Workshop Report: On values and deliberation in climate economics

At this workshop, wich took place on the 29th of March 2022 at the MCC, we discussed our recent work on values and deliberation in climate economics with invited experts working in climate economics and integrated assessment modelling, and philosophers and social scientists studying either climate modelling or values in the context of global environmental change.

Debates about appropriately ambitious climate policies reflect diverse values, which may not be well expressed in official policy discourses or policy assessment. One key disagreement is the assumption that economic growth is necessary for ambitious climate policy, which features in most of climate economics but is controversial among some sectors of the public. The IPCC has made this issue explicit for the first time in its history in the Sixth Assessment Report, where Working Group III examines limitations of growth-based Integrated Assessment Models for wellbeing and environmental sustainability. Model-specific assumptions in climate economics concerning uncertainty and risk also reflect certain values and disciplinary assumptions, but these may not reflect societal values concerning climate risk. It is unclear whether climate economics could integrate other societal values, or how this wouldaffect model results. The prevalence of value diversity is also a key finding of IPBES’ forthcoming Values Assessment, which finds a wider range of environmental values in society than are usually reflected in conservation policy. However, the diversity of environmental values remains a blind spot for climate economics, and are yet to be considered by the IPCC. In light of these issues, we disciussed how a deliberative learning process among decision-makers, researchers and citizens about policy alternatives and their effects could help reveal the diversity of normative perspectives, clarify the meaning of abstract values for policy, and increase the legitimacy of climate economics.

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