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Murray Scown photo

Murray Scown

Associate Senior Lecturer

Murray Scown photo

Clarifying and strengthening the role of law and governance in climate scenario frameworks


  • Annisa Triyanti
  • Haomiao Du
  • Dries L.T. Hegger
  • Peter P.J. Driessen
  • Helena F.M.W. van Rijswick
  • Murray Scown
  • Herman Kasper Gilissen

Summary, in English

Shared socio-economic pathways (SSPs) and shared policy assumptions (SPAs) are lauded as a common basis for climate scenario research across disciplines, yet they lack essential legal and governance elements that are indispensable when assessing future development pathways. This article sets out to address this shortcoming by explaining the interrelated but distinct features of law and governance and their downplayed roles in climate scenario research. We explore the extent to which legal and govsternance features are included in the current SSP and SPA development process and then suggest that the substance of legal and governance features in climate scenario frameworks could be enriched in four ways, by: 1) identifying the nuances of legal and policy objectives; 2) assessing the effectiveness of institutions and instruments; 3) integrating the assessment of the flexibility and adaptability of legal and governance systems into the projection of long-term pathways; and 4) responding to the urgent need to integrate climate and energy justice while still cautiously considering normative principles to be opportunities and challenges. We further argue that future climate scenario frameworks should consider law and governance at multiple scales and in distinct contexts to improve the usability, applicability, and reliability of the integrated pathways. Finally, in order to project future risks, this article suggests improvement regarding the processes, including inter- and transdisciplinary inclusion that can potentially be considered when furthering climate scenario frameworks that enhance understanding of the complex, uncertain future and the long-term consequences of certain decisions.


  • LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)

Publishing year





Earth System Governance



Document type

Journal article




  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • Climate scenario
  • Governance
  • Integrated assessment models
  • Law
  • Shared climate policy assumptions (SPA)
  • Shared socioeconomic pathways (SSP)




  • ISSN: 2589-8116