Positive Tipping Points in a Rapidly Warming World

March 2018 |
Autonomous University of Barcelona, GREEN-WIN
J David Tabara, Niki Frantzeskaki, Katharina Holscher
Tipping points fundamentally and irreversibly change the structure and intrinsic functioning of a given system of reference. Most research in sustainability science and integrated assessment has focused on examining the catastrophic, abrupt nature of tipping points in biophysical systems or the implications of the realization of such crises or of crossing such negative thresholds for policy and action. 
This report focuses on positive tipping points (PTPs) in social–ecological systems dynamics – those which ‘increase societal resilience and reduce climate change damages via mitigation or adaptation' and have the potential to help achieve the climate objectives of the Paris Agreement. What are the conditions in which positive tipping points may occur? What capacities are required by potential agents of change? What policy interventions are conducive to PTPs? This report explores these questions and the broader potential of PTPs using participatory pathways and scenario development and agent-based macroeconomic modelling, as carried out in the context of the GREEN-WIN project

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