Social and Cultural Scenarios

The UKCIP conducts research about future socio-economic developments in the form of scenarios. The objective of this research is to assess the impacts of climate change on the population. The scenarios are indicated by two fundamental principles: governance and values. The combination of dominant social-political values with the interests and constitution of institutions leads to four scenarios (Fig. 1.23): world markets, global sustainability, national enterprises and local stewardship [Newcastle University, 2007].

These scenarios are combined with social-cultural aspects, like the ease to belong to a certain social group (the adaptive capacity) and the level of involvement in social life of individuals. The latter is indicated by strong social rules or by strong freedom and individualism (grid group). The combination of the social-cultural drivers leads to five cultural types: hierarchical orientated, individualists, equality thinkers, fatalists and autonomors, who are in the middle of the axe.

Furthermore, the combination of the societal and cultural scenarios evolves in four basic scenarios. Each of these scenarios, none of them describe a real future, tell a consistant story about the future.

The differentiation of households and the attitude against climate change changes in every scenario. The scenarios form the edges of a field, which contains most of the expected future trends and developments. They form the societal basis for all other scientific research of the program. They play a contextual role in the background of the debate.

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