Social tipping elements instrumental for decarbonization by 2050

Achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement demands a world-wide transformation to a fossil-fuel-free world within the next 30 years. We propose a framework for identifying social tipping elements, that is, subsystems of the world-Earth system where a targeted human intervention can activate social tipping-like processes leading to a rapid reduction in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, fast enough to avoid crossing the dangerous tipping points in the Earth’s climate system. We present a categorization of such social tipping elements, differentiated according to their operational and temporal scales, that was derived on the basis of an expert elicitation, a subsequent expert workshop, and a literature review. The evidence supporting the existence of silver-bullet solutions is mostly based on emerging cases that have, however, not been scaled up to the planetary level yet. Due to the networked character of the World of human societies, activating the social tipping elements simultaneously at various geographical and social scales increases the chances of achieving a mutual reinforcement effect that will be strong enough to break though the existing social, economic, and political inertia.

Ilona M. Otto, Jonathan F. Donges, Avit Bhowmik, Roger Cremades and Wolfgang Lucht
Monday, September 24, 2018 - 16:05 to 16:09


The official Hotel of the Conference is
Makedonia Palace.

Conference Organiser: NBEvents

The official travel agency of the Conference is: Air Maritime

Photo of Thessaloniki seafront courtesy of Juli Bellou
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