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thumbs up for 1,5. celebrations in the plenary at the adoption of the climate deal in paris 2015. foto: cop21 / flickr

thumbs up for 1,5. celebrations in the plenary at the adoption of the climate deal in paris 2015. foto: cop21 / flickr

1.5 degrees: Meeting the challenges of the Paris Agreement

Nyheter - Nytt fra CICERO

Publisert 18.04.2016

The conference aims to understand the impacts of warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and assess the feasibility of meeting the challenges in the Paris Climate Agreement. It is hosted by the University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute, with CICERO as a partner organisation.

An international conference hosted by the University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute (ECI) will give a scientific response to the new 1.5 degree limit for global temperatures set at the COP21 Paris climate talks.

The conference, to be held September 20-22, 2016, will attract leading international experts who will aim to resolve some of the scientific uncertainties around the COP 21 Paris climate target.

- The IPCC has agreed to report on the science of a 1.5°C target – but actually that science is rather thin, given the previous focus on 2°C. Scientists will come to Oxford to help close this gap in the scientific evidence. Understanding what needs to be done to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels is hard enough; understanding how that can be achieved and indeed whether it is worth achieving opens huge questions for societies globally

ECI DIRECTOR, PROFESSOR JIM HALL

The 1.5°C target, which came out of the Paris Climate Conference of over 160 nations in December was much more ambitious than many expected.

‘There is no doubt limiting warming to 1.5°C will be a significant challenge,’ said Myles Allen, Professor of Geosystem Science at ECI. ’In a nutshell, it means we have to reduce emissions twice as fast as we would have done to limit warming to 2°C — and that was already looking challenging. Inevitably, people are already starting to ask if it is worth it. These are big tough questions, and we haven’t much time to answer them, so the academic community needs to step up.’

The conference aims to understand the impacts of warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and assess the feasibility of meeting the challenges in the Paris Climate Agreement. It will review the arguments behind the 1.5°C goal, examine how the goal is to be interpreted and options for achieving it.

Some IPCC studies suggest 1.5°C will be feasible if the world develops low-cost technologies later this century to extract greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Scientist Corinne Le Quere, from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, commented: ‘Keeping global temperature rise to 1.5°C would be tough, if possible at all. Yet dealing with climate change above 1.5°C would also be tough and have widespread consequences for society, ecosystems and infrastructure.

‘The 1.5 degrees conference will bring together researchers working on impacts and researchers working on mitigation to develop new thinking on how to balance the risks, opportunities and trade-offs of various warming levels, and inform the IPCC special report with the best available science.’

- The decision to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C will require contributions from and strong interactions between different disciplines and different perspectives. At the 1.5 degrees conference, I am looking forward to hearing the thoughts, ideas and perspectives from a wide range of scientists and researchers. This input will provide a broader and deeper understanding of what is needed in terms of research, collaboration and action to keep within 1.5°C

RESEARCH DIRECTOR AT 1.5 DEGREES PARTNER ORGANISATION, CICERO, JAN FUGLESTVEDT

Professor Myles Allen (ECI) and Corinne Le Quere (Tyndall) will be available to talk to media about the objectives of the Oxford conference and the IPCC Special Report, including the likely policy options for discussion.

Please contact them via the University News Office at news.office@admin.ox.ac.uk or tel +44 (0)1865 280534.

Media are invited to attend ‘1.5 degrees: Meeting the challenges of the Paris Agreement’.

For more information, go to http://www.1point5degrees.org.uk/

Confirmed speakers will include

  • Dr Saleemul Huq (International Centre for Climate Change & Development)
  • Professor Henry Shue (Centre for International Studies, Oxford University)
  • Professor Sonia Seneviratne (Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich)
  • Stephane Hallegatte (Climate Change Group, World Bank)
  • Prof Lavanya Rajamani (Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi)
  • Dr Debra Roberts (Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department, South Africa)
  • Pilita Clark (Environment Correspondent at Financial Times)
  • Prof Nebojsa Nakicenovic (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis)
  • Prof Michael Oppenheimer (Princeton University)
  • Prof Richard Washington (Oxford University)
  • Prof Benito Müller (Faculty of Philosophy and Environmental Change Institute, Oxford)
  • Prof Michael Grubb (Institute for Sustainable Resources, University College London)
  • Prof Stuart Haszeldine (University of Edinburgh)
  • Dr Nick Eyre (Lower Carbon Futures, Oxford University)
  • Prof Richard Betts (Climate Impacts, Met Office Hadley Centre)
  • Prof Harald Winkler (Energy Research Centre at the University of Cape Town)