With the COP Climate conference in Glasgow only a few months away, the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and the importance of taking action at the national level to reach global climate goals is returning to the spotlight. IIASA researchers and colleagues have proposed a novel systematic and independent scenario framework that could help policymakers assess and compare climate policies and long-term strategies across countries to support coordinated global climate action.
In a new perspective published in the journal Nature Climate Change, IIASA guest researcher and associate professor of environmental engineering at Kyoto University, Shinichiro Fujimori and colleagues endeavored to address this problem by presenting a systematic and standardized, yet flexible, scenario framework. Starting with projected emission levels of the NDCs for 2030, the framework varies 2050 emissions to explore alternative long-term targets for 2050. Applying the framework to six major Asian countries (China, India, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam), for instance, successfully revealed individual challenges in energy system transformation and investment needs in comparable scenarios. According to the researchers, this framework could be a starting point for comprehensive and independent assessments as input to the global stock take over the coming years.
96 participants from more than 30 institutions and 15 countries joined us for the Opening Plenary session of the 3rd Project Meeting, which is being held virtually from 1-5 March 2021.
Over the coming days, researchers will be meeting to share their findings from recent research, including a feasibility framework and a new generation of decarbonisation pathways. The bulk of the meeting will be composed of brainstorming sessions and discussions on our future work, such as how to incorporate feasibility into global and national models.
The project meeting also includes a capacity building workshop for Asian national partners to kick off planning for regional stakeholder meetings.
Over 100 participants joined the ENGAGE, COMMIT, and NAVIGATE teams in a virtual workshop on 18 November 2020 to hear the latest information from modelling teams and policymakers on the relationships between COVID-19, low-emission pathways in line with the Paris Agreement climate goals, and the next steps in the Paris Agreement implementation process.
Representatives from PBL, the UNFCCC, IIASA, and CMCC shared insights into the implications of COVID for UNFCCC processes and timelines, the results of an expert and policymaker survey on the potential impact of COVID on climate policy, and what we know so far about Paris-compatible pathways in light of COVID-19. COPPE and NewClimate provided more information about country-specific measures for a green recovery and climate action. Officials from South Africa, Germany, and the US then presented national perspectives on climate action and COVID-19 recovery.
Leading questions covered in the discussions
What are the implications of COVID for the climate policy making process?
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, do we need to update our understanding of a transition to a carbon neutral future in line with the Paris goals?
Can ambitious climate action scenarios be seen as COVID-recovery scenarios?
The ENGAGE and NAVIGATE projects jointly hosted a workshop for European stakeholders on 28 September. The meeting took a participatory approach to discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing recovery packages could affect the achievement of decarbonization goals.
The discussion was supported by short inputs from the ENGAGE and NAVIGATE projects on recent surveys that have been carried out, as well as ongoing research on demand and supply shocks, lifestyle changes and recovery packages as a result of the pandemic. Stakeholders and researchers from the project discussed constraints and enablers in break-out sessions, with experts from policy, business and industry, civil society and academia coming together to share their insights.
Researchers from across the ENGAGE Consortium held an online meeting on 22 September to learn more about the ongoing work in WPs 2 and 4. NewClimate presented their recent work updating the Climate Policy Database, collecting and compiling new climate policies and COVID recovery packages with the assistance and feedback from other ENGAGE partners. PBL presented a new proposal for a national modelling protocol based on the approach adopted by KyotoU in conjunction with other national partners, with suggestions on how to include the expected impact of the COVID pandemic in national models.
A new video introducing the ENGAGE project and some of the research we are doing related to COVID-19 is now up on the Platform for Redesign 2020, an online platform to help build towards a sustainable and Resilient Recovery from COVID-19. The platform is a joint project between the UNFCCC and the Japanese Ministry of the Environment. The ENGAGE video can be found in Non-State Stakeholder contributions, and features research highlights from Aleh Cherp (CEU), Takeshi Kuramochi (NewClimate), and Silvia Pianta (CMCC).
A virtual model documentation workshop co-organised by the ENGAGE, NAVIGATE, and COMMIT projects was held on 13 May 2020. 53 participants from around the globe reviewed how to fill out reference cards and fully document their integrated assessment models (IAM) in the IAMC wiki. For more information about IAMs and model documentation, you can find the wiki here: https://www.iamcdocumentation.eu/index.php/IAMC_wiki.