By signing the Paris Agreement with the aim to limit global warming to well below 2°C relative to preindustrial levels, countries have committed to kickstart the age of climate solutions. This challenge should not be underestimated: it requires turning around a 270-year-old trajectory of CO2 emissions growth that started with the industrial revolution, and racing towards net zero emissions over the next 3-5 decades.
But that is not enough. Because anthropogenic carbon emissions have already cause consequential warming of about 1°C since preindustrial times, there is a further need to reduce vulnerabilities and adapt to climate impacts that cannot be avoided. This requires nothing less than transformational policies at all levels of governance from local to national and international.
Because there is no time left for trial and error and since resources for organizing a transformation into a carbon-neutral world are inherently limited, decision-making on climate change solutions needs to be based on the best available evidence.
This article outlines the importance of growing a rigorous evidence synthesis culture, particularly in the social science of climate change. It also explains how the Campbell Collaboration has therefore now established a new Climate Solutions Coordinating Group (CSCG), with the purpose of building a comprehensive evidence base on climate solutions.
The group is part of a growing international, multidisciplinary network of scholars committed to preparing and disseminating high quality systematic review and evidence and gap maps that help us better understand climate solutions.