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New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute International climate change research & policy processes Andy Reisinger New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse.

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Presentation on theme: "New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute International climate change research & policy processes Andy Reisinger New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse."— Presentation transcript:

1 New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute International climate change research & policy processes Andy Reisinger New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre (AgResearch, Wellington) Degrees of Possibility NZCCC Social Science Workshop 6 December 2010

2 2 1)The starting point 2)Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: why, what, how, who? 3)Some (very selected) scientific findings and key social science contributions to IPCC 4)Engagement with IPCC process 5)Personal perspectives on social science challenges and opportunities in New Zealand Outline

3 3 Concerns about climate change initiated by atmospheric/earth system scientists taken up by ecologists taken up by technologists and economists slowly diffusing into development, disaster management, resilience, sustainability discourses with increasing considerations of policy design and almost from day one under the shadow of political, ethical, lobby-group dynamics (only some of this has been subject of serious academic study). The starting point Social science is everywhere – but where is it !?

4 4 Climate change is directly linked to socio-economic development, resource management, and global commons. Where and how can governments get objective information to help their decision-making? Thousands of scientific papers are published on these subjects every year. Where and how can governments get objective information to help their decision-making?

5 5 History of IPCC set up jointly by UNEP and WMO in 1988, open to all nations part of WMO and UN (last count: 192) to provide assessments of scientific and technical aspects of climate change, to inform policy choices global and comprehensive drafting and open peer- review process to reflect wide range of perspectives output mainly in form of comprehensive reports; also workshops and guidance documents policy-relevant, but not policy-prescriptive Careful handling of uncertainty and confidence

6 6 All reports are available in full and for free: Some key scientific findings

7 7 Global average temperature

8 8 Recent warming is due to greenhouse gases

9 9 Combination of volcanic eruptions and solar change would have resulted in small cooling over the last 50 years.

10 10 Recent warming is due to greenhouse gases Combination of volcanic eruptions and solar change would have resulted in small cooling over the last 50 years. Models are able to reproduce observed changes only if we include the warming effect of greenhouse gases.

11 11 Projections for the future Start with scenarios for future emissions – (internally consistent sets of assumptions about socio-economic change, energy and technology) Use models simulating physical and chemical processes, and validated against past changes, to estimate future change Compare models from different groups to assess model uncertainties

12 12 Future warming and historical context Different Northern Hemisphere temperature records for the last 1300 years Thermometer measurements High, medium and low greenhouse gas scenarios for the future Even a low business as usual scenario would lead to rapid global warming and temperatures greater than at any time during human civilisation. Degrees o C

13 13 But no one lives at the global average Medium (A1B) scenario ( ): Global mean warming 2.8 o C; Much of land area warms by ~3.5 o C. Arctic warms by ~6 o C. Different people are affected and will respond differently.

14 14 Implications and response options Climate change impacts on sectors/regions Adaptation options, costs, effectiveness, limits Dependence on socio-economic development Governance, institutional issues Reducing greenhouse gas emissions: Technical options Costs Policies International collaboration

15 15 Social science inputs to date Socio-economic drivers of GHG emissions Integration of adaptation into development Socio-economic determinants of vulnerability to climate change impacts (some) behavioural and ecological economics applied to mitigation cost analysis Policy design and effectiveness of technology diffusion and learning-by-doing cycles

16 16 IPCC AR5 – social science entry points

17 17 IPCC 5 th Assessment Report underway Chapter outlines and authors: Ways of contributing: writing and publishing papers making IPCC authors aware of relevant publications/work participate in expert review process act as contributing author if requested Cut-off dates for literature: March 2013 for WG I (physical science) July 2013 for WG II (impacts/adaptation) August 2013 for WGIII (mitigation) Engagement with IPCC process address policy-relevant questions that can inform but dont prescribe decision-making and that dont assume or prescribe value-systems inter- (multi-, trans-) disciplinary collaborations that address real-world problems

18 18 Key social science needs Socio-economic development scenarios (drivers of greenhouse gas emissions; baseline for emissions reductions; potential impacts/vulnerability) Measures/perceptions of well-being (beyond GDP) drivers of consumption/growth regional/local development scenarios links between local and global scenarios Climate change adaptation Governance and policy design incl. long timescales Interaction with competing development goals Dealing with rapid, dynamic changes in social fabric (demographics, technology, environment)

19 19 Key social science needs Real-world mitigation potential Bridging the gap from economic to market potential Dynamics of technology diffusion and deployment Drivers, barriers and limits for behavioural change Ecological/behavioural economics Psychology of risk, individual/collective responses perception of risk and timeframes re-action and pro-action relating to disasters barriers and motivations for indiv./collective action communication of risk, cost and benefit political economy of climate change Serious, academic analysis of ethical dimensions and their implications and relevance for policy

20 20 Managing the do-it-yourself social scientists Assumptions, beliefs and value systems The tyranny of number and universality Cross-cutting issues relative to outcomes The challenge of multi-discipline collaborations Connecting with the policy environment, and the need to demonstrate real, tangible (quantified! here we go again) value from including social science findings in decision-making processes Challenges and opportunities


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