1st NAVIGATE (online) stakeholder workshop

Robustness and legitimacy of models for climate policy assessment, 26-27 May 2020

Robustness and legitimacy of models for climate policy assessment

Global decarbonization and the NAVIGATE project

Rapid decarbonization of societies around the world is required to meet the Paris goals to hold global warming well below 2°C and to pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C. This rapid decarbonization needs to be embedded in a broader agenda of sustainable development as defined by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN 2030 agenda.

Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) of climate change are popular models that quantify climate change mitigation pathways on how industrialized, emerging and least developed countries can work towards the Paris climate goals. IAMs account for the evolution of coupled systems of economy, energy, land, water, and climate in the short term (2020-2030), mid term (2030-2050), and long term (2050-2100). Due to their integrative nature, IAMs play an important role in the assessments of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as well as regional decarbonization strategies, e.g. the EU, China, and Brazil.

European Union’s Horizon 2020 project NAVIGATE (grant agreement no. 821124) aims to develop the next generation of IAMs. The project targets major advancements in several areas:

  • Improving the representation of transformative change in interlinked social, technological and economic systems and in consumer goods and services;
  • Developing new capabilities to capture spatial and social heterogeneity for assessing distributional implications of climate change impacts and climate policy, and the interactions with other SDGs;
  • Improving robustness, legitimacy, and usability of IAM results so that policy makers, business, civil society organizations, as well as other climate policy scholars are sufficiently informed and empowered to use IAM results.

 

Background of the workshop

This NAVIGATE workshop brings together three groups of participants: (i) stakeholders from national and international climate policy domains, business, and civil society organizations, (ii) scholars from various disciplines that are relevant to climate policy, and (iii) NAVIGATE consortium members. The workshop aims to benefit all participants by initiating a multi-stakeholder multi-disciplinary dialogue on a common theme of interest and in this way also inform the design of the NAVIGATE research activities.

The first NAVIGATE workshop focuses on the critical issues of robustness and legitimacy of models for climate policy assessment. Robustness refers to the analytical and technical adequacy of the models as well as the validity of modeling results given deep uncertainties and limits to state-of-the-art knowledge. Legitimacy encompasses transparency, traceability and accessibility of the modeling itself as well as the design of participatory processes at the modeling-policy interface.

Although often discussed in the last decade, robustness and legitimacy of models face new challenges today because, as in the case of NAVIGATE, the models need to account for increasingly richer structural, regional and distributional information as well as for transformative change in social, technological and economic systems.

The aim of the workshop is to enable the participants to share their experiences and to reflect on the good-practice examples, expectations, and remaining challenges for robustness and legitimacy of models for climate policy assessment. Specifically, these questions will be addressed:

  • What defines robust models, modeling results, and climate policy recommendations?
  • By what means can this robustness be assessed, ensured, documented, and communicated?
  • What do models need in order to be legitimate tools to inform climate policy?

The workshop will combine big-picture discussions on the topics of robustness and legitimacy with group work on two case studies:

  • emissions gap between the current pathways of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) until 2030 and the 1.5°C target without or with limited overshoot;
  • informing climate policy after the pandemic that brought rapid change in trade, structure of the economy, employment, transport, lifestyles, and inequality.

 

Workshop’s program

Day #1, Tuesday, 26 May 2020

14:00-14:10 Welcome and introduction

Elmar Kriegler (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research)

Evelina Trutnevyte (University of Geneva)

Philippe Tulkens (EC Directorate-General for Research and Innovation)

 

14:10-15:40 Plenary session “Robustness and legitimacy: setting the scene,moderated by Massimo Tavoni (European Institute on Economics and the Environment)

10 min for presentations and 5 min for questions:

o   NAVIGATE project and climate policy after the pandemic: Elmar Kriegler (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research)

o   Robustness and legitimacy: Evelina Trutnevyte (University of Geneva)

o   Insights from risk analysis: Roger Cooke (Resources for the Future)

o   Robust decision making under uncertainty: Julie Rozenberg (World Bank)

o   Evaluating IAMs: Charlie Wilson (University of East Anglia)

 

15:40-16:05 Plenary discussion with all speakers, moderated by Massimo Tavoni (European Institute on Economics and the Environment)

 

16:05-16:10 Introduction to group work by Evelina Trutnevyte (University of Geneva)

 

16:10-16:30 Break

 

16:30-17:45 Group work “Robustness and legitimacy of evidence on emissions gap”

Three break-out groups with 5-10 min input presentations:

1.      Robustness of existing evidence and areas for future work, moderated by Detlef van Vuuren (PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency) and Volker Krey (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis)

2.      Modeling-policy interface for legitimacy, moderated by Michiel Schaeffer (Climate Analytics) and Jessica Strefler (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research)

3.      Gathering new robust evidence on carbon neutrality, moderated by Elmar Kriegler (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research) and Christopher Weber (WWF Global Science)

 

Day #2, Wednesday, 27 May 2020

14:00-15:15 Group work “Informing climate policy after the pandemic”

Three break-out groups with 5-10 min input presentations:

1.      Recovery packages and structural change of the economy moderated by Nico Bauer (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research) and Jean-Francois Mercure (University of Exeter)

2.      Distributional implications of climate policy after the pandemic, moderated by Johannes Emmerling (European Institute on Economics and the Environment) and Celine Guivarch (CIRED)

3.      Role of lifestyles and behavior change, moderated by Sonia Yeh (Chalmers University of Technology), Bas van Ruijven (IIASA) and Charlie Wilson (University of East Anglia)

 

15:15-15:30 Break

 

15:30-16:30 Plenary session “Robustness and legitimacy: outlook,moderated by Detlef van Vuuren (PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency)

10 min for presentations and 5 min for questions:

o   Experience in the finance sector: Ryan Barrett (Bank of England)

o   Experience at an NGO: Patrick Hofstetter (WWF Switzerland)

o   Experience at a foundation: Seth Monteith (ClimateWorks Foundation)

o   Insights from climate science: Sonia I. Seneviratne (ETH Zurich)

 

16:30-17:00 Plenary discussion with all speakers, moderated by Detlef van Vuuren (PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency)

 

17:00-17:15 Wrap up and closing

Miles Perry (EC Directorate-General for Climate Action)

Philippe Tulkens (EC Directorate-General for Research and Innovation)

Evelina Trutnevyte (University of Geneva)

Elmar Kriegler (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research