Envisioning futures for climate change policy development: Scenarios use in European environmental policy institutions

Jessica Bryson*, Jake Piper, Mark Rounsevell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Scenario-based exercises can contribute to policy debates on climate change responses, intended to help policy-makers visualize future worlds and help guide and develop adaptive strategies. This study explores the use of scenarios by policy-advisors within three institutions: the European Environment Agency, the European Commission and Scottish public bodies. Respondents pointed to different approaches to scenario identification and use as well as barriers to wider use of the method. A range of benefits of using scenarios was highlighted. Amongst the suggestions for better implementation offered by interviewees was the need for a scenario toolkit. An array of scenario systems (representing both climate change scenarios and socio-economic scenarios) are being used by policy-advisors and the paper concludes that the role for scenario exercises in planning and communications work derives from their capacity to develop imaginative thinking. Recommendations are proposed for improving practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-294
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Policy and Governance
Volume20
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Barriers
  • Climate change
  • Environmental scenarios
  • Governance
  • Policy
  • Uncertainty

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