PhD-thesis: Action Levers towards Sustainable Wellbeing: Re-Thinking Negative Emissions, Sufficiency, Deliberative Democracy

Sascha Nick, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL),

This thesis explores how some of our most pressing issues, especially climate, biodiversity, or inequality, could be effectively solved using „action levers“, coordinated action on multiple leverage points, like mindset (#2), system goal (#3), power to change system structure (#4), or rules (#5). Three action levers are identified, explored and partly tested: Negative Emissions, Sufficiency, Deliberative Democracy. If suitably governed, Negative Emissions could reverse their current effect of extending the fossil era and its power relations and, while limited to perhaps 10% of current emissions, significantly accelerate decarbonization – a beneficial case of the „tail wagging the dog“.