How a sistemic view on #climatechange can help us solve current crises. Our thoughts in KNOWING:
We are living in a time of multiple severe crises. Besides society’s slow recovery from a global pandemic, our usual lives are also challenged by war, extreme weather events and inflation. Above all, there is the threat of looming tipping points of climate change that may make adaptation to change impossible. Under these circumstances, setting the course for a liveable future is extremely complex.
Taking policy decisions in such times is hard, since the consequences of the choices can be profound due to the dynamics of the circumstances, which are difficult to assess. Moreover, decisions must consider multiple different – and sometimes conflicting – goals and interests. This can lead to the delay of important strategic moves, adding further to the problem.
A systemic view is needed to select those measures which jointly manage to navigate out of these multiple crises, and to avoid misguided action or no action at all. Instead of trying to solve multi-faceted and systemic problems in separated fields and risking spill-over and rebound effects that can reduce the impact or even backfire, we should use such past experience to assess the impact of interventions across sectors and select those that are most effective. The increasing scarcity of time, resources and remaining carbon budget requires particularly careful selection of highly effective measures.
So, decision making today is especially hard, but more important than ever. #KNOWING builds on existing knowledge and experiences about cross-sectoral interrelations to minimise mutual obstructions of effects and maximise co-benefits. In this way, uncertainty is reduced, and consequences of decisions can be better estimated to identify the most effective combination of measures. Reducing uncertainty opens up the opportunity to identify viable pathways and even make bold decisions for the better of our future.