Beyond Lima: Looking ahead to Paris 2015

12/30/2014 - With the climate conference in Lima closed again after prolonged and tough negotiations, and the year 2014 closing on course to be one of the hottest on record, scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) are looking ahead to next year’s summits on the road to COP21 in Paris. “2015 will set the stage for the living conditions of our grandchildren – and their grandchildren, too,” news agency Agence France Press, Süddeutsche Zeitung and other media quoted Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, PIK's director.
Beyond Lima: Looking ahead to Paris 2015
COP20 in Lima. Photo: UNFCCC

"At the climate summit in Paris, almost 200 nation states intend to put the world on an emissions reduction trajectory that keeps man-made global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. This could be achieved by signing a strong document, by designing an intelligent process or combining both options”, Schellnhuber says. “If that endeavour fails, however, the damaging impacts will unfold which the science projects in ever more detail; sea-level rise, shifting extreme weather patterns, ecosystem disruptions, harvest failures and, potentially, social unrest. Germany, taking the G7 presidency, can play an instrumental role next year in putting the international community on the right track. For all the biggest economies in the world are also the biggest polluters."

With the end of COP20 in Lima, several researchers of PIK were interviewed for their assessments: The present pledges made by big economies like the USA, China or the EU were important signals, Ottmar Edenhofer, PIK’s deputy director and chief economist, said in German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “However, this doesn’t change the fact that emissions are on the rise globally“. Media like the Guardian or German daily taz ran stories on "number crunchers" like PIK’s Louise Jeffery of the Climate Action Tracker project, that provides up-to-date assessments of individual nation states' pledges to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, during the conference. Anders Levermann, co-chair of PIK’s research domain Sustainable Solutions talked to German radio Deutschlandradio Kultur about climate impacts like extreme events or sea level rise in the light of the final Lima results, while regional dailies interviewed Katja Frieler, deputy chair of PIK’s research domain Climate Impacts and Vulnerabilities on that topic.


Weblink to a video on causes and consequences of climate change by The European Commission featuring Schellnhuber, published on the occasion of the Lima climate conference: