Use the future to build the present
Managing Climate Externalities
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1Quantum Revolution& Advanced AI2HumanAugmentation3Eco-Regeneration& Geo-Engineering4Science& Diplomacy1.11.21.31.42.12.22.32.43.13.23.33.43.54.14.24.34.44.5HIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIALAdvancedArtificial IntelligenceQuantumTechnologiesBrain-inspiredComputingBiologicalComputingCognitiveEnhancementHuman Applications of Genetic EngineeringRadical HealthExtensionConsciousnessAugmentation DecarbonisationWorldSimulationFuture FoodSystemsSpaceResourcesOceanStewardshipComplex Systems forSocial EnhancementScience-basedDiplomacyInnovationsin EducationSustainableEconomicsCollaborativeScience Diplomacy
1Quantum Revolution& Advanced AI2HumanAugmentation3Eco-Regeneration& Geo-Engineering4Science& Diplomacy1.11.21.31.42.12.22.32.43.13.23.33.43.54.14.24.34.44.5HIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIALAdvancedArtificial IntelligenceQuantumTechnologiesBrain-inspiredComputingBiologicalComputingCognitiveEnhancementHuman Applications of Genetic EngineeringRadical HealthExtensionConsciousnessAugmentation DecarbonisationWorldSimulationFuture FoodSystemsSpaceResourcesOceanStewardshipComplex Systems forSocial EnhancementScience-basedDiplomacyInnovationsin EducationSustainableEconomicsCollaborativeScience Diplomacy

Sub-Field:

4.4.1Managing Climate Externalities

Our traditional economic models have already created substantial challenges. Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide have been rising steadily since the industrial revolution, leading to global temperature rises that threaten the habitability of parts of the Earth. For some parts of the Earth, that could be catastrophic, leading to the collapse of farming, and significant water shortages. That raises the prospect of mass migration away from these regions. Urgent international attention is required to better understand, predict and plan for these mass movements.7,8
Mitigation policies could help, such as the development and commercialisation of heat-resistant crops and of efficient water management and purification systems based on technologies such as desalination. However, significant adaptation will also be necessary.9 Some economies will need to prepare for a future in which farming is no longer possible. When that happens, people will need alternative forms of work to pay for imported food. That will mean reskilling the workforce. Certain kinds of economic policies can avert severe climate change by introducing measures such as carbon pricing.

Future Horizons:

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5-yearhorizon

An era of progress

Governments come up with a real plan to get to zero emissions by or before 2050. A growing awareness and experience of the negative consequences of climate change lead to implementation of a global CO2 tax. Circular economy strategies continue to be implemented on key issues such as plastics and waste, if only at a local level.

10-yearhorizon

Farming requires intervention

Some parts of Africa become too hot and too dry to support traditional crops, while efforts to commercialise heat-resistant crops have stalled over intellectual property rights and the limited potential for recouping costs. Nevertheless, the success of some genetically modified crops in extreme conditions provides momentum for a global research effort to develop other heat-resistant crops. After the success of Covid-19 vaccine development, this work is funded by governments rather than by commercial profit.

25-yearhorizon

Crisis is avoided through forward thinking

The global effort to develop heat-resistant crops largely prevents mass starvation and civil unrest in countries whose traditional crops have failed due to climate change. The retraining of workers in these economies, funded through global co-operation, means that most families can afford imported food. Despite the increased mortality due to high temperatures, fears of mass migration recede. We are heading towards living within sustainable limits and are on track towards zero carbon emissions in 2050, meeting the Paris Agreement.

Managing Climate Externalities - Anticipation Scores

How the experts see this field in terms of the expected time to maturity, transformational effect across science and industries, current state of awareness among stakeholders and its possible impact on people, society and the planet. See methodology for more information.

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