Pursuing the SDGs in a post-Paris Agreement world – adaptation driven opportunities and trade-offs

16:15 Wednesday 29 May


Room S6


Lamprini Papadimitriou (United Kingdom) 1; Ian Holman (United Kingdom) 1; Robert Dunford (United Kingdom) 2; Paula Harrison (United Kingdom) 3

1 - Cranfield Water Science Institute; 2 - Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford; 3 - Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Lancaster

1. Introduction

In a post-Paris Agreement world, where the aim to limit global warming to 1.5 or 2oC to significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change has been achieved, adaptation is still needed to address the impacts of these lower levels of warming. Here, we use a multi-sectoral integrated modelling platform to test and evaluate a range of adaptation strategies for their ability to improve Sustainable Development Goal-related indicators (SDGIs) in a +1.5oC world, focusing on Europe.

2. Objectives

The first objective is to understand the impacts of low-end climate change on the SDGIs under alternative European socio-economic futures. Secondly, to evaluate the sectorial synergies and trade-offs between the adaptation strategies and SDGIs across Europe to identify ‘winners’ and ‘losers’. And thirdly, to discuss the implications of spatial variations in the trade-offs between SDGIs in five European sub-regions, from an understanding of the underlying mechanisms of the adaptation strategies.

3. Methods

A regional integrated assessment modelling platform was used to simulate the consequences of low-end climate change (represented by an ensemble of Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 2.6 climate model projections) and four alternative Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) on water, agriculture, land use, forestry and biodiversity-related SDGIs at the end of the 21st century (2080-2100).

4. Results

Considerable impacts are present across sectors even under the safe levels of +1.5oC of global warming. In applying adaptation strategies, SDG related sectoral ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ vary between strategies, SSPs and regions and unavoidable trade-offs are found between sectors. All but one of the adaptation strategies had unintended consequences on selected SDGIs, although these differed between strategies, regions and socio-economic scenarios.

5. Conclusions

Socio-economic scenarios are more important drivers of impacts / vulnerability than low-end climate change. Overall, the strong dependency of the responses on the selected socio-economic scenario highlights the importance of integrated approaches in climate change adaptation planning, also constrained by scenario context.