Scenarios and Perspectives: external resources

We have collated related reports and studies from organisations across the world which we found helpful when conducting our own research.

Climate Futures

Climate futures produced a set of scenarios in order to assist businesses in strategically planning their response to the climate change agenda, as well as provoking debate about how the future ought to look. This report considers  both environmental and human dimensions of climate change. They envisage five scenarios.: 'Efficiency first'; 'Service transformation'; 'Redefining progress'; 'Environmental war economy' and 'Protectionist world'.

Exploring the Future: Tools for Strategic Thinking

Foresight Horizon Scanning Centre have provided an online platform with various tools to support scenario development and futures thinking. The toolkit is intended for futures analysts, policy-makers, strategists and people managing a futures process.

Future Flooding: Executive Summary

Foresight wanted to provide a robust  long-term (30 - 100 years) vision for the future of flood and coastal defence across the whole of the UK, which took account of the many uncertainties influencing this agenda. The scenarios are intended to be used as a basis to inform policy and its delivery. The report looked at flooding from rivers and the sea, as well as surface water flooding in towns and cities. To reflect the level of uncertainty characterising this long term agenda, scenarios were used to assess the possible scale and nature of future flood risks, and to assess options for responding to those risks. These scenarios embodied different socioeconomic visions of the UK, and different amounts of climate change. The project found that 80,000 properties are at risk in towns and cities from flooding caused by heavy downpours that overwhelm urban drains - so-called 'intra-urban' flooding. The report culminated in two key messages for local and regional policy makers. Firstly, change is required since in virtually every scenario considered, the risks grow to unacceptable levels. Secondly, the risks need to be tackled across a broad front.

IPCC Special Report: Emissions Scenarios

The IPCC first began developing greenhouse gas emissions scenarios between 1990 and 1992. After an evaluation these were modified to incorporate new understandings about key drivers of emissions and methodologies. This report documents 60 specific scenarios. They are organised around four narrative story lines (A1, A2, B1, B2). Each storyline represents different demographic, social, economic, technological, and environmental developments, which may influence future emissions.   The set of scenarios consists of six scenario groups drawn from the four families: one group each in A2, B1, B2, and three groups within the A1 family, characterizing alternative developments of energy technologies: A1FI (fossil fuel intensive), A1B (balanced), and A1T (predominantly non-fossil fuel). The IPCC make no assumptions about the probability of the different scenarios. The scenarios are used as an input into climate models to make climate change projections.

Socio-economic scenarios

The UKCIP socio-economic scenarios (SES) describe how society may change over the coming decades in accordance with policy decisions made in the future. The SES should be used together with climate change emission scenarios to produce an integrated assessment of potential impacts linked to a changing climate. The four socio-economic scenarios have been developed specifically for use in UK-wide climate impacts and adaptation assessments. The scenarios are set out in a report which aims to encourage their use by providing: An explanation of why socio-economic scenarios are important for climate change impact and adaptation assessments; and guidance on their application at regional level. Case studies that have used the UKCIP SES scenarios are also provided on an associated website. The SES can be used in climate change impacts and vulnerability assessments, and to consider the capacity that different types of future worlds will have to cope with climate change.

Using science to create a better place: Environment Agency scenarios 2030

This report, commissioned by the Environment Agency and DEFRA, was undertaken by the Henley Centre Headlight Vision. It aimed to fill a gap in other scenarios that were either applied at a different scale, or were not of use for the wide-ranging policy remits of the Environment Agency and DEFRA. While the scenarios draw upon previous studies, such as SRES, the specific set of socio-economic scenarios developed in this report place greater emphasis and supporting narrative around the core socio-economic elements, such as societal attitudes and consumption patterns, of the scenarios and how they relate to potential pressures on the UK environment to 2030. The report includes guidance on when to use this particular set of scenarios as well as outlining some ways to avoid common errors that can be made by organisations and policy makers when discussing and reviewing scenarios as part of a wider policy or strategy process. The four scenarios are 'Restoration', 'Alchemy', 'Survivor' and  'Jeopardy'.

Waterproof North West

The Waterproof North West project aimed to develop scenarios to aid the implementation of the Water Framework Directive and water management decision making more generally in the North West region of England. It analysed future drivers relating to the water environment and developed four scenarios up to 2030 to aid future decision making and shape response to future challenges in meeting the WFD's goals. Due to the significance of the link between water and climate change, the scenarios are of potential benefit to understanding future adaptation responses.