Patrik Jansson

Professor of Computer Science


Computer Science and Engineering

Chalmers University of Technology

Responsibility Under Uncertainty

March 12, 2023

Early February the journal paper "Responsibility Under Uncertainty: Which Climate Decisions Matter Most?" (doi:10.1007/s10666-022-09867-w) was finally published. (It was submitted 2021-11 and accepted 2022-10.)

In it we propose a new method for estimating how much decisions under monadic uncertainty matter. The method is generic and suitable for measuring responsibility in finite horizon sequential decision processes. It fulfills “fairness” requirements and three natural conditions for responsibility measures: agency, avoidance and causal relevance. We apply the method to study how much decisions matter in a stylized greenhouse gas emissions process in which a decision maker repeatedly faces two options: start a “green” transition to a decarbonized society or further delay such a transition. We account for the fact that climate decisions are rarely implemented with certainty and that their consequences on the climate and on the global economy are uncertain. We discover that a “moral” approach towards decision making — doing the right thing even though the probability of success becomes increasingly small — is rational over a wide range of uncertainties.

BibTeX entry for citing:
  author = {Botta, Nicola and Brede, Nuria and Crucifix, Michel
                  and Ionescu, Cezar and Jansson, Patrik and Li, Zheng
                  and Mart{\'i}nez, Marina and Richter, Tim},
  title = {Responsibility Under Uncertainty: Which Climate
                  Decisions Matter Most?},
  journal = {Environmental Modeling {\&} Assessment},
  year = 2023,
  issn = {1573-2967},
  doi = {10.1007/s10666-022-09867-w},
  url = {}


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