New Paper on Responding to Sea Level Rise

The scale of the SLR challenge is immense and strong mitigation efforts are needed to avoid multiple meters of SLR within the next few centuries, which will be unmanageable for many coastal regions of the world. But even with such efforts, sea levels will continue to rise for decades and centuries to come. Thus coastal adaptation is essential in any future, but it will be much easier and more likely to be successful when combined with stringent mitigation. The important thing is to start exploring long-term adaptive strategies now if they are not already initiated.

The online version of the paper “Responding to Sea Level Rise” is accessible here


Acess the full Working Paper on the European Green Deal here

With the personnel change at the top of both the European Commission and the European Central Bank, a Green Deal for Europe has been put on the agenda. To be politically feasible and socially acceptable, the European Green Deal needs to reduce not only emissions but also unemployment { especially youth unemployment { and regional as well as social inequality throughout Europe. This is possible if the Green Deal shifts the EU economy to a new development path. To provide an example showing feasibility, our paper presents a structure for the Green Deal based on large scale additional investments, in the order of 1% of GDP annually. It outlines how these can be funded, and estimates eff ects in terms of reaching the goals. An essential point is that the resources must be used in such a way as to trigger a renewal of the European innovation system; while being a challenge, the European Green Deal can thus also become an opportunity – and may be the only opportunity – to reach a carbon neutral European economy by 2050 and to revert the trend of decreasing social cohesion in Europe much earlier.

Acess the full Working Paper on the European Green Deal here

The added value of real options analysis for climate change adaptation

Climate change adaptation investment decisions can be made more efficiently if uncertainty and new information are considered in their economic appraisal. Real options analysis (ROA) is a robust decision-making tool that allows for the incorporation of both uncertainty and new information. In this opinion article, we argue that ROA is a valuable tool, providing the analysis is designed to reflect the real-world characteristics of the decision context. We highlight the differences between traditional risk-based ROA, and scenario-based ROA, and discuss the relative merits of the approaches from the perspective of their assumptions and use of climate information.

The online version of the paper “The added value of real options analysis for climate change adaptation” is accessible here

New Essay on Extended Evolutionary Dynamics in the Technosphere by GCF’s Co-Chairman Manfred Laubichler

By going through the transitions in cell evolution and energy regimes, evolutionary biologist Manfred Laubichler explains the dynamics behind the formation of the metabolic activity and complexity of our planet…

New Paper on User Needs for Sea Level Rise

“Meeting User Needs for Sea Level Rise Information: A Decision Analysis Perspective”

Despite widespread efforts to implement climate services, there is almost no literature that systematically analyzes users’ needs. This paper addresses this gap by applying a decision analysis perspective to identify what kind of mean sea level rise (SLR) information is needed for local coastal adaptation decisions. We first characterize these decisions, then identify suitable decision analysis approaches and the sea level information required, and finally discuss if and how these information needs can be met given the state of the art of sea level science.

The online version of the paper “Meeting User Needs for Sea Level Rise Information: A Decision Analysis Perspective”  is accessible here

Updated Version of GCF Working Paper “Framing 1.5°C” on SSRN

[by S. Wolf, C. Jaeger, J. Mielke, F. Schuetze, R. Rosen] ||

An updated version of GCF Working Paper 2 / 2017 “Framing 1.5°C – Turning an investment challenge into a green growth opportunity” that reflects the current IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C is now published on SSRN under:

Uncertainty representations of mean sea-level change: a telephone game?

For the long-term management of coastal flood risks, investment and policy strategies need to be developed in the light of the full range of uncertainties associated with mean sea-level rise (SLR). This, however, remains a challenge due to deep uncertainties involved in SLR assessments, many ways of representing uncertainties, and a lack of common terminology for referring to these. To contribute to addressing these limitations, this paper first develops a typology of representations of SLR uncertainty by categorising these at three levels: (i) SLR scenarios versus SLR predictions, (ii) the type of variable that is used to represent SLR uncertainty, and (iii) partial versus complete uncertainty representations. Next, it is analysed how mean SLR uncertainty is represented and how representations are converted within the following three strands of literature: SLR assessments, impact assessments, and decision analyses. We find that SLR assessments mostly produce partial or complete precise probabilistic scenarios. The likely ranges in the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are a noteworthy example of partial imprecise probabilistic scenarios. SLR impact assessments and decision analyses mostly use deterministic scenarios. In conversions of uncertainty representations, a range of arbitrary assumptions are made, for example on functional forms of probability distributions and relevant confidence levels. The loss of quality and the loss of information can be reduced by disregarding deterministic and complete precise probabilistic predictions for decisions with time horizons of several decades or centuries, and by constructing imprecise probabilistic predictions and using these in approaches for robust decision-making.

The online version of this article is accesible here


An agent-based modeling for housing prices with bounded rationality

This study proposes an agent-based model to investigate major stakeholders behaviors in the housing market. The proposed model mimics the heterogeneous behaviors of individual buyers and sellers in a housing market considering bounded rationality. The simulation results of case study in Shanghai are robust and reproduce stylized facts including as volatility clustering, absence of autocorrelations, heavy tail, loss asymmetry, and aggregational gaussianity on the absolute return.

Access the full text here.

Investors’ Signals for 2°C

The targets of the Paris Agreement make it necessary to redirect finance flows towards sustainable, low-carbon infrastructures and technologies. Currently, the potential of institutional investors to help finance this transition is widely discussed. Thus, this paper takes a closer look at influence factors for green investment decisions of large European insurance companies. With a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods, the importance of policy, market and civil society signals is evaluated. In summary, respondents favor measures that promote green investment, such as feed-in tariffs or adjustments of capital charges for green assets, over ones that make carbon-intensive investments less attractive, such as the phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies or a carbon price. While investors currently see a low impact of the carbon price, they rank a substantial reform as an important signal for the future. Respondents also emphasize that policy signals have to be coherent and credible to coordinate expectations.

Weblink to the paper:

ICT and Climate: A Digital Structure for the Energy Transition

The Global Climate Forum and Fraunhofer IEE have published a perspective on a digital structure of the energy transition in the journal “GAIA – Ecological Perspectives for Science and Society”. The work described in the article is conducted within the Kopernikus project ENavi which develops a navigation system that helps to identify and tackle critical transitions in the German Energy Transition. The Global Climate Forum, Fraunhofer IEE and its partners explores the possible roles of communication technologies in the future energy system as well the opportunities that digitalisation processes create with regard to electricity, thermal energy and mobility. In a mobile visualisation environment, GCF discusses scenario-based narratives of a transformation to a more sustainable mobility with stakeholders in an interactive setting.

Weblink to the perspective paper: