Counting the true costs of climate change

The international conference on climate-change impacts
for scientists & stakeholders


11 - 13 October 2017

Potsdam, Germany

Thank you to all who contributed to the success of Impacts World 2017!

Over 450 participants, from 68 countries joined us for three thought-provoking, inspiring and challenging days in Potsdam. We compiled much of the material from the conference, which is now available. The plenary and workshop presentation slides as well as the posters and workshop reports are accessible via the Program & Speakers page. A feedback form, conference photos and videos, best poster awardees as well as a collection of press reports are available under the Impressions of Impacts World 2017 page.

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“Congratulations to a really outstanding conference! The PIK 25 anniversary session was spectacular, amazing job!"

"The conference was a worthwhile experience of learning, sharing and networking."

"My expectations were more than met. The organization was excellent and talks were inspiring."

"Thanks very much for a fabulous conference! There was so much learning and engagement to have - as well as fun."

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"Thanks for organizing - great opportunity to learn more about research, engagement and opportunities for the necessary global transformation, and the stakeholders and actors involved in making it happen."

"I was really impressed by the organisation and the talks presented in the conference. The workshop sessions were in particular of great benefits to me."

"I also wish to express my gratitude for giving me chance to present my work. It was a great and enjoyable experience, I learnt a lot."

"It was full of experience sharing and offered me the opportunity to meet new people and build my network. My sincere appreciations."

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Counting the economic costs of climate change

Estimating the economic costs of climate impacts is key for informed decision-making. Costs can arise from changes in the mean climate, as well as climate-induced extreme events, via destruction of assets and impacts on economic growth, development and wellbeing in the short and long term. In particular, climate impacts strongly depend on and further change the distribution of income, wealth, and adaptive capacities. Moving forward, improving economic-cost assessment requires a more comprehensive quantification of economic losses, reflecting risk and uncertainties, and a better accounting for different preferences and conceptions of social welfare.
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Climate change and human health

The propagation of vector-borne diseases, occurrence of extreme heat stress, nutritional shortages, and the deterioration of air quality are among the human-health issues likely to be exacerbated under climate change. Furthermore, impacts on labor productivity could be one of the main economic consequences of climate change.  Investigating the interaction of climate change from other governance, infrastructure and environmental issues, and to the extent possible separating these, will help to identify the adaptation measures to reduce risks for human health. Furthermore, understanding the influence of these drivers separately contributes to quantifying how climate mitigation policies can help to alleviate pressure on our health systems.
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Climate change and human migration

Human migration and displacement, be it within a country, or across borders, is driven by myriad interacting factors, not least conflicts and natural disasters. Climate change is already adding to these strains, through the increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather and climate events, the prolonged effects of enduring changes to climatic conditions on food systems and water availability, or the disappearance of land due to rising sea levels.
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Climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals

Climate action is  one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations in 2015, but all 17 goals are highly interlinked. Climate change impacts, adaptation as well as mitigation action needs to be considered for achieving  most, if not all other 16 goals. The climate-impacts research community can therefore contribute to identifying the challenges associated with and required strategies for meeting these goals, and shed light on the particular vulnerabilities of poor and disadvantaged sections of society.
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