Panel on Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change: Statement of Task
The Panel on Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change will describe, analyze, and assess strategies for reducing the net future human influence on climate, including both technology and policy options (sometimes referred to as “mitigation of climate change”). The panel will focus on actions to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions and other human drivers of climate change, such as changes in land use, but will also consider the international dimensions of climate stabilization. The panel will not be responsible for evaluating specific proposals to limit or counteract climate change via direct interventions in the climate system (i.e., so-called geoengineering approaches) but may comment on the possible role that such approaches could play in future plans to limit the magnitude of climate change. The panel will also strive to keep abreast of the wide range of proposals currently being advanced by policy makers at a number of levels to limit the future magnitude of climate change, and strive to frame their recommendations in the context of these developments.
The panel will be challenged to produce a report that is broad and authoritative, yet concise and useful to decision makers. The costs, benefits, limitations, trade-offs, and uncertainties associated with different options and strategies should be assessed qualitatively and, to the extent practicable, quantitatively, using the scenarios of future climate change and vulnerability provided by the Climate Change Study Committee. The panel should also provide policy-relevant (but not policy-prescriptive) input to the committee on the following overarching questions:
What short-term actions can be taken to limit the magnitude of future climate change?
What promising long-term strategies, investments, and opportunities could be pursued to limit the magnitude of future climate change?
What are the major scientific and technological advances (e.g., new observations, improved models, research priorities, etc.) needed to limit the magnitude of future climate change?
What are the major impediments (e.g., practical, institutional, economic, ethical, intergenerational, etc.) to limiting the magnitude of future climate change, and what can be done to overcome these impediments?
What can be done to limit the magnitude of future climate change at different levels (e.g., local, state, regional, national, and in collaboration with the international community) and in different sectors (e.g., nongovernmental organizations, the business community, the research and academic communities, individuals and households, etc.)?