Socio-economic futures in climate change impact assessment: using scenarios as 'learning machines'

TitleSocio-economic futures in climate change impact assessment: using scenarios as 'learning machines'
Publication TypeTyndall Working Paper
SeriesTyndall Centre Working Papers
Secondary TitleTyndall Centre Working Paper 3
AuthorsBerkhout, F., J. Hertin, and A Jordan
Year of Publication2001
Abstract

Climate impact assessment requires a clear picture of two intimately interrelated processes: socio-economic change and climate change. To date, future change in socio-economic systems has been mostly ignored in the analysis of climate change impacts. More inclusive and systematic scenario approaches offer a means of dealing with critical issues of complexity, innovation, reflexivity and framing in analysing change in socio-economic systems, paving the way for a more sensitive and systematic handling of socio-economic futures in impact assessment. We argue that scenarios represent a heuristic tool encouraging policy and organisational learning in climate impact assessment. The advantages and disadvantages of a scenario-based approach are explored via a detailed study of a regional climate impact assessment in the UK.

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