EGU24-20483, updated on 11 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Oral | Tuesday, 16 Apr, 11:45–11:55 (CEST)
Room N2

Feedbacks and social tipping: A dynamic systems approach to rapid decarbonization

Sibel Eker1,2, Charlie Wilson3,2, Niklas Hohne4, Mark McCaffrey5, Irene Monasterolo6, Leila Niamir2, and Caroline Zimm2
Sibel Eker et al.
  • 1Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands (
  • 2International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
  • 3Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford
  • 4New Climate Institute
  • 5UN Climate Change Community for Education, Communication and Outreach Stakeholders
  • 6Utrecht University

Social tipping points are promising levers for accelerating progress towards net-zero greenhouse gas emission targets. They describe how social, political, economic or technological systems can move rapidly into a new state if cascading positive feedback mechanisms are triggered. Analysing the potential for social tipping requires considering the inherent complexity of social systems and their feedbacks. Here, drawing on insights from an expert elicitation workshop, we outline a dynamic systems approach that entails i) a systems outlook involving interconnected feedback mechanisms alongside cross-system and cross-scale interactions, ii) directed data collection efforts to provide empirical evidence and monitoring of social tipping dynamics, and iii) global, integrated, descriptive modelling to project future dynamics and provide ex-ante evidence for interventions aiming to trigger positive feedback mechanisms. We argue how and why this approach will strengthen the climate policy relevance of research on social tipping.

How to cite: Eker, S., Wilson, C., Hohne, N., McCaffrey, M., Monasterolo, I., Niamir, L., and Zimm, C.: Feedbacks and social tipping: A dynamic systems approach to rapid decarbonization, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-20483,, 2024.

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