To provide useful, substantive answers to the three guiding questions of the Talanoa Dialogue process — Where are we? Where do we want to go? How do we get there? — we advocate a 20-year future visioning process. In simple terms, that means asking what kind of world we want to live in 20 years from now, and then mapping out the steps we need to take to make that better future a reality.
Travel 20 Years into the Future
What kind of world do we want to live in 20 years from now?
The reason we often focus on 2050 is the arbitrary fact that it marks the mid-century point on our calendars. If think forward to a world we will inhabit 20 years from today, we are more likely to think seriously through the details of what we need to do to achieve a climate-smart future.
Whatever format your meeting takes (see below), you will be most likely to provide meaningful insight to decision-makers if you can identify what kind of harm you would like eliminated within 20 years’ time, what kind of services you would like to see made routinely available, and what level of environmental quality you would like to experience in your day to day existence.
This vision of lived experience can translate into technical goals, such as:
- Carbon emissions cuts;
- Clean energy production;
- Funding of new technologies;
- Energy efficiency gains;
- Water, land and resource management;
- Shifting of subsidies.
Consider, throughout this process, that drivers of macro-economic wellbeing — such as the ongoing availability of healthy food at affordable prices — are issues of macro-critical resilience, and will determine whether your city, village, region, or country, is climate resilient 20 years from now.
Where do we need to be in 10-years, given our 20-year goals?
We recommend a 20-10-5 and 2-year visioning process, for ease of use and for efficient use of meeting time. But any community or constituency should feel free to map out action steps to the 20-year time horizon, as would be appropriate or most useful in their own context. That most useful for local needs detail will help decision-makers understand better how their choices relate to life in community.
At the 10-year mark, targets and related quality of life standards in all of the same areas are relevant. But we add an important detail here, which may not arise in the 20-year segment of the visioning process.
We are now “back-casting” from the goals set in the 20-year segment. That means whatever may seem to be reasonable part-of-the-way standards for getting to the 20-year goals, there are also details of context that will have to be in place to make the 10-year action steps sufficient to achieve the 20-year goals.
So, at this stage, you may want to:
- Mark key action steps on the way to the 20-year goals.
- Discuss challenges that exist in the present day that will have to be overcome to achieve that level of momentum.
- Map contextually relevant achievements that are not inherent to the 20-year goals, but necessary for their achievement. (Universal distribution of charging stations is needed for a 100% transition to electric vehicles, for instance.)
What specific actions are needed to achieve the 10-year vision?
2023 will be a critical year for upgrading national climate commitments in the UN negotiating process. National governments will need to be working with all levels of government, to ensure the right incentives are in place to achieve a rapid deployment of clean finance for national climate action. That means they will require:
- An enabling policy environment for clean finance;
- Rapid deployment of new energy technology;
- Measurable progress on transparency in supply chains and industrial practices;
- Incentives to make clean alternatives available to consumers in all sectors;
- New kinds of finance for climate-smart practices.
How to leverage the climate turning point
2020 is the year of the “climate turning point”. Mission 2020 outlines both the need for global carbon emissions to peak no later than 2020 and the feasibility of achieving this goal.
Back-casting from 20-year, 10-year, and 5-year time-horizons, working groups should put forward a concise, action-oriented 2-year Strategy for meeting relevant needs by 2020.
Aim to include:
- Preferred targets from the 20, 10 and 5-year segments of the visioning process.
- Infrastructure needs.
- Financial needs — levels and incentives.
- Local enterprise aims and support mechanisms.
- New modes of sharing data, best-practice information, and clean technology.
Making the 2-year strategy real
In order to make sure your 20-year future visioning process provides actionable intelligence to decision-makers at the international and national levels, identify 3 to 5 specific actions that participating stakeholders recommend be taken in the immediate short term to make the proposed 2-year strategy a transformational reality.
For instance: If you aim to have EV charging stations space at most 20 miles apart:
- What legislative action can be taken to incentivize that shift?
- Do you recommend city leaders work with national leaders and/or the financial sector to achieve that policy shift?