Can climate compatible development provide an alternative development pathway for the global south?
Authors: Lisa Ficklin, Lindsay Stringer, Susannah Sallu, Andrew Dougill
Abstract: In this paper we compare and contrast the opportunities and challenges, motivations and resistance to creating an alternative climate compatible development (CCD) development pathway in Tanzania and Swaziland. The research presented draws from semi-structured interviews conducted with national policy makers, and stakeholders in the NGO and private sectors working at and across multiple levels. This paper presents data about the conceptualisation and framing of climate change and development issues in two country contexts. It analyses how CCD rhetoric is provoking questions and debate about the definitions of adaptation, mitigation and development in policy and by extension the coherence of these definitions between institutions, policies and financers. Consequently, the impact this has on the opportunities and challenges presented by a CCD development pathway is analysed and important future research is identified
Frames on food and nutrition security: media analyses in Flanders, Italy and UK
Authors: Tessa Avermaete, Stefano Grando, Ana Moragues Faus, Gianluca Brunori, Natalia Brzezina, Luca Colombo, Terry Marsden, Maryam Rahmanian
Abstract: The public perception of Food and Nutrition Security (FNS) in Europe is shaped by insights and believes on the drivers and vulnerabilities of the food system performance and its resilience. Recently, there is a growing body of work on FNS framings that aims to gain an in-depth understanding of narrative formation and its policy implications. This paper presents a cross-country analyses of FNS frames in Flanders, Italy and UK. The research is based on media analyses in these countries, in the period 2007-2014. We focus on eight frames: the ecological frame, the free trade frame, the quality frame, the social frame, the solidarity frame, the sovereignty frame, the technology frame and the wholesomeness frame. This research contributes in countering the regressive fragmentation and aggregation currently framing conventional FNS approaches.
Living with limits - and the reality of achieving change
Authors: Tone Smith-Spash
Abstract: Starting from the concept of limits and boundaries, I discuss some problems related to the recent “quantitative turn” in the limits debate, including epistemological issues, the limits discourse and the social consequences of quantification. I argue that to uphold the basic ontological assumption of environmental limits, we need to move from a narrow concept of quantified biophysical limits to a conception of limits as a relation between the natural environment and human society. This also includes a conceptualisation of social reality and developing a social ontology for ecological economics. The paper makes the case for why a radical and socially oriented ecological economics needs to engage more thoroughly with social and political theory. The belief in the role of quantified indicators is an example of the tendency to base strategies for change on unqualified assumptions instead of on social research.
The Leverage Potential of the Common Agricultural Policy for creating Sustainable Agro-ecological systems: Conflicting system goals and intervention points
Authors: Julia Leventon, David Abson
Abstract: Here we outline a systems thinking approach to intervening in complex social-ecological systems in order to steer them to more sustainable development trajectories. We identify specific system properties or ‘leverage points’—places in complex systems, where a small shift can lead to fundamental changes in the system as a whole. We differentiate between most readily altered but relatively weak or ‘shallow’ leverage points (include changing system parameters and strengthening feedback loops) and the more difficult to change, but potentially more influential ‘deeper’ leverage points such the power to self-organize system structures and the mind-set from which the system itself arises. Secondly we use this leverage points framework to assess the recent CAP reforms. Using two German case studies, we assess the extent to which the relative shallow interventions in the reformed CAP align with, inhibit or enable sustainable, multilevel governance of European agro-ecological systems.
The Population Variable in Resource Economics
Authors: Roger Martin
Abstract: Conclusions of research projects commissioned and supervised by the author from Masters’ students in 2014: * Population Growth, Housing ‘Shortage’, Greenfield Loss: Had the population become stable in 1994, all 125,000 homeless households could have been housed by end 1995, on 5,200 ha of brownfield land. Since then, 26,400 ha of farmland, and 3,600 ha of greenbelt have gone under housing; while homelessness still remains acute. *The ‘Ageing Crisis’ Myth: The average total public cost of a child from conception to tax-paying is £261,000; while the average total public cost of an old person from retirement to death is £225,000 – about 16% lower. .*Reduce Carbon by Ending Unwanted Births: the average mitigation potential of family planning is $3.23 per carbon tonne abated – 60% lower than alternative energy and forestry options. *GDP up, per capita GDP down: Every 1% of population growth reduces GDP per capita by 1.15%.
The global carbon budget: a conflicting claims problem
Authors: José Manuel Giménez-Gómez, Jordi Teixidó, Cori Vilella
Abstract: Despite global environmental governance has traditionally couched global warming in terms of annual CO2 emissions (a flow), global mean temperature is actually determined by cumulative CO2 emissions in the atmosphere (a stock). Thanks to advances of scientific community, nowadays it is possible to quantify the “global carbon budget”, that is, the amount of available cumulative CO2 emissions before crossing the 2oC threshold (Meinshausen et al., 2009). The current approach proposes to analyse the allocation of such global carbon budget among countries as a classical conflicting claims problem (O’Neill, 1982) i.e. a bankruptcy problem. Based on some appealing principles, it is proposed an efficient and sustainable allocation of the available carbon budget from 2000 to 2050 taking into account different environmental risk scenarios.
Extending the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways for impacts and risks related to higher-end European scenarios
Authors: Simona Pedde, Kasper Kok, Paula Harrison, Brian O`Neill, Kristie Ebi
Abstract: In spite of high-end scenarios being increasingly plausible, potential climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerabilities (CCIAV) studies face two major limitations: understanding uncertainty in long-term socioeconomic changes and oversimplification with single scale approaches. A key aspect in understanding the potential consequences of high-end climate change is the exploration of uncertainty in long-term socioeconomic futures in the form of alternative scenarios. In this study, we argue that the flexible design of the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) can be regionally extended to produce sub-global socioeconomic storylines for application in CCIAV studies for Europe and Scotland. The downscaled European SSPs feature an innovative participatory approach and build on the global SSPs that are used as boundary conditions. In addition to assessing challenges and opportunities associated with SSPs for sub-global extension, this study aims at generating a set of internally consistent qualitative and quantitative elements, and integrated storylines for Europe and Scotland.
Is it what you measure that really matters? Alternative economic and well-being indicators in Canada
Authors: Jeff Wilson, Anders Hayden
Abstract: Many critics of conventional approaches to economic growth have demanded alternatives to Gross Domestic Product as an economic and well-being indicator. Some advocates of alternative indicators argue that they are key to shifting societal priorities away from economic growth and toward sustainability, equity, and well-being. Is this actually the case in practice? What are the necessary conditions for alternative indicators to have a major impact? This paper examines the experience in Canada (as part of a comparative project including Britain and Bhutan). We argue that the impact of alternative indicators has been minimal to date especially in regards to influencing public policy. The case of Canada, and other nations, suggests that the use of new indicators is best seen as one product of political efforts and social movement struggles to bring other values into decision making, rather than as the transformative force that will cause a change in societal priorities.