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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Social Tipping Elements Instrumental for Decarbonization by 2050 Seminar

16 May 2018
Shackleton Building 44, Lecture Theatre A (1041)

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Dr Nathaniel Lewis at .

Event details

Achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement demands a world-wide transformation to a fossil-fuel-free world within the next 30 years. We propose a framework for identifying social tipping elements, that is, subsystems of the world-Earth system where a targeted human intervention can activate social tipping-like processes leading to a rapid reduction in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, fast enough to avoid crossing the dangerous tipping points in the Earth’s climate system. We present a categorization of such social tipping elements, differentiated according to their operational and temporal scales, that was derived based on an expert elicitation, a subsequent expert workshop, and a literature review. The evidence supporting the existence of silver-bullet solutions is mostly based on emerging cases that have, however, not been scaled up to the planetary level yet. Due to the networked character of the World of human societies, activating the social tipping elements simultaneously at various geographical and social scales increases the chances of achieving a mutual reinforcement effect that will be strong enough to break though the existing social, economic, and political inertia.

Speaker information

Dr Avit Bhowmik, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Postdoctoral Researcher

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