"Extreme Events - Building Climate Resilient Societies" Conference

9-11 October 2019, Hanover, Germany

Extreme climate events, such as heatwaves, droughts and storms, have been identified as a top threat to human well-being by the United Nations and independent bodies, such as the World Economic Forum. At the same time, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been globally agreed on as a key target with a timeline until 2030 (Agenda 2030).

Development and transformation for achieving the SDGs can be severely threatened by catastrophic events triggered by climate extremes. Yet, at the same time development towards reaching the SDGs may enhance societal resilience against such extremes. There is an urgent need to discuss strategies to reach the Sustainable Development Goals and societal resilience, specifically considering changes of climate extremes which are likely to happen according to repeated reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Thus, the overall objective of the "Extreme Events - Building Climate Resilient Societies" Conference is to elucidate the relations between climate extremes, societal resilience, and sustainable development goals. In particular, with a global perspective, we will identify the major obstacles for building climate resilience across regions and sectors, and identify priorities and means to address these obstacles. We aim to develop both strategic agendas for research and for best-practice design and implementation.

The conference invites researchers and professionals from business and administration with a link to climate extremes from all fields (e.g. history, climate science, data science, economics, ecology, health, mathematics, psychology, sociology, risk assessment, political sciences).

Correspondingly, attendance from international players as key note speakers and session chairs is confirmed, covering a broad range from academic sociology to insurance industry. 

"Extreme Events: Building Climate Resilient Societies" is part of the Herrenhausen Conference Series initiated by the Volkswagen Foundation. 

The steering committee consists of Markus Reichstein (Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena), Mojib Latif (GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Kiel), Petra Mahrenholz (German Environment Agency, Berlin), Katrin Rehdanz (Environmental and Resource Economics, Kiel University) who is also PI at the SPP DICES project, Jürgen Scheffran (University of Hamburg) and Gerrit Jasper Schenk (Technische Universität Darmstadt).

Parallel Sessions

Parallel sessions will address the following topics in relation to climate extremes:

Session 1:    Challenges of Extreme Events for Resilient Infrastructures
Session 2:    Climate Extremes and Food Security
Session 3:    Climate Extremes and Security
Session 4:    Data Science for Human Well-being
Session 5:    Response to Compound Events

The parallel sessions will be guided by the following research questions:

I) Which impacts are expected to be caused by extreme climate events (incl. compound events, impacts cascades and feedbacks) across ecosystems, infrastructures and society?

II) What are key obstacles (e.g. financing, governance, data & system knowledge) towards societal resilience across sectors and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

III) What knowledge is needed to remove these obstacles and how can research, teaching and learning support the transformation towards SDGs while facing climate extremes?

You can download the program of the conference here. Further information and registration can be accessed here.