Science Assessment
and Analysis

Climate science is highly complex and the policy implications are not always clear. We make the latest climate science easily accessible for stakeholders in the international climate change arena.

 ©Sarah Depper, CC BY 2.0
©Sarah Depper, CC BY 2.0

We synthesise and advance scientific knowledge in the area of climate change science, policy and impacts to make it easily accessible for stakeholders in the international climate change arena. This includes conducting our own research (for example, to evaluate the uncertainties in climate science associated with potential mitigation pathways, project sea-level rise or evaluate impacts and risks at different levels of warming) as well as bringing together and communicating the findings of the available scientific literature and providing the context needed to understand their implications. Projections of future climate change are subject to uncertainty, as they depend on a range of developments that cannot be foreseen (e.g. emission pathways). Also, there remain important limitations in the understanding and the modeling of some key processes of the climate system. Much of our work therefore focused on understanding these key process and the probabilities associated with climate impact projections.

Latest

A new Climate Analytics report, released by The Climate Institute today, looks at the implications of the 1.5°C warming limit in the Paris Agreement for Australia, and, in the light of the severe environmental impacts it faces, emphasises the urgency of ramping up climate action.  
A new analysis of the scientific and policy aspects of the 1.5°C temperature limit in the Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goal has identified a number of important areas that require more scientific research.  
The Paris climate conference set the ambitious goal of finding ways to limit global warming to 1.5C, rather than the previous threshold of 2C. But what would be the difference? And how realistic is such a target? Article quoting research by Climate Analytics' Michiel Schaeffer and Carl-Friedrich Schleussner.  
Three Dutch judges sent a shock wave around the world on Wednesday when they ordered the government of the Netherlands to act on climate change by making deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. With oil, gas, and coal companies still among the world’s most richly valued assets, that may seem hard to imagine. But the Dutch court case is a clear signal “to people who are investing in the 20th century instead of the 21st that the legal risks of investing in fossil fuels are only going to increase,” Moffett said. His words echoed another expert’s statement; Bill Hare of Climate Analytics told The New York Times that the ruling “has the potential to become a precedent whose effect will ultimately flow through to undermining the markets for coal, oil, and gas.”  
A Dutch court ordered the government Wednesday to slash greenhouse gas emissions to help fight global warming, a landmark ruling in a case brought by hundreds of concerned citizens that could pave the way for similar legal battles around the world. Greenpeace called the Dutch ruling "a game-changer in the fight against climate change." Bill Hare, senior scientist at Climate Analytics, a nonprofit organization based in Berlin, said the Dutch ruling's impact could be massive.  
In a sweeping victory for Dutch environmental activists that could have global repercussions, a court ordered the government Wednesday to cut the country's greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25 percent by 2020. Bill Hare, senior scientist at Climate Analytics, a nonprofit organization based in Berlin, said the Dutch ruling's impact could be massive. "(This) has the potential to become a precedent whose effect will ultimately flow through to undermining the markets for coal, oil and gas," he said.  

Publications

A new analysis of the scientific and policy aspects of the 1.5°C temperature limit in the Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goal has identified a number of important areas that require more scientific research. The analysis, written by a team of scientists who have published key research papers on the science, impacts and policy aspects of the 1.5˚C limit, is a centrepiece of a collection by Nature Climate Change, Nature Geoscience and Nature on 'Targeting 1.5°C'  
This briefing paper analyses the available information in the 2014 UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2014 (‘EGR’) and the IPCC AR5 to produce recommended benchmark emission levels for 2020, 2025 and 2030. We evaluate the implications of the data in the 2014 UNEP EGR and the IPCC AR5 for benchmark emission levels that can be used to assess whether the aggregate level of pledges put forward for 2025 and 2030 - in the context of the ADP negotiations - are consistent with limiting warming below 2°C, and with limiting warming below a 1.5°C increase above preindustrial. We also review the outcome of the 2014 UNEP EGR in relation to the emissions gap for 2020, 2025, and 2030. Results are put in the context of the 2013 UNEP EGR and of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, and differences explained.  

Projects

Science and policy to assist and support SIDSs and LDCs to negotiate a strong international climate regime, enabling low carbon development and supporting adaptation needs.  
The "Climate Action Tracker" is an independent science-based assessment, which tracks the emission commitments and actions of countries.  
This project aims to establish a scientifically robust and transparent link between the latest climate-economic science data and the Climate Bonds Initiative’s project universe. The Framework's goal is to ensure that project categories certified under the Climate Bond Standards represent mitigation actions that current climate science finds most relevant in order to keep global warming below 2° C. Project period: 2015 - 2016.  
PREVENT is built around a team of experienced climate scientists and analysts, whose objective is to provide science, policy, strategic and analytical support for delegations of the LDCs and SIDS, backed by science-based models to assess and synthesize climate science. Project Period: 2008 - 2011