Climate Futures forum 2011


Climate change raises questions for society that go far beyond climate science itself and lead to basic questions about how society should plan for likely climate futures.

We need new ways of addressing the likely consequences of climate change in the next decade, as well as ways for future generations to both limit and deal with the consequences.

Our response to climate change requires a clearer social perspective. We need more collaboration between different sectors of society, and for this to be integrated with contributions from scientists and policymakers. Only then will we be able to change the path we are on.

In March 2011 CCRI held the Climate Futures Forum to launch an ongoing dialogue - across society and generations - identifying pathways to different climate futures.

The two-day Forum consisted of presentations by key speakers, followed by dialogue in smaller groups between participants and speakers. The Forum covered four policy-relevant and interdisciplinary themes:

  • climate change and society's challenge
  • Communication between the science community and society
  • Human behaviour and the capacity to change
  • Towards durable decision making

Download the Handbook pdf3MB

All presentations and dialogue are compiled in the book Climate Futures: Pathways for Society

Links to presentations and recordings of the sessions

Conference opening


Session 1

Climate Change and Society's Challenge

Chair: Professor Peter Barrett

martin-manning-thumbProfessor Martin Manning, CCRI, Victoria University of Wellington
Risks and consequences, timescales and uncertainties”

Download PDF pdf2.50MB

karoly-seeking-advice-from-chair-thumbProfessor David Karoly, University of Melbourne and IPCC
“Climate futures and choices for society”

Download PDF pdf2MB

sir-paul-reevesSir Paul Reeves, Chancellor AUT, former NZ Governor General, Auckland
Crafting the long view”

rapporteurs-3-thumbKey reflections from each group by rapporteurs

Session 2

Communication between the science community and society

Chair: Dr. Nancy Bertler


rapporteurs-3-thumbKey reflections from each group by rapporteurs

Session 3

Human behaviour and the capacity for change

Chair: Professor John McClure

bob-gifford-thumbProfessor Robert Gifford, University of Victoria, BC, Canada
“Human responses to future climate change: a perspective from psychology”

Download PDF pdf2MB

bronwyn-hayward-thumbDr Bronwyn Hayward, University of Canterbury
“Growing up in a dynamic climate: Why citizenship will matter more than behaviour change”

john-thwaites-thumbProfessor John Thwaites, Monash University
“How democratic processes can deal with complex long term issues”

Download PDF pdf2MB

rapporteurs-3-thumbKey reflections from each group by rapporteurs

Session 4

Towards durable decision-making

Chair: Judy Lawrence

david-frame-2thumbDr David Frame, University of Oxford
“The role of the scientist in durable decision making”

Download PDF pdf705KB

sacha-mcmeeking-thumbSacha McMeeking, Ngai Tahu
“The role of future generations in durable decision making”

Download PDF pdf280KB

Jonathan Boston

Key reflections from each group by rapporteurs and “A Forum synthesis” by Prof Jonathan Boston, Institute of Public Policy, VUW


Jinty McTavish and Simon Tegg - youth perspectives

Concluding remarks and Poroporoaki

Other interviews and events

sir-lloyd-geering-speaking-at-cafe-8mins-thumbLloyd Geering interview (video)

Eric Conway with Kim Hill on "Saturday Morning"

Fred Pearce with Chris Laidlaw on "Sunday Morning"

James Hansen with Kim Hill on "Saturday Morning"

Cafe Session - Veronika Meduna on "Our Changing World"

Speakers: Sir Lloyd Geering, Professor Robert Gifford, Dr Bronwyn Hayward, Gareth Renowden

Breakfast Session - Chris Laidlaw - Ideas on "Sunday Morning"

Speakers: Fred Pearce, David Karoly, Martin Kreft, Colin James

Authors Evening

Sean Plunket with Fred Pearce, Erik Conway and Gareth Renowden