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Climate Change: Challenges for Innovation Studies Govindan Parayil Professor Center for Technology, Innovation and Culture University of Oslo, Norway

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Presentation on theme: "Climate Change: Challenges for Innovation Studies Govindan Parayil Professor Center for Technology, Innovation and Culture University of Oslo, Norway"— Presentation transcript:

1 Climate Change: Challenges for Innovation Studies Govindan Parayil Professor Center for Technology, Innovation and Culture University of Oslo, Norway

2 Environment and Development o Environment an afterthought of production o Grow first and worry later o Environmental costs were externalized o A case of market failure o Environmental pollution and regulation o Environmental protection and wealth o Environmental Kuznets Curve?

3 Emissions per head A hypothetical environmental Kuznets curve Income per capita

4 Environment and Development Environment and Development These approaches can at best solve local- level environmental problems Smog, acid rain, effluent disposal etc. Global warming too big and global problem to be addressed by existing environmental regulatory tools Climate change can’t be solved as a simple externality problem Need global and local solutions

5 The Science of Climate Change GHGs and global warming (the greenhouse effect) Initial doubts about the validity of the theory largely gone, but still some critics exist Global consensus among climate scientists How does the scientific enterprise work?

6 2005 was the hottest year on record; the 13 hottest all occurred since 1990, 23 out of the 24 hottest since Source: Holdren (2007) based on J. Hansen et al., PNAS 103: (26 Sept 2006) Green bars show 95% confidence intervals The Earth is getting warmer on the average °C

7 Evidence for a human role: the last 1000 years Source: Holdren (2007) based on National Research Council, 2006 “Proxy” temperature reconstructions yr thermometer record Direction & rate of temperature change switched suddenly in 1800s

8 The human role: CO 2 build-up for the last 250 years tracks emissions from fossil fuels & deforestation Fossil-fuel contribution is confirmed by reduced C-14 fraction in atmospheric CO2. Fossil fuels provide 80% of civilization’s energy today. Source: Holdren (2007)

9 Climate Change Climate Change Doubling of pre-industrial levels of GHGs is likely to raise 2 – 5 degrees of global mean temperature during this century. The “Hockey Stick” Debate The effects of global warming are already being felt Warming is intensifying the water cycle, reinforcing existing patterns of water scarcity and increasing the risks of droughts and floods

10 The next 100 years compared to the last 400 (Source: Holden, 2007) Colored lines pre-2000 are proxy-based T reconstructions by different groups. Gray band shows range of scenarios for future developed by Inter- governmental Panel on Climate Change. Continuation of recent trends (middle of band) leads by 2100 to temperatures not reached since the Eocene (25-35 million years ago), when sea level was m higher.

11 Climate Change Climate Change As the world warms, the risk of abrupt and large- scale changes in the climate will rise IPCC and other scientific bodies such as national academies of sciences are unanimous in their stand on climate change due to GHGs The body of evidence and the growing quantitative assessment of risks pose clear challenges to economics and innovation studies to come up with solutions

12 The Ethics and Economics of Climate Change Climate change is the result of the externality associated with GHGs emissions. A case of market failure, according to economists. The costs associated with climate change are not paid by those who create the emissions. It is being borne by others, especially those who did not partake in the growth and wealth.

13 The Ethics and Economics of Climate Change A tragedy of the commons On a global scale It is global in its causes and consequences The impacts of climate change are long-term and persistent Most GHGs until recently were created by the wealthy industrialized societies So who should bear the responsibility for mitigating climate change?

14 The Ethics and Economics of Climate Change Most of the adverse effects of climate change will be felt in poor and vulnerable societies Eventually it will affect the rich, although they are better prepared to adapt in the short-term There is also the question of inter and intra- generational equity

15 Implications of climate change for development While all nations will eventually feel the adverse effects of climate change, it will pose the most serious threat to developing countries. The effect will be felt most seriously by the most vulnerable sections within developing countries who are at the margins of society Most people in developing countries are dependent on subsistence agriculture while the rest live on livelihoods within the informal sector

16 Implications of climate change for development Floods and water shortages, vector-borne diseases, droughts, Those who live on coastlines and shanties are also affected Climate change poses long-term sustainability of the development process Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will not be met In Sep 2000, 189 countries signed the UN Millennium Declaration, an international blueprint for poverty reduction with a target date of 2015:

17 Millennium Development Goals Millennium Development Goals Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger Achieve universal primary education Empower women and promote equality among men and women Reduce under five morality by two-thirds Reduce maternal morality by three-quarters Reverse the spread of aids, especially HIV/AIDS and malaria Ensure environmental sustainability Create global partnership for development, with targets for aid, trade and debt relief

18 Impacts of climate change on developing regions: South Asia: India: Crucial annual monsoons could be affected (threat to food security and drinking water); extreme climates lead to droughts and flooding. Melting of Himalayan glaciers could affect the survival of several great rivers affecting the whole region, including China Similar effects in Bangladesh, particularly floods and storms Hundreds of millions could be pushed into poverty, negating the gains made against poverty

19 Impacts of climate change on developing regions Sub-Saharan Africa: More desertification and water shortages Hundreds of millions will be pushed into hunger Middle East and North Africa Further shortage of water Possibilities of intensifying conflicts over water resources Global population movements due to environmental catastrophes

20 UNDP Human Development Report 2006 The geography of water stress

21 What to do? What to do? Adaptation: measures to reduce the adverse impacts on human well-being resulting from the changes in climate that do occur. Examples: changing consumption and agricultural practices, strengthening defenses against climate-related disease, and building more dams and dikes. Mitigation: measures to reduce the pace & magnitude of the changes in global climate being caused by human activities. Examples: reducing emissions of GHG, enhancing “sinks” for these gases, “geoengineering” to counteract the warming effects of GHG, new technologies. Suffer (BAU)

22 Adaptation in the Developing World Adaptation in the Developing World Poverty and developmental constraints will present obstacles to adaptation, but focused developmental policies can make some dent in the impact of climate change Promote growth and diversification of economic activity Enhancing resilience to disasters and improving disaster management Investment in flood prevention, irrigation, water preservation Investing in health and education

23 Investing in adaptation through: Human capital (investing in health and education) Social capital (Bring civil society in the development process - good governance) Physical capital (infrastructure) Natural capital (protection of rain forests and mangroves) Technology transfer and diffusion

24 Harnessing Markets & Institutions for Adaptation Taxes to be imposed on emitters to offset the full social cost of their emissions (establishing carbon prices to reflect the damage caused by GHG emissions) Quantity restrictions can limit the volume of emissions (using command and control approach) Full set of property rights to be established (carbon trading) Kyoto Protocol (CDM)

25 Harnessing Markets & Institutions Cap and trade Creating a global price for carbon Transition to a low carbon and zero emission economy Global compact for technological innovation (development, transfer and diffusion) Technological innovation (Sustainable Innovation)

26 Thank you!


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