The bank for a changing world

REIMAGINE: re-imagining climate governance

  • 30.11.2017

How to adapt to climate change? This is one of the issues tackled by the REIMAGINE project, supported by the BNP Paribas Foundation as part of its Climate Initiative program. Its goal? More closely accounting for IPCC projections and their impact on economic, political and socio-cultural aspects of governance models in the countries most vulnerable to climate change.

Faced with the reality of climate change, adaptation has become a key global concern. How do we deal with the changes that are already taking place and pre-empt those to come? What actions should be taken on a national and international level? The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has drawn up a set of climate and socio-economic scenarios to imagine and experiment with possible global climate futures. 

But how can the potential of foresight be better understood as an intervention for improved governance of climate challenges, particularly in the countries most vulnerable to climate change? Connecting these scenarios with anticipatory climate governance is easier said than done. Re-imagining climate governance tackles this very question by investigating ways that future scenarios can lead to appropriate and effective modes of governance in the world’s most vulnerable regions, and that they serve as useful for decision making tools in developing countries.

“ A lot of opportunities to adapt to climate change fall through if there is no link between climate scenarios and political decisions at a national and international level. ”

Joost Vervoort

Researcher at Oxford University and professor at Utrecht University 

Bridging prospective climate changes and governance

A cross-disciplinary team led by Joost Vervoort, a Senior Researcher at the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University and Assistant Professor at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University, will conduct its research in four regions around the globe: West Africa, Central America, South Asia and South-East Asia. 

The team’s first objective is to examine, in partnership with local/regional researchers, how governments and local bodies (businesses, key economic players and NGOs) are planning for climate change. What factors do they take into account? Who is involved in these discussions? What issues are being identified? 

After that we will work with them directly to help improve their future planning and governance. Ultimately, it’s about translating climate, macro-economic and agricultural research into policy and governance, and adapting these to regional and national contexts”, explains Vervoort. 

A global project

The project draws on existing agriculture and food security research. “Over the last six years we have been building strong relationships with the governments of these regions, and we’re helping them come up with strategies to adapt to global warming”, says the Dutch researcher.

Drawing on this experience and these contacts, the team now wants to go beyond agriculture to look at overall adaptation on a national scale - and broader still - to factor in transnational issues such as water resources and migration

To do this, the project will cooperate with numerous researchers and organisations across 25 different countries, including its main global partner, the CGIAR Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). 

we have been building strong relationships with the governments of these regions, and we’re helping them come up with strategies to adapt to global warming.

Ultimately, the goal of the project is to produce, on a regional and global scale, tangible recommendations and guidelines to improve the role of future scenarios in anticipatory climate governance. The publication of these plans for action for the science community and regional and national decision-makers is scheduled for 2019

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