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Accueil > Actualités

Objectifs de température et scénarios de décarbonation, entre science et politique

par Arancha Sánchez - publié le , mis à jour le

Negative Emissions and Solar Geoengineering : How the ’brutal math’ of the carbon budget starts turning against mainstream environmentalism


Oliver Geden (SWP – Berlin)


The main indicators for addressing and potentially ’solving’ the climate change problem are global temperature targets and associated carbon budgets. Both indicators helped to establish a ’five minutes to midnight’ storyline that enabled a push for conventional mitigation approaches (e.g., renewables, efficiency), giving them a notion of ’inevitability’. But with ever more ambitious temperature targets (since COP21 : well below 2°C and 1.5°C) and global emissions that are still not decreasing, the remaining carbon budgets are shrinking rapidly. Now it seems more and more ’inevitable’ that the world cannot rely on conventional mitigation only, that it needs to explore negative emissions technologies or even solar geoengineering. This poses a serious challenge for mainstream environmentalism. Will this emerging constellation lead to research and deployment of a new class of ’unwanted’ technologies, or - given that solutions are usually chasing problems, not the other way around - will it lead to refined assumptions underlying the quantitative indicators, e.g. by recalculating carbon budgets or by reinterpreting the meaning of temperature targets ?

Organizing policy-relevant knowledge for climate action : Integrated Assessment Modelling, the IPCC, and the emergence of a collective expertise on socioeconomic emission scenarios


Christophe Cassen, Béatrice Cointe, Alain Nadai (CIRED)


La fabrique des futurs : sociologie de la modélisation économique dans le domaine de l’environnement.

Greenhouse gas emission scenarios are key in analyses of human interference with the climate system. They are mainly produced by one category of large-scale computer models : Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs). We analyse how IAM research organised around the production of socio-economic scenarios during the period leading up to the publication of the IPCC AR5, from 2005 to 2014. We describe the emergence of a dynanmic epistemic community pursuing policy relevance with specific its practices, and its domain of applicability . We highlight the role of the IPCC and the EU in the establishment of this community, and show how IAM research worked its way to an influent position. We analyse elements in the repertoire enabling the constitution of a coherent community out of this heterogeneity. Knowing of these arrangements is crucial to understand current knowledge about future greenhouse gas emissions and its limitations, as it largely relies upon them.


Mardi 6 février 2018, 14h - 17h
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