Report

The Future of Democracy in the Face of Climate Change

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The Future of Democracy in the Face of Climate Change was a piece of research which ran from late 2009 to early 2012. It resulted in five reports which explore the question of: How might democracy and participatory decision-making have evolved to cope with the challenges of climate change by the years 2050 and 2100?, resulting in four scenarios and their implications. The project was funded by FDSD with the additional support of a Future of Humanity grant from the Foundation For the Future.

Paper Five: How might democracy and participatory decision-making have evolved to cope with the challenges of climate change by the years 2050 and 2100?
Halina Ward, January 2012, FDSD

The final paper summarises the outcomes of the first four, developing four scenarios to 2050: ‘transition democracy’; ‘post authoritarian democracy’ (after failures in coercion), ‘technocratic democracy’ based on authoritarian hierarchies and expert commissions and ‘rationed democracy’. The axes for the scenarios build on two uncertainties: the nature and availability of adequate and appropriate technology; and the kinds of values inherent in different societies.

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Paper One: Democracy and climate change: why and what matters
Halina Ward, April 2010, FDSD

This first paper in the series sets out the challenge: “With formidable environmental and natural resource challenges just around the corner, the increasingly clear and present danger is that democracy will not prove resilient in the face of climate change; that the half of the global population who today are privileged to live in some form of democracy may find democratic rights and freedoms undermined and eroded.” and explores different relationships between climate change and democracy.

Paper Two: What is Democracy?
Halina Ward & Anandini Yoganathan, March 2010, FDSD

What is democracy? highlights the different ways in which ‘democracy’ is understood around the world, describing some of the underlying assumptions or core concerns. The paper briefly reviews the relationships between these different approaches, and the kinds of dilemmas that arise in the relationship between democracy and climate change.

Paper Three: The Futures of Sustainable Development and of Democracy
Literature review and relevance to an enquiry into ‘the future of democracy in the face of climate change’
Halina Ward with Emma Woods, January 2011, FDSD

This paper reviews and comments on three existing bodies of work: ‘the future of sustainable development’, ‘the future of sustainable development governance’, and ‘the future of democracy’, assessing these in relation to possible points of intervention in the relationship between democracy and climate change.

Paper Four: Climate Change
An overview of science, scenarios, projected impacts and links to democracy
Halina Ward with additional inputs from Emma Woods & Anandini Yoganathan, January 2011, FDSD

Paper Four reviews the current state of climate science and some of its most closely associated tools and scenarios, focusing particularly on the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

 

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