‘Addressing societal challenges of climate change was the title of the JPI Climate side event on Tuesday, 7 November in the EU Pavilion where the focus was on showcasing concrete and expected results produced under JPI Climate and the European Research Area for Climate for Services (ERA4CS). Four of the projects were presented – HOPE and EPCC focusing on societal transformation looking into household preferences and studying climate change perceptions as well as SENSES and MEDSCOPE highlighting the relevance of climate services generated by making climate models information available.
The session was introduced by Frank McGovern, chair of JPI Climate, Ireland and Elisabeth Worliczek, JPI Climate member from Austria presenting the vision and mission of JPI Climate collaboration. The Co-Chair of ERA4CS, Dagmar Bley (DLR, Germany), gave the audience an overview or the role and history of this large flagship programme on climate services.
The projects – two highlighting societal transformation and two focusing on climate services - were:
HOPE (Household preferences for reducing greenhouse gas emission in four European high income countries), presented by Alina Herrmann (University of Heidelberg)
EPCC (European perceptions of climate change) presented by Katharina Steentjes (University of Cardiff)
SENSES (Climate change scenario services) presented by Elmar Kriegler (PIK, Germany)
MEDSCOPE (Mediterranean services chain based on climate predictions) presented by Silvio Gualdi (CMCC, Italy).
The following panel discussion was moderated by Sally Stevens of the Institute for Environmental Analytics and included Jürgen Kropp, co-founder and CEO of the Climate Media Factory.
One message was coming through repeatedly: unless we can have meaningful communication reaching all sections of society around climate science, we can change little.
That theme was picked up in the panel discussion on the importance of communicating outcomes of the projects and their practical potential to each of their audiences effectively.
Frank McGovern stressed: “We have to communicate to all in language audiences understand. Scientists communicate with each other very well but sometimes when they come to talk to people outside science there are some barriers. We need to enable bridges and pathways for positive messages in the future.”
Jürgen Kropp finished on a note matching the optimism and aspiration of the opening ceremony of COP23, saying: “I look to the future and see much more demand, with more expertise, for climate change communications, we are getting better – but we need to get MUCH better.”
Together with its partners in Europe and globally JPI Climate will further engage in the effort of assessing and valorising research results that have the potential to underpin scientifically the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Better communication to reach out to all stakeholders is a strong element of making this a success and achieve societal relevant impact. Side event programme is available here.