The existence of dangerous climate change and its human causes is no longer in question. Attention is now turning to possible response measures. IPCC assessments have shown that governments and other non-state actors address climate change in the context of other national priorities such as poverty alleviation.
Therefore, to be effective, climate action must be relevant to national priorities and societal concerns. We need to improve our understanding of how climate policies interact with the sustainable development goals. This work implies a greater engagement with the social sciences, and in turn requires an enhanced understanding of social values, consumption and behaviour — the drivers of decision-making. The findings of the just-completed IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC offer some insights here, as does our emerging thinking on the next comprehensive assessment.
The 2018 MacCormick European Lecture will be delivered by Dr Hoesung Lee, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).