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Title (Primary) Imagining the corridor of climate mitigation – What is at stake in IPCC’s politics of anticipation?
Author Beck, S.; Oomen, J.
Journal Environmental Science & Policy
Year 2021
Department UPOL
Volume 123
Page From 169
Page To 178
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Keywords Mitigation; IPCC; Integrated assessment models; Negative emissions; Science policy interface; Coproduction; Politics of expertise; Pathways; Carbon dioxid removal; Mapmaker
Abstract The article examines how the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) performs its self-proclaimed role as ‘mapmaker. We seek to contribute to the emerging literature on global environmental assessments (GEA) and climate politics by reconstructing how the IPCC imagines the corridor for climate mitigation. Our particular focus is on the emergence of Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) as the preferred scientific approach to projecting mitigation pathways consistent with average global temperature target. Taking our lead from current research in science and technology studies (STS) and sociology of futures, we reconstruct the emergence of a science policy tradition of modeling in the field of climate change as a particular mode of anticipation. We summarize the main findings of this literature in order to illustrate the historical and socio-political context in which this mode of anticipation is embedded. Based on this genealogy, we demonstrate how, in its role as mapmaker, the IPCC has also functioned as a corridor maker. We highlight how the IPCC has achieved consensus on a limited set of mitigation pathways, thus effectively narrowing down the discursive space for imagining potential futures to pathways that are deemed technically feasible and cost-efficient. We conclude by discussing the political consequences of this mode of anticipation in order to give us a more comprehensive understanding of what is at stake in the politics of anticipation. We elucidate why the techno-economic framing of current mitigation pathways is highly restrictive, especially when it omits many cultural, political, and other dimensions involved in deploying CDR at scale in their ‘real-world’ context of application.
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Beck, S., Oomen, J. (2021):
Imagining the corridor of climate mitigation – What is at stake in IPCC’s politics of anticipation?
Environ. Sci. Policy 123 , 169 - 178