Tightly link actors together when there is a risk of free-riding. Those dealing with different yet interconnected parts should work together

Society’s ability to solve environmental problems is tied to how different actors collaborate and the shape and form of the networks they create, says a new study

August 18, 2017 Stockholm University read full ScienceDaily article here

….The coming decade may determine whether humanity will set a course toward a more socially and ecologically sustainable society. A crucial part of this goal is to develop a better understanding of how cooperation can be improved and become more effective, both within and among private stakeholders and public institutions….

“Our research shows that the ability to solve environmental problems is in part connected to the way these networks are structured — the patterns of collaboration between actors,” says Örjan Bodin.

The research shows that certain patterns are more suitable for solving different types of shared problems. For example, if the problem implies a high risk of actor free-riding on others’ efforts, the situation is improved by tightly linking the actors together. This could mean that two actors who cooperate with the same, third actor should also cooperate directly with each other, forming a triangle of cooperation.

“It also makes a difference whether the environmental problem is temporary or more permanent. If it’s temporary it can be more effective to have a cooperative network with a clearly chosen coordinator or leader to hold it together,” says Örjan Bodin.

The study also shows how the ability to solve problems even depends on how a network ‘aligns’ with the structures and processes found in the affected ecosystem. This means, for example, that if two actors deal with two different yet interconnected parts of the ecosystem they should work together….

Örjan Bodin. Collaborative environmental governance: Achieving collective action in social-ecological systemsScience, 2017; 357 (6352): eaan1114 DOI: 10.1126/science.aan1114


Mission 2020: The Climate Turning Point- a new global initiative

“We have a collective responsibility to raise ambition, scale up our actions and move forward faster together to safeguard the sustainable development goals and protect the inalienable right to life of our and future generations. Let’s not be late.” – Christiana Figueres, Convenor, Mission 2020 (former UNFCCC Executive Secretary)

see website here  #2020DontBeLate

2020 the climate turning point


The high cost of climate change is largely carried by some of the most vulnerable communities around the world. They suffer from enduring human loss, and a need to continuously repair damage from severe weather impacts and rising sea-levels. The repeated infrastructure costs divert investments from education, health and food security, further entrenching poverty and accelerating involuntary migration.
The insurance industry has also warned that if the world goes beyond a 2oc increase, it is not systemically insurable due to the frequency and intensity of extreme weather impacts. Reaching the climate turning point by 2020 will expedite the least expensive transition to a safer fossil-free economy by 2050, protecting the most vulnerable and ushering in a safer economy.

Immediate emission reductions are needed to meet temperature goals


Meeting the 2020 turning point will bring many added benefits in health, energy, food security and employment creation. This will form a strong base for shared prosperity and financial stability.
This in turn will help meet people’s common desire to prosper, with good jobs, safe homes and a flourishing natural world. The foundation for this stability is a living earth and a stable climate.

Co-Benefits of Climate Action graphic M2020


With breakthrough actions in a few key areas, including energy, transportation, land-use, infrastructure, industry and finance, we can build on the strong momentum towards a fossil-free economy and reach our 2020 turning point. The economics are shifting at scale:

  • Renewables are rapidly falling in price and are already undercutting coal in many jurisdictions.
  • Technological progress on battery storage is further enhancing the capacity of renewables as well as accelerating an astonishing growth in the market for electric vehicles.
  • Business leadership on eradicating commodities that cause deforestation from supply chains is growing quickly in response to customer demand.
  • Cities are forging ahead to create new public-private partnerships, financing resource-efficient infrastructure that will serve their communities for years to come.
  • The financial community is improving disclosure and corporations are starting to stress test their strategies against the 2-degree threshold.