At COP28 This Group Are Asking if Economic Science Fiction Has the Answers to Climate Change’s Challenges
At this year’s COP28 conference experts and politicians from around the world will be traveling to Dubai to discuss the challenges of and potential solutions to climate change. Among them, ClimateGains.org will be suggesting a more radical, and futuristic approach.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will be hosting a series of events at its COP28 Pavilion run by ClimateGains in collaboration with Agence Française de Développement (The French Development Bank) to discuss alternative green economies and financial systems based on science fictional world-building.
Building on work by the Science Fiction Economics Lab, ClimateGainsg will use talks, panel discussions and immersive elements to ask if the current economic system is indeed as inevitable as it is made to seem and what alternative futures might be available.
The events will look at the economy through the lens of the fictional futuristic setting of “Witness”, a collection of artificial islands, each representing a radically different economy, culture and vision for the future. Using this setting, attendees will address three key questions:
Is the current economic system destiny, or artefact?
What solution spaces are opened in novel economic systems?
How much space do we really have to explore radically different alternatives?
But this is more than just an exercise in hypothetical world-building. The issues covered have very real and current implications. “As the threats of a planet in crisis hit home, we risk a world where many groups and individuals either already have different ‘solutions’ for climate adaptation or mitigation imposed on them - or will experience this soon. This lack of choice is problematic,” Alter says. “Not only might it exacerbate inequalities, but it may also lead to failure to meet our climate goals.”
ClimateGains finances collectives of individuals, communities and organisations who wish to work on climate-related challenges together. Nadia Alter and Tim Reutemann founded the organisation and have built a tool that simplifies monitoring, reporting and verification for Paris agreement-compliant projects. The climate gains program at the UNFCCC pavilion will cross-pollinate with events on the future of financial institutions run by the French Development Bank and the International Development Finance Club (IDFC). Like ClimateGains, the partnership of 26 development banks is working to implement the Sustainable Development Goals & the Paris Climate Agreement agendas.