The WCRP implementation plan needs to clearly articulate the research priorities that will guide and direct the science needed to enable rapid progress towards providing societally-relevant climate information. After consultation and discussion with the WCRP leadership and community, we landed on two high-level research priorities, that we call our "Implementation Priorities." These are to:

The first Implementation Priority acknowledges the ongoing and critical need for the science and technological advances required to improve our understanding of the climate system; especially the multi-scale dynamics and feedbacks. This is consistent with, and aligned to, several of the scientific objectives in the WCRP Strategic Plan, and reflects that there are still significant, fundamental knowledge gaps. Furthermore, our stakeholders are asking for climate information that helps quantify risks associated with a changing climate. And so we have prioritized research into:
  • Understanding how extremes change with climate change
  • How climate knowledge, data, and information can best be used to quantify risk
  • How this knowledge and information can be integrated into risk assessment frameworks and also enable opportunities to also be identified.
The second Implementation Priority is intended to provide the direction to climate science and/or institutions needed to effectively inform societal actions and decisions. For example, when considering climate mitigation approaches and policies:
  • It is not for WCRP to develop or implement mitigation policies, but those organizations and societal actors who do design and implement such policies need to be guided and informed by the latest and best quality climate science – alongside other sciences and technologies of course.
  • Mitigation includes geoengineering; a form of climate intervention that absolutely needs WCRP science (along with consideration of liabilities, ethics, technologies etc.).
  • "Evaluate" includes the advice we provide on how to best to monitor and track the efficacy of mitigation policies and agreements like the Paris Agreement (as is already done, for example in the case of the Montreal Protocol or Stockholm convention)
WCRP is also very aware that to co-produce knowledge and information, and ensure this is used to improve decision making and adaptation responses, new or changed institutional approaches are often required. Can we, with our partners, provide guidance, and lead the innovation required, to build or propose such new institutions?

Click the white boxes for a more detailed explanation of each implementation priority

The Implementation Priorities provide guidance and direction to the science needed so that robust and actionable regional to local climate information can be delivered, in support of, for example:

  • Implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • Informing disaster risk reduction plans such as the Sendai Framework
  • Climate adaptation and mitigation policies and agreements

To find out how to connect with us on this journey, see our connect page.