Scenarios for tracking progress in international climate policy

Organizer: Joeri Rogelj (Imperial College London)

research SESSION

In 2015, governments adopted the UN Paris Agreement, which put in place an international climate policy architecture of five-yearly stocktake cycles in which country-level climate action pledges are assessed and updated with the aim of limiting warming to well below 2°C or 1.5°C relative to preindustrial levels. Science is given a key role in the assessment of these pledges (referred to as Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs) and their adequacy in achieving the Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goal. Scenarios of the energy-economy-land system have been a key source of information for such exercises in the past. This session explores how scenarios can contribute to informing this new international policy architecture in a robust and useful way. It welcomes contributions that present new scenario needs, concepts and methods, as well as studies that contribute to a better understanding of the implications of current pledges for achieving long-term temperature targets. This includes consideration of the uncertainties of NDC quantifications, issues related to how regularly updated scenario information can be integrated in scenarios and appropriately communicated, and interactions with other international and national policy objectives, for example related to sustainable development and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Contributions presenting either global or national studies are welcomed, as well as research that explores linkages between these various levels of governance. The session would consist of four to five speakers with presentations of 10-15 minutes followed by a Q&A. The total time of the session is flexible and would depend on the time slots available and available submissions. 

Of particular interest are submissions using or testing the framework for its originally anticipated uses, including (but not limited to): evaluating impacts avoided at lower (compared to higher) levels of climate change and/or of adaptation, identifying the role of land use in the consistency between SSP-RCP combinations, and examining the sensitivity of vulnerabilities, exposure, impacts, or adaptation to alternative societal or climate conditions. Analyses either of climate system or human dimensions are appropriate; interdisciplinary analyses involving combinations of the climate system, biophysical impacts and societal aspects are especially relevant.