Between February 14 and February 25 2022, the IPCC — Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change held its Fifty-fifth Session (IPCC-55) and Twelfth Session of Working Group II (WG II-12) in a virtual format with the support of Germany.The main agenda items of WGII-12 were the approval of the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of the Working Group II contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) and acceptance of the underlying scientific technical assessment.
As president of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists prof. Phoebe Koundouri represent EAERE.
Notes from prof. Koundouri:
“As EAERE president I had the opportunity to follow the meetings. The most impressive discussion, at least from my point of view, concerned the methodological challenges in quantifying aggregate economic net damages from climate change. The discussion focused on following sentence “…The existence of higher estimates than in ARS indicates that global aggregate economic damages could be higher than previous estimates (low confidence). Significant regional variation in aggregate economic damages from climate change is projected (high confidence) with estimates for regions with lower income per capita often higher relative to their GDP (high confidence). The wide range of global estimates and the lack of comparability between methodologies, does not allow for identification of a robust range of estimates with confidence (high confidence) …”. This discussion helped me clearly see the responsibility of the scientific community for producing policy relevant results. Although it is important for us scientists to explore alternative methodologies and continually refine our approaches and models, we need to be aware of the need to provide robust policy advice. If we really support science-driven policy making, we need to put extra effort in producing robust guidance to governments and policy makers, that integrates the state-of-the-art of our scientific results. Policy makers need “high confidence” advice on how to accelerate the sustainability transition. They need this advice now, before it is too late. This is the reason that made me suggest the development of task forces within the EAERE Policy Outreach Committee with a mission of robust policy advice that will be derived from the accumulated knowledge of willing EAERE members”.