Harnessing social tipping dynamics: A systems approach for accelerating decarbonization

Eker, S. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2264-132X, Wilson, C. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8164-3566, Höhne, N., McCaffrey, M.S., Monasterolo, I., Niamir, L. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0285-5542, & Zimm, C. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5603-1015 (2024). Harnessing social tipping dynamics: A systems approach for accelerating decarbonization. One Earth 7 (6) 976-988. 10.1016/j.oneear.2024.05.012.

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Project: TRANSPARENT ASSESSMENTS FOR REAL PEOPLE (WorldTrans, HE 101081661), The impacts of digitalised daily life on climate change (iDODDLE, H2020 101003083)


Social tipping points are promising levers for accelerating decarbonization progress. They describe how social, political, economic, or technological systems can move rapidly into a new state if positive feedback mechanisms are triggered. Analyzing the potential for social tipping requires the inherent complexity of social systems to be considered. Yet the growing social tipping literature is missing a practical framework that embeds conceptual and empirical aspects of complex feedback processes. In this perspective, we propose a dynamic systems approach that can contextualize conceptual social tipping mechanisms into practical interventions, and map the key feedback mechanisms underlying tipping dynamics across systems and scales. Our approach has three main components: a systems outlook involving interconnected feedback mechanisms; directed data collection for empirical evidence and monitoring tipping dynamics; and global, integrated, descriptive modeling to project future dynamics and provide ex ante evidence for tipping interventions. We demonstrate how and why this approach should shape a broad agenda to strengthen the viability and effectiveness of social tipping research.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Sustainable Service Systems (S3)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Transformative Institutional and Social Solutions (TISS)
Population and Just Societies (POPJUS)
Population and Just Societies (POPJUS) > Equity and Justice (EQU)
Depositing User: Michaela Rossini
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2024 07:32
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2024 07:32
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/19827

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