Our Common Future Under Climate Change

International Scientific Conference 7-10 JULY 2015 Paris, France



Day 4: Collective Action and Transformative Solutions

This final day of the conference explores transformative solutions to climate change from a cross-sectoral perspective in order to reach integrated solutions especially through collaboration. This includes solutions across a range of disciplines, sectors and stakeholders that encompass technological, institutional, economic and behavioural changes that will lead to transformative pathways to climate change challenges, from the near to long term, and at multiple scales.

The following Parallel Sessions will be held at UNESCO Headquarters

2237 (b) - Planetary Economics (2): expanding the horizons of economic sciences and the policy implications

Lead Convener: M. Grubb (University College London, Institute of Sustainable Resources, London - UK)

This Parallel Session, the second of a 2-part session jointly with OECD and FEEM under the broad title of ‘Planetary Economics’, would summarise a wide body of work focused around the proposition that more effective responses require disaggregation of the possibilities and decision processes at different scales of space and time. This implies conscious design of policies to better align them with different kinds of motivation and risk-reward perceptions, and an understanding of how responses at different time and spatial scales can mutually reinforce each other.

We will illustrate these themes drawing on the book Planetary Economics, which sets out an over-arching theory of three domains of economic decision-making, based on different theoretical perspectives (behavioural, optimising and evolutionary). Rather than being alternate explanations, these offer descriptions into complementary processes at different spatial and temporal scales.

3315 - Energy Innovation for Climate Change: systems approaches and societal responses

Lead Convener: J. Skea (Imperial College London, Centre for Environmental Policy, London - UK)

The transition towards a low carbon economy needs innovation to create opportunities for reducing emissions, lowering costs and improving welfare. While there has been a significant scaling up of public and private sector energy RD&D efforts, these have yet to reach the levels required to achieve climate policy goals. This session will examine how policies and measures to support energy innovation can be made effective. Our aim is to exchange international experience, drawing on a range of disciplines. The session will consider: the adequacy of current energy innovation efforts; investment priorities and methods for establishing them; institutional frameworks and policy instruments; the role of stakeholder groups; and effective governance, consultation and engagement arrangements. The session will be introduced by a 10-minute presentation defining innovation needs and reviewing global energy trends and activities. The session will be broken into two parts. The theme of the first part will be the design of successful policies for energy innovation; the theme of the second will be stakeholder engagement in innovation and technology deployment. In each part, there will be an invited keynote presentation followed by a panel discussion guided towards practical, policy-relevant conclusions focused on the low-carbon transition.

3325 (b) - Creating the climate change groundswell by communicating business, science and regional activity

Lead Convener: E. Mcneely (Harvard School of Public Health, Center for Health and the Global Environment, Boston - USA)

This session will explore how forums and platforms for communicating data and activity to mitigate and adapt to climate change can motivate and support collaboration, innovation, and scale-up of activity to galvanize a groundswell of activity at all levels.

4401 - Sustainable development goals and the new climate regime : synergies for change ?

Lead Conveners: S. Treyer (IDDRI - Sciences Po, IDDRI, Paris - France) P. Guillaumont P. patrick.guillaumont@ferdi.fr (FERDI - Université d'Auvergne, Clermont Ferrand - France)

The SDG framework is defining a post 2015 agenda with the aim to impact positively the capacity of governments, individually and collectively, to ensure well being for all on the planet, integrating development and environmental targets. Climate change mitigation and adaptation are integrated in the proposed SDG framework as a specific goal, while all goals like access to essential services or infrastructures are also supposed to be reached in a sustainable, climate smart, way. Two important milestones for the construction of the SDG regime are the Addis Ababa conference on Financing sustainable development (July 2015) , and the UN General Assembly in September 2015 where SDGs could be adopted.

This session will explore possible synergies and interlinkages between the two negotiation processes, and will particularly aim at discussing the impact that their joint post 2015 implementation is expected to have. To what extent will they make a difference with regard to former existing frameworks like the MDGs ? Under what conditions could their implementation mechanisms, and particularly for what concerns the mobilization of finance, be synergetic for climate and for development ?

4402 (b) - Low carbon pathways for staying below 2°C: National contributions

Lead Conveners: D. Van Vuuren (PBL Netherlands Environment Agency, PBL, Climate, air pollution and energy, Bilthoven, Netherlands); P. Criqui (CNRS and ANCRE, Pacte-edden, Grenoble - France)

This session reviews the most recent work on national low carbon pathways and how they relate to the global context. It will analyze regional decarbonization pathways, national pledges and opportunities to strengthen action in order to close the gap to limiting warming to 2oC. It is accompanied by a session on the characteristics of global mitigation pathways consistent with the 2°C limit.

4403 - Revising the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement architecture for better governance and outcomes

Lead Conveners: D. Esty (Yale University, Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy, New Haven, Connecticut, USA); J. De Melo (FERDI, Clermont-Ferrand - France)

This panel will explore options for a restructured architecture for the 2015 Paris climate change agreement with the goal of strengthening governance and broadening engagement to deliver better outcomes. As the limited progress to address the build-up of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in the atmosphere over the two decades since the launch of the Framework Convention on Climate Change has demonstrated, a successful global response to climate change will require a more wide-ranging set of actions and behavioral change than national governments can generate on their own. This parallel session brings together various proposals for injecting new life into the global community’s response to climate change through systematic links to other regimes like the trade regime, a legal structure that provides a mechanism for engaging mayors, governors, premiers, and other sub-national leaders as well CEOs, and a framework of plurilateral “clubs” of climate change actors. In addition, the panel will address the fragmented international climate change governance structure – and ask how to build a more integrated and effective climate change regime.

4406 (b) - Climate change and Development: Alleviating poverty and achieving inclusive development within the constraints of a global carbon budget and other planetary boundaries

Lead Conveners: S. Hallegatte (Climate Change Group , Washington - USA); J. Steckel (Mercator Research Institute for Global Commons and Climate Change, Climate and Development, Berlin - Germany)

Climate change and poverty alleviation constitute the two biggest challenges for humanity in the 21st century that cannot be addressed independently from one another. A reasonable framework for sustainable development that permits economic and human development within the boundaries of the life-support systems on Earth will need to take into account climate impacts, risks and adverse effects of mitigation technologies, as well as co-benefits of mitigation.

This session highlights progress made in developing strategies that contribute to meeting both climate and poverty alleviation objectives, thus reducing the risk of conflict between solutions to these inextricably linked challenges. It will be structured around three framing presentations that highlight i) the recent research on planetary boundaries and a global carbon budget, ii) the linkages between poverty and climate change, iii)Feasible mitigation options for developing countries . They will serve as input for a panel discussion with the audience and among panel members. The session will be closed by an outlook on policy options and a possible way forward integrating different objectives on development, poverty alleviation and climate change mitigation on national and international levels.

4409 (b) - Climate Governance: Driving Societal Transformations

Lead Convener: A. Jordan (Tyndall Centre, ENV, Norwich - UK)

When set against the latest scientific predictions, the current policy responses to climate change are perceived to be painfully inadequate, especially those centred on the international regime. In anticipation of the Paris conference in 2015, hopes are building that ‘new’ forms of governance will offer a transformative solution to the governance gaps in the regime. These new forms include national policies adopted by states, as well as transnational experiments that involve domestic actors in a large number of countries, and operate across public and private divides.

This session will showcase and critically evaluate the latest findings from several international projects that are actively examining examples of the ‘new’ climate governance - many so recent that they were not included in AR5. The first part examines the main contours and architectures of ‘new’ governance; the second identifies and explores likely new priorities for science and for policy after Paris 2015.

4412 - Inequalities, responsibilities and equity in global climate policy

Lead Convener: M. Fleurbaey (Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton - USA)

This session will highlight the importance of equity considerations in the design of mitigation policy and governance mechanism. Equity aspects are salient in three different domains:

  • inequalities between populations regarding living standards impacted by climate change and efforts;/li>
  • taking account of responsibilities in the allocation of efforts;/li>
  • the design of climate agreements and governance mechanisms.

We propose to devote 30 minutes to each of these interconnected themes

4417 - Transforming Society and Science for Sustainability – Addressing Challenges in Transdisciplinary Research

Lead Conveners: C. Adler (ETH Zurich, DUSYS TdLab, Zurich - Switzerland); S. Moore (International Social Science Council, Paris Cedex 15 - France)

Successful mitigation of and adaptation to climate change will require profound social change and new ways of doing science. This session focuses on transdisciplinary research in the context of global environmental change and the imperative to generate new kinds of knowledge to accelerate transformations to a more sustainable world. The keynote talk will focus on the International Council for Social Science (ISSC)'s Transformations to Sustainability Programme, showing how it can support research that is at once solutions-oriented; international; interdisciplinary; transdisciplinary; and designed to build capacity for international research collaborations. Seed grant recipients will report on experiences and insights in co-designing and establishing international, inter- and transdisciplinary collaborative research projects. Conscious of the challenges transdisciplinary science and need for discussion about transdisciplinary research to move beyond enumerating the inherent challenges, the session also calls for serious reflection on the quality of transdisciplinary research, including its transferability and scalability for policy. Finally, in recognition of the importance of building research capacity, contributions from early-career scientists on the session theme are particularly welcomed.

4419 - Climate science in the public sphere. Media coverage and communication devices analysis for effective policy implementation

Lead Conveners: JB. Comby (University Paris 2, French press institute / center for interdisciplinary analysis and research on media, Paris - France); P. Maugis (UMR CEA-CNRS-UVSQ (UMR 8212), IPSL, Laboratoire des sciences du climat et de l'environnement, Gif-sur-Yvette - France)

How does climate science knowledge circulate in the public spheres, both national and transnational? Addressing this core issue, the session has two main parts. The first section draws on comparative media research, presenting an empirically grounded global overview of the diversity of media interpretations of scientific knowledge of IPCC AR5 during 2013 and 2014. It will also discuss the complex social logics that explain some of the main differences and similarities of media coverage of climate science in 20 countries, looking at what kind of scientific knowledge is favoured by journalists and how IPCC’s results are locally interpreted in media systems that are still largely nationally grounded. Such social scientific understanding of the dynamics of this landscape is a necessary step for climate scientists on the road towards more effective climate communication.

The second part presents a variety of experimental and original ways to implement society-science dialogue, either to upgrade low-carbon projects or to raise citizen awareness and action. Presentations will demonstrate devices elaborated to ease relations between stakeholders, citizens and climate scientists when it comes to shape a common future in response to the “dangers” of climate change. How does knowledge circulate and how do citizens with a variety of social backgrounds appropriate climate related knowledge? What roles do experts play vis-à-vis citizens? Based on research action experiences in different socio-historical contexts, presentations will also question the “cultural” dimensions of this social-science dialogue needed to collectively build low-carbon societies.