• 13 July 2023

ECCA2023 Side events

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Six side events added to the ECCA2023 programme during the three days of the conference. The side events on Monday 19th June were the ‘AXIS research programme’s final event: Highlights from holistic climate impacts, economics and pathway research’ and the ‘World Meteorological Organization and Copernicus Climate Change Service: Launch of the State of the Climate in Europe 2022 Report’.  

On Tuesday 20th June, the side events were the ‘Nordic Climate Change Adaptation Conference: Stronger together for a climate-resilient North (NOCCA)’ and the ‘Policy Brief Workshop on Social Sciences and Humanities’. 

On Wednesday 21st June, the side events were ‘Climate Extremes: How are climate extremes in Europe changing? And what are the implications for climate adaptation?’, as well as ‘Forging a climate-resilient Europe: Learning from community-based adaptation practitioners outside Europe’.

The AXIS research programme’s final event: ‘Highlights from holistic climate impacts, economics and pathway research’ was held at the Royal Irish Academy and chaired by the Coordinator of the AXIS programme, Rolf von Kuhlmann, DLR. He emphasised the goal of the AXIS programme – to improve stakeholder-oriented climate information and services beyond the often separate research stands of adaptation and mitigation. AXIS also aimed to promote cross-boundary and cross-community research with the overall goal to improve coherence, integration and robustness of climate impact research and connect it to societal needs.  

Chair of JPI Climate, Frank McGovern, during his opening speech, highlighted how much AXIS projects have contributed to integrating various aspects of climate impact across the European Research Area and that the programme was very important to JPI Climate, thanks to the funding of the Horizon2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.  

The Lead Project Investigators of 10 funded AXIS projects showcased key results. Research addressed within AXIS touched on several of the themes presented at ECCA2023, advancing and integrating various strands of climate impact research with economics and wider scenario research considering the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The session covered a range of topics such as droughts, links to biodiversity and bioeconomy, land-use change for mitigation and adaptation, and holistic scenario development. You can watch the AXIS side event on the ECCA2023 YouTube channel. 

The side event ‘World Meteorological Organization and Copernicus Climate Change Service: Launch of the State of the Climate in Europe 2022 Report’ was held at Dublin City Hall, launching the joint publication: State of the Climate Report 2022 which revealed that Europe has been warming twice as fast as the global average. The report summarizes the state of the climate, and the extreme and high-impact weather and climate events in 2022 for WMO RA VI (Europe) domain, placed in the context of long-term climate variability and climate change.  

The positive news was that, for the first time, more electricity was generated by wind and solar than by fossil fuels in Europe in 2022, with energy being a particular focus of the report. The Early Warnings for All Initiative was also highlighted as a positive step, enabling the C3S Early Warning System to be extended to be available to more nations, including Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDs).  

The event was chaired by Eoin Moran, Director of Met Éireann, and a spectrum of high-profile climate experts were invited to discuss how more extreme weather, including intense heat, heavy precipitation, and droughts, have growing implications for the supply, demand and infrastructure of Europe’s energy system. 

The side events on ‘Nordic Climate Change Adaptation Conference: Stronger together for a climate-resilient North’ (NOCCA) and the ‘Policy Brief Workshop on Social Sciences and Humanities’ took place on Tuesday, June 20th, at Dublin City Hall.  

The NOCCA side event used the findings from its 2023 Conference to discuss and explore measures for mainstreaming climate change adaptation at the local level. It was chaired by Anna Hulda Ólafsdóttir, Icelandic Climate Service and Adaptation Centre and experts from Western Norway Research Institute, Icelandic Met Office and the Icelandic Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate. The focus of NOCCA 2023 was on how to mainstream adaptation to climate change at the sub-national level, with a special focus on local authorities in Nordic countries. Four thematic areas were selected in consultation with the programme committee: sea level rise, transboundary climate risks, nature-based solutions and local master planning. The invited experts explored the current state of adaptation and the challenges, opportunities and learnings from the implementation process. The role of different actors – such as national, regional, and local governments – were discussed, and how dynamic engagement with the community is paramount to successful implementation. Watch the NOCCA highlights on the ECCA2023 closing ceremony video. 

The chair of the ‘Policy Brief Workshop on Social Sciences and Humanities’, Elisabeth Worliczek, BOKU, explained that they want to focus on structures and narratives blocking societal transformation by analysing the baseline of our society and underlying assumptions from an interdisciplinary standpoint and identify contradictions lying at base of this issue. The organisers brought together experts from the fields of Social Sciences and Humanities, as well as natural sciences, activism and economics to gain a better understanding. The outcomes will be reported at the SHiFT International Conference: ‘Reflections on Transformation’, taking place at the University of Graz (Austria) on September 18th-19th, 2023, and will result in a policy brief. Read more about the ECCA2023 Policy Brief Workshop here. 

Two further side events were held during the last day of ECCA2023, on Wednesday June 21st, at the Royal Irish Academy. 

‘Climate Extremes: How are climate extremes in Europe changing? And what are the implications for climate adaptation?’ was a JPI Climate side event led by Prof Len Shaffrey from the UK’s National Centre for Atmospheric Science, University of Reading. It featured a range of experts in European weather, climate and adaptation who spoke about the challenges and opportunities to advance our understanding of our changing climate and how to adapt to it. The main issues addressed were: ‘Detection and attribution of changes in drought in Europe’; ‘We breathe climate change – how hotter cities can affect our health?’; ‘How climate services can improve resilience against future extremes?’ and ‘A local systems-based approach to explore water stress under climate change’. Watch two videos related to the climate extreme topic from Tuesday 20th (Extreme Events: Tools for Climate Resilience) and Wednesday 21st June (Staging EWS Stories: Weather extremes are going to “hit” you – Early Warning Systems are going to “HuT” you!).  

‘Forging a climate-resilient Europe: Learning from community-based adaptation practitioners outside Europe’ was jointly organised by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) Europe and IIED. It gave valuable experiences and insights from climate adaptation practitioners to inform and drive ambition for a climate-resilient Europe by showcasing and sharing the findings and key messages from the 17th International Conference on Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change (CBA17) conference. Participants were invited to identify challenges and barriers to adaptation in their regions and communities, learn about the key messages from the CBA Conference, and to reflect on and discuss the implications of these insights to their regions and communities. The chairs of this event were Alexandre Fernandes, Director IIED Europe’ and Tom Mitchell, Executive Director IIED. You can read a report on the side event on the IIED website.  

 

Author:  Maija Malnaca  

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