Imagining and building pathways to a just and sustainable safe climate future
The Climate Transformations initiative aims to create and share knowledge about the social and political transformations needed to imagine and build a just and sustainable safe climate future.
Climate Transformations research and advocacy projects focus on the following questions:
- What are the key social, psychological and political barriers preventing a rapid transition to a just and sustainable safe climate future? How can these barriers be overcome?
- What actions are needed to imagine, visualise and communicate just and sustainable safe climate futures and pathways?
- What are the highest priority social, economic and political transformations needed to achieve a rapid transition to a just and sustainable safe climate future?
- What actions are needed to maximise the likelihood of these transformations being undertaken rapidly and successfully?
The work of the Climate Transformations initiative is informed by the following analysis:
- There is compelling evidence that the sustainability of the Earth's ecosystems and the wellbeing of human societies require urgent action to return global temperatures to preindustrial levels as soon as possible. Achievement of this aim is likely to require reducing atmospheric Co2 to below 280 parts per million and removing over 1000GT of Co2 by 2050.
- Strategies for achieving these targets will need to include: significant improvements in energy efficiency; the replacement of fossil fuels; the restoration of carbon sinks; and the implementation of adaptation policies which ensure that the costs of emissions reduction as well as the impacts of climate change are distributed equitably.
- There is increasing evidence that the challenges of overcoming the social, psychological and political barriers to support for climate change action are at least as great as the scientific and technological challenges posed by climate change.
- Key social, psychological and political challenges include:
i) Reducing the growing gap between the mounting scientific evidence of climate change risks and popular support for action to address these risks;
ii) Balancing well founded fear about climate change risks and consequences with an empowering sense of hope about the possibility of imagining and creating alternative, safe climate futures and pathways;
iii) Designing and implementing democratic and inclusive processes which can drive rapid, large scale transitions to a just and sustainable post carbon economy and society.