Culture and climate change scenarios: the role and potential of the arts and humanities in responding to the ‘1.5 degrees target’

Tyszczuk, Renata and Smith, Joe (2018). Culture and climate change scenarios: the role and potential of the arts and humanities in responding to the ‘1.5 degrees target’. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 31 pp. 56–64.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2017.12.007

Abstract

This paper critically assesses the role and potential of the arts and humanities in relation to the ‘1.5 degree target’ embedded within the Paris Agreement. Specifically, it considers the purpose of scenarios in inviting thinking about transformed futures. It includes a preliminary assessment of the Culture and Climate Change: Scenarios project, an example of arts and humanities engagement with a ‘1.5 °C future’. The paper argues that integrating more culturally rooted contributions into the creation and deliberation of climate change scenarios would enrich processes of future-thinking beyond climate model outputs. It would also test and extend some established practices of climate research and policy in anticipating and making futures. The paper suggests that the key characteristics of scenarios as a cultural form are that they provide space for collective, improvisational and reflexive modes of acting on and thinking about uncertain futures.

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