This time in our critical reflexion on typical causes for delaying, downgrading, or rejecting climate change action, we dive into “policy perfectionism”, a variant of disruption fear fallacies.
These days, policies to mitigate climate change are being considered from many different angles, leading to intense debate. This also makes sense, because every measure not only has the desired effect, but also various side effects that need to be taken into account. So, in order to avoid undesirable developments and resistance, all voices should be heard.
Nevertheless, we should be aware that there is no certainty as to which measures are definitely the best. All the more so because as time goes on, we will need more and more radical measures, for which there is also no sufficient experience since they have never been used before. Instead of waiting for the ideal and most convenient path for all to be found at some point, the measures that lead to the goal under the given tight emissions budget must be initiated on the basis of current knowledge, even if they demand a lot from us. We must do this in the knowledge that the paths can be continuously adjusted as new solutions are found.
Every day that passes unused means that even higher emissions must be reduced in even less time. KNOWING provides the tools and guidance for comprehensive assessment of the cross-sectoral impacts of measures in order to make prompt informed decisions based on the best available knowledge. In the long-term perspective, mitigation pathways developed together with regional stakeholders enable the identification of feasible transitions ensuring that defined targets are met. However, they also provide the flexibility to adjust a pathway if new developments open up opportunities for adapting the planned measures.