Panel Session "Rethinking Risk and Transition Pathways", 5 April 2017, Melia Sitges, Spain

Wednesday, 5 April, 2017 - 09:45 to 11:00

TRANSrisk organised the panel session "Rethinking Risk and Transition Pathways" in the "Energy for Society: 1st International Conference on Energy Research & Social Science" ESA RN12 Environment and Society Midterm Conference, which was held on 2-5 April 2017, at Melia Sitges in Spain. The session was organised on April 5th.

The session was triggered by the extensive review of key uncertainties and risks for climate policy, which had been implemented within the framework of TRANSrisk's WP5 and presented in deliverable "D5.1 Review of key uncertainties and risks for climate policy". The review included more than 600 scientific articles that claim to address risk and uncertainty in climate change mitigation in some form. Findings showed that the attention is very unevenly distributed, with a heavy focus on quantitative methods over qualitative, economic risks over other scientific disciplines, governments and businesses over other actors, and energy over other sectors of the economy. Moreover, a strong focus on epistemological[1] uncertainty over paradigmatic[2] and translational[3] uncertainty was found. Given this background, this panel explored various perspectives on risks and uncertainties associated with climate mitigation policy in an attempt to address some of the gaps within the literature.

In the event various theoretical approaches and tools along with empirical studies were presented in order to assess risks and uncertainties in energy and climate change mitigation policies and actions. This served as input to discuss the question whether current framings and methods for evaluating risks and uncertainties in climate policies are sufficient, and the kind of innovative approaches that may be needed to provide useful advice to policy makers and stakeholders. Particular emphasis on quantitative and qualitative methodologies, discussed through country and regional case studies, including computational models and participatory approaches, and their potential to contribute to (or fail to contribute to) risk and uncertainty analysis was given.

The panel incorporated 5 presentations with estimated duration 15 minutes each including 5 minute discussion sections.

Download the conference agenda below.


The conference's location is presented in the following map:

Stay tuned for more information!


[1] Epistemic uncertainty results from lack of information or knowledge for characterizing phenomena.

[2] Paradigmatic uncertainty results from the absence of prior agreement on the framing of problems, on methods for scientifically investigating them, and on how to combine knowledge from disparate research traditions (Gibbons, 1994; Nowotny et al., 2001).

[3] Translational uncertainty results from scientific findings that are incomplete or conflicting, so that they can be invoked to support divergent policy positions (Sarewitz, 2010).


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PDF icon ERSS2017 Oral-Program.pdf 545.42 KB
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