Challenges & opportunities
Accelerating climate change mitigation and adaptation
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that human activities have caused 1.0°C of global warming above pre-industrial levels so far. Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052, if human-caused climate change continues to increase at the current rate.
As greenhouse gas emissions rise, droughts, floods, heat waves, extreme weather events and sea-level rise are felt worldwide at rates much faster than anticipated. This has a strong impact on many coastal countries, especially the least developed countries and the small islands developing states. More frequent and intense natural disasters are threatening natural ecosystems and expose humanity to water security, food security and health risks.
During the thematic opening session and deep dive sessions, we will explore the challenges and enabling environments to accelerate climate change mitigation and adaptation. We will look into governance, economic measures and financing for the implementation of adaptation options for the achievement of SDGs. Our speakers will share best practices as well as lessons learned.
Thematic opening session
The triple dividend of climate adaptation
The Adapt Now! report by the Global Commission on Adaptation introduces the multiple benefits that climate adaptation actions can bring. This so-called triple dividend covers economic benefits as well as social and environmental benefits.
The Adapt Now! report also confirms that the return on investments in improved climate resilience is very high. Global investments worth 1.8 trillion USD could generate 7.1 trillion USD in total net benefits from 2020 to 2030, while strengthening early warning systems, making new infrastructure resilient, improving dryland agriculture crop production, protecting mangroves and making water resources management more resilient.
During the thematic opening session, a panel of experts and practitioners will discuss how to upscale climate adaptation actions. At the same time, they will also review what role technological innovation can play in deploying adaptation measures on a massive scale.
Deep dive sessions
Climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies
Smart water management and governance
Measures to adapt the Earth’s water systems to climate change can be very diverse. Healthy watersheds and the expansion of multipurpose reservoirs, wastewater reclamation, desalination plants and flood infrastructure harness the power of nature to ensure access to safe drinking water. Regulations and incentives combined with technology can help solve water scarcity in urban and rural areas. Ground- and satellite-based monitoring supports planning for floods and droughts, while enhanced stakeholder collaboration is critical to improve water governance.
Sector-oriented climate services
Just like the weather service brings a daily forecast enabling people to plan activities, climate services are to provide agriculture, water, health or other societal sectors with data to assist decision-making processes. Information that forecasts how droughts will evolve over a few months is critical to farmers and water managers. Long-term projections of temperature fluctuations can be decisive for urban planning. Besides reviewing new weather service technologies, we need to evaluate how climate information should be processed depending on the needs of specific sectors.
Monitoring greenhouse gas emissions
If we want to define a compelling strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, we need to quantify the amount of GHG exchanges among all systems on our globe. It is crucial, therefore, to assess the current knowledge and challenges to monitor human-driven GHG emissions. That relates in particular to the use of data from ground-based observation networks and satellite remote sensing. In addition, we need to consider natural exchange processes as well. Only then will we be able to provide guidance on how to limit the impact of human-driven climate change.