RIPPLES: COP21 Results and Implications for Pathways and Policies for Low Emissions European Societies

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The COP21 outcome represents an important new strategic context for EU climate policy. Analysing the implications of this new context requires an interdisciplinary approach, combining analysis of the evolution of the international climate regime as well as of NDCs and their socio-economic implications.

Such analysis is also urgent, given the timelines imposed by the Paris Agreement for a “facilitative dialogue” in 2018 with a view to creating the conditions for the revision of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in 2020.

In order to address the context described above, this project has four objectives:

1. Assess the adequacy of the NDCs submitted at COP21 in light of the global temperature target of limiting warming to 2°C/1.5°C

Through the analysis of GHG scenarios and energy system scenarios , the project will pay particular attention to the concrete system changes induced by NDCs, and compare them with the changes required to meet the global temperature limit. The project will also analyse scenarios limiting warming to 1.5°C, and the impact of NDCs on other sectors, in particular land-use.

2. Assess the implications of NDCs and deeper mitigation pathways on other European socio-economic objectives.

By integrating GHG and energy system scenarios into a range of different macro-economic, global energy system models and other quantified methodologies, the project will investigate implications for European socio-economic objectives related to innovation and technology deployment; trade and competitiveness; investment, financial flows and economic growth (“green growth”); and global energy markets and energy security.

3. Assess the adequacy of the outcomes of COP21, and the implications and opportunities emerging from ongoing UNFCCC negotiations.

The project will undertake a social sciences-based (in particular international law and international relations) assessment of the outcome of COP21.

4. Policy recommendations for EU climate policy and climate diplomacy.