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From climates multiple to climate singular: Maintaining policy-relevance in the IPCC synthesis report
Lund Univ, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research, CSPR.
Lund Univ, Sweden.
2018 (English)In: Environmental Science and Policy, ISSN 1462-9011, E-ISSN 1873-6416, Vol. 90, p. 83-90Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has provided periodic assessments of the state of knowledge on climate change for 30 years. While these assessments have been central to the making of international climate policy, their relevance has been questioned in the post-Paris era. Can the IPCCs global kinds of knowledge match the demands of an increasingly decentralized and polycentric policy landscape? In this paper we respond to this question by analysing how the IPCC renders a multiple object such as climate change amenable to political intervention. We are particularly interested in the socio-material practices undertaken to translate a complex body of knowledge into a synthesis relevant to climate policy-making. To that end we trace the production of the Synthesis Report (SYR) to the IPCCs 5th Assessment Report (AR5), from scoping, to chapter crafting and final plenary approval, using author interviews, document analysis and observations. We argue that the writing of an IPCC synthesis is a constitutive process that rests upon numerous practices of standardization, aggregation and simplification. While these practices allow the authors to produce a coherent story of global climate change, they are less attuned to demands for geographically-sensitive representations of climate impacts, vulnerabilities and a diversity of response options. As the ways of responding to a changing climate multiply, we argue, so should the understanding and making of policy-relevant knowledge.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ELSEVIER SCI LTD , 2018. Vol. 90, p. 83-90
Keywords [en]
IPCC; Synthesis report; Policy-relevance; Science; Policy
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-153148DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2018.10.003ISI: 000450383100010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-153148DiVA, id: diva2:1267340
Available from: 2018-12-01 Created: 2018-12-01 Last updated: 2018-12-01

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Tema Environmental ChangeFaculty of Arts and SciencesCentre for Climate Science and Policy Research, CSPR
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf