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Part 1 of the pilot-phase interactive integrated assessment process (Aurion Project)
John Turnpenny, Alex Haxeltine and Tim O'Riordan
Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Working Paper 31
A scoping study of UK user needs for managing climate futures.
Part 1 of the pilot-phase interactive integrated assessment process (Aurion Project)
Dr John Turnpenny and Dr Alex Haxeltine Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research School of Environmental Sciences University of East Anglia Norwich NR4 7TJ Professor Tim O’Riordan School of Environmental Sciences University of East Anglia Norwich NR4 7TJ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Tyndall Centre Working Paper No. 31 April 2003
Summary This paper presents the results of a survey of the needs of UK organisations for information about climate change. The purpose of the survey was to inform the development of our research programme by helping us to better understand how research on climate change can most effectively be of use. Many organisations are affected by climate change – whether by direct impacts, indirect impacts (e.g. through climate change policies) or by the need to include climate change in policy making or planning for the future of the organisation. Analysing the complex implications of such impacts for individuals, organisations and even countries requires the bringing together (or integration) of insights from a broad range of academic disciplines including climate science, economics, social sciences and engineering. We are involved in creating an integrated research framework to bring these disciplines together; fundamental to this is the development of a process of interactions with key external stakeholders. This should be a two-way ‘learning’ process where stakeholder knowledge and expectations inform and contribute to development and execution of the research, and timely, relevant research results can be effectively communicated to stakeholders. Stakeholders can then respond to the research outputs, continuing a process of dialogue yielding insights into climate change which could not have been achieved through research alone, or even through a one-off input of stakeholder needs. The survey consisted of 40 interviews with a wide range of organisations drawn government, NGOs and the private sector (users of climate change-related information) over the period November 2002 – February 2003. In the interviews we discussed with users their current use of climate change-related information, where knowledge gaps exist, and what kinds of questions now need addressing. A number of important findings and implications for our research emerged from analysis of the interviews: 1) There is less need for information on climate change per se than on information to support decisions on responses to climate change; often this relates to the political process rather than to scientific research. 2) Information on climate change is used for a range of differing purposes (policy-making, organisational planning, media, and advocacy) and this has implications for the nature of the information required. 3) Many users operate at the local scale, below the resolution of the best current climate models. 4) Users regarded a clear treatment of uncertainty as vital (also implying that it is important for scientists to give honest assessments of the level of confidence to which particular questions might be answered). 5) Information about adaptation to the impacts of climate change, placed in a wider context of social and economic change, is a key element of many users information needs. 6) The trust and confidence of users in research products or tools is not a given. It must be developed or maintained through the process of interaction with the research. For this reason, and to ensure relevance, it is vital to communicate with users on the co-design of tools. A key issue for many users is the importance of being able to understand the working of computer models in lay terms. The value of simple models should therefore not be underestimated. 7) Different users want different types of interaction with the research, from deep interaction with model development to a general confidence that the right questions are being addressed in the right way. 8) Some users need numerical models, some need a synthesis of current research results, some need more confidence from researchers, some need scenarios and some need analysis of human behaviour. There is a need to use models, scenarios and other tools (such as visual images of futures) assembled in the most appropriate way for each user question. We call such an approach ‘strategic guidance’. The information gathered through this scoping study has proved valuable in informing our work. Over the next 18 months we intend to use these insights in working with a subset of users to address specific questions about climate change. The work will be organised through case studies, and will pioneer a set of tools for use in the interactive research process.
1. Introducing the Aurion1 Project: a pilot phase interactive integrated assessment process for managing climate futures Climate change is a multi-faceted problem, requiring insights from climate science, economics, social sciences and engineering to address the issue fully. One of the Tyndall Centre’s major research objectives is to create an integrated assessment system, which brings together insights, knowledge and research results from these diverse academic disciplines. This emerging field of integrative research is generally known as integrated assessment (IA) (eg. Dowlatabadi & Morgan, 1993; Rotmans & van Asselt, 1996; Rotmans & Dowlatabadi, 1998). IA is a useful way of approaching highly complex issues like climate change, which involve a range of problems, disciplines, stakeholders and time and spatial scales (van Asselt & RijkensKlomp, 2002). Climate change is very much a multi-actor problem; those involved include emitters of greenhouse gases, those who make climate change policy and those who will be affected directly and indirectly by climate change. This covers organisations from the largest multinational corporations, the international research community, national, regional and local government, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), businesses and ordinary communities and citizens. Research on climate change must engage with this range of actors, to allow actors to contribute knowledge to the research, to guide research priorities, to allow effective communication of research results, to build political credibility and simply because since they are affected by the problem therefore have a right to be involved (eg. Rotmans & Dowlatabadi, 1998; Scheraga & Furlow, 2001; Tansey et al., 2002). Participation in climate change research by non-specialists can range from interviews asking how people perceive climate change, through to a significant involvement in the direction and nature of the research (eg. Kasemir et al., 2000; Lorenzoni et al., 2000; Tansey et al., 2002; van Asselt & Rijkens-Klomp, 2002). The Tyndall Centre’s research on IA is built on insights and recommendations from the “Blueprint Project” (Warren, 2002). This comprised of a series of workshops, the first in February 2001, which investigated how integrated research on climate change at the Centre might proceed. The workshops were attended by some of the key pioneers of IA research, from natural science, computer modelling, and the social sciences. They identified the need to develop an integrated assessment model (IAM) embedded within a process of interactions with key external decision makers (or “users” of the research). The IAM aims to link reducedform models of the climate system with models of climate change impacts and economics to produce a more integrated illumination of climate change than the models could produce on their own. The need for user participation was recognised early in the Blueprint process, inspired by the success of the RAINS project (Alcamo et al., 1990). The need for interaction with national government and to provide input to the process of implementing the Kyoto Protocol were seen as particular priorities. Within Tyndall integrated research, the process of interaction with users has several functions. It should be a two-way ‘learning’ process. In this, stakeholder knowledge and expectations inform and contribute to development and execution of the research. This ensures that timely, relevant research results can be effectively communicated to stakeholders. Stakeholders can then respond to the research outputs, continuing a process of dialogue which will eventually result in insights into climate change which could not have been achieved through the research alone, or even through a one-off input of stakeholder needs. We refer to this process as an Interactive Integrated Assessment Process (IIAP). The Aurion Project is our attempt to begin this process by creating a pilot-phase IIAP. The aim is to coproduce answers to key questions about climate change by facilitating a learning experience that both allows researcher-stakeholder interaction, and ensures the bringing together of the IAM with other integrative methods such as scenario analyses, expert systems, and formal qualitative methods. Warren (2002) also recommended an appropriate design to incorporate stakeholder involvement. Without such a design, stakeholders may be selected on an ad hoc basis rather than through a structured identification of who are the most appropriate people and organisations. This highlights the need to develop a conceptual framework for the IIAP capable of providing a robust design for reliable implementation. The creation of a functional IIAP will proceed through a dual approach of case study applications combined with work on the design, conceptualisation and theoretical underpinning.
aurion is the Classical Greek word for “tomorrow”, and also for “a morning breeze” 3
In addition to advancing science through innovative processes for integrating information, Aurion proposes to pioneer new methods of communication. This means both communication between researchers, between researcher and user, and researcher and the wider community. The IIAP, and the Tyndall Centre as a whole, is dependent on collaboration and reliable communication with other researchers and research projects. This is especially important in a distributed (or networked) institution consisting of many different academic disciplines and practitioners. There are five principal work streams involved in the Aurion project, which together with development of the Tyndall IAM, form the overall Tyndall IIAP: 1) A scoping study of user needs for integrated climate change research; 2) The development of a conceptual framework for the creative design and application of the IIAP; 3) The development of a set of methods for stakeholder interactions; 4) An exploration of the potential for formal qualitative methods to contribute to the IIAP; 5) The design and execution of a set of case study applications for testing the IIAP. This working paper present the results from the completed first work stream of this project. 2. A scoping study of stakeholder needs in the UK context The aims of this scoping study were: 1) to carry out a survey of user needs for integrated knowledge from climate change research in a UK context; 2) to assess how various users of IA research related to the concept of an IAM, and what they sought from models generally and other forms of futures research and interactive communication; 3) to establish a better understanding of future user needs for IA research; 4) to initiate long term relationships with a representative sample of the main clients for the IIAP. Interview aims and methods The scoping study was carried out through a series of interviews during the period November 2002 to February 2003 (see Appendix 1 for interview structure). The aims of the interviews were: 1) to identify which organisations are most likely to use integrated information on climate change; 2) to find out what information they currently use on climate and socio-economic change, and any other sorts of information; 3) to discover the gaps in that information and how an IIAP could potentially help fill these; 4) to explore what questions each user needs answering. The interview questions, while following the same broad structure for each interviewee, recognise the differing roles that organisations play in their interaction with climate change. These differences are explored through Question 1. The style of the interviews was exploratory, reflexive and probing. Respondents were encouraged to interpret and develop the questions as they felt was suitable for them. The analysis followed the broad pattern of the interview structure. The outcome was a process of negotiated guidance. The method therefore followed the principles of stakeholder interaction. At this stage we have narrowed the focus from climate change ‘stakeholders’ (who we define as “those individuals or groups who may be affected in some way by climate change”) to “users” of information on climate change. We define a user as “an organisation which may make use of information related to climate change to help plan the future of that organisation’s policies”. We start from the assumption that the significance of stakeholder involvement rests on three styles of interaction. One is at the level of acknowledgement, or the acceptance of the legitimacy and authenticity of the process. Simply by agreeing to the workings of the process, and by understanding these in a responsive manner, the stakeholder is bestowing a degree of legitimacy on the mechanism. The second style is one of authoritative support. Various stakeholders have access to information or to interpretations of analysis that guide, correct and authenticate a model or a procedure of prediction and response. This level is vital for the
authentication of any outcome. The third level is friendly intervention. This means correcting information or reshaping assumptions and modelling forms. The role of a critical friend is a vital one for those with special insights into modelling and scenario analysis. It is important to create opportunities within any IIAP that allows for each of the three styles of interaction. This is the framework of the analysis and recommendations which follow. The primary client-base for the IIAP is the UK (although the research will address both the global and national scales) and our initial “sample space” covered three major groups: government, the private sector and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Government. This group includes climate change policy advisors within government and specialised research institutes. This includes both those responsible for the UK‘s contribution to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process and those responsible for all aspects of UK climate policy. A comprehensive selection of national government departments were identified, and local and regional authorities. This group includes government-funded agencies such as the UK Climate Impacts Programme and Environment Agency. Discussion on interaction with climate change was directed to the department or agency’s responsibility in making policies either on climate change mitigation (reducing atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration) or adaptation (dealing with the consequences of climate change). Private Sector. We chose to focus on those sectors strongly driving or affected by mitigation or adaptation options. In this scoping study we selected energy, automotive, investment and insurance sectors. Discussion in interview question 1 investigated the extent and way that each private sector organisation was concerned with climate change. This involved discussing their strategies for emission reductions, environmental policy, and how climate change, or policies to address climate change might affect their organisation. NGOs. A broad range of both environment and development-focussed NGOs were identified, especially those involved in climate futures campaigns. Discussion in interview question 1 was structured in a similar way to the Government group. We also identified several individuals with overviews of specific sectors such as construction or renewable energy, and, for a wider context, the IPCC. Each user was interviewed face-to-face for about one hour, using the open-ended question framework detailed in Appendix 1. The aims of the interviews were to gather initial information and begin to develop an ongoing relationship with users, not to attempt to change opinions or challenge users on their positions. Where possible, recordings were made of the interviews, and summary notes were taken from the recordings. The scoping study initiates a process of participation in the design and use of the IA framework. van Asselt and Rijkens-Klomp (2002) define participatory methods in this context as: “methods to structure group processes in which non-experts play an active role in order to articulate their knowledge, values and preferences” In our case, these “non-experts” are those involved in making policy decisions in which climate change is a factor. Note again that we are addressing our research to users rather than stakeholders. Although the scoping study introduces potential users of the IA results to the design of the framework, the interviews themselves are only a first stage in the process – from the above definition, individual interviewing can be used to elicit information but is not a participatory method (which involves group participation) in itself. Interview analysis Each interview was recorded so the flow of the discussion was not interrupted by comprehensive notetaking. Each interview tape, and any notes taken, formed the basis for a written summary which condensed the main points. The summaries were all less than three pages long. In a further distillation, the most important words and phrases (the ‘key points’) were noted.
3. Results The interviews provided a very rich data set on the types of information on climate change (and related future changes) currently being used by organisations and their stated future information requirements (including the timescale and spatial detail organisations are interested in). The interviews also provided insights into how different users interact with each other and how they might interact with research on climate change. As an initial stage in the analysis we developed from the ‘key points’ of the interview summaries a table summarising the data gathered (see Appendix 2). The table provides insights into the users’ involvement with climate change, their links with other organisations, current information use and future information requirements as detailed in the following three sections. Appendix 2 also provides details of the organisations interviewed, and their abbreviations are used subsequently in this paper (private sector organisations interviewed are referred to generically by sector rather than being named specifically in this text). 3.1 Users’ involvement with climate change and interactions between users As described in Section 2, there is a distinction between users engaged in formulating or influencing policy on climate change, and those who are concerned with the impacts of, or policies on, climate change on their activities. The first type of users (generally national government and public sector, and NGOs) have usually had a long standing involvement with the issue, whereas the second type are generally just beginning to engage deeply with climate change matters. A good example of the latter is the UK investment and pensions sectors, who have begun to consider in the last year or so how climate change should be internalised into their investment practices. Exceptions to this distinction are policy-making organisations which operate at small spatial and temporal scales. These include local authorities, and resource sectors such as the water industry who have long been concerned with the potential impacts of climate change. Many organisations do not interact with others about climate change itself – indeed, few use any detailed information about actual climatic changes. All users of both types assumed that climate change is happening, and the information they use is to help them respond to climate change. This may, for example, be assessing potential impacts, analysing energy policy or reducing vulnerability of those most likely to be affected. Interactions between organisations tend to happen broadly within the government and NGO groups. DEFRA takes the government lead on climate change policy, while other national government departments use DEFRA’s information on the scientific aspects of climate change to inform their own diverse policy questions. Other government departments address climate change in the wider context of sustainable development; all departments must have a policy on the sustainability issues surrounding their activities. For example, the Department for Transport (DfT) is reviewing its ten-year plan for transport. Part of this review deals with the transport contribution to environmental change, which impacts on sustainability. There are both formal and informal cross-departmental links in addition to sharing of information on climate change, with the aim of coordinating government activity on sustainable development. DEFRA and DTI, for example, liaise closely on energy policy and its implications for greenhouse gas emissions and the UK’s commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. The White Paper on Energy (DTI, 2003), for example, is a joint product of these two departments. In an aspiration of high political profile, its analysis is rooted in the context of climate change and the scope for reducing CO2 emissions by 60% of 1990 baseline levels by 2050. There are also fairly strong links between the NGOs interviewed, and through this a route into government policy-making. Private sector organisation interaction tends to happen within very specific sectors, often facilitated by trade bodies and umbrella groups such as the Association of British Insurers (ABI), or the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership. 3.2 Current use of information on climate change National government is responsible for planning 50+ years ahead, and in doing so uses a range of methods for examining how society and economy may change. For example, possible changes in energy demand or costs and level of uptake of energy efficient technologies require at least 20 year lead times. Local
government operates at much shorter timescales, since they are driven by national legislation which provides much of the strategic planning function. In any case, they cannot give the resources or the budgetary freedom to design in long term strategic change. They are thus different from the national government/NGO-type users described in Section 3.1, although they are responsible for policy-making at the local level. However, some LAs are planning up to 25 years ahead, for example in the planning for siting of infrastructure. To date, little of this has been driven by climate change considerations. The private sector, apart from those directly affected by climate change impacts, or those with a very longlived infrastructure such as the water industry, generally looks less than 5 years ahead. However, sectors such as electricity generation and vehicle production, with very long term scope for technological shift, think strategically over 25 + years. While direct impacts of climate change may not affect many private sector organisations, feedbacks and indirect effects of climate change may have an impact on activities. In addition, possible policy shifts by devolved, national and European government also require calibration. There is great potential for using and IIAP to illuminate these. NGOs are variable, some concerned with campaigning to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, others with raising awareness of the long-term implications of climate change. Some are concerned with the interaction between environment and development, and the implications of climate change for justice and social equity. Some users from all three groups (private, government-related and NGO sectors) use government-funded information on climate change, such as the UKCIP02 scenarios (Hulme et al. 2002). At a regional level, all three groups have been involved in preparing scoping studies of the impacts of climate change under the umbrella of the UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP). These are now complete for nearly every UK region (www.ukcip.org.uk/climate_impacts/climate_impacts.html). Crucially, funding and participation in these studies has been provided by regional stakeholders themselves, which have raised the profile of climate change among organisations previously not engaged with the issue. 3.3 Future requirements for research and information on climate change In this section we address in more detail the different types of questions that users want answering. There are a wide range of user needs involving issues, such as the scale of information required, detail in the results required, whether focussed mostly on mitigation or impacts and whether interested in examining impacts of legislation/policy choices. Table 1 lists some of the categories of questions (with examples) and the users who are interested in them: The needs in Section 1 of Table 1 broadly equate to ‘direct impacts’ of climate change – how the physical changes in the environment will affect particular activities. The other sections, and the majority of the interviewees, cover a much wider realm, those of indirect aspects of climate change. This includes impacts on an organisation’s activities in a secondary way (eg, through changes in the economy, or changes in policy generally, or in the legislative framework), and the large number of users who want to know what responses to policies may be, and how behavioural change can be encouraged. In short, this second set of questions require a much more interactive and integrated approach to climate change. In the subsections below we expand on the major points which emerge from Table 1. Certain aspects of the results presented here are similar to analysis by the UK Climate Impacts Programme of a range of studies on potential impacts of climate change on different UK sectors and regions (McKenzie Hedger et al, 2000). This body of work identified two main categories of need: 1) better spatial resolution and information on extreme events, 2) a more integrated approach which will simulate interactions between different sectors and inform adaptation measures. This approach would include potential socio-economic change, assessment of the relative importance of socio-economic and climatic change, and, by inference, assessment of the interactions between them.
INFORMATION NEEDS 1) Sector-based issues Impact of CC on water supply and quality “Pragmatic” scenarios of climate impacts Thresholds of vulnerability, abrupt changes, extreme events Impact of CC on wind patterns at specific sites Implications of CC for nature conservation Climate futures information for adaptation in built environment Information on why action should be taken; including “headline” impacts which can be readily communicated to public 2) Global scale impacts, mitigation & adaptation CC impacts on food security, development, justice Global analysis of stabilisation pathways International responses to CC impacts, policy responses to CC impacts Costs and feasibility of mitigation, adaptation and damages avoided (eg. achieving a 60% reduction in emissions from UK energy) 3) Integrating social, economic and environmental implications of climate change Socio-economic impacts of CC, society-economy-environment feedbacks Impacts of legislation on UK economy (in global context) Integrating impacts with demographics, planning model output to understand policy options rather than a prediction Analysis and quantification of interactions between sectors 4) Impacts of climate policy on organisations Risk exposure ratings for individual companies/sectors’ vulnerability to climate change policy and impacts Impact of legislation on business and expected policy regimes Effect of cross-sector feedbacks on effectiveness of climate policy Impacts of global/EU climate policies on UK economy 5) Public responses to climate policies & measures Understanding impact of social behaviour on transport Public response to policies; effects of policy measures; impacts of CCrelated legislation Political acceptability of climate policies TEMPORAL AND SPATIAL SCALES OF INTEREST Local/regional scale National/international scale Short time scales (less than 20 years) long time scales (20 + years)
USER Water sector Insurance sector FCO, Insurance sector, Action Aid Wind power industry RSPB, WWF-I Construction sector Friends of the Earth, WWF-I
Action Aid DEFRA, CAN-Europe FCO, Greenpeace DEFRA (GA), DTI, Strategy Unit, IPCC
SDC, LAs, SNW, Automotive sector DTI, Treasury, all private sector organisations Water sector IPCC Insurance, Pensions, and Investment sectors Energy sector, GHG professional advisors DTI, DEFRA (GA) DTI, Treasury DfT DEFRA (SEP), FCO, DH, Telecommunication Services, Investment and Automotive sectors, Action Aid Strategy Unit (Cabinet Office) SNW, LAs, Water and Insurance sectors, Construction Sector, Wind Energy Sector, RSPB national government, multinational service sector, environmental NGOs (WFF-I, FoE, RSPB, CAN), IPCC Action Aid, LAs, Wind Energy Sector, most private sector organisations national government, Action Aid, water and insurance sectors, environmental NGOs (WFF-I, FoE, RSPB, CAN), IPCC
Table 1: Information needs of our different users, and examples. [CC = climate change]
Spatial and temporal scales Some of the users interviewed require information and analysis at national or global scales, the primary examples being DEFRA, DTI and IPCC. However, we suggest that these now represent a minority of all users requiring information on climate change. Many users operate at the regional and local scale, often below the resolution of the best current climate models. In order for, say local authorities, to assess the lowest-risk areas for siting of housing, very specific local information will be required, not only on potential frequency of future flooding, for example, but on vulnerability of households based on a range of criteria such as income. This leads from the previous point about the need for socio-economic information – much of the variability of these aspects are at very small spatial scales (down to the street level): “CC and socioeconomic change are inseparable – need to be together if considering sustainable development, not just a sustainable environment. Most difficult area is the social dimension – generalisation over large spatial scales is not helpful – need much more spatial detail. A lot of currently available information doesn’t integrate well.” [Sustainable Development Commission] Again, use of local knowledge, experience and context are vital to allow useful research. Much of this can only be provided by the users themselves. In addressing questions on a small spatial scale we need to link a top-down approach (such as an IAM) with bottom-up insights from the location concerned, both from professional experts and citizens. Uncertainty One area which needs careful communication is in expression of uncertainty over future projections. Most users mentioned the need for clear treatment of uncertainty, and users needing to make immediate decisions are often frustrated by the lack of clear expression of how certain the various future scenarios of climate change are: “it is difficult to make concrete business decisions with uncertainty over CC.....more indicators of probabilities will be useful, but any gaps will still be difficult for business” [Insurance Sector] “We want a probabilistic understanding of future changes to inform business decisions.” [Association of British Insurers] “We would like more confidence in scenarios; there could be a worsening relationship with regulators if scenarios (and hence water companies’ investment choices) keep moving. Better clear uncertainties would also help” [UK Water Industry Research] Use of the terms “uncertainty”, “confidence”, “accuracy”, “detail” and “precision” are a rich field for problems of communication. Researchers and users have their own definitions of these terms assuming the other group understands what they mean: “Scientists need 95% confidence for ‘truth’, but stakeholders are happy with, say, 60% confidence.” [UKCIP] Improved spatial resolution in model output, for example, may give the impression of greater accuracy, and absolute confidence in the results down to the level of presented detail. This may lead to over-interpretation, which may not be justified given levels of uncertainty involved: “users often ask for more resolution when they want more confidence.” [UKCIP] As a more integrated approach emerges, levels of uncertainty are likely to rise. It is important to be clear not only about the appropriate level of interpretation of results, but about exactly what all parties mean by different terms and clarify what levels of confidence are required. Having raised this caution, however, researchers can be caught in a bind since emphasis of uncertainty can also be counter-productive: “uncertainty is an opportunity [for policymakers] to do nothing – it is best to focus on the ‘most likely scenario’ – be certain, to force action. eg. go with one scenario and examine impacts on most vulnerable
communities (eg. on contents insurance). There is a need to know [what the issues are] so councils can protect their communities. This would be welcome advice.” [Local Authority] The only way out of this bind is to ensure effective communication between researchers and users to reach an optimal acknowledgement and presentation of uncertainty. It is also important for researchers to give honest assessments of the feasibility of answering particular questions, or of giving a better level of confidence. Many users want the social and economic aspects to be given more prominence A very clear implication of the interviews was that for many users, the impacts of climate change in the wider context of social and economic change are vital. This is a different focus to that of ‘traditional’ IAMs, which have tended to focus on physical impacts, in which it is often less conceptually difficult to produce generalisable results: “On the whole, the socio-economic aspects of the model will be most important, but this is difficult given that these are less easy to specify than, say, the efficiency of a motor.” [DEFRA (SEP)] However, if a serious attempt is to be made to both answer users’ questions, such as how to adapt to the physical impacts of climate change, and produce research which is applicable varying individual circumstances, it is vital to include these aspects: “Impacts/Mitigation are often split because of different methods/analysis techniques, but both ultimately come about through behavioural change at a regional level” [Sustainability North West] NGOs, for example, need the capacity to mobilise a common infrastructural agenda around policy shifts, new forms of assessment and to incorporate social justice into climate change considerations. A particular issue of interest is behavioural responses to climate policies and measures, and the effect of this on issues of political feasibility. One example raised in the interview with DEFRA (GA) was the UK's fuel tax escalator (a tax on petrol, introduced in the mid-1990s which increased above the rate of inflation each year). This had been relatively acceptable politically for several years – but in 2000, an unanticipated threshold of tolerance was crossed, and truck drivers and farmers began blocking the supply of fuel. It is clear to a decision-maker that taxes cannot increase indefinitely, so to add value the model has to identify where this kind of threshold is. It is a challenge to provide useful analysis on changes in behavioural responses over time, such as showing whether a fuel tax which followed the overall oil price, might be more “politically acceptable”: “[a model] must be very adaptable to large changes in interpretation and to unanticipated shifts in outcome and policy input.” [FCO] “Acceptability” depends crucially not on overall costs but on the details of the winners and losers resulting from a specific policy (Cabinet Office Strategy Unit). Since it is very difficult to produce general theories about social responses to events, there is a need to use local knowledge and expertise from within and outside formal research organisations, to address these aspects (Irwin, 1995). The implication is that a radical contextualization of the research results is required. This is in part a result of the climate change issue reaching a level of maturity where most users are increasingly focused on how it should actually affect their decision-making. We explore below how such a contextualization of the research can be achieved. Some users expressed concerns over ability of IA modelling address to address their needs Some users were sceptical about IA models and their appropriateness for answering their specific questions. In some cases this was because users felt that a single issue model or direct use of climate scenarios could better answer their questions, in other cases users recognised a need for an integrated analysis of the climate change issue, but were concerned about the ability of IA models to provide adequate spatial/sectoral/social resolution or an adequate treatment of relevant feedbacks. This concern was expressed strongly in some of the interviews with UK government departments. In the development of the recent Energy White Paper for example, a paradox was noted: there was a need for evidence-based policy (requiring quantitative estimates of the costs of greenhouse gas mitigation in the energy sector) while there was also an increasing lack of trust
in the ability of current energy models to deliver valid estimates of the future costs of transitions to different energy regimes. Lack of trust was due to a complex range of issues. These include historical engagement with IA models of climate change (mainly from the US) which predicted very high costs for climate change that seemed unreasonable to the expert judgement of the decision makers concerned, and concern over the lack of data and the validity of the basic assumptions of the models. We suggest that this finding results, in part, from the fact that the climate change issue is now of concern to an extremely broad range of societal actors rather than just specialist government organisations or NGOs as would have been the case just a decade ago. Within IA research, an early screening stage is therefore necessary (such as this scoping study) to identify where, when and how an IAM is an appropriate tool. There is, amongst many of the users interviewed, less need for information on climate change per se than for information to support decisions on responses to climate change. Often this relates to the political process rather than to scientific research: “There has been no scientist in Greenpeace on CC for 3-4 yrs – it has ceased to be a scientific issue. The debate on whether it’s happening is finished, only the oil industry want to open the debate again. GPUK’s work on CC is not on CC science, but on deliverability of options – what measures can be enacted and the feasibility of political action” [GPUK] “models not used and not seen as relevant. The main driver is corporate responsibility and leadership and political will.... key issue for any [IIAP] is price, technological drive, policy support, customer response.” [Automotive sector] “There is no clear future for models of any kind: • they are already familiar in climate terms; • they do not move public opinion, who cannot understand them; • they are too confusing and multi-variate when simple messages count; • they are missing the point of influencing political leadership; Models simply pile funny numbers on top of funny numbers. There are too many models. Few command credibility over the mid-term future.” [Media] The concerns that users had were a complex mixture of genuine concerns about the scientific robustness of IA models combined with broader trust and credibility issues. Scepticism may thus arise either because a model is seen to be scientifically inadequate or simply because the model results are not politically popular. Users also expressed the opinion that it is not always necessary to produce state-of-the-art complex models. In some cases for some users, simple ‘ball-park’ figures are enough to answer their questions: “Users need to know what you can believe about a model – given the uncertainties, can we only say it’s either a positive or negative change, for example? This can be a valuable result itself.” [DEFRA (SEP)] “Users are interested in things they can influence – eg. what are the impacts and what can they do about them? It would be more useful [for example] to link 2 impacts models (eg. agriculture or biodiversity or water) rather than energy-CC-one impact models.” [UKCIP] The value of simple models should not be underestimated: “most of the best policy models are small and simple. At least in their essentials they can be easily understood and described to others.” (Morgan & Henrion, 1990). A key both for technical and non-technical users is being able to describe the working of the model in lay terms. Users are not always aware of important aspects of climate change It emerged from some interviews that users were not concerned about potential climate change impacts that have been identified as serious by researchers. The IA process should also address issues which few users have raised, such as potential impacts of long-term sea level rise (> 100 years), both in carrying out the research and in communicating the importance of these.
4 A classification of different “modes” of interaction with IA modelling 4.1 The classification In order to aid our future interaction with users, we need to further condense the data presented in Section 3. Since the primary focus of this study was on understanding the ways users interact with development of integrated research and how they might use this research, we chose to use these insights to classify the users on the basis of their potential interaction with an IAM. We approached this by devising a simple 2 x 2 matrix classification of users, a common approach in social science. It is necessarily simplistic, and can be misleading, but offers a powerful way of ordering complex data. It is offered here as a basis for analysis, and is a starting point for further investigation. Dimension 1: Degree of focus on the direct impacts of climate change The specific questions identified in Table 1 divides the users into two main categories. Sub-Section 1 (Sector-Based Issues) relates to the direct environmental impacts of climate change, such as on flood frequency, water supply and high temperatures. The users asking the questions in Sub-Sections 2 – 5 are a much wider range relating to less direct impacts, such as on social and economic aspects of their activities, the effects of socio-economic change itself, integration of social, economic and environmental impacts with policy measures and feedbacks between them, behavioural responses to climate change and the effects of different climate change policies both on society and on the climate itself. We define the vertical axis of the 2 x 2 to be degree of focus on the direct impacts of climate change. Dimension 2: Degree of interaction with model development Another distinction, connected with the first, relates to how users would wish to be involved with development of an IAM, and we propose this as the horizontal axis in the classification. These range from those who need only headline results simply summarised (labelled “Hands Off”), to those who need a broad understanding of the feedbacks within the IAM, and detailed interaction with parameter choices and equation development (labelled “Direct Interaction”). Note that “Hands Off” does not mean no interaction, but a type of interaction which doesn’t involve the specific task of construction of the IAM. As in the vertical dimension, these distinctions are not unique, but they do provide a valid basis for assessing future needs for IA research. Four major groupings are thus extracted based on each quadrant of the axes (Figure 1). It is important to emphasise that these modes refer to the special case of interaction with IAMs, not a commentary on the focus of each organisation. Due to the richness of the data, there are many possible dimensions which could have formed the axes. For example, Wade et al (2000) classifies according to stakeholders' vulnerability to socio-economic change and climate change impacts. Overall, our axes were chosen to represent the most important aspects of the way that users interact with integrated research on climate change. Given the depth and variety of the data, we believe it is not meaningful to make fine distinctions within just these dimensions by placing users on a continuum. Hence users are simply arranged alphabetically within each quadrant.
DIRECT IMPACTS “SECTORISTS” Construction Industry FCO GO-EAST Insurance Sector IPCC Water Sector Wind Energy Sector WWF-I (nature conservation) HANDS OFF Action Aid Automotive Sector CAN-Europe DH FCO Friends of the Earth IPCC Investment Sector LAs Oil industry Pensions Sector SDC SNW Telecommunication Services Sector Treasury WWF-I (Policy & Campaigning) “GENERALISTS” “SPECIALISTS” DEFRA – GA (Technical) DEFRA – SEP RSPB (nature conservation)
DIRECT INTERACTION Cabinet Office Strategy Unit DEFRA – GA (Policy) DEFRA - SEP DfT DTI (Technical/Policy) RSPB (Policy & Campaigning)
“OPERATORS” INDIRECT IMPACTS
Figure 1: Posited classification of users (and their roles) according to their interaction with an IAM. It should be emphasised that organisations’ positions are not fixed in time – they can vary in response to many different stimuli. The positions here represent a snapshot at the time of the interviews. The classification was found to work well for most organisations. Some organisations’ remits cross the classification boundaries: the IPCC for example needs information on both the direct and indirect impacts of climate change. In other cases it is not realistic to plot an entire organisation in one particular quadrant, but it is possible to clearly situate different parts of the organisation within different quadrants, many of the government departments being good examples of this. 4.2 Analysis of clustering The classification reveals four distinct groups of users, which we have labelled as follows: DIRECT IMPACTS + DIRECT INTERACTION = SPECIALISTS INDIRECT IMPACTS + DIRECT INTERACTION = OPERATORS DIRECT IMPACTS + HANDS OFF = SECTORISTS INDIRECT IMPACTS + HANDS OFF = GENERALISTS Specialists A fairly small, but influential group; often technical specialists within government, concerned with the facts to back up climate change policy decisions. They are concerned with the direct impacts of climate change. In
some cases these users may not require the added complexity of using results from an integrated model but might instead prefer to use state-of-the-art versions of sectoral impacts models. Operators This group is similar to the Specialists in that they are concerned with the details of any models used in the research process. However, they are usually concerned with both the direct impacts of climate change and the (indirect) impacts on the economy and social conditions. Usually technical, concerned with climate change as part of the wider policy framework. These are the organisations who are likely to be most exacting about what an IAM should do; in order for the results to have sufficient credibility this group needs to be involved with the assumptions (e.g. choices of parameter values, type of feedback included) that make up an IAM. The Operators and Specialists together correspond roughly with the initial stakeholder classification ‘Friendly Intervention’ (Section 2) Sectorists Concerned with direct impacts of climate change, often as part of sustainable development. Not so interested in the detail of the model, but in how the results can inform change. For example, many organisations involved with planning the use or conservation of natural resources would fit within this grouping. These users fall roughly within the initial ‘Authoritative’ classification (Section 2). Generalists These organisations are usually concerned with a range of social and economic drivers. Their main awareness and interest in climate change is in how it might impact on the economy, business, and social conditions. These are often users who do not normally make direct use of models of the IAM-type. They are less concerned with the state-of-the-art in impacts models, but are more concerned with feedbacks between climate, society and economy. A good example is the Pensions sector who would like to be able to assign a risk exposure rating to companies and/or sectors based on their vulnerability to the climate change issue; however, they would have limited technical resources to examine the basic research inputs required to make such a rating and would rely on the credibility of the information provider. This category is complicated since it implicitly includes organisations who do not yet have a clear picture of how climate change might be relevant to them. These users fall roughly within the initial ‘Acknowledgement’ classification (Section 2). 4.3 Towards multiple modes of interaction • Specialists and Sectorists represented a rather small subset of the users sampled in the survey; the organisations interested in the direct impacts of climate change are mainly government bodies, organisations involved in the management of natural resources, and some specialist NGOs. Thus most business users and many government and NGO users are less interested in direct impacts of climate change than in the socio-economic implications and the feedbacks, especially in private sector. Organisations classified as Operators want to understand broadly how an IA model works as well as its technical details: “Need complex models to make sure different systems are best represented but need something simple like ‘order of magnitude’ estimates to be able to talk through steps as well to see if the result is what ‘we would expect’ – even simple spreadsheet models need this. Often we have to explain to a minister why an answer is, say 5 and not 10, rather than spending a lot of effort getting a “sausage machine” to give 4.72. You must be able to explain any ‘surprising results’; this might include challenging all assumptions, worldviews in the model.....need to be able to explain the steps to intelligent lay people – if you can only do it by resorting to complicated maths then you’re on thin ice”. [DEFRA (SEP)] • Some of the users interviewed, such as several UK government departments, have a long experience of using models on climate change, however, they are now moving into a phase where the imperative of addressing long-term emission reductions that will affect all parts of UK society mean that the questions they need to ask about climate change are becoming increasingly complex. These are mainly in the Specialists and Operators categories.
Regardless of a “Hands Off” or “Direct interaction” approach, many users do need to interact with the research and model development process at some level. The distinction is rather about whether they require a technical interaction or a non-technical explanation/dialogue about the model assumptions: “[An IAM] could be useful, but to be so, it needs an intelligent interactor [ie. the user of the information]. [Without this], to anyone not involved in creating it, it’s pretty unconvincing. The reaction to results is either blind belief or blind disbelief; often the disbelievers can’t be persuaded once the results are there” [DfT] “context and uncertainties need to be clearly expressed. Need to interpret it for the user. Whatever is produced needs to be focussed, straightforward language.” [Telecommunication Services Sector]
Sectorists and Generalists will typically not need to use the direct quantitative results of research, rather they are interested in the broad implications of research results for their particular planning, policy, strategic decision making tasks. However, although they do not often use them, they do like hard numbers and data to back up any messages/conclusions which they might extract from research results. A significant group of users, especially in the business sector, are just beginning to move into a phase of a more active engagement with the climate change issue. Many of these are found among the Generalists. They are beginning to internalise climate change into both the day-to-day decision making and long term strategic planning of the organisation. Also within the Generalists class are those who are concerned with climate change but require information on the process for effecting change, such as some environmental NGOs.
5. Implications for integrated research on climate change in the UK context A number of insights into the requirements of “user-oriented” integrated research on climate change emerge from this study. The assessment was carried out in the context of a project that is developing an IA modelling framework informed by an ongoing process of stakeholder interactions. Emerging from the interviews is an initial mapping of the richness and complexity of the questions that users are asking about the climate change issue in the UK coupled with insights into the modes of interaction that are most appropriate for different users. What we found was that climate change has been elevated into a meta-policy issue. It is intrinsically connected to international relations, humanitarian concerns, food, trade, major economic considerations, biodiversity management and tourism. In this context, actors are increasingly being drawn into complex scenarios of possible futures that have to involve other organisations, governments and citizens. Here we examine the implications of the results for the design of an Interactive Integrated Assessment Process able to supply the identified needs of users. 5.1 Classification of users
Our classification of users in relation to their interaction with an IAM in Section 4 reveals two important aspects to users’ needs. Is an integrated MODEL enough? Some of the users interviewed thought that IA models were exactly the tool that they required and were simply enthusiastic to see the production of IA models that could better address their specific information needs. However, these users represented a minority of those interviewed. For many users, their questions are difficult to solve using traditional IA models. This issue most clearly relates to: 1) the need for understanding behavioural responses of people and organisations to policies and changes; 2) the high spatial resolution of information required; and 3) the degree of sectoral resolution required (e.g. for decision-making about investments in specific companies). Users classed as Operators and Generalists are most likely to need this information. They were most likely to flag the need for a wider perspective than can (traditionally) be given by an IAM. These users were also more likely to be uneasy with the need for using any models at all. Do they want IA at all? The second issue relates to the question of whether a user wants integrated assessment (whether model-based or not) at all. Many of the organisations categorised here as Specialists or Sectorists have a well defined interest in climate change and this might lead to the assumption that they would be among the most appropriate users of IA models of climate change. However, we have found that this group of users in many cases do not see themselves as requiring any Integrated Assessment for their information needs. IA attempts to illuminate areas which are not normally covered by conventional climate change research such as feedbacks between sectors, the indirect effects of impacts and the wider implications of policies and measures, which may be of most use to the Generalists and Operators. Specialists or Sectorists have often had their questions answered by traditional research on direct environmental impacts of climate change on specific sectors, and may want to continue down this familiar path. One reason for this may simply be that an integrated approach is necessarily more complicated, and previous research efforts have not persuaded users that they can trust the representation of this complexity. However, IA research may in fact provide a more comprehensive way of addressing of these questions than a traditional disciplinary approach, provided the research process is well-designed. From the viewpoint of the expert judgement of the IA scientist, there must thus be regarded as being two important reasons why users may not want to engage with IA: firstly because there information needs can be adequately met by disciplinary based climate change research; or secondly because there are trust or credibility issues involved in their perception of Integrated Assessment. The credibility issues we encountered included a perception that Integrated Assessments would have to address issues so complex and intractable that they would not be scientifically rigorous enough to produce credible results (the rubbish in, rubbish out position). In some cases this perception was based upon past experience with IA and IA models, and in others cases it was based on a general perception of the impossibility of addressing complex interactions and feedbacks in the issues they were interested in.
Conclusion Our preliminary conclusion is that the IA process needs to identify in its first contacts with a user whether a direct interaction with an IA model will be sufficient to satisfy their information requirements. If not, then to address the two issues discussed above, we see a requirement for embedding any use of the IAM within a process of providing a “contextualization” of the model outputs. We refer to this process as “strategic guidance”. Interaction is crucial to the success of this approach: the aim should be to first co-develop with users the range of questions that surround a specific decision-making task; from this the specific questions that can be addressed with the IAM can be identified (in direct collaboration with the model experts). The communication of the results back to the users then involves a crucial further stage of dialogue and interaction where the models outputs are interpreted and supplemented with expert judgement and other available research outputs (e.g. from non-modelling based studies). The aim is provide guidance on the specific decisions that users have to make in the context of climate change. 5.2 An interactive research process
The analysis of the interviews has provided a greater understanding of the form that such an interactive research process should take, and especially an understanding of the ways in which the interaction must operate in different “modes” for different types of user. By “interactive” we mean a process of “co-learning” between researcher and user which involves users understanding each stage of the tool building process as it happens, and being able to influence these stages. This must go beyond normal methods of interaction with stakeholders, in which stakeholder opinion forms part of a research process and goals defined by the researchers alone. It is a willingness to break down traditional barriers and engage in a new kind of research, a willingness to accept expert knowledge from outside formal research institutions. The result is that both the questions that users are asking and the research evolve together resulting in a “co-development” of knowledge on climate futures. However, the classification of users shows that a high-level of interaction with the research process is not perceived as being appropriate by all users. The “generalists” in particular represent a broad category of users who would wish to draw on the results of contextualized research but would not have the expertise or be willing to commit the resources (at the present time) to a full interaction with the research process. From the research viewpoint there will also always be a limitation on resources and therefore the ability to only interact with a small subset of potential users. The solution here is that the results of “case study” applications of an integrated research process with users in the “operator” category can then be communicated to a wider group of “generalist” users. Such an activity should be designed into the research process and appropriate resources allowed for it. Many of the users in the “operator” category provided ideas and insights into how interaction might be set up in the most effective manner. The need for interaction at both a technical level and the decision making level was emphasised, and the fact that these two activities should be harmonised. For example, in interacting with a government department it is important to ensure that the technical experts within the organisation understand and have “buy in” to the assumptions and structure of the IA model. Then the addressing of specific policy-relevant questions has a much greater chance of succeeding because the sections of the organisation involved in high level decision making on policy will be able to receive support and confirmation from their technical experts as to the credibility and appropriateness of the modelling tools used. The co-ownership of the modelling tools with the user would be a further extension of such an approach to interaction. 5.3 Contextualized information and “strategic guidance”
Climate change has a much higher profile than even five years ago. UKCIP scoping studies of the impacts of climate change have been, or are nearly, completed for every UK region, and for several sectors such as water demand and nature conservation. The UK legislative framework (with measures such as the Climate Change Levy, the Renewables Obligation and city Congestion Charging) is beginning to seriously affect peoples’ activities. A series of extreme events, such as the widespread flooding in 1998, 2000 and 2002, and the continued erosion of the eastern English coast has been identified as consistent with climate change. The
result is a much wider appreciation of the significance of climate change across UK society, but also much more confusion about what to do about it. Gone are the days when climate change research meant only heavy-duty computer modelling of the climate, for only national government clients or the international science community. Today, the questions are increasingly multitudinous, eclectic and focussed on the ‘now what?’ rather than the ‘is it happening?’. It is increasingly apparent that in coming years climate change will permeate a vast range of decision making processes within both business and national, regional, and local government. However, the interviews suggest that this “mainstreaming” of the climate issue is still very much in flux: it is still not as widespread as it could be, especially at the very local level and among organisations which will not be much affected by direct climate change impacts such as the services sector. What emerges from this study is the clear implication that this mainstreaming of the climate change issue is resulting in very complex questions being asked about climate change. These questions need to be more clearly defined before being tractable for integrated climate change research; this can only be done through an interactive research approach. The interviews have also indicated that, for the majority of users the complexity and contextualization of their questions means that they are not easily tractable with traditional modelling tools. The researcher needs to provide information which is wide-ranging and multidisciplinary - integrated information, which is capable of answering many different questions, but also in a way which respects the knowledge and position of the users. The concerns that some users had about modelling were a complex mixture of genuine concerns about the scientific robustness of IA models combined with broader trust and credibility issues. The solution is partly a scientific one: developing models which either represent a consensus within the scientific community or, where this is not possible, demonstrate scientifically valid reasons for differences between models and their assumptions (or better still to present results from a range of models employing different fundamental assumptions). However, this alone is not enough. Any strategy for dealing with credibility issues must also understand the political-economy and history of the use of IA models in the particular context of the user involved in the interaction. There is a need to use models, scenarios and other tools together as a suite which can assist with such providing of a radically contextualized answer to a question. This suite should be free to contain any combination of tools for addressing a problem - including using heavy-duty computer models, if they are what is needed. This is the activity that we refer to as “strategic guidance” – using the most appropriate tools for the job, and not being limited by researcher or user prejudice. Such an approach will probably only succeed in the context of an interactive research process. There is an emerging literature on the philosophy and practice of ‘strategic guidance’ as a way to proceed on IA research. Indeed it has been asserted that the quality of an IA approach can be judged partly by whether a suite of appropriate tools are used (Risbey et al., 1996). Such an approach is also much more likely to achieve political credibility (eg. Rotmans & van Asselt, 1996; Kasemir et al., 2000). Combinations of different IA tools have been employed in studies such as the Georgia Basin Futures Project (qualitative scenario method + open-design computer model - Tansey et al., 2002) and the integrated approach to turning sustainability into practice in Greater Manchester (Ravetz, 2000). In such a process: “Decision making becomes what it has always been about, finding our way through partially undiscovered country rather than charting a scientifically determined course to a known end point.......These decisions must be informed by science, but in the end they are an expression of human ethics and preferences, and of the socio-political context in which they are made” [Kay et al., 1999]
6 Incorporating these implications into the Tyndall Centre’s IA Framework The primary aim of this study was to inform the development of a functioning pilot-phase of the Tyndall IIAP. This is an ongoing process involving two key elements: a) translating the general implications for IA methodologies identified in Section 5 into operational solutions within the IIAP; b) identifying the specific questions which the Tyndall IIAP can address by engaging users with the current and future potential research capacity of the Tyndall IAM and other research outputs. Operationally, this is being achieved through the following areas of work, which will build on and develop the strategic guidance approach introduced in Section 5. 6.1 Selection of “application cases” or case studies for the Tyndall IIAP
The results of the interviews have had an immediate implication in informing the choice of “application cases” or case studies for the Tyndall IIAP over the next two years of the research. The case studies may involve answering questions with a single user but mostly will involve interaction with a cluster of users that have sets of similar questions focused around a specific aspect of the climate change issue; and facilitating interaction between the users can be an important part of the case study design. A set of four main criteria have been identified as being important in the choice of which cases studies are developed for application of the IIAP: 1. Is Integrated Assessment (using an IAM or other tools) required? • Is there other research ongoing within the Tyndall Centre, or elsewhere, which could adequately answer users’ questions without the need for new IA research? 2. Do we have the research capacity to answer the users’ questions? • Do we have (or can we obtain/develop) the required modules for an IAM? • Do we have (or can we develop) other aspects of IA conceptual thinking to answer a question satisfactorily? • Can we do the above on the required timescales? • Do we have the resources to carry out the research tasks required to answer the questions? 3. To what extent is it likely to be possible to work interactively with the users? • Are they able and willing to commit the required resources to the interaction? • Do they have the required technical capacity to interact with the process? • Will it be possible to engage in an interactive dialogue over the definition of specific research questions? • How rapidly are the users’ needs likely to change? Does this conflict with the timescale for delivery of research results? 4. To what extent do the proposed case studies contribute to fulfilling our research objectives? • Need for cases that can provide a proof of concept of the IIAP – i.e. deliver results • Objective of contributing to the advancement of the science of Integrated Assessment • To what extent is the case study likely to result in an effective contribution to the development of sustainable solutions to climate change? Does the user/group of users/questions being addressed represent a leverage point in the system? In order for the case studies to be effectively selected on the basis of these criteria we need to develop an operational framework for user’ engagement. This is involving several simultaneous pieces of work. 6.1.1 Conceptual framework of users We need to determine the best places for IA to be applied; indeed to identify what we mean by ‘best’. This may mean, for example, the place where IA results are used most frequently, in most detail, or where they have the most far-reaching power to influence sustainable responses to climate change. In order to complete this, we first need a broad understanding of the dynamics of the system, identifying leverage points, and using transition management theory to identify ‘windows of opportunity’ and ‘lock-in’ (Martens and Rotmans, 2002). We will create a conceptual framework of users and their interactions, along with a graph theoretic analysis of the UK policy network on climate change.
6.1.2 A set of methods for user-designer interactions We need to build on the participatory integrated assessment literature to develop formal methods for interacting with users, providing an interface between the formal IA model, other integrative tools (e.g. expert systems, visualisations) and users. At its simplest level it will include a protocol for keeping users informed of the developments in the research and ways of incorporating user questions, comments and design input into the IIAP. We intend to build upon several previous approaches to research-user interactions: • Policy Exercises approach: users contribute to the development of a set of scenarios which capture the policy-questions they are interested in; these scenarios are then used to develop specific model runs with an IAM, and the results are fed back to the users. In the light of the scoping study’s identified need for ‘strategic guidance’ (i.e. bottom-up rather than top-down use of tools) this method would appear to be a useful one; The user makes decisions within a simulation exercise such as a Virtual Decision Theatre; Include the user in the model by modelling the decision making process (e.g. Adaptive Agent Modelling). Other Tyndall projects which may link with this approach include IT1.7 “Behavioural response and lifestyle change in moving to low carbon transport futures” and T2.32 “Climate outlooks and agent-based simulation of adaptation in Africa”.
It will be necessary to adapt and develop a methodology for assessing and integrating the knowledge claims of different stakeholders, which may be disparate and conflicting. Another important question is to clarify the influence users are actually able to have over the design of component models of an IAM, since these will mostly be ‘off-the-shelf’ traditional models, not designed for detailed interaction with users. Our methodology will build on Tyndall research project IT1.14 “Developing discourse coalitions to incorporate stakeholder perceptions and responses within the Tyndall IA”, and in close collaboration with related Tyndall work (Research Theme 3) on developing a methodology for stakeholder analysis. Scenarios In deciding on scenario use, it is almost traditional to use four scenarios – representing a ‘best case’, ‘worst case’ and ‘two in the middle’. Both the IPCC and UKCIP, as well as many other studies, many based on these two overall approaches, have focussed on this pattern (eg. Berkhout et al., 1999; Ravetz, 2000; IPCC, 2000; Hulme et al., 2002). The aim is to scope out a possible full range of futures to allow decision-makers to examine how robust different organisations, activities and policies are to this range. Decision-makers, especially among the Sectorists and Generalists, by contrast often want to know the ‘most likely’ scenario; their concern is with anticipatory planning for change, not influencing policies to reach the ‘best’ scenario. Almost invariably the medium-high scenario is chosen as not so extreme as to be ‘unrealistic’ but extreme enough to test out the systems. As some of the users stated, the UKCIP scenarios are based on idealised extreme social and economic conditions, all representing major cultural changes from today’s world, but without indications of how we may get there. Since scenarios are so subjective and open to many interpretations we believe that using fewer scenarios, but linked to specific policy pathways rather than ideal visions of the future, will reduce confusion, aid users and better support practical moves towards sustainable responses to climate change. This does not mean we should merely go for what present-day users think is ‘realistic’. It is important to maintain in our thinking the potential for radical changes in social and cultural attitudes, technologies and measures of success; but couching this in a framework which shows how these changes might happen. We intend to frame our UK-focused research around two scenarios: one based on a target of 60% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 for the UK, and the other a baseline scenario that projects future emissions based on an extrapolation of current trends. The UK policy framework is now set out for a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 (RCEP, 2000; DTI, 2003). It is timely and important to give advice based around this target, how pursuing this target might affect organisations’ activities and how climate change impacts may be manifest given such a sharp reduction in greenhouse gases. Working within this broad framework, it is important that we should build the details of user questions into the scenarios on a case-by-case basis in conjunction with users. Globally focused case studies will use a similar approach but employ specific greenhouse gas stabilization targets as the basis for the scenario.
6.1.3 Range of potential case studies The range of possible case studies is broad. A final selection and definition of case studies will be made based on further interaction with users, and a formal application of the set of criteria and methods identified above. To help start this process, we have identified two groupings for the case studies, based on different spatial scales and differing targets for the framing of scenarios. National to International Scale – IA analysis in support of the UK’s role in global climate regimes This case study would interact with UK government and the international community responsible for negotiating international greenhouse gas reduction targets, by: • An application of the Interactive Integrated Assessment Process, to provide analysis to support UK involvement in the development of international climate regimes (such as through investigating different greenhouse gas stabilisation measures); especially in the context of the discussions and negotiations surrounding the development of a Post-Kyoto agreement; • Contributing to the objectives and information requirements of the IPCC AR4; • Linking the IIAP to a range of other international research initiatives such as FP6 research projects and the HOT project (an international stakeholder led dialogue on implementing Article 2 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) to provide - through use of the “strategic guidance” approach - a locus for information and research outputs of relevance to answering users’ questions on Post-Kyoto climate agreements. National, Regional and Local Scales – Adaptation and mitigation strategies in the context of a 60% emissions reduction target for the UK We will interact with organisations at the UK and sub-UK (regional and local) scales to help illuminate questions about climate change by: • Integrating information on impacts and adaptation and mitigation options; • Using a “strategic guidance” approach – providing a contextualization of the research through application of different IA tools as appropriate; for example, use of IA models combined with a “nested” approach (addressing local concerns with local information) and a Virtual Decision Theatre; • Working with initiatives such as Councils for Climate Protection and the UK Climate Impacts Programme to ensure that our work adds value to ongoing initiatives. The two case studies are complementary and the insights at different spatial scales will inform and enhance each others’ effectiveness. 6.2 Communication and further development
An absolutely vital part of this project is effective communication, both internally, between researchers, and externally, between users and researchers. A key challenge is to create a sustainable dialogue with users: one that successfully engages users over an extended period of time. Communication with other researchers is taking several forms. We are preparing journal articles on the results reported in this Working Paper for Integrated Assessment and Climate Policy, to be submitted in late spring 2003. Further working papers and academic journal articles will provide updates on progress on the overall project. In addition, within the Tyndall Centre, a series of cross-Research Theme networking activities on scenarios and stakeholder interactions will be initiated. Finally there will be a dissemination of results to the wider climate change research and integrated assessment community through direct collaboration with a number of other key European research institutes (including ICIS and PIK), and through participation in a number of international fora, such as the United Nations University Forum on Integrated Environmental Assessment Modelling. A proposal was also developed for the Tyndall Centre’s third round of funding which will develop the IIAP beyond the pilot phase from August 2003. As part of this we will explore the creation of a Virtual Decision Theatre within the IIAP by reviewing existing activities and creating and maintaining close contact with developments in the SoftIAM project (T2.15) and T2.43 “Visualising coastal futures: Technologies for decision making in participatory coastal management”. Insights from this last project will help us understand how users might react to credible images of climate outcomes in the face of their own choices.
7. Conclusions The purpose of this study was to inform the development of an interactive Integrated Assessment process (for climate change) that creates an ongoing two-way dialogue between the researcher and decision maker. It involved a rapid scoping (some 40 semi-structured interviews) of the needs of a wide range of users for information on climate change, and has provided us with an imprecise but “orientating” mapping of the needs of users in the UK context. The primary success of the study was that it succeeded in reframing the research in the light of the actual needs of the user community. A wealth of insights emerged into both the differences between the research capacity (both within the Tyndall Centre and in the wider research community) and questions of users, and the challenges of the actual process of interacting with users. On this basis alone we would strongly recommend the adoption of similar scoping studies as a first phase in other research projects aimed at addressing real world problems. The study highlighted when and where interaction is appropriate and what level and mode of interaction is appropriate. It also highlighted a number of important issues concerning the use of IA models in the interactive process. IA models are a highly attractive tool in Integrated Assessment because they provide a formal analytical method for integrating knowledge from diverse sources and disciplines to answer complex questions. The concept of co-developing these models in partnership with users is attractive because it promises the possibility of developing models which are more appropriate to the exact needs of users. However, the conclusion of this study is that in many cases a more refined mode of interaction with users may be necessary to answer their questions. The reasons for this fall into three principal categories: 1. users may have concerns over the credibility and appropriateness of IA models 2. users may have questions which are highly contextualized and therefore beyond the spatial/temporal/sectoral/social resolution of available IA models 3. developing new models with users can be a highly resource intensive task For a small minority of the users interviewed (e.g. technical groups within national government departments) a direct interaction with an IA modelling system did seem appropriate to answer their information needs. In most cases these users were specialist information providers within larger organisations who traditionally use models to provide inputs into a wider policy or decision-making process. For these users their two main interests in interaction are to address credibility issues and develop new models/modules. For many of the users interviewed, however, their questions were of a highly contextualized nature. We have explored the distinction between direct usage of climate change information for policy, organisational behaviour and advocacy, and more indirect links to other policy options and political arenas. This represents in part a mainstreaming of the climate change issue in recent years, and many different societal actors are now asking very specific questions about how climate change should be incorporated into their decisionmaking processes. There is a desire to see how choices now influence choices in the future in a way that copes with uncertainty yet yields outcomes that are legitimate and plausible. Our conclusion is that for such users an interpretation of IA model results is required in order to place the model outputs in the exact context of the users’ questions. This interpretative process should draw upon other sources of knowledge as appropriate, including climate data sets, expert judgement and scenarios developed jointly with users. We refer to this process of providing a contextualization of research outputs through dialogue with users as “strategic guidance”. Beyond what might be described as the traditional users of IA research, there is a much larger groups of users including business organisations, regional planning authorities and NGOs that require such “strategic guidance”. Part of strategic guidance should involve examining how climate futures information may be better traded and understood among users and potential new users. This opens up opportunities for a much wider array of “futures” imaging, for example, to be used as creative learning tools, and provides a basis for dialogue between users. A note of caution is also in order, however. Once an attempt is made to develop an interactive research process, there is a danger of losing the independence of the research process in a number of ways. The research may be: • led towards trying to achieve impossible goals;
• bogged down by conflicting value systems; • led towards answering questions for political ends rather that achieving primary research goals (in this case developing sustainable solutions to the climate change problem). Across the interviews with government, business and NGOs there was almost universal agreement that climate change is an issue that needs to be addressed. There is a danger of creating unrealistic expectations of possible research results. The IA process needs to be designed to avoid this. This is especially important as the authors take the view that the climate change issue has the potential to be reframed in a variety of ways as sustainable solutions are sought, and that academic organisations should play a role in such creative reframing, where appropriate. This is not possible if the research agenda is driven in a narrow sense by the user. Any interaction must take the form of a true dialogue between scientist researcher and operational user. This is the true spirit of IIAP.
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Scheraga, J.D.; Furlow, J. (2001) From Assessment to Policy: Lessons learned from the U.S. National Assessment. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment 7 (5), pp. 1227 – 1246 Tansey, J.; Carmichael, J.; Van Wynsberghe, R.; Robinson, J. (2002) The future is not what it used to be: participatory integrated assessment in the Georgia Basin. Global Environmental Change 12, pp. 97-104 Wade, S.J.; Sutherland, D.; Barber, J. (2000) Socio-economic scenarios for climate impacts assessment: application of scenarios in South-East scoping study. Unpublished paper commissioned for UKCIP. Warren, R. (2002) Evaluation of approaches to integrated assessment: A blueprint approach. Final Report. 31 July 2002. (Tyndall Centre Internal Project Report) Weatherhead, E.K.; Knox, J.W.; Morris, J.; Hess, T.M.; Bradley, R.I.; Sanders, C.L. (1997) Irrigation demand and on-farm water conservation in England and Wales. Report to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF). MAFF Project OC9219
Appendix 1 – Interview Structure
The interview was structured around four main “anchor” questions and the bulleted list beneath each question are intended as guidance for the interviewer in elaborating on these questions. 1. Interaction of your organisation with the climate change issue. Government organisation: • What is the formal role of your part of your organisation with respect to climate change? Where does that fit with the overall role of the organisation? • Do you have any formal or informal links with other government organisations on climate change? NGO organisation: • What do you see as being the role of your organisation with respect to climate change? Business organisation: • Does your organisation have a climate change policy? Over what timescale does it operate? Does it include: greenhouse gas inventory, greenhouse gas reductions strategy, targets for 2010, 2020? • What are the key factors (both internal and external) that drive your strategy for emissions reductions (and responses to the climate change issue in general)? o cost saving / improved performance / management ethos o reputation and improved positioning in investment markets o moral commitment • And how? o internal regulation / trading of emissions / offsets of carbon dioxide o any other offsets o any other strategy • How are decisions taken to develop and implement that strategy? - structure of decision making / reporting patterns, and accountability - verification / access to the Board on other key decisions • In what ways do you seek to influence emissions reductions (and other responses to the climate change issue) of organisations that you are in contact with including: suppliers, customers, use-phase of your products/services? • Are you involved in any partnerships with other organisations on climate change? Or participating in any voluntary agreements? 2a) What information on Climate Change does your organisation currently use?..... • Examples of what we mean: o Climate and weather data – e.g. flooding frequency o Effects/impacts on nature, people and the economy o Direct implications for your organisation/activities o Projections of future climate-related legislation • For what purposes is this information used/required? • At what time scales and spatial scales do you require this information? And why? • What are your reasons for using these particular sources of information? Are there credibility issues? • Use of computer models: How are computer models used to provide this information? • How does your organisation currently perceive the likelihood of climate change? 2b).....and information on future projections of the economy, society and environment? Same questions as for climate change info, but in addition: • Information might include scenarios of future socio-economic and environmental impacts and responses? • Does your organisation have any particular picture or philosophy about future socio-economic changes? 3. Does this information fully meet your needs? If not, what further information do you require over the next five years? • How might you make further use of relevant models in the next 5 years?
4. Discussion on use of interactive simulation models as being developed at Tyndall: How might the use of “interactive” models on climate and socio-economic futures be of use to your organisation within the next five years? • looking at feedbacks/interactions within and between modules (eg. economy and climate change)? • which questions are you most interested in having answered (eg. international social changes, local economic changes.....)? • interactive aspect: how might the ‘learning process’ of model design, outputs and model redesign help you? How is this different from approaches you have used in the past?
Appendix 2 From the data gathered in the interviews, we are able to outline a matrix of the various users, including the interactions between users, and some key details about their interaction with climate change. The comments refer to the specific parts of the organisation involved with climate change. USER (ABBREVIATION) GOVERNMENT Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Global Atmosphere Division (DEFRA - GA) DEFRA Sustainable Energy Policy Division (DEFRA - SEP) Department for Transport (DfT) Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) Department of Health (DH) COMMENTS DIRECT INTERACTIONS WITH OTHER USERS Other government departments; interact with UNFCCC and IPCC; fund Hadley Centre DEFRA (GA); DTI INFORMATION USE – TYPE Main part of UK government dealing with “science” of climate change energy consumption; uptake of technologies; costs; public response to different signals transport models for road transport projections INFORMATION USE - SCALE 0-100years+ INFORMATION NEEDS/INTERESTS Comprehensive research on achieving stabilization targets; sceptical about usefulness of IAMs understanding model operation in simple terms; public response to policies; understanding any models developed; social behaviour on transport effects of policy measures; international responses to CC impacts; thresholds of vulnerability Willingness to pay for concepts like ‘good health’; how to change behaviour; little need for further conventional science
UK lead on climate change both for UK policy and international negotiations
develop policies and manage programmes on energy efficiency and Combined Heat & Power (CHP) take overall view of science & technology evidence in support of transport policy poverty relief, health improvement, natural disaster prevention, ecosystem resilience planning for health impacts of climate change
20 – 50 years; national or sectoral level
DEFRA on climate change information DfID – in basic needs of food, health, education and economic livelihoods Strong link with DEFRA
20 – 50 years
IPCC, DEFRA,UKCIP Interest in specific regions in global e.g. on changes in context; 0-50 years natural hazards and water availability Report: Health Effects of Climate Change in the UK, links between climate and health impacts through modelling and expert judgement less than 40 years; national scale
Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) (overall policy) DTI (Technical)
Interest in maintaining competitiveness of industry wrt to climate change policies and measures Renewable energy supply, energy economics
DEFRA, Industry, other government departments
impact of climate change on business; impact of policies on business Potential role of renewables in mitigation; Energy transition in UK Mainly gets information from other government departments Require wide range of information on climate change impacts, adaptation-mitigation measures for UK (in global context) Impacts on eg. biodiversity, water, energy, housing. From UKCIP, universities UKCIP, DEFRA information on climate change various
0-50 years; national scale (in global context)
Cross-sector feedbacks; analysis of impact of global/EU regimes on UK context Detailed analysis on energy system and role of renewables; need to produce models with more credibility More information on impacts of legislation on UK economy Interested in interactive models; strategic and scenarios approach; interest in political acceptability of policies Information in support of regional planning guidance socio-economic impacts of CC social impacts of CC; communicability of results
other government departments and industry
Interest in costs of climate change policy to UK economy and tax revenues Provide (longterm) strategic analysis of many socio-economic and environmental issues incorporating climate change into regional planning driven by national government legislation; actions limited by statute provoke and inspire change to sustainability
Interacts with other government departments Direct link to PM; interact with rest of government; project teams composed of 50% external experts EEDA, Utilities, Local Authorities, Health Trusts, UKCIP central government on climate change information; regional authorities report to PM
Mainly 0-10 years
Cabinet Office Strategy Unit
Strategic time scales from 5-50 years
Government Office for the East (GO-EAST) Local Authorities (LAs) Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) PRIVATE SECTOR Water Sector
0-20 years; regional scales
local-scale (city); short timescales (5 – 25 years) Focus on strategic issues at wide range of scales
affected directly by CC through water quality &
central government (and agencies) on climate
climate change scenarios, computer
0-100 years (more for some infrastructure
model output to understand policy
availability, flooding Insurance Sector [Association of British Insurers (ABI) and independent consultant] Wind Energy Sector affected directly by CC through claim value
change information central government (and agencies) on climate change information; central government on legislation; re-insurance industry; consumers DTI; interact with utilities and investors and government on wind projects Influenced by government legislation and regional planning regulations
modelling of water systems climate change scenarios, esp. on extreme events; also interest in utility of long-term weather predictions 1) Specific direct impacts of climate change on wind power; 2) How legislation impacts wind energy markets Don’t use much climate change information directly
investments) Primary focus on next 0-5 years; with lesser long term interest in up to the next 100 years
Focused interest on how climate change will affect consulting opportunities in wind energy markets (globally) Assumption that change must be legislation-driven within this sector
For legislation next 0-5 years; for climate predictions next 20 years 0-50 years (more for some infrastructure investments)
options rather than a prediction pragmatic scenarios; headline messages AND detailed data; abrupt changes/extreme events; Information to support investment decisions Information of likely legislation and its impacts; specific data on changing wind patterns Information for adaptation measures; onus on scientists to put information in relevant & understandable format economic change, customer preferences, legislative change Likely impact of legislation; and implications of different technological and mitigation pathways
not generally concerned with direct climate change impacts Interested in implications of climate change legislation both in terms of direct impacts and new business opportunities Other oil companies; government; strongly affected by legislation
Oil Production & Exploration
political change, economy, technological change, customer response Only indirect use of research on climate change science
5 – 10 years, national and international economy level Legislation impact over ca 5-20 years
not generally concerned with direct climate change impacts
Increasingly interact with companies on CC issue; interacts with other investors on CC issue Invest in companies; increasingly interact with other institutional investors on CC issue Active in ACBE, in UK policy process; interactions with other business organisations
Currently not using much information on CC; business viability; impacts of legislation on business General use of IPCCtype reports
Mostly <5 years at individual business level, but up to 20 year time horizon for large institutional investors Interested in 30-40 years but currently much shorter operational focus 0-20 years (longer for certain infrastructure investments) <5 years, national and international economy level
Possible role as a leverage point for change; produced industry leading report on climate change in 2002 Aims to take a lead role in providing consultancy on greenhouse gas (GHG) management not generally concerned with direct climate change impacts
Professional Advisory Firms
Telecommunication Services Sector
Mainly information on GHG accounting and management; also require information on impacts of legislation changes in economy
potential CC-related legislation changes; Operational methods to rate risk exposure of companies and sectors to climate change Risk ratings for specific companies/sectors in terms of their vulnerability to climate change impacts and legislation Impact of legislation on business; implications of climate change for infrastructure investments short, focussed information; clear uncertainties; impacts of CC-related legislation society-economyenvironment feedbacks; involvement of stakeholders; local case study political processes generally; policy responses to CC impacts CC and food rights, development, justice; extreme events; impacts of CC policies Research that allows
NGO and OTHER Sustainability Northwest (SNW) Greenpeace UK (GPUK) Action Aid
driving change to sustainability; facilitating and coordinating relevant specialist work campaigning to reduce carbon emissions, less concerned with impacts of CC campaigning on global poverty A primary interest in the
regional authorities, central government; private sector, especially water and energy other NGOs (eg Friends of the Earth), Energy Savings Trust other NGOs (eg. Oxfam); DfID Other NGOs; with public
all aspects of sustainability
political positions; political and corporate statements – to inform campaigning focus short-term (disaster response); longer term (eg. food security) Use wide range of 0-100years
Friends of the Earth
social and equity impacts of climate change Umbrella organisation for national WWFs; special interest in biodiversity and conservation wrt climate change Wide ranging engagement with the climate change issue
through campaigns; also interact direct with policy process Lobby government; interact with other NGOs and conservation world Interacts with conservation organisations; interacts in campaigning role with policy process; interacts with individual RSPB Strong interaction with other NGOs; interaction with policy process; does interact directly with public Provides an international link between policy process and scientific community
information on climate change in campaigns Use wide range of information on climate change; also commission research Uses global scale information to inform campaigning position; local/regional scale to inform conservation management Strong interest in energy system transition pathways Use very wide range of information from peer-reviewed literature 0-100years
FoE to make the case for 1) why action should be taken 2) how it should be taken Interest in interactive models; interest in “headline” impacts of climate change More precise information on impacts of climate on nature conservation; information on mitigation pathways for campaigning work Specific request for information on lower stabilization scenarios; wide interest in mitigation strategies Interactions between sectors; integrating adaptation and mitigation; cost curves
Climate Action Network-Europe (CAN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Umbrella group for large number of environmental NGOs, especially in UNFCCC negotiations Synthesiser of research; indirect & limited role as research agenda setter
OTHER INTERVIEWS: Media reporter on environment issues [1 interviewee]: For action on climate change, there needs to be strong political leadership and large increases in public awareness of CC. Models will probably not help with this. UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) [3 interviewees]: UK government-funded organisation to help organisations find out how they will be affected by CC and to help them adapt. Facilitates stakeholder-led research. Interviewed to give a perspective on IA research from an overall stakeholder viewpoint.
Appendix 3 The text below was used as an ‘Executive Summary’ addressed directly to our interviewees in communicating the results. It was presented as summarising the salient points while inviting users to read the full report if they wished.
INTEGRATED RESEARCH ON CLIMATE CHANGE AT THE TYNDALL CENTRE
What we are doing and why
• • This paper presents the results of a survey of the needs of UK organisations for information about climate change. The purpose of the survey was to inform the development of our research programme by helping us to better understand how research on climate change can most effectively be of use. Many organisations are affected by climate change – whether by direct impacts, indirect impacts (e.g. through climate change policies) or by the need to include climate change in policy making or planning for the future of the organisation. Analysing the complex implications of such impacts for individuals, organisations and even countries requires the bringing together (or integration) of insights from a broad range of academic disciplines including climate science, economics, social sciences and engineering. At the Tyndall Centre we are creating an integrated research framework which aims to bring these disciplines together. Fundamental to this is the development of a process of interactions with key external stakeholders. This should be a two-way ‘learning’ process where stakeholder knowledge and expectations inform and contribute to development and execution of the research, and timely, relevant research results can be effectively communicated to stakeholders. Stakeholders can then respond to the research outputs, continuing a process of dialogue yielding insights into climate change which could not have been achieved through research alone, or even through a one-off input of stakeholder needs. The survey consisted of 40 interviews with a wide range of organisations drawn government, NGOs and the private sector (users of climate change-related information) over the period November 2002 – February 2003. In the interviews we discussed with users their current use of climate change-related information, where knowledge gaps exist, and what kinds of questions now need addressing.
What we found
A number of important findings and implications for our research emerge from analysis of the interviews: 1) There is less need for information on climate change per se than on information to support decisions on responses to climate change; often this relates to the political process rather than to scientific research. 2) Information on climate change is used for a range of differing purposes (policy-making, organisational planning, media, and advocacy) and this has implications for the nature of the information required. 3) Many users operate at the local scale, below the resolution of the best current climate models. 4) Users regarded a clear treatment of uncertainty as vital (also implying that it is important for scientists to give honest assessments of the level of confidence to which particular questions might be answered). 5) Information about adaptation to the impacts of climate change, placed in a wider context of social and economic change, is a key element of many users information needs.
6) The trust and confidence of users in research products or tools is not a given. It must be developed or maintained through the process of interaction with the research. For this reason, and to ensure relevance, it is vital to communicate with users on the co-design of tools. A key issue for many users is the importance of being able to understand the working of computer models in lay terms. The value of simple models should therefore not be underestimated. 7) Different users want different types of interaction with the research, from deep interaction with model development to a general confidence that the right questions are being addressed in the right way. 8) Some users need numerical models, some need a synthesis of current research results, some need more confidence from researchers, some need scenarios and some need analysis of human behaviour. There is a need to use models, scenarios and other tools (such as visual images of futures) assembled in the most appropriate way for each user question. We call such an approach ‘strategic guidance’.
What happens now
The information gathered through this scoping study has proved valuable in informing our work. Over the next 18 months we intend to use these insights in working with a subset of users to address specific questions about climate change. The work will be organised through case studies, and will pioneer a set of tools for use in the interactive research process. The case studies will begin on 1 September 2003; and prior to this will be designed in close cooperation with users. If you were involved in the scoping study, we will contact you to discuss how to take this interaction forward. We will be asking whether you would like to be further involved and (where appropriate) exploring your questions in more detail, the kinds of research which might address your questions, and the time scales over which this might happen.
The trans-disciplinary Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research undertakes integrated research into the long-term consequences of climate change for society and into the development of sustainable responses that governments, business-leaders and decisionmakers can evaluate and implement. Achieving these objectives brings together UK climate scientists, social scientists, engineers and economists in a unique collaborative research effort. Research at the Tyndall Centre is organised into four research themes that collectively contribute to all aspects of the climate change issue: Integrating Frameworks; Decarbonising Modern Societies; Adapting to Climate Change; and Sustaining the Coastal Zone. All thematic fields address a clear problem posed to society by climate change, and will generate results to guide the strategic development of climate change mitigation and adaptation policies at local, national and global scales. The Tyndall Centre is named after the 19th century UK scientist John Tyndall, who was the first to prove the Earth’s natural greenhouse effect and suggested that slight changes in atmospheric composition could bring about climate variations. In addition, he was committed to improving the quality of science education and knowledge. The Tyndall Centre is a partnership of the following institutions: University of East Anglia UMIST Southampton Oceanography Centre University of Southampton University of Cambridge Centre for Ecology and Hydrology SPRU – Science and Technology Policy Research (University of Sussex) Institute for Transport Studies (University of Leeds) Complex Systems Management Centre (Cranfield University) Energy Research Unit (CLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory) The Centre is core funded by the following organisations: Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) UK Government Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) For more information, visit the Tyndall Centre Web site (www.tyndall.ac.uk) or contact: External Communications Manager Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK Phone: +44 (0) 1603 59 3906; Fax: +44 (0) 1603 59 3901 Email: email@example.com
Recent Working Papers
Tyndall Working Papers are available online at http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/publications/working_papers/working_papers.shtml Mitchell, T. and Hulme, M. (2000). A Country-by-Country Analysis of Past and Future Warming Rates, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 1. Hulme, M. (2001). Integrated Assessment Models, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 2. Berkhout, F, Hertin, J. and Jordan, A. J. (2001). Socio-economic futures in climate change impact assessment: using scenarios as 'learning machines', Tyndall Centre Working Paper 3. Barker, T. and Ekins, P. (2001). How High are the Costs of Kyoto for the US Economy?, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 4. Barnett, J. (2001). The issue of 'Adverse Effects and the Impacts of Response Measures' in the UNFCCC, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 5. Goodess, C.M., Hulme, M. and Osborn, T. (2001). The identification and evaluation of suitable scenario development methods for the estimation of future probabilities of extreme weather events, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 6. Barnett, J. (2001). Security and Climate Change, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 7. Adger, W. N. (2001). Social Capital and Climate Change, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 8. Barnett, J. and Adger, W. N. (2001). Climate Dangers and Atoll Countries, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 9. Gough, C., Taylor, I. and Shackley, S. (2001). Burying Carbon under the Sea: An Initial Exploration of Public Opinions, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 10. Barker, T. (2001). Representing the Integrated Assessment of Climate Change, Adaptation and Mitigation, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 11. Dessai, S., (2001). The climate regime from The Hague to Marrakech: Saving or sinking the Kyoto Protocol?, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 12. Dewick, P., Green K., Miozzo, M., (2002). Technological Change, Industry Structure and the Environment, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 13. Shackley, S. and Gough, C., (2002). The Use of Integrated Assessment: An Institutional Analysis Perspective, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 14. Köhler, J.H., (2002). Long run technical change in an energyenvironment-economy (E3) model for an IA system: A model of Kondratiev waves, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 15. Adger, W.N., Huq, S., Brown, K., Conway, D. and Hulme, M. (2002). Adaptation to climate change: Setting the Agenda for Development Policy and Research, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 16. Dutton, G., (2002). Hydrogen Energy Technology, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 17.
Watson, J. (2002). The development of large technical systems: implications for hydrogen, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 18. Pridmore, A. and Bristow, A., (2002). The role of hydrogen in powering road transport, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 19. Turnpenny, J. (2002). Reviewing organisational use of scenarios: Case study - evaluating UK energy policy options, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 20. Watson, W. J. (2002). Renewables and CHP Deployment in the UK to 2020, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 21. Watson, W.J., Hertin, J., Randall, T., Gough, C. (2002). Renewable Energy and Combined Heat and Power Resources in the UK, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 22. Paavola, J. and Adger, W.N. (2002). Justice and adaptation to climate change, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 23. Xueguang Wu, Jenkins, N. and Strbac, G. (2002). Impact of Integrating Renewables and CHP into the UK Transmission Network, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 24 Xueguang Wu, Mutale, J., Jenkins, N. and Strbac, G. (2003). An investigation of Network Splitting for Fault Level Reduction, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 25
Brooks, N. and Adger W.N. (2003). Country level risk measures of climate-related natural disasters and implications for adaptation to climate change, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 26 Tompkins, E.L. and Adger, W.N. (2003). Building resilience to climate change through adaptive management of natural resources, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 27 Dessai, S., Adger, W.N., Hulme, M., Köhler, J.H., Turnpenny, J. and Warren, R. (2003). Defining and experiencing dangerous climate change, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 28 Brown, K. and Corbera, E. (2003). A Multi-Criteria Assessment Framework for Carbon-Mitigation Projects: Putting “development” in the centre of decision-making, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 29 Hulme, M. (2003). Abrupt climate change: can society cope?, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 30 Turnpenny, J., Haxeltine A. and O’Riordan, T. A scoping study of UK user needs for managing climate futures. Part 1 of the pilot-phase interactive integrated assessment process (Aurion Project). Tyndall Centre Working Paper 31
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