Marina Menga

Isole Marshall

“We will not go silently to our watery graves”: How to save a nation from drowning

The Marshall Islands, a nation of low-lying atolls threatened by rising sea levels, is facing an existential crisis. Yet, amidst this adversity, the Marshallese people are not only adapting to climate change but also charting a path for survival. Drawing inspiration from their rich maritime heritage, the Marshall Islands have developed a groundbreaking National Adaptation Plan for Survival (NAP). This plan, unveiled at COP28, outlines a comprehensive strategy for addressing the climate crisis over the next century.

Cover Image: Ten self-help groups in Puri in the Indian state of Odisha are replanting Casurina forests along the coast to reduce the impact of cyclones and seawater intrusion, which destroys their crops. Credits: Shawn Sebastian/ September 2022

Telling stories of climate resilience

”It was clear that our narrative had to present climate change as a problem with solutions. That’s where the idea of humanising climate risks through stories of resilience came together.” Faces of Climate Resilience, the winner of the 2023 CMCC Award, is a compelling short-documentary series showcasing the voices of individuals in some of India’s most climate-vulnerable regions. In an interview with creative producer Milan George Jacob, we discuss storytelling as a tool for effective, people-focused climate communication.

People in Amazon River Brazil

Democratizing climate modeling for more pertinent and accurate policy insights

Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) play a pivotal role in shaping climate research and policy. “The main progress lies in democratizing modeling capabilities across different countries, ensuring more pertinent and accurate policy insights,” says Roberto Schaeffer. The need for a shift towards national-level modeling of climate impacts, the complexity of balancing immediate costs with long-term benefits at the policy level, and the representation gap between countries, are at the core of the current discussion around climate modeling.

COP28 | GIULIO BOCCALETTI. The take-home messages: Advanced knowledge of climate and its interaction with society matters far more.

“CMCC’s strategy aligns with the state of science and society today”. CMCC Scientific Director Giulio Boccaletti comments on the outcome of COP28 in Dubai, where our scientists were engaged in many topics, ranging from adaptation to loss & damage, land use and the science-policy interface. The growing need for integrated scientific knowledge, the intertwining of the climate and socio-economic systems, the ever-closer integration of adaptation and mitigation, and the opportunities arising from machine learning and available data: the points that emerge from COP28 are at the heart of the CMCC strategy.

COP28 | ALFREDO REDER: Climate models are magnifying glasses to understand the Climate-Health Nexus

Cities emerge as crucial topics in climate discussions, with artificial surfaces amplifying environmental challenges and increasing health risks. From COP28, CMCC scientist Alfredo Reder emphasizes the need for city-focused high-resolution datasets and the lack of complete climate information in many developing countries, urging investments in models and datasets. As health and climate take center stage, advanced techniques, such as artificial intelligence, aid in navigating uncertainties for informed decision-making, and in tackling the lack of information to address the global information gap.

COP28 | MARTA ELLENA: “Three intertwined pillars to solve the climate crisis”

Positioned as a pivotal theme at COP28, adaptation efforts should aim for a shared and common framework to fortify resilience and reduce vulnerabilities at different scales. Adaptation is crucial in the context of the Global Stocktake, intended to inform Parties to the Paris Agreement on their progress against its goals, including limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5°C. National Adaptation Plans also take center stage in current climate discussions, marking the launchpad for states to decipher local and national vulnerabilities and risks, plan effective adaptation actions, and secure funding. CMCC scientist Marta Ellena shares insights illuminating COP28’s ambition for a sustainable and resilient future.

COP28 | ELENA VERDOLINI: “All that is discussed in the negotiations is about Just Transition”

Designing a just transition requires global efforts on multiple levels. It requires sitting scientists, policymakers, and the private sector at the same table. It needs to give each of society’s sectors a voice. It involves harnessing the potential of digital technologies in the context of decarbonisation to promote democracy, equity and planetary stability. CMCC scientist Elena Verdolini highlights the need to focus on the regulation of the processes, on the framing, on channeling joint forces across countries and sectors to drive the climate transition justly and in the right direction.

COP28 | ANNA PIRANI: “The most comprehensive and robust science for climate negotiations”

Science plays a central role in COP28 climate negotiations. As part of the Italian delegation that is led by the Ministry of the Environment and Energy Security, CMCC scientist Anna Pirani anticipates crucial discussions on funding for vulnerable nations, renewable energy and energy efficiency pledges, and the inaugural global stocktake phase. CMCC’s active participation in the 2023 Conference of the Parties reflects a commitment to integrating science seamlessly into climate policy decisions.

Finance, resilience, action: Three climate keywords for Africa

Africa stands at the forefront of the disproportionate impacts of climate change despite having contributed minimally to global greenhouse gas emissions historically. In September, the first Africa Climate Summit aimed at finding common finance solutions to foster a green and sustainable growth for the continent. The results are summarized in the Nairobi declaration, highlighting the urgency of a strong climate finance strategy, throughout the continent and at an international cooperation level.

buildings under a blue sky

Building on sustainable foundations: Climate change and energy efficiency to decarbonize the construction sector

The link between buildings and climate change has long been a focal point of global discussions on mitigation and adaptation. A new report by UNEP and Yale addresses the urgent need to decarbonize the construction sector, responsible for more than one third of global CO2 emissions. With global emissions on the rise, this report provides a blueprint for reducing “embodied carbon” emissions from building materials by 2050. Expert Paolo Bertoldi highlights that creating a sustainable building industry is possible and needs collaboration across sectors and countries.