knowledge needs, alternative future pathways and capacities of regional organizations and agents to promote institutional innovations capable of responding to the new challenges posed by HECC [5,6]. First, our exploration starts with the examination of the kinds of institutional arrangements that exist both in Portugal and Spain with regard to climate policy. ...
... The urgent challenges posed by climate change require the speedy design and implementation of institutional settings capable of making use of the best available and fit-for-purpose knowledge to support the management of complex problems emerging, often in an interrelated way, from different domains. Attaining such knowledge may require the construction of multi-scalar social action networks-rather than just data bases or information pools-in order to enhance the actual resilience and anticipatory capacities of social-ecological systems [6,30,31]. This is considered to favor institutional learning and more adaptive or, in our context, more transformative responses to fast environmental change [13,27,[32][33][34]. ...
Article
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Either meeting the UNFCCC Paris agreement to limit global average warming below the 2–1.5 °C threshold, or going beyond it entails huge challenges in terms of institutional innovation and transformation. This research describes a participatory integrated assessment process aimed at exploring the options, opportunities, necessary capacities and implications for institutional co-operation and innovation in the Iberian Peninsula under High-End Climate Change (HECC). Using in-depth interviews and a novel participatory research approach, different scenario narratives and pathways about the future of Iberia have been identified using Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSPs). Special attention is given to the knowledge and policy options needed to implement cross-border organizational changes and co-operation mechanisms that would support the Integrated Climate Governance of the Tagus and Guadiana river basins. We show that a wealth of institutional innovation pathways and specific options and solutions exist not only to reduce GHG emissions (mitigation) and the negative impacts of climate change (adaptation), but, above all, to generate new forms of social-ecological system interactions aligned with sustainability (transformation). In particular, and depending on which scenario contexts unfold in the future in Iberia, different kinds of institutional and governance capacities and clusters of solutions may be needed in order to achieve transformation.
... It manifests in conditions that enable proactive and flexible responses to continuous and uncertain change. Knowledge generation and integration about social-ecological system dynamics enable anticipating emergent disturbances and uncertainties and identifying available options in light of these (Chapin et al. 2010;Tàbara et al. 2017). Decentralised self-organisation and context-specific rule-making support the abilities of organisations, communities and individuals to independently and flexibly respond to changes and disturbances (Folke et al. 2005;Dietz et al. 2003;Garmestani and Benson 2013). ...
... Escaping high-emission trajectories and overcoming persistent unsustainability and maladaptation require the development and diffusion of radical alternatives (Tàbara et al. 2017;Kivimaa et al. 2017). Sustainability transitions, resilience and climate governance literatures alike endorse the development and testing of new ideas, narratives, practices, policies and solutions to transform established institutions, infrastructures, behaviours, economies, etc. (Loorbach et al. 2015;Westley et al. 2013). ...
Chapter
Urban climate experimentation is a deliberate process of knowledge production for new approaches and solutions to contribute to climate-resilient sustainability transitions. Whether and how cities succeed in ‘moving beyond experimentation’ is determined by the extent to which experimentation provides impulses to radical change that are embedded in and strategically connected with on-going policy and planning processes. We apply a framework of transformative and orchestrating capacities to analyse the different types of governance processes by which actors in Rotterdam engage in urban climate experimentation and to reflect on the extent to which experimentation contributes to a climate-resilient sustainability transition. Transformative capacity manifests in processes to develop and embed novelty. Orchestrating capacity builds on processes to coordinate multi-actor processes across scales and sectors to facilitate and align experimentation. While actors in Rotterdam are successfully employing experimentation as a new governance mode to address climate change, sustainability and resilience, this approach is mainly legitimised by marketing the city internationally as a frontrunner in climate adaptation. As a result, individual innovations remain mostly stand-alone initiatives that are not taken up in or connected with other activities in the city. A key question is how to further embed and support transformative and orchestrating capacities to enhance the abilities of actors to position experimentation within other processes, mediate across (strategic and operational) governance levels, and create (more formal) space for reflection on the lessons of experiments for financing structures and operating procedures.
... It manifests in conditions that enable proactive and flexible responses to continuous and uncertain change. Knowledge generation and integration about social-ecological system dynamics enable anticipating emergent disturbances and uncertainties and identifying available options in light of these (Chapin et al. 2010;Tàbara et al. 2017). Decentralised self-organisation and context-specific rule-making support the abilities of organisations, communities and individuals to independently and flexibly respond to changes and disturbances (Folke et al. 2005;Dietz et al. 2003;Garmestani and Benson 2013). ...
... Escaping high-emission trajectories and overcoming persistent unsustainability and maladaptation require the development and diffusion of radical alternatives (Tàbara et al. 2017;Kivimaa et al. 2017). Sustainability transitions, resilience and climate governance literatures alike endorse the development and testing of new ideas, narratives, practices, policies and solutions to transform established institutions, infrastructures, behaviours, economies, etc. (Loorbach et al. 2015;Westley et al. 2013). ...
Article
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In light of the persistent failure to reduce emissions decisively, facilitate long-term resilience against climate change and account for the connectedness of climate change with other social, environmental and economic concerns, we present a conceptual framework of capacities for transformative climate governance. Transformative climate governance enables climate mitigation and adaptation while purposefully steering societies towards low-carbon, resilient and sustainable objectives. The framework provides a system- atic analytical tool for understanding and supporting the already ongoing changes of the climate governance landscape towards more experimental approaches that include multi-scale, cross-sectoral and public-private collaborations. It distinguishes between different types of capacities needed to address transformation dynamics, including responding to disturbances (stewarding capac- ity), phasing-out drivers of path dependency (unlocking capacity), creating and embedding novelties (transformative capacity) and coordinating multi-actor processes (orchestrating capacity). Our case study of climate governance in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, demonstrates how the framework helps to map the activities by which multiple actors create new types of conditions for transfor- mative climate governance, assess the effectiveness of the capacities and identify capacity gaps. Transformative and orchestrating capacities in Rotterdam emerged through the creation of space and informal networks for strategic and operational innovation, which also propelled new types of governance arrangements and structures. Both capacities support stewarding and unlocking by integrating and mainstreaming different goals, connecting actors to each other for the development of solutions and mediating interests. Key challenges across capacities remain because of limited mainstreaming of long-term and integrated thinking into institutional and regulatory frameworks. As the ongoing changes in climate governance open up multiple questions about actor roles, effective governance processes, legitimacy and how effective climate governance in the context of transformations can be supported, we invite future research to apply the capacities framework to explore these questions.
... A total of three workshops of two days each were conducted in which government officials, practitioners, scientists, and civil society representatives explored social and ecological contexts, developed alternative futures and visions, and identified sets of transformative solutions. (Tàbara et al. 2017) has described in detail the process, led by scientists with the support of a team of professional facilitators. In Workshop 1 (WS1), that took place in 2015 in Lisbon, Portugal, participants worked to improve their understanding about the current system and devise a set of four plausible storylines scenarios for the Iberian Peninsula up to 2100. ...
... These insights from direct observation and journaling were used to support and contextualize the analysis of participants' inputs. We also compared the arts-based visioning with reports and published work that emerged from the science-led process (Tàbara et al. 2017). ...
Article
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Humanity has never lived in a world of global average temperature above two degrees of current levels. Moving towards such High-End Climate Change (HECC) futures presents fundamental challenges to current governance structures and involves the need to confront high uncertainties, non-linear dynamics and multiple irreversibilities in global social-ecological systems. In order to face HECC, imaginative practices able to support multiple ways of learning about and experiencing the future are necessary. In this article we analysed a set of arts-based activities conducted within the five-year EU-funded project IMPRESSIONS aimed at identifying transformative strategies to high-end climate change. The exploratory artistic activities were carried out alongside a science-led participatory integrated assessment process with stakeholders from the Iberian Peninsula. Our arts-based approach combined a range of performative, visual and reflexive practices with the ambition to reach out to more-than-rational but also practical elements of HECC futures. Our study suggests that the arts-based approach helped to bring out new ways of seeing, feeling and interpreting the world which may support the development of individual and collective sensibilities needed to address HECC.
... While SSPs are usually defined in terms of two axes of low/high adaptation and low/high mitigation challenges, IMPRESSIONS characterised the four SSPs in terms of low/high inequality and low/high carbon-intensity worlds, as these variables were considered to better capture the uncertainties regarding the various potential HECC worlds. The rationale is that different intensities in climate impacts (represented and integrated in this project by scenarios RCP4.5 and RC8.5; scenarios and final narratives took slightly different names in different cases, albeit following the same pattern) depending on the different social structures in which agents operate would also yield different effects on demographics, human development, economy and lifestyle, policies and institutions, technology, and environment and natural resources [76]. IMPRESSIONS eventually developed four SSPs: SSP1 (sustainability); SSP3 (regional rivalry); SSP4 (low-carbon inequality); SSP5 (fossil-fuel development). ...
... Turning the related challenges into beneficial opportunities for societal transformation [76] implies the need to navigate within a robust moral framework of sustainability, which unfortunately at present is still poorly developed or even not acknowledged in many science and decision-making circles. Furthermore, the recourse to moral claims is often only used strategically to justify and ensure the legitimisation of prevalent governance arrangements, which have little to do with sustainability. ...
Article
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High-end climate change (HECC) raises unprecedented challenges for the transformation of society’s governance arrangements. In such potentially dangerous situation, these challenges have profound moral—rather than only scientific, technical, or managerial—implications. Unfortunately, despite the growing recognition of the necessity for morally-grounded, urgent social-ecological reconfigurations in order to sustainably navigate the uncertain landscape derived from HECC, explicit moral guidance to support the transformation of governance arrangements is still lacking. This work, through the metaphor of a moral compass, proposes a normative tool to support an integrated assessment processes in order to confront the moral challenges and dilemmas in governance and thus favour sustainable transformations under conditions of HECC.
... Known as the knowledge deficit model, this framework suggests that the public lacks scientific knowledge and therefore cannot evaluate climate risk properly, which eventually leads to people rejecting adaptation measures. The knowledge deficit model thus identifies more climate education as the solution to heightening risk perceptions (Tabara, St. Clair, and Hermansen 2017). However, the Narikoso case study reveals some of the limitations to the knowledge deficit model by revealing that climate change messaging can have major effects on how people view climate change and appropriate responses. ...
... However, the Narikoso case study reveals some of the limitations to the knowledge deficit model by revealing that climate change messaging can have major effects on how people view climate change and appropriate responses. While the knowledge deficit model continues to dominate mainstream climate-policy interactions (Tabara, St. Clair, and Hermansen 2017), some promising research is emerging to address the critical interface between climate change, adaptation, and worldviews (Fair 2018;Rubow and Bird 2016). ...
Article
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Most research on climate change in South Pacific island communities has privileged people’s observations of physical environmental change with less attention paid to how people interpret the causes of these changes. Increasingly, more studies are focusing on how communities are receiving messages about environmental degradation, and from whom they are receiving them. This case study draws upon ethnographic research conducted in November 2015 in Narikoso on Ono Island in Fiji’s Kadavu Group. This village was in the process of relocating inland as a response to shoreline erosion and severe coastal flooding. By employing data drawn from interviews with government actors, religious leaders, and residents of Narikoso village along with fieldnotes from participant observation, this paper examines how village residents interpreted coastal flooding and shoreline erosion according to the biblical story of Noah’s Ark alongside a secular narrative of climate change. I conclude by showing the unique challenges these worldviews had on the community’s decision to relocate.
... Adopting the conventions of the MEC framework it is seen that summarizing hydrocarbon configurations as 'fossil fueled' while labeling EV configurations as 'renewable' or 'clean' may distract many from having an appropriate level of concern for the material-energy impacts of EVs. Furthermore, such language could intensify the intractability of those who are predisposed to be skeptical of deficitmodel climate change messaging (i.e., messaging primarily intended to inform others of vulnerabilities and adverse climate change impacts) (Tàbara, St. Clair, and Hermansen 2017). ...
... In these conditions, it is increasingly clear that conventional solutions will not be enough to prevent the world moving towards global warming scenarios of 4°C or even 6°C by 2100. New science-policy assessment processes and modes of agent interaction, engagement, and knowledge coproduction are needed (Boucher et al. 2016;Hulme 2016;Tàbara et al. 2017). Required in particular are those with an orientation towards transformation and which go beyond the traditional sectoral, additive, and linear projections (still present in the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report), and which are able to show a move towards more integrated, cross-sectoral, multiplicative, and non-linear developments. ...
Article
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High-end climate change requires transformative solutions, as conventional strategies and solutions will not be enough if major disruptions in social-ecological systems are to be avoided. However, conventional climate assessment approaches and methods show many limitations if they are to provide robust knowledge and support to the implementation of such solutions in practice. To this end, we define transformative climate science as the open-ended process of producing, structuring, and applying solutions-oriented knowledge to fast-link integrated adaptation and mitigation strategies to sustainable development. In particular, based on our experiences within regional cases in Central Asia, Europe, Iberia, Scotland, and Hungary, we have selected 12 dimensions that scientists and practitioners can use as a checklist to design transformative-oriented climate assessments. While it is possible to talk both about transformative adaptation and transformative mitigation, in this paper, we make the case that societal transformation does not depend on mitigation or adaptation policies and actions, mostly because they are related to sustainability innovations, which are endogenous developments derived from deliberate social learning
... For instance, a tipping point in the way that global communication systems operated occurred with the introduction of the internet, rather suddenly and unexpectedly and the ultimate effects of this transformation cannot yet be forecast; governance systems also follow their own rationales, mainly still under the nation-state interests and constraints and thus are largely resistant to change; the structure and the functioning of global energy and resource property systems are determined by price and market competition rules which in turn may be in conflict with other more traditional or local cultural systems in the use of natural resources; the building of institutional systems has also undergone tipping points in history, for example, when certain civil rights have been achieved, including the end of slavery, the end of child labour, the right of women to vote or to have access to education. The consolidation of the IPPC can be also seen as a tipping point in the development of science for policy to address the climate quandary, albeit with limited effects on global transformation [26]. Hence, both collective and individual social actions operate in multiple sociocultural, technological, governance, bio-physical and knowledge systems which interact with many other systems at the same time and at many levels. ...
Article
The challenge of meeting the UNFCCC CoP21 goal of keeping global warming ‘well below 2 °C and to pursue efforts towards 1.5 °C’ (‘the 2–1.5 °C target’) calls for research efforts to better understand the opportunities and constraints for fundamental transformations in global systems dynamics which currently drive the unsustainable and inequitable use of the Earth's resources. To this end, this research reviews and introduces the notion of positive tipping points as emergent properties of systems–including both human capacities and structural conditions — which would allow the fast deployment of evolutionary-like transformative solutions to successfully tackle the present socio-climate quandary. Our research provides a simple procedural synthesis to help identify and coordinate the required agents’ capacities to implement transformative solutions aligned with such climate goal in different contexts. Our research shows how to identify the required capacities, conditions and potential p
... Following Arnstein's (1969) popularised metaphor of a ladder of citizen participation, the growing ethos of incorporating public feedback and community aspirations as early as possible is in fact, as some authors argue, internally beneficial for making better-informed decisions (Healey 2009) and externally responsive to a diverse citizenry (Lowndes et al. 2001a, b). When this movement is driven by exigency to move beyond patching the knowledge deficit via the unilateral provision of knowledge (Tàbara et al. 2017), it catalyses an engaging and participatory modus operandi, of which the first procedural element is usually collaborative visioning for the joint production of knowledge. A deliberative and interactive decision-making process in public policy, subject to institutional constraints, may improve equity and fairness in the representation of disadvantaged social groups (Bickerstaff et al. 2002) and in the power relations between professionals and laypersons (Bickerstaff and Walker 2005). ...
Article
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The increasingly prevalent concept of inclusiveness in the public discourse is gaining a foothold in the paradigm shift of street design from a predominance of vehicular traffic towards a vision that caters to non-motorised modes and creates an urban setting conducive to non-mobile activities. This study aims to investigate perceived importance within a set of six dimensions of street design (i.e., accessibility, connectivity, streetscape, safety and security, urban vibrancy, and greenery), which is an inclusive street vision and can be contextualised in the act of visioning. A street-intercept questionnaire survey (n = 816) was conducted in Singapore, and gender, age and transport mode use information were also collected. Using a multivariate and graphical approach, a categorical canonical correlation analysis was performed that highlighted the elderly and motorcyclists as groups with potentially different perceptions. Then, univariate ordinal logistic regression models were fitted separately on the six dimensions; gender was non-significant, while age and certain transport modes were significant. In particular, in addition to age, the car passenger transport mode was significant in five dimensions. Recent developments in Singapore’s urban transport, which is undergoing rapid changes due to incremental improvement schemes and disruptive services, such as ride hailing and bicycle sharing, are further discussed. As mobility needs and desirable street qualities vary across transport modes, this study serves as a precursor of further research into specific inclusive street dimensions, such as streetscape and urban vibrancy. The results indicate that land use and transport systems should be planned or redeveloped collaboratively to incorporate users’ aspirations.
... The role of science in policy making has been a subject of a lively debate, especially regarding the effective communication of scientific information about climate change to policy makers and public audiences. Climate change generates particular knowledgerelated challenges for policy makers, especially the need to deal with uncertainty (Marx et al. 2007), understand complex-system dynamics, imagine possible long-term futures (Milkoreit 2015(Milkoreit , 2019 and assess different solutions and their long-term impacts (Tàbara et al. 2017). Communicating these characteristics of climate change is challenging, which can lead to misinterpretations and limit the uptake and use of available information (Enserink et al. 2013;Wardekker et al. 2008). ...
Article
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A growing body of research indicates that effective science-policy interactions demand novel approaches, especially in policy domains with long time horizons like climate change. Serious games offer promising opportunities in this regard, but empirical research on game effects and games’ effectiveness in supporting science-policy engagement remains limited. We investigated the effects of a role-playing simulation game on risk perceptions associated with climate tipping points among a knowledgeable and engaged audience of non-governmental observers of the international climate negotiations and scientists. We analysed its effects on concern, perceived seriousness, perceived likelihood and psychological distance of tipping points, using pre- and post-game surveys, debriefing questions and game observations. Our findings suggest that the game reduced the psychological distance of tipping points, rendering them more ‘real’, proximate and tangible for participants. More generally, our findings indicate that role-playing simulation games, depending on their design and future orientation, can provide effective science-policy engagement tools that allow players to engage in future thinking and corresponding meaning making.
... At the community level, barriers to information access and mutual sharing of knowledge on climate change make the implementation of policies less effective [95]. Tabara et al. [96] stressed that knowledge affects the communication, production, and mobilization processes that generate better solutions for climate change. To create transformative solutions for climate change, it is necessary to change not only organizations and networks but also direction of knowledge. ...
Article
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The serious problems stemming from climate change require an active response it. This study focuses on the role of value factors in action on climate change. Individuals’ values systematically influence the fundamental orientation of their attitudes and behaviors. Therefore, this study analyzes whether six values, namely: ideology, environmental justice, religiosity, personal norms, scientific optimism, and environmentalism, influence action on climate change directly or indirectly, and compares their effects with perception factors’ impact. The results indicate that religiosity decreased action on climate change, whereas personal norms, science and technology (S&T) optimism, and environmentalism increased such action. Among the perception factors, perceived risks and benefits, trust, and knowledge increased action on climate change. Furthermore, perception factors explained action on climate change more than value factors did. Moreover, value factors (i.e., S&T optimism and environmentalism) moderated the impacts of perceived risks, perceived benefits, and negative emotions on action against climate change.
... Identifying and negotiating socially acceptable, inclusive and equitable pathways towards climateresilient futures is a challenging, yet important, endeavour, fraught with complex moral, practical and political difficulties and inevitable trade-offs (very high confidence). The ultimate questions are: what futures do we want (Bai et al., 2016;Tàbara et al., 2017;Klinsky and Winkler, 2018;O'Brien, 2018;Veland et al., 2018), whose resilience matters, for what, where, when and why (Meerow and Newell, 2016), and 'whose vision … is being pursued and along which pathways' (Gillard et al., 2016). ...
... A special focus here lies on the transdisciplinary element of this approach, since the complexity of sustainability transitions calls for dialogue processes among different stakeholder groups (Mielke et al 2016). Especially when involving decision-makers, the normative dimension including individual and collective responsibilities needs to be stressed (Tàbara et al 2017). The use of an agent-based model -the Mobility Transition Model (MoTMo) -in dialogues allows to discuss scenario-based narratives with stakeholders along the dimensions of technology, market and regulation, incorporating e.g. ...
Article
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The complexity of sustainability transitions calls for transdisciplinary dialogue processes among different stakeholder groups. When policy options are discussed with decision-makers, scientists often support them with the help of quantitative outputs provided by simulation models. As could be observed in the climate policy process within the European Union, the choice and design of the model, which produced the respective outputs, are rarely questioned. With the increasing complexity of models in times of big data and high-performance computing, making the model and its parameters transparent and integrating them into stakeholder dialogues is essential for successful and democratic decision-making processes. Furthermore, such integration allows for the discussion of a broader variety of pathways or scenarios supplied by models. The combination of digital technologies and large computing capacity has led to a new methodological frontier through the possibility of interactive visualization of pathways, hence increasing efficiency and impact of stakeholder dialogues in decision-making processes. By describing such a process in light of a mobility transition towards sustainability, we show how an agent-based model can be used in stakeholder discussions among decision-makers.
Chapter
Building resilient responses to nexus shocks requires effective communication and collaboration across sectors and stakeholders, yet this is not always achieved. The Nexus Shocks project examined how communication and collaboration could be enhanced, adopting a co-production methodology with policy, practitioner and scientific communities. This chapter discusses the barriers and challenges to communication and collaboration on specific nexus shocks, such as heatwaves and flooding, and identifies pathways to strengthen responses. Co-production provides a constructive way to deliver more salient decision-making processes which incorporate the needs of those affected in managing and responding to nexus shocks.
Article
This exploratory qualitative study utilised the IPCC categories of adaptation opportunities and constraints as a framework to understand the barriers and enablers to the development and uptake of contextually relevant climate-resilient water management technology in three sub-Saharan African cities. In-depth interviews were undertaken with key informants from the research, government, and civil society sectors to gain insight into perceived opportunities and constraints to the development, uptake and market dissemination of such technology in Blantyre, Harare and Gaborone. The majority of the identified opportunities and constraints aligned well with the global IPCC categories, while certain IPCC categories were found not to be relevant to the three city contexts of the study. Two new categories of adaptation opportunities and constraints were discovered (i.e. they did not fit within an IPCC category); they were an opportunity: ‘climate change windows of opportunity’, and a constraint: ‘ethics and intellectual property’. Our results indicated that the nuances of the Global South context are often not well-considered in the design of climate-resilient water management technology, and that a number of constraints detract from the development, uptake and dissemination thereof. There are however, opportunities inherent to sub-Saharan African cities which could be used to stimulate the development, uptake and dissemination of locally designed or modified water technology. We discuss some implications of our finding and new frontiers for research on this topic by way of conclusion.
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Part of the reference section on the article was included as Supplementary Material with the article online. The full reference section for the article is included here.
Article
Low carbon transition pathways entail diverse uncertainties and risks in the underlying environmental, social, political, economic and technological factors. Inadequate information about such risks could affect the achievement of climate change mitigation targets negatively. This paper provides a novel experiment in which quantitative tools and stakeholder engagement are combined in order to identify the barriers between stakeholders and scientists concerning climate change mitigation aspects. Technological risks are captured by simulating different low carbon scenarios with limited technology options. Stakeholders are asked about their preferences on technology options regarding a low carbon future. After providing them with the simulation results, they are asked again in order to see whether those initial preferences had changed. Results prove the necessity for better communication between modelers and stakeholders. Closing the gaps between both communities is essential to remove barriers for more ambitious action against climate change.
Chapter
The frequency and intensity of climate shocks are expected to increase under a changing climate with severe implications for sectors and those working across the food, energy, water, environment nexus. Impacts of these shocks will exacerbate the vulnerability of those sectors affecting resource availability, system pressures and decision-making processes. We reflect here on how communication, collaboration and co-production can play a fundamental role in informing nexus related decision-making and increasing resilience to shocks and discuss how mechanisms through which stakeholders working, across the nexus (e.g. on energy, food, water, environment) can more efficiently and more robustly co-create robust responses to nexus shocks. Fundamental to embedding communication, collaboration and co-production within responses to nexus shocks and building resilience is the availability and deployment of sufficient financial resources and capacity building in order to facilitate this process and ensure it is sustained in the long term.
Technical Report
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This report summarises and synthesises key trends, themes and findings in the field of science communication, with a particular focus on evidence from environmental and sustainability sciences. The report pays equal attention to the study of communicating scientific evidence, and the socio-political context in which science communication research is funded and science communication practice takes place. It maps existing research and capacity (journals, institutions, programmes, key publications, think tanks), reviews existing literature (a high level synthesis drawing on existing summaries) and notes areas for future research. As the evidence reviewed in this report shows, whilst the accumulated knowledge about communicating and engaging around environmental science topics is vast and well-developed, the field is far from settled, and considerable challenges remain in terms of public engagement on a range of scientific issues, in countries around the world.
Chapter
Confronting the urgent challenges posed by accelerated climate change and the fast and irreversible disappearance of life-forms on Earth—vital for ensuring human sustainability in the long term requires—deep transformations in the societal means that shape our present perceptions, sense-making processes and collective actions. This challenge demands a sustainability framing both for science and governance more focused on situated and social-ecologically coupled means and capacities, rather than only on general policy goals. Among the core social mediating mechanisms, Human Information and Knowledge Systems (HIKS) play a central role in positive transformations but only if they can be harnessed by sound ethical principles debated and structured in open democratic ways. Linking climate, life-diversity and sustainability challenges to support a possible Sustainable Climate Development may unleash new opportunity spaces for true regenerative governance narratives which confront the mounting risks of fake sustainabilities.
Book
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How does culture interact with the way societies understand, live with and act in relation to climate change? While the importance of the exchanges between culture, society and climate in the context of global environmental change is increasingly recognised, the empirical evidence is fragmented and too often constrained by disciplinary boundaries. Written by an international team of experts, this book provides cutting-edge and critical perspectives on how culture both facilitates and inhibits our ability to address and make sense of climate change and the challenges it poses to societies globally. Through a set of case studies spanning the social sciences and humanities, it explores the role of culture in relation to climate and its changes at different temporal and spatial levels; illustrates how approaching climate change through the cultural dimension enriches the range and depth of societal engagements; and establishes connections between theory and practice, which can stimulate action-oriented initiatives.
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Stop using the worst-case scenario for climate warming as the most likely outcome — more-realistic baselines make for better policy. Stop using the worst-case scenario for climate warming as the most likely outcome — more-realistic baselines make for better policy. A rainbow forms behind giant windmills near rain-soaked Interstate 10, Palm Springs, California
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Quantitative systems modelling in support of climate policy has tended to focus more on the supply side in assessing interactions among technology, economy, environment, policy and society. By contrast, the demand side is usually underrepresented, often emphasising technological options for energy efficiency improvements. In this perspective, we argue that scientific support to climate action is not only about exploring capacity of "what", in terms of policy and outcome, but also about assessing feasibility and desirability, in terms of "when", "where" and especially for "whom". Without the necessary behavioural and societal transformations, the world faces an inadequate response to the climate crisis challenge. This could result from poor uptake of low-carbon technologies, continued high-carbon intensive lifestyles, or economy-wide rebound effects. For this reason, we propose a framing for a holistic and transdisciplinary perspective on the role of human choices and behaviours in influencing the low-carbon transition, starting from the desires of individuals and communities, and analysing how these interact with the energy and economic landscape, leading to systemic change at the macro-level. In making a case for a political ecology agenda, we expand our scope, from comprehending the role of societal acceptance and uptake of end-use technologies, to co-developing knowledge with citizens from non-mainstream and marginalised communities, and to defining the modelling requirements to assess the decarbonisation potential of shifting lifestyle patterns in climate change and action.
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Increased social and environmental vulnerability to extreme climatic events and inherent aggravation of environmental and social problems has placed climate change adaptation as an urgent challenge for decision-makers. Understanding and using climate change information to advance the implementation of climate-friendly policies further compounds this challenge. A rich scholarly literature focusing on climate change adaptation endorses that investing in mechanisms that narrow the gap between climate change information production and its use is crucial to increase adaptive capacity. Based on this assumption, this paper investigates the extent to which two collaborative projects that functioned as boundary organisations in Brazil (CiAdapta project) and Australia (Climate Change Adaptation for Natural Resource Management in East Coast Australia) increased access to information, and enabled the continual and continuous usefulness of produced knowledge for climate change adaptation. Considering the distinction between usable and useful information, we applied six criteria to guide the data analysis and extract key lessons from each project. Our findings confirm that face-to-face interactions are more likely to result in research having the societal impact that is being increasingly required by research and funding bodies. Our findings also indicate that two key systemic changes are critical for the long-term influence of boundary organisations for advancing climate change adaptation. These include changes to the science, knowledge production process; and shift in the political culture.
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The success of climate services for adaptation to climate change is increasingly studied, but there exists a varying understanding of what climate services are and what makes them successful. This study systematically mapped the breadth and depth of peer-reviewed literature on the subject and synthesized evidence on what we know, don’t know and need to know about successful climate services. The study focusses on services that are based on long-term climate information or aim to inform decision-making on longer time scales and includes papers that inform on success, including evaluation studies, empirical investigations in the factors and practices that influence success, and conceptual discussions on what constitutes success. Results show that insights on climate service success are scattered and most often originate from western and developed countries. Conceptualizations of success in the literature are diverse and focus on processes for production and use, product characteristics and process elements of the service itself, and/or on contextual factors. Studies that assess the results of climate services tend to focus on evaluating (perceived) usability, though uptake, impacts and outcomes of services are rarely assessed systematically. Frequently reported success factors include brokering functions, user-producer interactions and iterative and flexible development processes. To be successful, services themselves should be contextualized and tailored to the user and its decision-making context. We conclude that whilst context emerges as a critical determinant of success, the configuration of factors and processes leading to success demand further investigation.
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High-end climate change requires transformative solutions, as conventional strategies and solutions will not be enough if major disruptions in social-ecological systems are to be avoided. However, conventional climate assessment approaches and methods show many limitations if they are to provide robust knowledge and support to the implementation of such solutions in practice. To this end, we define transformative climate science as the open-ended process of producing, structuring, and applying solutions-oriented knowledge to fast-link integrated adaptation and mitigation strategies to sustainable development. In particular, based on our experiences within regional cases in Central Asia, Europe, Iberia, Scotland, and Hungary, we have selected 12 dimensions that scientists and practitioners can use as a checklist to design transformative-oriented climate assessments. While it is possible to talk both about transformative adaptation and transformative mitigation, in this paper, we make the case that societal transformation does not depend on mitigation or adaptation policies and actions, mostly because they are related to sustainability innovations, which are endogenous developments derived from deliberate social learning
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Increasingly, ‘co-design’ is a key concept and approach in global change and sustainability research, in the scholarship on science–policy interactions, and an expressed expectation in research programs and initiatives. This paper situates co-design and then synthesizes insights from real-life experiences of co-developing research projects in this Special Issue. It highlights common co-design elements (parameters and considerations of co-design and purpose-driven engagement activities); discusses challenges experienced in co-design and then emphasizes a range of rarely articulated benefits of co-design for both researchers, societal partners and the work they aim to do together. The paper summarizes some of the knowledge gains on social transformation to sustainability from the co-design phase and concludes that co-design as a process is an agent of transformation itself.
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Rather than relying on far-off negative-emissions technologies, Paris needed to deliver a low-carbon road map for today, argues Kevin Anderson.
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Despite the rapid evolution and growing complexity in models of science-society interaction, the rate and breadth of use of scientific knowledge in environmental decision making, especially related to climate variability and change, remain below expectations. This suggests a persistent gap between production and use that, to date, efforts to rethink and restructure science production have not been able to surmount. We review different models of science-policy interfaces to understand how they have influenced the organization of knowledge production and application. We then explore how new approaches to the creation of knowledge have emerged, involving both growing integration across disciplines and greater interaction with users. Finally, we review climate information use in the United States and United Kingdom to explore how the structure of knowledge production and the characteristics of users and their decision environments expose the challenges of broadening usable climate science.
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The media are powerful agents that translate information across the science–policy interface, framing it for audiences. Yet frames are never neutral: they define an issue, identify causes, make moral judgements and shape proposed solutions. Here, we show how the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) was framed in UK and US broadcast and print coverage, and on Twitter. Coverage of IPCC Working Group I (WGI) was contested and politicized, employing the ‘Settled Science, Uncertain Science, Political or Ideological Struggle and Role of Science’ frames. WGII coverage commonly used Disaster or Security. More diverse frames were employed for WGII and WGIII, including Economics and Morality and Ethics. Framing also varied by media institution: for example, the BBC used Uncertain Science, whereas Channel 4 did not. Coverage varied by working group, with WGIII gaining far less coverage than WGI or WGII. We suggest that media coverage and framing of AR5 was influenced by its sequential three-part structure and by the availability of accessible narratives and visuals. We recommend that these communication lessons be applied to future climate science reports.
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This article explores how the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has dealt with growing public scrutiny of its workings. It reviews recent initiatives set up to respond to the Climategate controversy. An inde-pendent review of the IPCC undertaken by an international scientific um-brella body—InterAcademy Council—can be shown to have triggered one of the turning points in the debate, placing the focus of attention on the IPCC's transparency and accountability. However, the council's recommen-dations have been implemented by the IPCC in such a way that the issue of public trust is treated as one of effective communication. The article then ex-plains how IPCC's responses to Climategate can be traced back to the linear model of expertise. The article concludes with a discussion why the chal-lenge of producing policy-relevant knowledge under conditions of height-ened public scrutiny also requires new forms of scientific appraisal aimed at wider publics.
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Standfirst: Climate change communication is trapped between the norms that govern scientific practice and the need for public debate. Overcoming this tension requires new societal institutions where the science and politics of climate change can co-exist. Over more than two decades, a substantial body of social science research has generated a range of well-supported findings with clear, practical implications for public engagement on climate change 1 .It is now well-understood that effective climate change communication involves more than simply presenting the facts of climate science in a clearer or more concise way. The idea that members of the public suffer from a 'deficit' of knowledge (which science outreach campaigns can address) is insufficient to explain a gap between the social and the scientific consensus on climate change that appears to have emerged over the last 10 years -particularly in the US, the UK and Australia, despite extensive programmes of outreach and engagement in these countries 2 . Although the reasons for public scepticism about climate change are complex and multi-faceted 3 , a consistent finding is that deeply held values and views about the organisation of society and political ideology 4 are primary determinants. Strikingly, improved scientific literacy in an audience can actually amplify polarisation between ideologically opposed groups 5 , rather than lead to consensus between them. In response to this increasingly troubling contrast between the urgency of the message conveyed by scientists and the lack of a political and public response proportionate to the scale of the climate change challenge, there have been multiple calls for climate science to put its communicative house in order. Scientists have been advised to develop simple, repetitive messages that can be honed for public consumption 6
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Since the mid-1990s, the aim of keeping climate change within 2 degrees C has become firmly entrenched in policy discourses. In the past few years, the likelihood of achieving it has been increasingly called into question. The debate around what to do with a target that seems less and less achievable is, however, only just beginning. As the UN commences a two-year review of the 2 degrees C target, this article moves beyond the somewhat binary debates about whether or not it should or will be met, in order to analyse more fully some of the alternative options that have been identified but not fully explored in the existing literature. For the first time, uncertainties, risks, and opportunities associated with four such options are identified and synthesized from the literature. The analysis finds that the significant risks and uncertainties associated with some options may encourage decision makers to recommit to the 2 degrees C target as the least unattractive course of action.
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The new scenario framework for climate change research envisions combining pathways of future radiative forcing and their associated climate changes with alternative pathways of socioeconomic development in order to carry out research on climate change impacts, adaptation, and mitigation. Here we propose a conceptual framework for how to define and develop a set of Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) for use within the scenario framework. We define SSPs as reference pathways describing plausible alternative trends in the evolution of society and ecosystems over a century timescale, in the absence of climate change or climate policies. We introduce the concept of a space of challenges to adaptation and to mitigation that should be spanned by the SSPs, and discuss how particular trends in social, economic, and environmental development could be combined to produce such outcomes. A comparison to the narratives from the scenarios developed in the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) illustrates how a starting point for developing SSPs can be defined. We suggest initial development of a set of basic SSPs that could then be extended to meet more specific purposes, and envision a process of application of basic and extended SSPs that would be iterative and potentially lead to modification of the original SSPs themselves.
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The rapid acceleration and intensity of global environmental change places great demands on humanity for developing innovative views and processes for the integration of knowledge in ways that are conducive to sustainability learning. In this paper, we argue that in order to develop robust sustainability learning feedbacks between knowledge and action we need the coupling of Human Information and Knowledge Systems (HIKS) with social–ecological systems (SES) dynamics. In particular, a substantial change in core worldviews and understandings about the nature of HIKS and how they relate to SES is required. Changing such epistemological and ontological assumptions of the quality of robust social–ecological knowledge is a first step for the emergence of transformative pathways towards sustainability in research, education, and policy. To enhance our understanding of such complexity, we describe two general ideal-type worldviews of HIKS and their relationships with SES in Western culture. One worldview understands information and knowledge systems as evolving in a closed, ahistorical, social-ecologically disembodied linear space, in ways which can be reduced to a single form of representation. The other worldview understands information and knowledge systems as operating in an open space composed of multiple and diverse patterns of hybrid social–ecological practices and configurations, inevitably embedded in specific times, spaces and contextual conditions. We argue that the open, but socio-ecologically embodied worldview is better suited to support sustainability learning and transformation.
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Communication researchers and practitioners have suggested that framing climate change in terms of public health and/or national security may make climate change more personally relevant and emotionally engaging to segments of the public who are currently disengaged or even dismissive of the issue. To evaluate these assumptions, using a nationally representative online survey of U.S. residents (N = 1,127) conducted in December, 2010, we randomly assigned six previously identified audience segments on climate change to one of three experimental conditions. Subjects were asked to read uniquely framed news articles about climate change emphasizing either the risks to the environment, public health, or national security and the benefits of mitigation and adaptation-related actions. Results show that across audience segments, the public health focus was the most likely to elicit emotional reactions consistent with support for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Findings also indicated that the national security frame may possibly boomerang among audience segments already doubtful or dismissive of the issue, eliciting unintended feelings of anger.
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Linking knowledge with action for effective societal responses to persistent problems of unsustainability requires transformed, more open knowledge systems. Drawing on a broad range of academic and practitioner experience, we outline a vision for the coordination and organization of knowledge systems that are better suited to the complex challenges of sustainability than the ones currently in place. This transformation includes inter alia: societal agenda setting, collective problem framing, a plurality of perspectives, integrative research processes, new norms for handling dissent and controversy, better treatment of uncertainty and of diversity of values, extended peer review, broader and more transparent metrics for evaluation, effective dialog processes, and stakeholder participation. We set out institutional and individual roadmaps for achieving this vision, calling for well-designed, properly resourced, longitudinal, international learning programs.
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Climate-change-related risks pose serious threats to the management of a wide range of social, economic and ecological systems. Managing these risks requires knowledge-intensive adaptive management and policy-making actively informed by scientific knowledge, especially climate science. However, potentially useful climate information often goes unused. This suggests a gap between what scientists understand as useful information and what users recognize as usable in their decision-making. We propose a dynamic conceptual model to address this gap and highlight strategies to move information from useful to usable to reduce climate-related risks.
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Official figures submitted in 2002 showing the trends of GH gases during the period 1990-2000 indicate that Spain is a long way from in attaining its commitments with the international and national programmes on climate change. Both structural and cultural factors are used to explain the evolution in climate politics and the growth of its emissions with particular emphasis given to the lack of public participation in this respect. It is also argued that Spain will have either to buy emission reductions abroad or/and find new ways to reduce GH in a more decentralised manner in tune with its current Autonomous Communities' (ACs) political organisation.
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In the past several decades, decision makers in the United States have increasingly called upon publicly funded science to provide “usable” information for policy making, whether in the case of acid rain, famine prevention or climate change policy. As demands for usability become more prevalent for publicly accountable scientific programs, there is a need to better understand opportunities and constraints to science use in order to inform policy design and implementation. Motivated by recent critique of the decision support function of the US Global Change Research Program, this paper seeks to address this issue by specifically examining the production and use of climate science. It reviews empirical evidence from the rich scholarship focused on climate science use, particularly seasonal climate forecasts, to identify factors that constrain or foster usability. It finds, first, that climate science usability is a function both of the context of potential use and of the process of scientific knowledge production itself. Second, nearly every case of successful use of climate knowledge involved some kind of iteration between knowledge producers and users. The paper argues that, rather than an automatic outcome of the call for the production of usable science, iterativity is the result of the action of specific actors and organizations who ‘own’ the task of building the conditions and mechanisms fostering its creation. Several different types of institutional arrangements can accomplish this task, depending on the needs and resources available. While not all of the factors that enhance usability of science for decision making are within the realm of the scientific enterprise itself, many do offer opportunities for improvement. Science policy mechanisms such as the level of flexibility afforded to research projects and the metrics used to evaluate the outcomes of research investment can be critical to providing the necessary foundation for iterativity and production of usable science to occur.
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A major challenge facing climate scientists is explaining to non-specialists the risks and uncertainties surrounding potential changes over the coming years, decades and centuries. Although there are many guidelines for climate communication, there is little empirical evidence of their efficacy, whether for dispassionately explaining the science or for persuading people to act in more sustainable ways. Moreover, climate communication faces new challenges as assessments of climate-related changes confront uncertainty more explicitly and adopt risk-based approaches to evaluating impacts. Given its critical importance, public understanding of climate science deserves the strongest possible communications science to convey the practical implications of large, complex, uncertain physical, biological and social processes. Here, we identify the communications science that is needed to meet this challenge and the ambitious, interdisciplinary initiative that its effective application to climate science requires.
Book
This book provides an evaluation of the science and policy debates on climate change and offers a reframing of the challenges they pose, as understood by key international experts and players in the field. It also gives an important and original perspective on interpreting climate action and provides compelling evidence of the weakness of arguments that frame climate policy as a win-or-lose situation. At the same time, the book goes beyond providing yet another description of climate change trends and policy processes. Its goal is to make available, in a series of in-depth reflections and insights by key international figures representing science, business, finance and civil society, what is really needed to link knowledge to action. Different contributions convincingly show that it is time – and possible – to reframe the climate debate in a completely new light, perhaps as a system transformative attractor for new green growth, sustainable development, and technological innovation. Reframing the Problem of Climate Change reflects a deep belief that dealing with climate change does not have to be a zero sum game, with winners and losers. The contributors argue that our societies can learn to respond to the challenge it presents and avoid both human suffering and large scale destruction of ecosystems; and that this does not necessarily require economic sacrifice.
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Appreciable advances have been made in recent years in raising climate change awareness and enhancing support for climate and energy policies. There also has been considerable progress in understanding of how to effectively communicate climate change. This progress raises questions about the future directions of communication research and practice. What more is there to say? Through a selective literature review, focused on contributions since a similar stock-taking exercise in 2010,1 the article delineates significant advances, emerging trends and topics, and tries to chart critical needs and opportunities going forward. It describes the climate communication landscape midway through the second decade of the 21st century to contextualize the challenges faced by climate change communication as a scientific field. Despite the important progress made on key scientific challenges laid out in 2010, persistent challenges remain (superficial public understanding of climate change, transitioning from awareness and concern to action, communicating in deeply politicized and polarized environments, and dealing with the growing sense of overwhelm and hopelessness). In addition, new challenges and topics have emerged that communication researchers and practitioners now face. The study reflects on the crucial need to improve the interaction between climate communication research and practice, and calls for dedicated science-practice boundary work focused on climate change communication. A set of new charges to climate communicators and researchers are offered in hopes to move climate change communication to a new place-at once more humble yet also more ambitious than ever before, befitting to the crucial role it could play in the cultural work humanity faces with climate change.
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Next week, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21, will be held in Paris. The goal is to achieve an international agreement to stem climate change—in particular, an agreement on how to keep global warming below a 2°C rise, or less, over preindustrial levels. As the newly elected chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), I am hopeful that an agreement will be reached that builds a more sustainable, prosperous world.
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Sustainability science is difficult to conceptualise, plan and conduct, given the broad range of epistemological commitments, methodological practices, and approaches to problem-framing taken by its constituent disciplines. This special issue is based on the idea of place as a boundary device for the sustainability sciences, in the belief that it can foster integrative work, guide theoretical reflection, encourage methodological innovation, and inform empirical research. Here we reflect on place concepts, before developing a series of arguments on the relationship of place to sustainability science. We first emphasise that place is not solely an interpretivist or post-positivist perspective on sustainability, as it is also congenial to mechanistic or positivist ontologies. Secondly, we argue that place does not entail a retreat from theory into particularism or thick description; it is coherent with attempts to provide explanations. Thirdly, we claim that it does not imply a sedentary, parochial approach to sustainability science that neglects interactions across scale or location. Fourthly, we caution that public spheres for tackling environmental issues can act to close-down deliberation and marginalise informal knowledge, if institutions retain norms that emphasise abstract, placeless evidence. We highlight how these ideas have been cashed out in the collected papers in this special issue, in domains ranging from biofuels governance, to estuary management, to marine governance, to ecosystem stewardship, to community-led low energy transitions, and to climate change more broadly. We end by suggesting that a place-based approach to sustainability science entails a relentless focus on context. It takes the spatially patterned, heterogeneous, fluid, networked, and contextually moderated form of socio-environmental processes as central points of investigation, rather than as mere modifiers of more general mechanisms.
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Climate adaptation research increasingly focuses on the socio-cultural dimensions of change. In this context, narrative research is often seen as a qualitative social science method used to frame adaptation communication. However, this perspective neglects an important insight provided by narrative theory as applied in the cognitive sciences and other practical fields: human cognition is organized around specific narrative structures. In adaptation, this means that how we ‘story’ the environment determines how we understand and practice adaptation, how risks are defined, who is authorized as actors in the change debate, and the range of policy options considered. Furthermore, relating an experience through story-telling is already doing ‘knowledge work’, or learning. In taking narrative beyond its use as an extractive social research methodology, we argue that narrative research offers an innovative, holistic approach to a better understanding of socio-ecological systems and the improved, participatory design of local adaptation policies. Beyond producing data on local knowledge(s) and socio-cultural and affective-emotive factors influencing adaptive capacity, it can significantly inform public engagement, deliberation and learning strategies–features of systemic adaptive governance. We critically discuss narrative as both a self-reflective methodology and as a paradigmatic shift in future adaptation research and practice. We explore the narrative approach as a basis for participatory learning in the governance of socio-ecological systems. Finally, we assemble arguments for investing in alternative governance approaches consistent with a shift to a ‘narrative paradigm’.
Article
Scholarship in the social studies of science has argued convincingly that what demarcates science from nonscience is not some set of essential or transcendent characteristics or methods but rather an array of contingent circumstances and strategic behavior known as "boundary work" (Gieryn 1995, 1999). Although initially formulated to explain how scientists maintain the boundaries of their community against threats to its cognitive authority from within (e.g., fraud and pseudo-science), boundary work has found useful, policy-relevant applications-for example, in studying the strategic demarcation between political and scientific tasks in the advisory relationship between scientists and regulatory agencies (Jasanoff 1990). This work finds that the blurring of boundaries between science and politics, rather than the intentional separation often advocated and practiced, can lead to more productive policy making. If it is the case, however, that the robustness of scientific concepts such as causation and representation are important components of liberal-democratic thought and practice (Ezrahi 1990), one can imagine how the flexibility of boundary work might lead to confusion or even dangerous instabilities between science and nonscience. These risks could be conceived, perhaps, as the politicization of science or the reciprocal scientification of politics. Neither risk should here be understood to mean the importation to one enterprise from the other elements that are entirely foreign; that is, science is not devoid of values prior to some politicization, nor politics of rationality, prior to any scientification. Rather, both should be understood to mean the rendering of norms and practices in one enterprise in a way that unreflexively mimics norms and practices in the other. These concerns have been central to the socalled science wars, and to the extent that they are implicated in public discussions of such policy issues as health and safety regulation, climate change, or genetically modified organisms, they are real problems for policy makers and publics alike.'
Article
Climate science and climate policy have been tightly linked for more than two decades. Science is supposed to provide the factual basis for action on climate, and a single policy approach to dealing with climate (through the UN Framework Convention process) has been dominant throughout this period. As a result, debates about climate policy and debates about climate science are impossible to disaggregate, and opposition to the prevailing international climate regime is often expressed as distrust of the science. Until new policy options are available that can enfranchise more diverse political constituencies, climate science will continue to exist as a largely political phenomenon. WIREs Clim Change 2011 2 475–481 DOI: 10.1002/wcc.126For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website
Transformative Cornerstones of Social Science Research for Global Change. International Social Science Council
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Hackmann, H., Clair, A.L. St., 2012. Transformative Cornerstones of Social Science Research for Global Change. International Social Science Council, Paris. www. worldsocialscience.org/documents/transformativecornerstones.pdf.
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The role of social and decision sciences in communicating uncertain climate risks
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Pidgeon, N., Fischoff, B., 2011. The role of social and decision sciences in communicating uncertain climate risks. Nat. Clim. Change 1, 35-41.
A new climate for Spain: a late accommodation of environmental foreign policy in a federal state
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Tàbara, J.D., 2007. A new climate for Spain: a late accommodation of environmental foreign policy in a federal state'. In: Harris, Paul (Ed.), Europe and Global Climate Change: Politics, Foreign Policy, and Regional Cooperation. Edward Elgar, Northampton, MA, pp. 161-184.
A New Vision of Open Knowledge Systems for Sustainability
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Tàbara, J.D., 2013. A New Vision of Open Knowledge Systems for Sustainability. Opportunities for Social Scientists'. World Social Science Report 2013. ISSC-UNESCO, Paris, pp. 112-118.
What does policy-relevant global environmental knowledge do? The cases of climate and biodiversity
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Turnhout, E., Dewulf, A., Hulme, M., 2016. What does policy-relevant global environmental knowledge do? The cases of climate and biodiversity. Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2016.10.007.
Boundary organisations and their strategies: three cases in the Wadden Sea
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Wynanda, I.E., Ruhnhaar, H.A.C., Driessen, P.P.J., 2016. Boundary organisations and their strategies: three cases in the Wadden Sea. Environ. Sci. Policy 55, 416-423.