Improving Climate Change Mitigation Analysis: A Framework for Examining Feasibility

Limiting global warming to 2°C or less compared with pre-industrial temperatures will require unprecedented rates of decarbonization globally. The scale and scope of transformational change required across sectors and actors in society raises critical questions of feasibility. Much of the literature on mitigation pathways addresses technological and economic aspects of feasibility, but overlooks the behavioral, cultural, and social factors that affect theoretical and practical mitigation…

Advancing sustainability through mainstreaming a social–ecological systems perspective

The concept of social–ecological systems is useful for understanding the interlinked dynamics of environmental and societal change. The concept has helped facilitate: (1) increased recognition of the dependence of humanity on ecosystems; (2) improved collaboration across disciplines, and between science and society; (3) increased methodological pluralism leading to improved systems understanding; and (4) major policy frameworks considering social–ecological interactions. Despite these advances, the potential of…

Resilience and Vulnerability: Complementary or Conflicting Concepts?

Resilience and vulnerability represent two related yet different approaches to understanding the response of systems and actors to change; to shocks and surprises, as well as slow creeping changes. Their respective origins in ecological and social theory largely explain the continuing differences in approach to social-ecological dimensions of change. However, there are many areas of strong convergence. This paper explores the emerging linkages and complementarities…

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