Organization: Impacts Team, Climate Change and Energy Department, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office
- Simon Sharpe, Head of Global Strategic
We know climate change is a risk. But how big a risk is it? The answer to that question is important, because it affects how highly governments and societies prioritize action to avoid dangerous climate change, compared to all the other pressing issues they have to deal with. This session will present a framework for addressing that question, and the outline of an answer. We suggest that climate change risk can only be assessed by integrating political and scientific analysis, since politics determines the risk of following a high emissions pathway, and science describes the risk of experiencing an unfortunate climate system response. We also suggest that for assessing the risk of climate change, the most important science on climate change impacts is that which concerns the limits of adaptation. Finally, the panel will discuss whether there are limits to what science and economics can tell us about the risk of climate change, and what additional approaches might be required to reach a full understanding of the risk.
Opening Remarks: Rachel Kyte, World Bank Group Vice President, Special Envoy Climate Change