The Climate Overshoot Commission is an independent group of distinguished global leaders who built a bold and actionable strategy to mitigate risks should global warming exceed established goals.
In 2015, in Paris’ COP21, the international community agreed to restrict global warming to well below 2°C and to make efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. However, as indicated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, some degree of overshoot is likely.
The risk of climate overshoot – of exceeding the Paris Agreement goal of limiting average global warming to 1.5°C – is high and rising, and with it the risk of worsening impacts on health, food security, water availability, human mobility, and ecosystems. No country would be spared from such consequences. The less industrialized countries, which have contributed the least to the problem but are generally more vulnerable, would suffer the most.
The Climate Overshoot Commission emphasizes that addressing climate change is not only necessary but also presents significant economic and political opportunities, and introduces the CARE Agenda: Cut emissions; Adapt; Remove carbon dioxide; carefully Explore solar radiation modification.
The primary strategy to avoid overshooting climate targets involves accelerating the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, with a clear recognition that the era of fossil fuels must end with differentiated phase-out strategies. Industrialized countries are urged to lead in achieving not only net-zero but net-negative targets. The CARE Agenda advocates for strengthening accountability, technology, and trade mechanisms to facilitate a global transition to renewable energy.
In addition to emission reductions, effective adaptation measures are crucial to mitigate the harm caused by climate change. The Climate Overshoot Commission suggests creating metrics to assess the effectiveness of adaptation measures, fostering country-led partnerships, promoting climate-resilient agricultural practices, and managing migration shifts induced by climate change.
To slow the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, the CARE Agenda recommends the significant removal of carbon dioxide through various methods, emphasizing the need for governance frameworks and global cooperation.
Solar radiation modification technologies, though controversial, are acknowledged, but the Commission advises caution and calls for a moratorium on their current deployment, advocating for more research and inclusive global dialogues on their potential risks and benefits.
Climate finance is deemed essential, and the CARE Agenda highlights the current shortfalls. It calls for increased mobilization of resources by public and private actors, with development banks accepting more risk, debt relief, expanded official development assistance, and the scaling up of private capital flows. The Commission also emphasizes the need to expand new and underdeveloped sources of finance, including transparent and efficient carbon markets.
Pursuing any single approach to reducing risks from overshoot – emissions reductions, adaptation, carbon removal, possibly solar radiation modification – may influence the effectiveness of other approaches. Both positive and negative spillovers must be identified and managed within a holistic framework. Overall, the recommendations made by the Commission constitute integrated components of the CARE Agenda for reducing risks from climate overshoot.
The Climate Overshoot Commission is an independent body of eminent global leaders who unveiled their CARE Agenda and recommendations in September 2023. Members include former heads of government and national ministers, heads of intergovernmental organizations, leaders of environmental groups, and academic experts.
The Climate Overshoot Commission is playing a guiding role in global discussions on comprehensive actions to manage climate overshoot risks. The Commission is disseminating recommendations to support governments, civil society, science and communities in minimizing risks related to climate overshoot.
The Climate Overshoot Commission is advised by a group of leading international scientists, ensuring that Commissioners have access to the latest relevant research and information. A Youth Engagement Group has been established to enshrine youth perspectives into the actions of the Climate Overshoot Commission.
A Secretariat, composed of professional diplomats and academic experts, supports the Commission’s work. The Secretariat is hosted by the Paris Peace Forum.
Learn more about the Climate Overshoot Commission here.
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