The Potsdam Institute at COP22 in Marrakech

11/09/2016 - Researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) are attending the current UN climate summit COP22 in Marrakesch from November 7 to 18. Amongst other events, PIK Director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber will speak at a side-event of the German Advisory Council on Global Change on the science-policy dialogue to reach Paris targets. PIK chief economist Ottmar Edenhofer will discuss the potential of the Paris Agreement in a side event with colleagues from Arizona State University, Harvard Kennedy School and others.
The Potsdam Institute at COP22 in Marrakech
Opening ceremony with Moroccan Foreign Minister and COP22 President Salaheddine Mezouar and French Minister for Environment Segolene Royal. Photo: UNClimateChange/Flickr

Furthermore, Elmar Kriegler, deputy chair of PIK’s research domain Sustainable Solutions will talk about the national roadmaps towards the global objective of 1.5°C and 2°C in a side event with international research colleagues from China, India and Europe. PIK’s Holger Hoff will be a speaker at a side event focusing on the water-energy-food nexus in the Middle East/Northern Africa region. Christoph Gornott from PIK will participate in a side event with Munich Re, GIZ and others on climate risk insurance as an adaptation tool (see below for detailed information).

Strong message: Paris Agreement enters into force

Just three days before the beginning of COP22, the Paris Agreement officially entered into force. “This sends a strong message,” PIK chief economist Ottmar Edenhofer said: “The world agrees to phase out fossil fuels within our century. However, the real work is starting only now. Countries worldwide need to adopt substantially more stringent emission reduction schemes. If they want to be serious about meeting the target of limiting warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, they for instance cannot allow any new coal power plant to be built. Pricing carbon is key to incentivize clean innovation, punish CO2 intensive fuels, and in the same time generate revenues that governments urgently need for infrastructure improvements. The science is clear: delaying action would only raise costs. It would do so in terms of Dollars and Euros and  Yuan - and even more importantly in terms of human suffering."

In an interview in the main German business newspaper Handelsblatt, Edenhofer emphasized the importance of CO2 pricing for emissions reductions. “Next to progress in Marocco, the G20 process is equally important to set the course, with Germany taking the presidency at the end of this month,” he said. Schellnhuber told China News Service in an interview, that - while there are many encouraging signs from China and other countries which plan to establish emissions trading schemes regarding climate action - there were also many new coal power plants in the planning which could counter efforts for climate stabilization.

Wolfgang Lucht, co-chair of PIK research domain Earth System Analysis, talked to German public radio Deutschlandfunk about the need to establish a new sustainable way of living and the necessary phase out from coal, in order to meet international climate targets. “Halting global warming at a manageable level, as the world’s nations decided in the Paris Agreement, is now a race against time,” told Stefan Rahmstorf, also co-chair of PIK's Earth System Analysis, the US newswire Associated Press. Agriculture is responsible for almost a quarter of global emissions and hence a relevant issue for climate change mitigation, Hermann Lotze-Campen, chair of PIK research domain Climate Impacts and Vulnerabilities, explained in Deutschlandradio. Anders Levermann, co-chair of PIK research domain Sustainable Solutions, informed media including leading national daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung about breaking scientific findings important for the climate summit.

Paris Reality Check - pledged climate futures

Detailled infos on the Paris ratification process, the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) and many more resources related to COP22 and the Paris Agreement are available at: They have been compiled by a PIK team that constantly monitors climate action and relates it to impacts. The Potsdam Institute coordinates the Intersectoral Impacts Modelling Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP) which comprises about 100 modelling groups from scientific institutions across the globe.

Side Events with PIK participation:

  • The nexus approach in the MENA region: A road to climate adaptation and mitigation in science, policy-making and practical implementation
    Thursday, 10 Nov 2016 12:30-14:00, EU Pavilion (Bratislava)

    The Middle East and North Africa face growing challenges related to water supply, energy security and political stability, which are likely to be exacerbated by climate change. This makes it crucial to develop integrated approaches to natural resources management, socio-economic and industrial development, and overall policy-making. This event will discuss how the water-energy-food nexus approach can help achieve the needed integration, with insights from experts and MENA-region decision-makers.
    With Holger Hoff (PIK) and Richard Klein (SEI) and others.
  • Science-Policy Dialogue to Reach Paris Targets via Transformation at All Levels of Governments
    Tuesday, 15 Nov 2016 15:00 - 16:30, Mediterranean

    Discussion on pathways to accelerate the global transformation towards zero emissions and the role of cities therein, concurrently with the progress in programmatic approaches for raising ambition in climate action of local and subnational governments, among – among WBGU, ICLEI and guests.
    Speakers: H J Schellnhuber (WBGU and PIK), N Nakicenovic (WBGU and IIASA), Park Won Soon, ICLEI (tbc), G Van Begin, ICLEI, and others.
  • Climate risk insurance as an adaptation tool for the most vulnerable
    Wednesday, 16 Nov 10:30-12:00, EU Pavilion (Bratislava)

    What is the significance of climate risk insurance (CRI) in the context of agricultural insurance solutions and Loss & Damage? How can climate risk management be improved by integrating insurance? How can yield loss assessment fill the gaps for crop micro insurance schemes in order to stabilize smallholder farmers’ incomes and decrease the vulnerability of the food production system? What is the opportunity for the G7 InsuResilience Initiative to change the paradigm how poor & vulnerable communities manage climate risks?
    Presenters: Christoph Gornott (PIK) Laura Schäfer (MCII) Michael Zissener (MCII). Panelists: Hans Joachim Schellnhuber (PIK) Peter Höppe (MCII, Munich Re) Branko Wehnert (GIZ) Karsten Löffler (Allianz Climate Solutions). Moderator Kira Vinke (PIK)
  • G20-Policy-Options towards Pricing Carbon
    Wednesday, 16 Nov 18:30-20:00 EU Pavillion (Bratislava)
    The side event will bring together voices from business, civil society, decision makers and think-tanks across the G20 to discuss challenges and opportunities for a G20-roadmap towards carbon-pricing, and explore strategies and policy options to create momentum within the world’s leading economies. The Event is organized by Christoph Bals, Policy Director of Germanwatch, Prof. Dr. Ottmar Edenhofer, Director Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) and Deputy director and chief economist Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), and Holger Lösch, Member of the executive board of the Federation of German Industries (BDI)
  • Realizing the Potential of the Paris Agreement
    Thursday, 17 Nov 2016 11:30—13:00, Arabian

    How can the Paris Agreement be elaborated, implemented, and complemented - so that its potential to advance mitigation and adaptation best be realized? Sub-topics, among others: the relationship between national policy and multilateral action; approaches to increasing mitigation ambition over time.
    Speakers: Kelly Sims Gallagher (Tufts Fletcher School) Daniel Bodansky, (Arizona State University) Ottmar Edenhofer (PIK and MCC Berlin) Robert Stavins (Harvard Kennedy School) Possibly one other speaker
  • Ratcheting up NDCs: Consistent national roadmaps towards the global objective of 1.5C and 2C
    Thursday, 17 Nov 2016 15:00—16:30, Pacific

    Based on a collaboration of 18 institutes from Europe, Asia and the Americas, viable strategies for ratcheting up the NDCs, and their implications for sustainable development (SDGs) are presented. Specifically, we compare the effort across key countries, such as the EU, China, Brazil and India.
    Speakers: Ritu Mathur, TERI; Jiang Kejun, NDRC-ERI; Roberto Schaeffer, COPPE; Keywan Riahi, IIASA; Volker Krey, IIASA; Elmar Kriegler, PIK