As the COVID-19 crisis hit at the beginning stages of the ENGAGE project, the consortium was able to integrate the potential game-changing nature of the crisis into the assessment of multidimensional feasibility and new emissions pathways. As such these contributions and insights were featured in a novel European Commission publication, Climate Action in the Post-COVID-19 World.
ENGAGE contribution, “From COVID-19 shock to green recovery” addressed: power sector dynamics, showing that there was reduced coal use in the power sector during the pandemic, results from policymaker stakeholder surveys, highlighting the expectation that the pandemic will increase the commitment to polices related to low-carbon energy and transport sectors, and how low-energy demand would reduce the costs of meeting the Paris Agreement climate targets.
Contributions included key partners from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), RFF-CMCC European Instute on Economics and the Environment (EIEE), and Central European University (CEU).
The 26th United Nations Climate change Conference of the Parties (COP 26) took place in Glasgow from the 31st October-12th November 2021. The summit brought 120 global leaders and other parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement. ENGAGE Partners were fortunate to co-organize and participate in three side event sessions at this year’s COP 26 event, highlighting the results of the project and raising awareness to policy makers and relevant stakeholders.
ENGAGE insights for a global effort
Kicking off ENGAGE’s presence on November 1, 2021, were Elina Brutschin and Bas van Ruijven at the EU Pavilion. Brutschin discussed feasibility and ENGAGE results at the session, “What does transforming the energy system really mean? Adaptation, resilience & transition challenges” and van Ruijven followed thereafter discussing net-zero futures and climate change impacts at, “The Journey from Scientific Insights to Societal Action.
Later that week, an international group of ENGAGE partners, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), India, the International Institute for Applied systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria, and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) joined together with the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Japan, to organize and host a UNFCCC Side-Event on transitioning towards low-carbon and climate resilient pathways by 2050. At this side-event, the presenters showcased different pathways for achieving a just, low-carbon, and climate-resilient transition by 2050. This included key considerations for addressing mitigation and adaptation challenges, such as technology innovations, energy use, and emissions to ratchet up climate ambitions. The hosts were honored to feature Minister George Heyman (British Columbia’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change) who discussed the Roadmap to a Clean British Columbia to 2030 providing fruitful insights about the actions Canada and British Columbia were taking to combat climate change.
Three policy briefs have been developed in close cooperation between IIASA, PBL, and Kyoto University for COP 26 in order to further disseminate ENGAGE results directly to policy makers. The policy briefs include topics on: global scenarios, national scenarios, and feasibility.
Finally, ENGAGE and its partners have created a repository of recordings for the UNFCCC Side-Event that the public may access here.
As part of a bigger joint NAVIGATE-ENGAGE organized workshop, on September 17, 2021, the ENGAGE consortium organized a workshop session entitled, “Bringing best practice policies of climate mitigation and Sustainable Development Goals to Integrated Assessment Model Scenarios.” The consortium brought together a range of key experts, policy makers, and stakeholders and gathered feedback on the design of the projects’ research activities, scope of analysis, the choice of relevant IAM outputs and policy-relevant scenarios, and the needs for documentation and communication.
The session evaluated the representation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related policies in Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs), identified examples best practice policies from around the world, and discussed whether and how to include these policy representations in IAM scenarios. The session focused on the SDG targets around biodiversity, health, food, water, and energy. The participants identified policies that protect biodiversity, improve health, and guarantee access to water, food, and energy while at the same time mitigating climate change and discussed whether/how to include these policies in global IAMs.
The workshop, “Modelling and assessment of impacts, adaptive capacity, and interactions with Sustainable Development goals in IAMs” was kindly hosted by ENGAGE partner CMCC and co-organized by the University of Geneva’s Faculty of Science. The overall workshop attracted 150 participants over the course of three days.
The partners of the ENGAGE project held an Asian Stakeholder Workshop on Thursday, September 16, 2021 and Friday, September 17, 2021 wherein the partners presented new research results while collecting fruitful inputs from the 83 stakeholders, hailing from different parts of East, South, and Southeast Asia, on the feasibility and equity of national decarbonization targets.
The Stakeholder Workshop materials can be found here on the ENGAGE website. The page includes the presentations given by the expert partners as well as recordings from the workshop, links to feasibility models, and supplementary reading.