Our Common Future Under Climate Change

International Scientific Conference 7-10 JULY 2015 Paris, France

Eduardo Llanquileo

Eduardo Llanquileo

Strengthening climate change policies in developing countries: Lessons from Chile


By Paulina Calfucoy, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

As part of its climate change policy, in 2010 Chile assumed the challenge of building evidence nationwide to project long-term scenarios and options for mitigation of greenhouse gases. It did this to support its position in the international negotiations on issues of climate change as well as evaluate alternatives that contribute to a low carbon development for the country. 

This effort culminated in MAPS Chile - a cooperation between South Africa, Brazil, Colombia and Peru. Through a process of scientific research, integrated with multi stakeholder participation, they have estimated the baseline emissions of Chile and evaluated mitigation actions and scenarios that might contribute to a low carbon development path. 

The project was successful in its aim of informing public policy – in fact, the main results are being used to define the alternatives for Chile’s iNDC proposal to be presented at COP21.

By analyzing this example, we’re seeking to deepen the understanding of climate change policy formulation in developing countries. 

MAPS Chile relied on participation of national scientists, policy makers and experts from the academia, the public sector and NGOs under the coordination and policy guidance of the State of Chile. Theoretically, this process of collaboration for building evidence is called co-production

Among the main results of the study, I highlight three key lessons we learned:

1. Co-production of evidence enables non experts to gain new knowledge and understanding of research methods 

The process of building the results with the participation of local researchers and experts helped all participants better understand the constraints and opportunities for sectorial and macroeconomic modelling, the country's productive structure for estimating emissions and the technological and feasibility constraints. 

It also allowed participants the opportunity to learn gradually about the methodological tools, the dynamics of other sectors and how to visualize areas of complementarity with other colleagues and topics.

2. Co-production makes for legitimate results (in the eyes of all stakeholders) 

Agreements were reached through the participation process about the key parameters that would be used in the modeling process and stakeholders felt results were more legitimate and valid.

In particular, participants strongly valued discussion about penetration rates of potential mitigation actions, as it was not imposed by external actors who were outside the country's reality.

3. Co-production of knowledge requires an understanding of the value of a professional process design

The participation of professional facilitators, and professional methodological design of the process constitutes a key component of the methodology. This work is maybe to complex to be packaged, but it includes, building close human relationships among participants, valuing and managing the work pace, defining clear and common expectations about the process and building a work environment based on collaboration, everything under the leadership of people aimed to build trust based on the recognition of the relevance of all the people and sectors involved.

Building evidence for policy making is a key step toward taking action on climate change challenges. 

This experience should be understood as a process of articulation among researchers, policy makers, academics and civil society. This means, considering personal and institutional interactions as crucial as strengthening technical knowledge

Therefore, participation in the process of co-production of knowledge is not advisory, is not indicative, it should be collaborative, including stakeholders in strategic decisions for the generation of evidence toward taking action on climate change issues.

Paulina Calfucoy is a sociologist and PhD candidate in Development Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA.

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