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Debate in the run-up to Paris

09/10/2015 - What´s in store at the next climate conference, COP21, later this year? This week, staff of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research gathered for an exchange of insights and perspectives. There were a number of contributions from post-docs and senior scientists on the latest research that stimulated a vibrant discussion.
Debate in the run-up to Paris

PIK scientists discuss what's at stake at COP21. (Photo: PIK)

The scientists discussed the implications of short-term policies for the 2° limit, stressing that it needs credible policies to avoid a further lock-in into carbon intensive infrastructure that decreases the long-term potential for mitigation. Gunnar Luderer and Carl-Friedrich Schleußner gave presentations on this. Currently, societies are not on track to stay below the 2° guardrail, which was also shown by an analysis of the ambition level of the so called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) so far submitted by only a minority of countries to reach an agreement at COP21. Most of them fall short of a pathway consistent with a cost-effective achievement of the 2° limit, Louise Jefferey and Christoph Bertram showed.

Complementing more theoretical approaches to climate negotiations, presented by Detlef Sprinz and Jobst Heitzig, and a talk on policy Assessments as a means to induce dynamism by Michael Pahle, the discussion revolved on what´s at stake in Paris. Katja Frieler highlighted some of these. Among the possible impacts of climate change is an increase in temperature extremes, potentially also a long-term increase in crop prices by 2050 – to name just some examples of current PIK research discussed at the open forum.

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