Climate Change Adaptation: Scenario Modelling and Insights into the Energy-Water-Land Nexus




Awais, Muhammad

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Climate change involves complex interactions with various sectors, such as energy, water, land, and socio-economic systems. To achieve the global warming target of "well below 2°C," the international community must address Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as clean energy, water and sanitation systems, and food security. A multi-sector perspective is crucial for developing sustainable policies. Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) are essential for analyzing long-term consequences of diverse socio-economic trajectories and climate change scenarios. However, IAMs may not fully capture the intricacies of adaptations at the local or national level. Understanding adaptation and its interaction with mitigation strategies is crucial for developing successful climate strategies. Quantitative assessments of adaptation are crucial for understanding vulnerability and providing an incomplete picture of the overall climate challenge. Using the MESSAGEix Integrated Assessment Framework, this thesis explores the capability of the IAM to address adaptation using the Indus River Basin as an example and the adaptation of the river under socio-economic, energy, water, and land resource constraints. It allows us to understand the challenges associated with formulating scenarios addressing climate impacts and adaptation. The thesis then builds upon this foundation by introducing a novel framework developed at a global level, the MESSAGEix Nexus. This framework integrates the water sector with existing energy and land systems at high spatial resolution. In addition, it includes biophysical climate impacts throughout the Energy-Water-Land (EWL) nexus using the outputs from Climate Impact Models. This framework is designed to be scalable and open-source and has already been applied at the country scale for Zambian EWL nexus analysis. In a multi-model comparative analysis, the common scenarios from the MESSAGEix-Nexus model and the IMAGE IAM are compared to look more closely at how adaptation and mitigation work together and against each other. This analysis also presents the concept of a "Climate Resilient development scenario," which, while recognizing the effects of climate change, emphasizes adaptive capacities in the context of sustainable development objectives and highlights the central role of the water system in climate change assessments.



adaptation, mitigation, SDGs, nexus, socio-economics, water, energy, land