A team of Griffith University climate change researchers will learn and engage with governmentorganisations, NGOs and research institutions at a major UN climate change conference in Spain.
The team of Griffith delegates includes climate, business and social scientists and will present their findings and liaise with leaders andorganisationsat the forthcoming United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Convention of Parties 25th meeting (COP25) in Madrid, Spain, from December 2-13.
The COP25 is a significant step towards making progress towards enacting the terms of the 2015 Paris Agreement in how countries are going to address climate change via reducing greenhouse gas emissions,and alsonegotiate items on finance, and climate adaptation.
Griffith’s delegation of expertsspecialisein fields closely aligned to the global issues COP25 seeks to address.
Dr Johanna Nalau, ARC DECRA Fellow from the Cities Research Institute, will lead the Griffith delegation, with Dr Rob Hales (Griffith Business School and Griffith Centre for Sustainable Enterprise), DrSamidSuliman (School of Humanities, Language and Social Science and Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research), Dr Tim Cadman (Institute for Ethics, Governance and Law) and Virginie Young (who is assisting Griffith research projects).
Dr Nalau, who also leads the Adaptation Science Research Theme at Cities Research Institute, said the importance of being involved in the United Nations climate convention was a significant opportunity to understand how the team’s research could be made more relevant at a global scale.
“This is my third year as an expert at Nairobi Work Program and it is always rewarding to be able to assist in discussions about science, policy and practice, and to meet the many negotiators in person who are looking for adaptation science that can assist them with policy-and decision-making processes on these complex issues,” Dr Nalau said.
Dr Nalau is also assisting the UNFCCC Secretariat on daily basis with theorganisationand leading sessions on Resilience Frontiers, a new UN inter-agency initiative that is focused on bringing foresight and novel thinking and approaches into the UN process.
“Being involved with Resilience Frontiers is a passion project of mine as I see the huge opportunities that exist in future-oriented, innovative and novel approaches to climate adaptation in particular,” she said.
“As part of my current DECRA project, this provides an amazing platform in trying to understand the key principles of adaptation and all these engagements at the global level will bring clarity to what these are or should be.”
Dr Rob Hales’ main research interest centers on how business can commit to net zero emissions and how governments can assist industry pathways to net zero emissions. His mission at COP25 is to explore the role of economic opportunities in facilitating increased level of ambition of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
“The lack of ambition reflected in present NDCs (Country Targets Under the Paris Agreement) is caused primarily by assuming national emissions reductions targets and strategies are a cost to a country,” Dr Hales said.
“Research into perceptions of the meaning ‘cost’ is important to the ultimate goal of achieving the target under the Paris Agreement.”
How ideas and norms are shaping migration governance in the context of a changing climate is the primary research interest of Dr Suliman. He will be attending COP25 to continue his research on how tensions between different conceptions of migration, mobility, rights and citizenship are influencing discussions on the linkages between climate change and migration in global and regional governance spaces.
“Since the Cancun Agreements in 2010, migration, mobility and displacement have become a central piece of the climate ambition and action puzzle. However, there is much work to do to ensure that fair, just and migrant-centredsolutions are embedded in collective action on climate change,” Dr Suliman said.
“I am also excited to be representing Griffith University on this important globalstage, andlinking the cutting-edge humanities and social science research being done by Griffith researchers to global and international policy-making on climate change.”
Dr Tim Cadman will be following the ongoing ‘Article 6’ negotiations around carbon credits and market mechanisms for combatting climate change, the only part of the 2015 Paris Agreement which remain unresolved.
He will also be attendingmeetings, andpresenting the results of his research into sustainable development, forest governance and poverty alleviation in developing countries.
Griffith and the Nairobi Work Program
Griffith’s COP25 delegation will also be involved with several side events and key forums.
Dr Nalau is part of an invited expert group and represents Griffith University at the Nairobi Work Program (NWP) Focal Point Forum held on 6th December in Madrid.
Griffith University became an official partner to NWP in August 2019 and supports the technical work undertaken in NWP through expert advice and guidance.
The NWP supports the countries by providing access to key knowledge resources on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability to climate change, including traditional and indigenous knowledge, and it aims to move this knowledge into climate actions that are relevant and robust.
It fosters science-policy-practice collaborations that enables filling of knowledge gaps and supports countries in developing policy and making more robust decisions how to act on climate change.
“I am delighted to see the related activity and engagement from colleagues across the University in this important meeting,” Griffith Vice President (Global) Professor Sarah Todd said.
“Our partnership with the NWP formally recognises the significant amount of work in a range of disciplinary areas being undertaken across Griffith in the area of climate change.
“Supporting the development of evidence-based policy and advice as countries across the world deal with this challenge is very consistent both with the expertise at Griffith and our institutional focus on sustainability and social justice.”