This project addresses the following research questions:
1. How can Article 2 of the FCCC be elaborated into quantitative indicators for climate change control? What operational criteria could be developed to indicate dangerous and non-dangerous levels of anthropogenic interference with the climate system? What danger threshold levels could be defined for each indicator? What are the arguments supporting the alternative answers to the above questions, which stakeholders are in favour of these arguments and why? What are the common interests behind the different positions if any?
2. What would be the implications for the long-term indicators and/or values for global emission control on the short- to medium term for the post Kyoto period?
3. How important is the operationalisation of the ultimate objective of the Climate Change Convention to ensure that the short and medium term measures adopted under the regime are on target? Are there alternative approaches?
This project is framed within the context of Article 2. Within this context, the articulation of the above questions may change during the initial preparatory phase of this project. Researching these questions also presupposes an effective and fair dialogue design and the proper utilisation of scientific knowledge. Thus the research questions for the first phase of this project are:
1. How do the project partners and stakeholders (re)define the above questions within the context of Article 2 of the Convention?
2. How should the dialogue be designed to secure the fair and effective participation of various policy makers and stakeholders in the dialogue and effective utilisation of scientific knowledge?
The scope of this project is limited to articulating what is considered dangerous and non dangerous levels of anthropogenic interference with the climate system and its implications for global emission levels in specific time-frames. It is not intended to focus on the issues of differentiation of emission control commitments, unless the participants see this as an integral and unavoidable part of the discussion on Article 2. However, the attitudes of participants towards the issue of differentiated commitments is interesting in itself and also an important aspect of any global dialogue on climate change. Therefore the planned dialogue will engage with the question of differentiated commitments, not as the central focus of discussion but as one of a number of issues to be addressed and evaluated by participants.
The HOT project uses a science based policy dialogue methodology, which is appropriate within the context of post-normal scientific research (see annex 1 for a theoretical background). The project will be based on an informal stakeholder – policy makers dialogue with a balanced representation of various regions, views and affiliations, but limited group size (ca. 30) for full interaction and personal involvement. The focus of the dialogue will be more on the policy dimensions of issues than on the technical and scientific aspects. The science is envisaged to perform a supportive role to inform and clarify, and to provide feedback on implications of options discussed. It will pay attention to both climate mitigation, impacts and adaptation and to linkages between climate and other policy areas.