New framework to enhance national climate action and achieve global goals

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.

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Fig: Illustrative example of the interpretation of the NLPs using Japan as a case study

3rd Project Meeting off to a great start

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.

Stakeholder meeting on the Paris Agreement implementation and low-emission pathways in a COVID-19 world

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?
  • What are the possibilities for a green recovery?​

Joint ENGAGE-NAVIGATE European stakeholder meeting on the impact of the COVID pandemic on decarbonization goals

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 meet online to share updates to Climate Policy Database and new National Modelling Protocol

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.

ENGAGE Video shared on new 2020 Redesign platform

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).

ENGAGE‐AIM capacity building Workshop 2020: AIM model training course for national scenario assessments

An ENGAGE capacity building workshop for researchers from Asian ENGAGE partner institutes was held 7-11 January 2020 at Kyoto University in Japan. ENGAGE partners from Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Korea and Japan attended the workshop, as well as other collaborators from the AIM modeling group. ENGAGE participants primarily represented the project’s Work Package 4, which focuses on national mid-century strategies. The workshop provided training on how to use the AIM model, how to generate the IAMC data template, and how to reflect national policy information into the AIM, ensuring that ENGAGE project’s Asian partners will be able to contribute their national climate mitigation scenarios to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) database.

Key discussions during the workshop included exchange of national policy informatio, as well as key elements of national scenario generation and how to effectively deliver scenario results. Specific sessions were also decided to using the model. All participants presented their own national scenarios and discussed future areas of research.

ENGAGE Second Project Meeting

The second ENGAGE project meeting was held online from 17–20 March 2020, hosted by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL). Participants presented new research and discussed future plans to meet the objectives of the work packages.

Partners and participants

  • developed a plan for near-term tasks to ensure that they feed into long-term project objectives;
  • identified cross-cutting activities and information flows between work packages; and
  • received feedback from the project’s Coordination and Advisory Boards on project implementation.

A virtual stakeholder meeting was also held as part of the meeting. The meeting brought together a wide variety of experts to discuss issues related to feasibility and decarbonisation pathways.

ENGAGE is a consortium of more than two dozen international and multidisciplinary research groups who are collaborating to co-produce knowledge for designing cost-effective, technologically sound, socially and politically feasible pathways that can meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement. To learn more about the ENGAGE project, visit

ENGAGE Project Begins

The ENGAGE project formally began on September 1, 2019, and the project kick-off meeting was held at the Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria, from 18-20 September. The meeting was attended by nearly 70 project partners from approximately 26 institutes and discussed the aims, work packages and tasks, and future directions of the project. The meeting included an outreach event in Vienna on sustainable development and climate change that explored aspects of global research to national implementation and was attended by 100 people, including local stakeholders.