Help Privacy Policy Disclaimer
  Advanced SearchBrowse




Conference Paper

The transformative role of actor interactions: new approaches to the climate policy narrative


Hasselmann,  Klaus
Emeritus Scientific Members, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

Fulltext (restricted access)
There are currently no full texts shared for your IP range.
Fulltext (public)
There are no public fulltexts stored in PuRe
Supplementary Material (public)
There is no public supplementary material available

Hewitt, R., Hasselmann, K., Kovalevsky, D. V., & Cremades, R. (2019). The transformative role of actor interactions: new approaches to the climate policy narrative. In The 11th International Social Innovation Research Conference (ISIRC 2019) - ISIRC Abstract Booklet. Glasgow, UK.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-FFA8-C
Despite much attention, both in the media and in scientific literature, the various global climate
policy goals agreed upon in international climate conferences like the 2015 Paris agreement,

lack implementation. The narrative around global climate policy is very strongly focused on
gradual reduction of emissions through application of policies and targets, at the expense of
alternative perspectives. Neither is it certain that these kinds of global agreements, on their
own, can deliver ambitious changes to systemic issues (see e.g. Helm 2012). In this paper, we
argue that this dominant narrative of gradual change does not reflect current knowledge about
the system, and as such, is a poor guide to policy. Instead, we argue in favour of a non-
incrementalist, complex systems view of the climate policy narrative. We support our argument
by adapting the well-known system dynamic modelling framework to try to quantify the effect
of actor behaviour on climate policy objectives, rather than, as in some conventional models,
looking at only economics and emissions. In this way, we use our model to suggest, not what
hypothetical actors should do, but what real actors are likely to do, on the basis of an analysis of
their current and recent past behaviour. We calibrate our model with real-world data for the
case of Spain, a country that has seen remarkable recent change in its climate policy. Our
results suggest that efforts to meet global climate goals will likely not succeed unless a stronger
emphasis is given on negotiating the balance of power between actors. The picture that
emerges suggests that the focus of climate policy needs to shift from expecting actors and
institutions to meet targets, to changing the way actors and institutions behave so that the
required transformation can emerge.