School of Psychology News & events

Research Summary

Pidgeon, N (2013) The Climate Crunch.  ESRC. £20,838.


Recent evidence, including that generated by research conducted by the ESRC Climate Change Fellows over the past 4 years, suggests that we now face a ‘climate crunch’.  We face an acute failure of climate governance at multiple levels at precisely the same time that climate scientists are telling us that action to avoid dangerous climate change is more urgent than ever. This situation coupled with a limited grasp of the critical risks, rights and responsibilities involved in addressing climate change also threatens to precipitate a breakdown in the social contracts that have been established in European countries around this issue, which may in turn squander any hope of achieving desired policy goals. The policy architecture we currently have was not designed for a world in which so many actors now play a key role in climate governance, in which so-called ‘rising power’ countries are now also key drivers of emissions growth as well as responses to the problem, and in which climate change now spills over into other policy domains such as trade, aid and industrial policy.