Transparent scenario development
Methodological advances made within the futures studies community during the last decade have been largely ignored by the climate change research community, including methods such as cross-impact balance, scenario diversity analysis and scenario discovery. Cross-impact balance is a method for constructing internally consistent qualitative scenarios by defining and systematically analysing networks of influences among scenario drivers. Scenario diversity analysis is used for generating maximally diverse scenarios in order to best represent the huge number of possible scenarios. In scenario discovery, outputs of scenario-based analysis are used for identifying scenarios relevant to a specific decision-relevant criterion by evaluating consequences of alternatives contingent on future developments. In addition to these three methods, approaches to solution-oriented global environmental assessments are emerging, including formalized methods for stakeholder engagement and deliberation about policy alternatives and their implications. These new methods and approaches could help scenario builders to be more scientific and neutral in at least three ways.