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The explanation of tipping interventions

Hello, this is Cynthia from Think-team!

Last week, we conducted a kick-off workshop of current’s projects, one of which is TIPPING+. During the event, we aimed to identify the current interventions done by relevant stakeholders in transitioning current carbon-intensive regions towards low-carbon oriented so that the project could contribute to Indonesia context. BTW, the project objective and scope have been mentioned several times in our former blogs, such as [su-re venture] Four types of Tipping Points explained! and TIPPING+ kicks-off!.

Actually, there are many interventions that have been being initiated by some stakeholders that we discovered during the event; however, such interventions might not lead to transform the current system, such as biomass co-firing at coal power plants. Tipping interventions under TIPPING+ project are defined as a set of interventions that could be implemented by human system that potentially lead to systemic transformations towards positive futures (i.e. decarbonisation), especially in coal and carbon-intensive regions (CCIRs). So, interventions that still promote fossil fuel usage are supposedly not considered within the project scope. So, what are the example of tipping interventions?

A recent publication by Ilona M. Otto et al. (2020) categorised the social tipping interventions into 5 systems as below, including the key actors, who should initiate it.

1. Interventions in energy sector

The interventions under this sector could be decentralised renewable deployment, the removal of fossil fuel subsidy. The articles highlighted that government and energy companies shall be the key actors

2. Interventions in the financial system

The intervention like divestment of fossil fuels under this sector is suggested to be led by financial authorities, national and international banks.

3. Interventions in norms and values

The interventions could be invitations from community leaders who changed public perceptions of the importance of a clean energy transition. For this intervention, the key agents include, for example, community leaders, spiritual leaders

4. Interventions in the education system

The interventions under this system involve promoting climate and sustainability education and campaign. The key actors for such interventions could be educational institutions, the young generation, and mass media.

5. Interventions through information accessibility

Otto et al (2020) particularly highlighted the necessity of transparency and disclosure of information about carbon emissions. Such intervention could be initiated by corporates supported by research institutions.

From the interventions above, the authors then further estimate the estimated time for the interventions to trigger tipping phenomena as depicted in the figure below. Interestingly, some interventions were estimated to have very rapid impacts such as transparent information sharing and fossil fuel divestment. Noteworthy, that the results are mainly collected based on North Global context (or in the context of developed countries). as one of the project partners aims to assess the tipping point dynamics in the context of developing countries for the next two years. Please look forward to more updates regarding this project. 😊

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