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feem's scientific contribution on climate change

FEEM has been a significant actor in the climate change debate since its origin. Through its intense research activity on a broad array of topics and through its worldwide networks, FEEM has played a key role in many important national and international events and projects, and its research has appeared in leading scientific publications.

FEEM has been contributing to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiation process since 1995. In 2005 FEEM was among the founding members of the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC). It has supported the Italian Ministry of the Environment in official climate negotiations and in responding to formal requests from the European Union (for instance in drafting the National Adaptation Strategy).
FEEM has given its scientific contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) process since 1995, and in particular to the working group dealing with the possible pathways for mitigation of greenhouse gases and related costs. An increasing number of FEEM researchers have been Lead Authors of the Assessment Reports (AR) drafted throughout the years.

The Assessment Reports (the latest of which was released in 2014) are reference materials used by policymakers for decisions on greenhouse gases mitigation. They provide an integrated view of climate change and address observed changes and their causes; future climate change, risks and impacts, and future pathways for adaptation, mitigation and sustainable development. The ARs also provide analyses on costs, winners and losers, and the sectors that will lose or benefit the most.


In 1992, countries joined an international treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to cooperatively consider what they could do to limit climate change, and to cope with whatever impacts were, by then, inevitable. The process is based on the annual meetings of parties at Conference Of Parties (COP), numbered successively over the years, to negotiate greenhouse gases reductions. At COP3 in 1997, countries adopted, after 2 years of negotiations, the Kyoto Protocol, which legally binds developed countries to emission reduction targets. The Protocol’s first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012. The second commitment period began on 1 January 2013 and will end in 2020.

Since the very beginning, FEEM has been an active player in this negotiation process, at both the national and international level. First, by participating in the most important and comprehensive scientific process centered on climate change since 1995 (see IPCC story), which provides the necessary scientific evidence for negotiations; second, since 1997, by supporting Italian delegations during the negotiations processes. Since 2008, the role of scientific advisor to the Italian Ministry of the Environment has been taken over by CMCC, of which FEEM is a founding member.

COPs are not only the venue for negotiations, but they are the heart of the political, scientific and non-governmental communities dedicated to climate change worldwide. Indeed, each COP is also the occasion to hold the so-called “side events” dedicated to particular themes important for the debate and for negotiations. Since 2003, FEEM has always been present at COPs with “side events” dedicated to the most topical issues pertaining to the debate.

2015 is a turning point in the climate negotiation process, as it will have to address the Post 2020, as set at COP17 in Durban in 2011. Negotiations are still ongoing, and will culminate in December 2015 in Paris at COP21. Within that date every party is requested to submit to the UNFCCC its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), in a typical bottom-up approach, which marks a shift in the negotiation process traditionally dominated by a top-down approach. All the INDCs should gather an important number of parties on board, with the ambition to attract further actors and to eventually end up with binding emission targets, as those unilaterally set for itself last year by the EU.

COP 21 in Paris, France

COP Video:

US China bilateral agreement
+ 5 others countries
COP 20 in Lima, Peru
EU 2030 framework for climate and energy

COP 20 in Lima, Peru

A new 2015 agreement on climate change, that will harness action by all nations, took a further important step forward in Lima following two weeks of negotiations by over 190 countries. Nations concluded by elaborating the elements of the new agreement, scheduled to be agreed in Paris in late 2015, while also agreeing the ground rules on how all countries could submit contributions to the new agreement during the first quarter of 2015. These Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) will form the foundation for climate action post 2020 when the new agreement is set to come into effect. During the two week 20th Conference of the Parties, countries also made significant progress in elevating adaptation onto the same level as action to cut and curb emissions. The Lima Climate Conference achieved a range of other important outcomes and decisions and "firsts" in the history of the international climate process.

- Pledges were made by both developed and developing countries prior to and during the COP that took the capitalization of the new Green Climate Fund (GCF) past an initial $10 billion target.

- Levels of transparency and confidence-building reached new heights as several industrialized countries submitted themselves to questioning about their emissions targets under a new process called a Multilateral Assessment.

- The Lima Ministerial Declaration on Education and Awareness-raising calls on governments to put climate change into school curricula and climate awareness into national development plans.

COP Video:

COP 19 in Warsaw, Poland

The Warsaw Climate Change Conference 2013 concluded successfully. Key decisions adopted at this conference included decisions on further advancing the Durban Platform, the Green Climate Fund and Long-Term Finance, the Warsaw Framework for REDD Plus, the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage and other decisions. The United Nations climate conference in Warsaw marked a step forward in the international fight against climate change. The conference agreed a timeplan for countries to table their contributions to reducing or limiting greenhouse gas emissions under a new global climate agreement to be adopted in 2015. It also agreed ways to accelerate efforts to deepen emission cuts over the rest of this decade, and to set up a mechanism to address losses and damage caused by climate change in vulnerable developing countries. In addition, the conference agreed decisions which enhanced the implementation of a range of measures already agreed at international level, including finance to support developing countries, combatting tropical deforestation, and transparency of reporting on emissions.

Intended Nationally Determined Contribution

Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) put forward by countries formed a key input to the negotiations leading towards the 2015 Paris climate agreement. They therefore needed to take into account domestic and international processes as well as requirements for comprehensiveness, transparency and ambition as negotiated under the UNFCCC. It is possible that INDCs put forward by countries before Paris will be the starting point of a mechanism or process to increase ambition over time, further underlining the importance of their timely and well-informed preparation.

COP 18 in Doha, Qatar

Expectations were low for UNFCCC climate negotiations in Doha, Qatar (COP 18),. It was scheduled to be a “finalize-the-rules” type of COP, rather than one focused on large, political deals that went into the early hours of the morning. Key issues on the table included finalizing the rules for the Kyoto Protocol’s second commitment period; concluding a series of decisions on transparency, finance, adaptation, and forests (REDD+); and agreeing on a work plan to negotiate a new legally binding international climate agreement by 2015. The emissions gap was also front-and-center, as the new UNEP Gap Report showed that countries were further away than the previous year from the goal of keeping global average temperature rise below two degrees C.In the end, countries were successful in making progress, but only incrementally. The lack of political will was breathtaking, particularly in light of the extreme weather events that had occured that year.

Kyoto Second commitment period

At COP18 in Doha, Qatar in December 2012, the Parties succeeded in reaching agreement on the adoption of a second commitment period with reduction commitments for the period 2013-2020. As was the case in the first commitment period, only industrialized countries were bound by emission reduction commitments in the second commitment period. However Canada, Russia, Japan and New Zealand, who all had commitments under the first commitment period, decided not to inscribe reduction commitments into the second commitment period thereby joining the United States as industrialized countries not taking on commitments. The Kyoto Protocol was, however, the only international agreement with legally binding reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions, and containing a detailed set of rules to calculate and report emissions and reductions of greenhouse gases. With the adoption of the second commitment period, the negotiating track on the Kyoto Protocol was formally closed.

Document: http://www.iisd.org/cckn/pdf/issues_options.pdf

COP 17 in Durban, South Africa

COP 17 in Durban, South Africa

The United Nations Climate Change Conference, Durban 2011, delivered a breakthrough on the international community's response to climate change. In the second largest meeting of its kind, the negotiations advanced, in a balanced fashion, the implementation of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, the Bali Action Plan, and the Cancun Agreements. The outcomes included a decision by Parties to adopt a universal legal agreement on climate change as soon as possible, and no later than 2015. The President of COP17/CMP7 Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said: "What we have achieved in Durban will play a central role in saving tomorrow, today."

Durban Platform for Enhanced Action

Durban Platform

Along with the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol, the Durban Platform was the star of 2011’s COP 17. Two main components made up the Platform: increasing ambition immediately and negotiating a new legally binding international climate agreement by 2015 for the post-2020 time period. COP 18 continued with these issues. In regards to increasing ambition before 2020, some countries—such as the Dominican Republic and Lebanon—did come forward with ambitious new pledges to reduce emissions. This was a welcome surprise, but the hope that Gulf region countries would take such a step unfortunately never came to fruition. In order to try to build pressure for greater ambition, the Secretary General hosted a heads of state summit in 2014. . This summit corresponded with an important review of implementation under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, as well as the release of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report. Since 2005, countries have been negotiating in two tracks – the Kyoto Protocol and the Long-term Cooperative Action (LCA) group. As of Doha, those two tracks are closed—importantly, countries could focus their full attention on negotiating a new 2015 agreement under the Durban Platform. The basic outline of the agreement details three core components–legally binding, widest possible participation by all Parties, and staying below 2 degrees C—even possibly 1.5 degrees C. In Doha, countries agreed that 2013 should focus on a few key issues.

COP 16 in Cancun, Mexico

The Cancun Climate Change Conference drew almost 12,000 participants, including 5,200 government officials, 5,400 representatives of UN bodies and agencies, intergovernmental organizations and nongovernmental organizations, and 1,270 accredited members of the media. The meeting produced the basis for the most comprehensive and far-reaching international response to climate change the world had ever seen to reduce carbon emissions and build a system which made all countries accountable to each other for those reductions.

Cancun agreements

Among the highlights, Parties agreed:

- to commit to a maximum temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to consider lowering that maximum to 1.5 degrees in the near future.

- to make fully operational by 2012 a technology mechanism to boost the innovation, development and spread of new climate-friendly technologies;

- to establish a Green Climate Fund to provide financing to projects, programmes, policies and other activities in developing countries via thematic funding windows;

- on the Cancun Adaptation Framework, which included setting up an Adaptation Committee to promote the implementation of stronger, cohesive action on adaptation.

On the mitigation front, developed countries submitted economy-wide emission reduction targets and agreed on strengthened reporting frequency and standards and to develop low-carbon national plans and strategies. Developing countries submitted nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs), to be implemented subject to financial and technical support. Work continued on shaping the form and functions of a registry for NAMAs to enable the matching of such actions with finance and technology. Developing countries were also encouraged to develop low-carbon national plans and strategies.

Document Cancun agreement: http://www.climateinstitute.org.au/verve/_resources/tci_thecancunagreement_policybrief.pdf

COP 15 in Copenhagen, Denmark

COP 15 in Copenhagen, Denmark

The Copenhagen Climate Change Conference raised climate change policy to the highest political level. Close to 115 world leaders attended the high-level segment, making it one of the largest gatherings of world leaders ever outside UN headquarters in New York.

Copenhagen Accord

Copenhagen Accord

- The Copenhagen Accord contained several key elements on which there was strong convergence. This included the long-term goal of limiting the maximum global average temperature increase to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, subject to a review in 2015. There was, however, no agreement on how to do this in practical terms. It also included a reference to consider limiting the temperature increase to below 1.5 degrees - a key demand made by vulnerable developing countries. Other central elements included:

- Developed countries' promises to fund actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the inevitable effects of climate change in developing countries. Developed countries promised to provide US$30 billion for the period 2010-2012, and to mobilize long-term finance of a further US$100 billion a year by 2020 from a variety of sources.

- Agreement on the measurement, reporting and verification of developing countries’ actions, including a reference to "international consultation and analysis", which had yet to be defined. The establishment of four new bodies: a mechanism on REDD-plus, a High-Level Panel under the COP to study implementation of financial provisions, the Copenhagen Green Climate Fund, and a Technology Mechanism.

The work of the two central negotiating groups, the AWG-LCA and the AWG-KP was extended by the COP.

COP 14 in Poznan, Poland

COP 14 in Poznan, Poland

The Poznan Climate Change Conference drew 9,250 participants, including almost 4,000 government officials, 4,500 representatives of UN bodies and agencies, intergovernmental organizations and nongovernmental organizations, and more than 800 accredited media representatives. The Conference organisation has been evaluated very positively, both by event participants and international and governmental institutions involved in this project. The successful organisation of such a large event with complex logistics was possible owing to a wonderful cooperation between the organiser (Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC), the host (Government of the Republic of Poland) and the owner of the conference venue (Poznań International Fair).

Kyoto First commitment period

Kyoto First commitment period

In the first commitment period from 2008-2012, the industrialized countries committed themselves to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases by a total of 5.2 percent compared to 1990 levels. For example, the EU committed itself to reduce emissions by 8 percent and Japan to reduce their emissions by 6 percent. Within the EU, Denmark committed itself to a 21 percent reduction.

COP 13 in Bali, Indonesia

The Bali Climate Change Conference brought together more than 10,000 participants, including representatives of over 180 countries together with observers from intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and the media. Negotiations on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol dominated the conference. A meeting of environment ministers and experts held in June called on the conference to agree on a road-map, timetable and 'concrete steps for the negotiations with a view to reaching an agreement by 2009. It has been debated whether this global meeting on climate change has achieved anything significant at all. Initial EU proposals called for global emissions to peak in 10 to 15 years and decline "well below half" of the 2000 level by 2050 for developing countries and for developed countries to achieve emissions levels 20-40% below 1990 levels by 2020.

COP 11 in Montreal, Canada

The meeting was a historic first – it served both as the 11th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 11), and, following Kyoto’s entry into force in February, as the 1st Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 1). Key outcomes of the Montreal conference included decisions by the COP/MOP finalizing the Kyoto “rulebook” and strengthening the Clean Development Mechanism, and a pair of decisions to consider next steps – one under the Protocol, launching negotiations toward new binding commitments for Kyoto’s developed country parties; and another under the Framework Convention, opening a nonbinding “dialogue on long-term cooperative action.” While the two decisions on next steps were not formally linked, the negotiations around them were closely intertwined. The European Union, Japan and Canada, obligated under Kyoto to begin considering new commitments, strongly favored a parallel process under the Convention as a way to engage both the United States and developing countries in future efforts. Some developing countries also actively supported a new Convention process and others agreed on the condition it would not “open any negotiations leading to new commitments.”

COP 9 in Milan, Italy

Negotiations at COP 9 in Milan, Italy, produced modest progress on a handful of largely technical issues but remained essentially deadlocked on issues touching on the broader question of the next major steps in the international climate effort. The talks, known formally as the Ninth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, came against the backdrop of continued uncertainty over the fate of the Kyoto Protocol. During the first week of the COP, there emerged from Moscow another round of conflicting signals on the prospects for Russian ratification of the Protocol and, thus, its entry into force. In Milan, nevertheless, most parties reaffirmed their strong support for Kyoto and remained publicly hopeful that Russia would ratify. With the Protocol not yet up and running, and most parties not prepared for formal discussions of steps beyond 2012 (the end of Protocol’s first commitment period), the formal agenda in Milan was perhaps the lightest ever for a COP.

COP 8 in New Delhi, India

The Eighth Session of the Conference of Parties (COP-8) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change met in New Delhi from October 23 to November 1, 2002, in conjunction with the seventeenth sessions of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice and the Subsidiary Body on Implementation. With most of the issues relating to implementation rules for the Kyoto Protocol resolved at COP-7 in Marrakech - but the Protocol not yet in force - the formal agenda at COP-8 was comprised mostly of second-order and technical issues. Indeed, some dubbed the meeting "a COP between COPs." However, beyond the formal agenda - in political statements and in hallway discussions - COP-8 also saw the emergence of a vigorous debate over the next steps in the development of the climate change regime. The wide differences among parties on that question were reflected in the difficult, at times bitter, negotiations over the Delhi Declaration, a broad political statement meant to reflect the consensus among parties at COP-8.

delhi declaration: http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/cop8/l06r01.pdf

Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which commits its Parties by setting internationally binding emission reduction targets. Recognizing that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of GHG emissions in the atmosphere as a result of more than 150 years of industrial activity, the Protocol places a heavier burden on developed nations under the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities." The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997 and entered into force on 16 February 2005. The detailed rules for the implementation of the Protocol were adopted at COP 7 in Marrakesh, Morocco, in 2001, and are referred to as the "Marrakesh Accords." Its first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012.

COP 1 in Berlin, Germany

The first UNFCCC Conference of Parties took place on 28 March - 7 April 1995 in Berlin, Germany. It voiced concerns about the adequacy of countries' abilities to meet commitments under the Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI).

document: https://unfccc.int/resource/docs/cop1/07a01.pdf

UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change)

The Convention was adopted at the United Nations Headquarters New York on 9 May 1992. In accordance with Article 20, it was open for signature at Rio de Janeiro from 4 to 14 June 1992, and thereafter at the United Nations Headquarters, New York, from 20 June 1992 to 19 June 1993. By that date, the Convention had received 166 signatures. The UNFCCC is a “Rio Convention”, one of three adopted at the “Rio Earth Summit” in 1992. Its sister Rio Conventions are the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention to Combat Desertification. The three are intrinsically linked. It is in this context that the Joint Liaison Group was set up to boost cooperation among the three Conventions, with the ultimate aim of developing synergies in their activities on issues of mutual concern. Currently, there are 196 Parties (195 States and 1 regional economic integration organization) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5)
FEEM Sessions at COPs
Costs and benefits of adaptation to climate change and the
sustainability of public finance in the EU
The cost of climate change adaptation: new findings, old gaps and
policy implications
Expanding Green, Low-Emissions Finance with CPI, the WB Group, CLP
International cooperation and local commitment: a success story in the
Small Pacific Islands States
Hot spots: projections and impacts of climate change in the
Mediterranean and Caribbean Areas
Scientific support to Ministry of Environment through CMCC
IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4)
National Conference on climate change - CMCC for Minister of Environment
International Climate Agreements Session


In 2005 FEEM is a founder, with the National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology (INGV) and the University of Salento in Lecce, of the Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Climate Change (CMCC), the Italian research centre on climate science and policy established by the Italian Government.

The mission of the CMCC is to improve the understanding of the nature and mechanisms of climate variability, its causes and its impacts, with a special emphasis on the Mediterranean Area and its interactions with the global climate.

Full support to the Ministry of Environment for the organisation of the event
Since COP9 FEEM always present with side events

FEEM and Ministry of Environment

In 2005 FEEM is a founder, with the National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology (INGV) and the University of Salento in Lecce, of the Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Climate Change (CMCC), the Italian research centre on climate science and policy established by the Italian Government. The mission of the CMCC is to improve the understanding of the nature and mechanisms of climate variability, its causes and its impacts, with a special emphasis on the Mediterranean Area and its interactions with the global climate.

FEEM a Kyoto negotiations

Sustainable economic development is an area where FEEM has gained a strong reputation in the academic community and policy spheres. In the early 1990s FEEM researchers started analyzing the interaction between finance and the environment and the innovative (and now widely used) instruments such as emission permits and catastrophe bonds in the context of international and intergenerational risk-sharing. The international and strategic dimension of environmental issues has also been the focus of extensive investigation. As the story of the Kyoto protocol shows, environmental issues are global and must be addressed at a global level. FEEM researchers had foreshadowed the difficulties of linking international climate agreements, suggesting that issue-linkage, i.e. increasing the items in the negotiations agenda, could lead to more efficient solutions.


FEEM has been contributing to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiation processes since 1995. FEEM has also regularly given its scientific contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in particular to the working group dealing with the possible pathways for mitigation of greenhouse gases and related costs, with an increasing number of FEEM researchers as Lead Authors of the Assessment Reports (ARs) drafted throughout the years. Since 2009, Prof. Carraro, at the time Chair of FEEM Advisory Board and now FEEM Scientific Director, has been appointed member of the IPCC Bureau and Vice-Chair of IPCC WG III.

Support to the Italian Delegation at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change, established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988, and endorsed in the same year by the UN General Assembly.

The IPCC reviews and assesses regularly the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of climate change. It does not conduct any research nor does it monitor climate related data or parameters. Thousands of scientists (including more than a dozen from FEEM) from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC on a voluntary basis.

Because of its scientific and intergovernmental nature, the IPCC embodies a unique opportunity to provide rigorous and balanced scientific information to decision makers. By endorsing the IPCC reports, governments acknowledge the authority of their scientific content. The work of the organization is therefore policy-relevant and yet policy-neutral, never policy-prescriptive.

Since the Second Assessment report published in 1995, at least one Lead Author from FEEM has always been part of the team of drafting experts of these important reports. Moreover, since 2008, Carlo Carraro is Vice Chair of Working Group 3, dealing with mitigation and costs. The last AR5 has seen an extraordinary contribution of FEEM and CMCC authors, 6 in the group of 831 Leads (see FEEM-IPCC cooperation).

Fifth Assessment Report (AR5)

WGI: The physical science basis

The Working Group I contribution to the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) considers new evidence of climate change based on many independent scientific analyses from observations of the climate system, paleoclimate archives, theoretical studies of climate processes and simulations using climate models. It builds upon the Working Group I contribution to the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), and incorporates subsequent new findings of research.

WGII: Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability

The assessment of impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability in the Working Group II contribution to the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (WGII AR5) evaluates how patterns of risks and potential benefits are shifting due to climate change. Human interference with the climate system is occurring, and climate change poses risks for human and natural systems. The report considers how impacts and risks related to climate change can be reduced and managed through adaptation and mitigation. It assesses needs, options, opportunities, constraints, resilience, limits, and other aspects associated with adaptation.

WG III: Mitigation of climate change

The Working Group III contribution to the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) assesses literature on the scientific, technological, environmental, economic and social aspects of mitigation of climate change. It builds upon the Working Group III contribution to the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), the Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (SRREN) and previous reports and incorporates subsequent new findings and research. The report also assesses mitigation options at different levels of governance and in different economic sectors, and the societal implications of different mitigation policies, but does not recommend any particular option for mitigation.

4809 pages
831 lead authors from 80 countries
Over 1,000 expert reviewers Assessing
Over 30,000 scientific papers
4 FEEM and 2 CMCC researchers are nominated
along with the 831 Lead Authors selected by the
IPCC Working Group Bureaux from 3,000 nominees
Scoping Meeting for the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5)
Preparation of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) starts
Fourth Assessment Report (AR4)
- WG I: The Scientific Basis
- WG II: Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability
- WG III: Mitigation of climate change
Third Assessment Report (TAR)
- WG I: The scientific basis
- WG II: Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability
- WG III: Mitigation of climate change
Second Assessment Report (SAR)
- A synthesis to help interpret UNFCCC article 2.
- WG I: The science of climate change
- WG II: Impacts, adaptations and mitigation of climate change
- WG III: Economic and social dimensions of climate change
First Assessment Report
Supplementary report is an update, requested in
the context of the negotiations on the UNFCCC at
the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

All you need to know about the IPCC 5th Assessment Report

Chapter 10 Key economic sectors and services F. Bosello et al.

Key economic sectors and services

This chapter assesses the implications of climate change on economic activity in key economic sectors and services, on economic welfare, and on economic development. For most economic sectors, the impact of climate change will be small relative to the impacts of other drivers. Focusing on the potential impact of climate change on economic activity, this chapter addresses questions such as: How does climate change affect the demand for a particular good or service? What is the impact on its supply? How do supply and demand interact in the market? What are the effects on producers and consumers? What is the effect on the overall economy, and on welfare?


Chapter 23 Europe M. Chiriacò, A. Navarra, R. Valentini,
D. Spano et al.


This chapter reviews the scientific evidence on observed and projected impacts of anthropogenic climate change in Europe and adaptation responses. Climate change will increase the likelihood of systemic failures across European countries caused by extreme climate events affecting multiple sectors. The provision of ecosystem services is projected to decline and to impede economic activity in Southern Europe more than in other sub-regions, and may increase future intra-regional disparity. The impacts of sea level rise on populations and infrastructure in coastal regions can be reduced by adaptation, although synthesis of evidence across sectors and sub-regions confirm that there are limits to adaptation from physical, social, economic, and technological factors.



All You Need to Know About the IPCC 5th Assessment Report. Mitigation of Climate Change

Chapter 2 Integrated risk and uncertainty assessment of climate
change response policies
V. Bosetti et al.

Integrated risk and uncertainty assessment of climate change response policies

This framing chapter considers ways in which risk and uncertainty can affect the process and outcome of strategic choices in responding to the threat of climate change. Individuals and organizations that link science with policy grapple with several different forms of uncertainty. Laypersons tend to judge risks differently than experts, and decision makers in developing countries often face a particular set of challenges associated with implementing mitigation policies under risk and uncertainty. There is a growing recognition that decision makers often rely on intuitive thinking processes rather than undertaking a systematic analysis of options in a deliberative fashion. It is appropriate that climate change risk management strategies take into account both forms of thinking when considering policy choices where there is risk and uncertainty.


Chapter 6 Assessing transformation pathways M. Tavoni et al.

Assessing transformation pathways

This chapter considers “transformation pathways” towards the stabilization of greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations, and it is primarily motivated by three questions. What are the near-term and future choices that define transformation pathways, including the goal itself, the emissions pathway to the goal, technologies used for and sectors contributing to mitigation, the nature of international coordination, and mitigation policies? What are the key characteristics of different transformation pathways, including the rates of emissions reductions and deployment of low-carbon energy, the magnitude and timing of aggregate economic costs, and the implications for other policy objectives such as those generally associated with sustainable development? Third, how will actions taken today influence the options that might be available in the future?


Chapter 8 Transport T. Longden et al.


This chapter considers how much the transport sector contributes to GHG emissions and how this sector is changing. Transport is a key enabler of economic activity and social connectivity. It supports national and international trade and a large global industry has evolved around it. Reducing global transport greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will be challenging since the continuing growth in passenger and freight activity could outweigh all mitigation measures unless transport emissions can be strongly decoupled from GDP growth. There are regional differences in transport mitigation pathways with major opportunities to shape transport systems and infrastructure around low-carbon options, particularly in developing and emerging countries. A range of strong and mutually-supportive policies will be needed for the transport sector to decarbonize and for the co-benefits to be exploited.


Chapter 10 Industry A. Lanza et al.


This chapter provides an update to developments on mitigation in the industry sector since the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) (IPCC, 2007). An absolute reduction in emissions from the industry sector will require deployment of a broad set of mitigation options beyond energy efficiency measures. There is no single policy that can address the full range of mitigation measures available for industry and overcome associated barriers. A key challenge for the industry sector is the uncertainty, incompleteness, and quality of data available in the public domain on energy use and costs for specific technologies on global and regional scales that can serve as a basis for assessing performance, mitigation potential, costs, and for developing policies and programmes with high confidence.


Chapter 16 Cross-cutting investment and finance issues

Cross-cutting investment and finance issues

For the first time, an assessment report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) contains a chapter dedicated to investment and finance. The assessment of this topic is complicated by the absence of agreed definitions, sparse data, and limited peer-reviewed literature. The chapter reviews estimates of current climate finance corresponding to the different concepts, projections of global incremental investment and incremental costs for energy-related mitigation measures to 2030, and options for raising public funds for climate finance. Enabling factors that influence the ability to efficiently generate and implement climate finance are discussed, and opportunities and key drivers for low-carbon investments are considered. Institutional arrangements for mitigation finance are addressed along with synergies and trade-offs between financing mitigation and adaptation. The chapter concludes with sections devoted to financing mitigation activities in developed and developing countries and a review of important gaps of knowledge.


C. Carraro, E. Massetti et al.
Event fully organized by FEEM
CMCC supports Italian Ministry of Environment on climate change
Carlo Carraro IPCC WGIII Vice-Chair
Chapter 2 Framing issues A. Markandya et al.

Framing Issues

This chapter frames climate change mitigation policies in the context of general development issues and recognizes that there is a two-way relationship between climate change and sustainable development. An emerging literature has identified methodological approaches and specific policies that can be used to explore synergies and tradeoffs between climate change and economic, social, and environmental sustainability dimensions. It is concluded that there are several factors that condition societies’ or individual stakeholders’ capacity to implement climate change mitigation and adaptation policies, including social, economic, and environmental costs, access to resources, credit, and the decision-making capacity in itself.


Chapter 11 Mitigation from a cross-sectoral perspective C. Carraro et al.

Mitigation from a cross-sectoral perspective

This chapter takes a cross-sectoral approach to mitigation options and costs. It covers overall mitigation potential by sector and the literature on the macro-economic costs of mitigation. It then describes the effects of introducing endogenous technological change into the models, and particularly the effects of inducing technological change through climate policies. The remainder of the chapter looks at interactions of various kinds: it links the medium-term to the long-term mitigation issues; it links the shorter-term costs and social prices of carbon to the longer-term stabilization targets; it covers spillovers from action in one group of countries on the rest of the world; it covers co-benefits (particularly local air quality benefits) and costs; and finally deals with synergies and trade-offs between mitigation and adaptation.


FEEM is among the founding members of the
Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change (CMCC)
Chapter 7 Costing methodologies A. Lanza, A. Markandya et al.

Costing methodologies

This chapter addresses the methodological issues that arise in the estimation of the monetary costs of climate change. The focus is on the correct assessment of the costs of mitigation measures to reduce the emissions of GHGs. Using resources to mitigate greenhouse gases (GHGs) generates opportunity costs that should be considered to help guide reasonable policy decisions. Actions to abate GHG emissions or increase carbon sinks divert resources from other uses like health care and education. Assessing these costs should consider the total value that society attaches to the goods and services forgone because of the diversion of resources to climate protection. In some cases, the benefits of mitigation could exceed the costs, and thus society gains from mitigation.


Chapter 10 Decision-making Frameworks C. Carraro et al.

Decision-making Frameworks

This chapter is intended to synthesize the most important policy-relevant scientific results. It presents the special features of climate change in the context of how they affect decision-making in different frameworks. The chief issue addressed is how international institutions for addressing climate change are simultaneously shaped by and influence national policy choice. The chapter also considers the problem of local and discusses national climate policy formulation in the broader context of sustainable development objectives. The interactions of development and environmental policy objectives are analyzed, along with policy-relevant scientific questions related to global and international climate policy. The closing section concludes with an outline of future tasks.


Chapter 8 Costs of mitigation D. Siniscalco, C. Carraro et al.

Estimating Costs

The purpose of this chapter is to provide a basis for a better understanding of mitigation cost estimates. It is important to be clear what types of costs (e.g. direct, sectoral, macroeconomic or welfare) are included in the analysis. Mitigation costs will be affected by a wide range of factors, including population growth, consumption patterns, resource and technology availability, geographical distribution of activity, land use and transportation patterns, and trade. As a result, there exists a range of quite different socioeconomic and technological development paths that would give rise to quite different emission scenarios and costs of mitigation. Existing energy and emission models do not address these underlying factors in a very effective way. Future analysis should make use of multiple baseline scenarios to help capture the differences in these factors.


IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)
WGIII meeting with UNEP and WMO

feem institutional partnerships

The international research network is certainly one of FEEM’s most valuable intangible assets. FEEM strongly believes that sharing knowledge and fostering cooperation are instrumental in understanding and reacting to the challenges ahead. Built up over the years by involving the best researchers and top research institutions on various projects, the network allows FEEM to stay abreast of state-of-the-art scientific knowledge, to spread its results more widely and to expose its human capital to international interaction. FEEM has been co-operating with important research institutions since the early days, and it has actively contributed to the creation of a number of thematic networks and associations. These are the ongoing partnerships, networks and associations on climate change established by FEEM in the years 1992-2015, grouped by six topics: ADAPTATION, FINANCE, GOVERNANCE, MITIGATION, NATURAL DISASTERS AND RDD & D.


2010: FEEM and Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) enter an agreement to launch a series of joint scientific initiatives on climate change policy.

FEEM and CPI are complementary partners, FEEM being focused on research on sustainable development and global governance, and CPI being focused on climate finance, energy finance and land use policies around the world.

FEEM hosts the Italian offices of CPI at its headquarters on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice.


1995: FEEM and the Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) of the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, organize a workshop on coalition formation and environmental games. The goal of the meeting is to advance knowledge in the area of coalition and network formation and to apply it to the analysis of the process of international climate.

1998: The Coalition Theory Network (CTN) - an association of high level scientific institutions aimed at the advancement and diffusion of theoretical and empirical analysis of socio-economic networks and groups - is formally created as FEEM and CORE widen the focus of their following meetings to the burgeoning applications of coalition theory.

The yearly meetings continue, hosted in turn by the partner institutions, among which those that have joined in the meantime. FEEM hosts the 1998, 2000, 2002, 2008 and 2015 meetings in Venice.

2015: FEEM publishes the celebrative book “Coalition and Networks. 12 papers from 20 years of CTN workshops”, FEEM Press, Climate Change and Sustainable Development Series, 2/2015.


2014: FEEM joins the Economic Policy Forum (EPF), an alliance of think tanks from emerging economies and from selected developed economies. EPF aims at providing a platform for knowledge sharing and collaborative, policy-oriented research on key economic policy changes of emerging economies, in particular on the stability of the world economy and the quality of growth.


2001: FEEM is a founding member of the Global Climate Forum (GCF), a platform for joint studies and science-based stakeholder dialogues in climate change.

2009: FEEM hosts the Annual Conference of the European Climate Forum (ECF), on “Financial Crisis and Climate Policy. A Science-Policy Debate”, in Venice


2008: FEEM and Fondazione Giorgio Cini, a foundation aimed at fostering the creation and development of educational, social, cultural and artistic institutions on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice and the surrounding territory, sign the agreement for the establishment of the International Center for Climate Governance (ICCG). The ICCG is an international research center whose activities focus on the design of climate policy and governance.

2010: FEEM and Fondazione Giorgio Cini announce the Launch Event of the International Center for Climate Governance (ICCG). The event also marks the inauguration of FEEM and ICCG new offices on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice.


2013: The Italian Society for Climate Sciences (SISC) is established. The Euro-Mediterranean Center for Climate Change (CMCC), of which FEEM is a founding member, is institutional member. SISC aims at contributing to scientific progress and innovation of climatic sciences in Italy by promoting the convergence of disciplines and multidisciplinary research.

CMCC is entrusted with the management of SISC’s Permanent Secretariat and it is the co-organizer of the First SISC Annual Conference held in Lecce, Italy.

2014: CMCC and ICCG are co-organizers of the Second SISC Annual Conference held in Venice.


2009: FEEM inaugurates its participation at the Energy Modelling Forum (EMF). EMF is an international forum based at Stanford University for sharing and facilitating discussion on energy policy and global climate issues among experts.

2010: FEEM inaugurates its contribution to the analysis of global scenarios with its World Induced Technical Change Hybrid model (WITCH), one of the main modelling tools developed within FEEM’s Climate Change and Sustainable Development Research Programme.

2012: FEEM co-sponsors sessions at the Workshop on Climate Change Impacts and Integrated Assessment, held at Snowmass, Colorado, within the framework of the Energy Modeling Forum (EMF).


2009: FEEM joins the Regional Modelling Exercise (RME), a network aimed at better articulating the role of a key-Region of the World in addressing climate change. The RME network brings together global modellers that participate in efforts to explore international policy architectures with regional modellers and experts with region-specific knowledge.


2007: FEEM is a member of the Integrated Assessment Modelling Consortium (IAMC), a consortium of scientific research organizations that pursues the scientific understanding of issues associated with integrated assessment modeling and analysis. The IAMC was created in 2007 in response to a call from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for a research organization to lead the integrated assessment modelling community in the development of new scenarios that could be employed by climate modellers in the development of prospective ensemble numerical experiments for both the near term and the long term.

2012: Massimo Tavoni, Deputy Coordinator of FEEM’s Climate Change and Sustainable Development Research Programme, is elected member of the IAMC Scientific Steering Committee


2003: FEEM joins the Biodiversity and Economics for Conservation (BIOECON) network, an interdisciplinary network aiming to advance economic theory and policy for biodiversity conservation.

FEEM co-sponsors and hosts the 2003 BIOECON Conference in Venice, and hosts the 2010 and 2011 BIOECON Conferences in Venice.

2011: BIOECON is formally established; FEEM is a founding partner.


1998: FEEM hosts the 1st World Congress of Environmental and Resources Economics in Venice, a joint initiative of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (AERE) and the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE).

2011: FEEM becomes an institutional member of AERE.

2014: Carlo Carraro, Director of FEEM’s Climate Change and Sustainable Development Research Programme, is elected member of the AERE Council, the first non-North American ever.

2014: Carlo Carraro, Director of FEEM’s Climate Change and Sustainable Development Research Programme, is Co- Editor of “Review of Environmental Economics and Policy” (REEP) - official policy journal of AERE and EAERE as of 2016 - published by Oxford University Press.


2012: The Italian Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (IAERE) is established. Carlo Carraro, Director of FEEM’s Climate Change and Sustainable Development Research Programme, and Valentina Bosetti, FEEM researcher, are founding members. FEEM is institutional member and is entrusted with the management of the IAERE’s Permanent Secretariat.

2015: FEEM researchers Valentina Bosetti and Francesco Bosello are elected IAERE President and Council Member, respectively.


1990: FEEM co-organizes the First Annual Conference on “Environmental Cooperation and Policy in the Single European Market” held at the University of Venice, Italy. The event marks the start of the activities of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE).

1992: EAERE is formally established. Domenico Siniscalco, FEEM Executive Director, is among the founding members of the 1992-1993 Council.

1996: Domenico Siniscalco, FEEM Executive Director, is elected EAERE President, and Alessandro Lanza, FEEM Research Director, is elected Council Member.

1998: FEEM hosts the 1st World Congress of Environmental and Resources Economics, in Venice, a joint initiative of AERE and EAERE.

2000: FEEM, EAERE, and Venice International University (VIU) launch the first European Summer School in Resource and Environmental Economics.

2002: Carlo Carraro, FEEM Research Director, is elected Council Member.

2004: FEEM is entrusted with the management of the EAERE Secretariat.

2006: FEEM joins EAERE as institutional member.

2014: Valentina Bosetti, FEEM researcher, is elected Council Member.