Estimating the impact of climate change on both the natural and socio-economic environment plays an important role in informing a range of national and international policies, including energy, agriculture and health. Understanding these impacts, and those avoided, has never been more pertinent since the adoption of the 2015 Paris Agreement, which sought to hold “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change".
Policies may aim to mitigate (i.e. reduce emissions), counteract (i.e. negative emissions) and/or adapt to anthropogenic climate change and it is equally important to quantify the impact of implementing these options. While rapid, deep mitigation is clearly a pre-requisite to success, delays to such measures imply a greater reliance upon large scale negative emissions technologies. Those based on land are likely to face competing pressure from wide ranging economic activity, and knowledge of these interactions and synergies is limited. Similarly while adaptation options are wide ranging, the uses of nature-based solutions, which often provide mitigation co-benefits and are often highly cost effective, are under-researched and rarely integrated into overall natural hazard or climate change risk management strategies.
Furthermore, the methods used to evaluate impact in the climate context are many and varied, including empirical, econometric and process-based. These methods continue to evolve implying that the assessment of impact may depend upon the analytical approach chosen.
This inter- and transdisciplinary session aims to draw together scientists, developing climate-impact evaluation methods, evaluating the impact (or avoided impact) of anthropogenic climate change upon natural and socio-economic environments, investigating the potential for mitigation and counteraction options to reduce long term risk, and studying the value of multiple adaptation options to stakeholders when planning how to manage vulnerability.
Invited speaker: Sonia Seneviratne