JPI Climate hosts its first Scoping Forum Symposium

More than 60 people participated in the first  JPI Climate Scoping Forum Symposium, which took place at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), in Paris, on 26-27 March 2018.

Under the thematic header “Science for the implementation of the Paris Agreement”, the objective of this Symposium was to guide JPI Climate in its future operations. The participants had the opportunity to engage in an active debate on the strategic directions for JPI Climate in funding research and connecting knowledge to decision-makers at all levels over the next 2-5 years.

The two day meeting considered the new context for JPI Climate's work and reviewed its progress, achievements and plans. The alignment and links with related activities by the European Commission (DG Research and Innovation) and other JPIs (in particular JPI Oceans, FACCE-JPI and Water JPI), as well as with international bodies (such as the Belmont Forum) and shared infrastructures and resources (such as Copernicus), was also explored.

Day 1:
Patrick Monfray (French Ministry of Research and Education) welcomed the participants, highlighting the role of Joint Programming in tackling societal challenges, such as climate change, and the role of JPI Climate in supporting the implementation of international agreements, such as the COP21 Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The role of science (and initiatives such as JPI Climate) in the implementation of the Paris Agreement was also emphasized by the other speakers in the opening session: Frank McGovern (Environmental Protection Agency, Ireland, and JPI Climate Chair), Artur Runge-Metzger (European Commission, DG Clima) and Andrea Tilche (European Commission, DG Research and Innovation).

The first day also included the presentation of some of the JPI Climate's achievements to date, ongoing actions and future directions.
These included the flagship ERA-NET "European Research Area for Climate Services" and some highlights from projects funded under the 2013 and 2015 joint calls.
AXIS and SINCERE, the two new actions for JPI Climate starting in 2018, were also presented.
The co-leaders of the recently established Action Groups provided an overview of future priorities for JPI Climate (including enabling societal transformation in the face of climate change, next generation of climate science in Europe, and pathways towards carbon neutrality and greenhouse gas balance).

The day ended with a roundtable discussion on potential enhancements and links between the JPI Climate activities presented during the day and other programmes and initiatives. Panellists included: Guido Schmidt-Traub (UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network), Andrea Tilche, Elisabeth Worliczek (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna) and Thorsten Kiefer (Future Earth).

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Day 2:
The second day of the Symposium started with a session focused on cooperation with other JPIs. Representatives from FACCE-JPI, Water JPI, JPI Oceans and JPI Urban Europe identified links and discussed opportunities for collaboration with JPI Climate.

Highlights from the second day also include a session on linking JPI Climate with infrastructure programmes, including the Global Climate Observation System (GCOS), the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) and the Integrated Carbon Observation System Research Infrastructure (ICOS RI), and a foresight exercise focused on medium to long-term actions.
During this exercise, key learnings from projects exploring the 1.5°C pathways were presented. The links between JPI Climate, the SDGs and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, as well as an overview on knowledge exchange on mobilisation of financial flows were also discussed during this session.

The Symposium was closed by Frank McGovern, who summarised the highlights of this event and provided an overview of the next steps.
This meeting was followed by a closed session, where JPI Climate Governing Board (GB) members had the opportunity to reflect on the outcomes of the Symposium and discuss the next steps.

Next Steps:
In addition to participating in the discussions during the two days, the Symposium participants were invited to proactively contribute to the development of priority areas for JPI Climate by filling in feedback cards that were collected by the organising team.
The outcomes of the Symposium (including the inputs from the feedback cards) will now be analysed and will inform the development of a document with a set of recommendations on concrete implementation actions that will be discussed at the 15th GB meeting (May 2018).

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