15 February 2024

The Climate Overshoot Commission at the Munich Security Conference 2024

The Unavoidable Master Risk? Addressing Climate Overshoot


Munich Security Conference 2024

BMW Foundation Pavilion, Lenbachplatz 7, Munich

Saturday, February 17, 2024 | 11:30 - 13:00 CET

For MSC registered participants only (no livestream)



Since the Paris Agreement (2015), the world’s scientists have provided ample evidence that 2°C warming would present profound risks, and the priority must therefore be to avoid breaching 1.5°C. Yet, according to the World Meteorological Organization, 2023’s annual average global temperature was 1.45 ± 0.12 °C above pre-industrial levels (1850-1900). In 2023, global temperatures in every month between June and December set new monthly records. July and August were the two hottest months on record.

Climate Overshoot (of exceeding the 1.5°C threshold) is no longer a far threat, since global warming continues too rapidly. In many regards, it can be seen as the master risk, that stands at the heart of the polycrisis.

No country is being spared from the harm that climate change is already causing or from the increased risks that would come from additional warming. However, the least industrialized countries are generally more vulnerable and hence will suffer the most, even though they have contributed the least to the problem. Even at warming of 1.4°C, climate change is already having an impact everywhere: ice caps are melting, seas are rising, and weather extremes such as droughts, floods and fires are worsening.  These are jeopardizing billions of lives and livelihoods and feeding social and economic unrest, especially in the most vulnerable and marginalized communities. These risks will only intensify as the planet warms further and could trigger cascading and potentially irreversible harm to ecosystems, health, conflict, human mobility and migration, food security, water availability, and social stability.

None of this is inevitable. But what will it take to leaders across sectors to address that "master risk"? This side-event will discuss pathways for reducing the probability of breaching the Paris Agreement's goals and limiting and managing Overshoot Risk.



  • Carlos ALVARADO QUESADA, Former President of the Republic of Costa Rica; Commissioner, Climate Overshoot Commission; Professor of Practice of Diplomacy, The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Saber CHOWDHURY, Minister of the Environment, Forest and Climate Change, People's Republic of Bangladesh
  • Hina RABBANI KHAR, former Foreign Minister, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Commissioner, Climate Overshoot Commission
  • Maroš ŠEFČOVIČ, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, European Commission



  • Maithreyi SEETHARAMAN, International News Anchor; CEO, Facultas Media