Landing : Athabascau University

Unit 3.1 - IPPC (2018) Recommendations and Political Considerations.

The recommendation in section C.2.1 of the IPCC (2018) report highlights the need to adopt pathways to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. This would require quick, detailed, intentional changes to the systems that control, create, use, and maintain energy, land, and infrastructure. These transitions would require an accelerated schedule of implementation for renewable energy systems and a steep reductions in the use of fossil fuels.

One of the unexpressed political aspects that should be accounted for in this recommendation is that making rapid and substantial changes would require a large investment of funds, which have the potential to impact developing countries disproportionately in comparison to more developed countries.

One significant consideration is the economic disparities that may arise as a result of implementing these transitions. Countries that have more resources, money, and infrastructure to work with to address climate change would be better able to implement these changes effectively in the time required. However, developing countries without the same level of resources would potentially face a disproportionate financial burden in adopting these pathways in comparison to their wealthier counterparts.

Reducing the economic disparity between developed and developing nations while adopting these transition pathways to address global warming would require global cooperation and equitable distribution of money and technology between countries, which could prove to be a significant political challenge.

The recommendation in section D.2.3 of the IPCC (2018) report focuses on the need for more investment in physical and social infrastructure to enhance a population's ability to withstand and adapt to the impacts of global warming and climate change. This would require significant investments in improving or creating new social services, buildings, and methods of energy production designed to support people in dealing with changing climate conditions and our responses to them.

Similarly to the unexpressed political aspect mentioned in recommendation C.2.1, this recommendation also presents an unexpressed politcal aspect revolving around the complicated relationship between economic and social systems in society.  Deciding which populations receive improved resources or which receive new or advanced resources is often a topic of debate among politicians and populations alike. Populations that are generally less affluent have fewer physical and social resources available to them and are, therefore, marginalized or more challenged than more affluent populations. Less affluent populations are both more susceptible to the impacts of climate change because of this marginalization and less equipped to meet its associated challenges than more affluent populations. Building better systems requires money and social influence, and responding to climate change would be easier for populations that have more money and social influence. Addressing and adapting to climate change in an equitable way would require conscious, intentional decisions by policymakers to make sure the resources available are directed toward or made more accessible to the populations that need them most and are less able to afford them.