1.5°C Insight Briefs


Research Input into Talanoa Dialogue


In October 2018, the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (SR15) was published. It stresses that both international and national climate policy efforts need to intensify to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. These efforts will require the scaling up of ambition within and beyond current Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, including transformative systematic change in policy, technology and behaviour across all regions and sectors.

Climate Strategies has prepared three Insight Briefs that cover key topics regarding SR15:

  1. Implications of the IPCC Special Report on 1.5 degrees for scaling up Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement
  2. Policy dialogues in integrated assessment modelling (IAM) to strengthen climate change mitigation and adaptation
  3. Achieving 1.5 degrees in the real world: Opportunities, barriers and trade-offs

In order to begin the process of strengthening their NDCs in line with 1.5°C pathways, governments need to conduct a gap analysis at the national level, using the global baseline of SR15. Based on this, they will need to identify key priority actions, both for themselves and those that will be undertaken by non-state actors such as cities and businesses. This requires a framework for comparing the costs and benefits of different types of options, including both mitigation and adaptation in the short and long term.

Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) can help inform these analyses; however, current IAMs are limited in both their scope and approach, and do not reflect real-world policy-making. IAMs should take a more facilitative, bottom-up approach, using indicators that are tailored and applicable to the relevant audience and context. Bilateral feedback loops should be created between researchers and policymakers to establish a continuous policy dialogue regarding the policies and measures that will be useful to, and implementable by, stakeholders.

A mixture of policies is needed to drive disruptive low carbon innovation, along with strengthened governance at all levels, from the global to the local. Many implementation activities are likely to be undertaken at the sectoral and subnational level, and many actions that can help to significantly scale-up ambition will need to be delivered by non-state actors.

Of particular urgency is the need for governments and funders (including multilateral funding agencies) to withdraw financial and fiscal support from fossil fuels, and instead direct this capital toward low and zero-carbon energy development, production and consumption.

Efforts to strengthen climate policy in line with 1.5°C pathways will also require increasing the capacities of relevant institutions, and mobilising additional financial flows, at an unprecedented speed and scale. For strong ‘coalitions of the willing’ to form, those who are willing also have to be enabled. Care must be taken to address each specific barrier to action that a country and region faces in order to avoid social and economic trade-offs that could perpetuate inequalities and ultimately undermine the transition.

The three insight briefs are submitted to the Talanoa Dialogue to help policymakers and other relevant stakeholders better understand the implications of SR15 for NDCs and global climate policy. The official submission to the UNFCCC facilitative dialogue can be downloaded from the Talanoa Dialogue website.

The insight briefs were presented at the 3rd “Global View Spotlight” webinar, convened by the ClimateWorks Foundation on the 31st October 2018.


The insight briefs were authored by a strong, multi-disciplinary team of researchers: Peter Newell and Dian Phylipsen (Insight #1); Oscar van Vliet and Takeshi Takama (Insight #2); and Michael Mehling and Ambuj D. Sagar (Insight #3).

All briefs were edited by Joanna Depledge and reviewed by Heleen de Coninck.

Climate Strategies and the research team gratefully acknowledge funding from ClimateWorks Foundation for this project.