The IPCC’s framing of climate-resilient (development) pathways
Tiago Capela Lourenço (eChanges-cE3c)
Climate resilience is usually described as the capacity of (interconnected) social, economic, and environmental systems to cope with hazardous climate events or disturbances, responding or reorganizing in ways that maintain their essential function, identity, and structure. Resilience is often considered a positive attribute especially when it retains a system’s capacity for adaptation, learning and transformation. Current modes of global development typically link economic growth to human well-being, leading to decades of policies and programs aimed at growing economies as a mean to human development. However, implied in such ambition lie the very processes that have contributed to current climate challenges, including resource use and energy regimes, placing climate resilience and (economic) development in opposition to one another. Climate-resilient (development) pathways have been proposed as way of addressing prospects of future human well-being, economic growth, and ecologic resilience, but their definition and operationalization remain elusive. Climate-resilient pathways are development trajectories that combine adaptation and mitigation with effective institutions to realize the goal of sustainable development. They are a conceptual and aspirational idea for steering societies towards low-carbon, prosperous and ecologically safe futures. Currently, such pathways seem dependent on achieving significant transitions in key systems like energy, land, ecosystems, urban, infrastructures and industries, but the magnitude of the challenge poses multiple difficulties for global and national institutions. In this talk we will review the current framing of climate-resilient (development) pathways by the Intragovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and discuss some of the major open questions regarding their practical implementation at the national, regional, and local level.
Thursday, May 05, 2022, at 12h00-13h00 (Lisbon, Portugal time)