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.

Publications

The impacts of climate change are affecting human societies today. In parallel, socio-economic development has increased the capacity of countries around the global to adapt to those impacts although substantial challenges remain. Countries' effectiveness in fostering climate resilience will depend on the pace of both developments under different socio-economic and emission pathways. In this study we assess trajectories of adaptation readiness in comparison with the continued emergence of hot days as a proxy for climate change hazards for different emission and socio-economic pathways over the 21st century.  
This report presents domestic emissions pathways required to keep to the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit for five countries: Viet Nam, Philippines, India, Indonesia and Japan and assesses if current 2030 climate targets are in line with these pathways. Pathways are derived from the pathways assessed in the IPCC Special Report 1.5°C. Key decarbonisation benchmarks for the power sector consistent with 1.5°C emissions pathways are also provided.  
The recent wave of net zero targets has put the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C within striking distance. In this global update, the Climate Action Tracker (CAT) has calculated that global warming by 2100 could be as low as 2.1°C as a result of all the net zero pledges announced as of November 2020.  
Governments around the globe are responding to the economic crisis brought about by the coronavirus pandemic with unprecedented economic recovery packages. This study shines a light on the opportunity for these investments to support a green recovery by inventorying and classifying the latest information on governments' fiscal stimulus plans and comparing the size of these measures to estimates of low-carbon energy investment needs compatible with the Paris climate agreement.  
A number of the latest generation climate models (CMIP6) project greater future warming than previously assessed, but drawing conclusions about the implications for emission reduction targets is premature. This briefing looks at what could be behind these results and what this means for near-term emissions reductions and the Paris Agreement 1.5°C temperature limit.  
The commonly agreed metric to aggregate emissions and removals of greenhouse gases under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement is the Global Warming Potential with a 100-year time-horizon (GWP100). Since the Agreement was adopted, new scientific concepts emerged, such as GWP*. This briefing looks at the pitfalls of applying this new metric.  

Projects

IMPACT is a cross-cutting, multi-faceted project that aims to strengthen the connections between the scientific assessments of climate impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to help enable access to finance and help Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) implement concrete projects.  
The Paris Agreement commits all countries to take ambitious steps to guarantee a low carbon future. This requires individual national governments to submit more ambitious emission reduction targets. In support of this urgent need to translate global trajectories to be in line with the Paris Agreement, this project, founded by the IKEA Foundation, shows how a group of countries, across all regions and development spectrum can update their NDCs to be in line with the Paris climate goals.  
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.  
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.