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Paris Agreement Overshooting – Reversibility, Climate Impacts and Adaptation Needs

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PROVIDE (Paris Agreement Overshooting – Reversibility, Climate Impacts and Adaptation Needs)

Reporting period: 2021-09-01 to 2023-02-28

The world is currently not on track to achieve temperature threshold targets of the Paris Agreement, limiting warming to ‘well below 2°C’ while pursing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C. A failure to achieve stringent near-term greenhouse gas emissions reductions, in line with the Paris Agreement, would lead to either temporary or permanent overshoots of the safe temperature limits. Impacts of such overshoot scenarios would be particularly consequential for vulnerable regions and systems, which face more pronounced impacts. In an overshoot scenario, local thresholds of abrupt (and often irreversible) shifts could be crossed or adaptation limits may be exceeded. Current trends and risks of overshoot support the need for better understandings of the overshoot pathway consequences for adaptation. PROVIDE therefore aims to produce global multi-scenario, multi-sectoral climate information and assess climate system uncertainties and feedbacks.
To address associated adaptation challenges, the project brings together climate services purveyors, urban planners and adaptation experts, to identify overshoot adaptation needs and develop a generalisation methodology for adaptation strategies to respond to overshoot risks. Information provision is accompanied by efforts to help interpret and identify concrete adaptation measures for specific decision-making contexts. Overshoot adaptation needs in four highly complementary global urbanised areas are identified and prioritised to enhance adaptation action.
Furthermore, PROVIDE develops an innovative, integrative climate services tool to directly feed into adaptation action. The PROVIDE Climate Risk Dashboard will incorporate information on impacts of overshoot pathways from the global to the regional and urban level. The Climate Risk Dashboard is designed to complement established climate service platforms and will widely disseminate project outputs, fostering uptake and sustainable use across all stakeholder groups addressed.
The PROVIDE consortium is constituted of leading climate scientists as well as climate services purveyors, urban planners and adaptation experts embedded in selected case study regions facilitating a continuous co-development process with a wide array of stakeholders.
Within the first year of the project, a dissemination and project management plan, initial stakeholder outreach, project website, Stakeholder Advisory Board, and social media communication channels were established. Provision and documentation of geographically resolved annual temperature projections for overshoot pathways, emulating CMIP multi-model ensembles, were completed. A confidential guidance document was finalised, as a first version of the Overshoot Proofing Methodology for application in later project case studies, based on adaptation literature review and surveyed data from adaptation professionals. Four review reports on the key overshoot adaptation challenges in Iconic Regions and Cities addressed potential socio-ecological tipping points, irreversible impacts, and spatial opportunities and conditions for integrating future adaptation measures. This review report included insight from a first set of stakeholder meetings in the cities of Nassau (the Bahamas), Bodo (Norway), Islamabad (Pakistan), and Lisbon (Portugal), which introduced the project and related concepts to regional stakeholders and municipalities. The first version of the PROVIDE Climate Risk Dashboard, a publicly available climate services tool, was launched in November 2022, providing information on heat extremes with global coverage. This work necessitated the set up and enabling of exploration modes for temperature projections in interim pathways and has since incorporated feedback from Stakeholder Advisory Board and consortium members to inform version 1. A joint submission was prepared as input into the Global Stocktake as a policy brief, which included findings on adaptation, mitigation, and Loss and Damage implications of overshoot. Guidance documentation on the reversal of the impact chain approach was published. A public policy brief on assessment of GHG emissions implied by the latest round of NDCs under the Paris agreement, their plausible temperature implications, and CDR deployment scales in associated pathways was published.
Enhanced adaptive capacity and action on adaptation is supported through assessment of risks that would arise from overshoot from local levels, of which Iconic Region activities have now further identified location specific risks and adaptation challenges.
Reduced vulnerability to climate change, as an impact of the project, is supported through assessment of scenarios of future socio-economic vulnerabilities and adaptive capacities. Progress on this has been made through the identification of local adaptation challenges, thereby improving resilience in avoiding maladaptation.
The multi-scenario approach in PROVIDE with development of a broad variety of pathways of overshooting temperature targets and deployment of CDR, strengthens scientific knowledge on climate and the decrease of knowledge gaps on overshoot impacts.
Collection of knowledge on system thresholds and the communication of related risks to a broad range of stakeholders, leads to better informed climate services and decision-making support. Stakeholder engagement ongoing in the project aids PROVIDE Climate Risk Dashboard development towards accomplishing accessibility to a wide range of scientific and non-scientific stakeholders.
PROVIDE has contributed to the Paris Agreement through its submission of input to the first global stocktake in 2023, therefore informing progress toward Adaptation Goals. It will continue to contribute through support of Mitigation Goals and creation of further knowledge for the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) through its assessment of emission pathways, specifically relevant to their adaptation components.