World climate experts convene
Climate experts convene in Geneva for the World Climate Conference
The UN World Climate Conference (WCC-3) is taking place in Geneva this week and is the last major global meeting of scientific experts before Copenhagen. The conference looks to boost collection and sharing of climate information by establishing an international framework to guide the development of climate services, with the aim of assisting the world to cope with the effects of climate change.
Agreement in Geneva would help set the stage for Copenhagen according to Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
'It will support whatever decisions are going to be made in Copenhagen' said Jarraud. 'One component (of a deal in Copenhagen) will be bigger use of renewable energy - water, wind, solar energy. These three will require better information to implement,' he said.
Even with the achievement of an ambitious deal at Copenhagen, the coping mechanisms being planned in Geneva are essential, according to scientists, because many effects of climate change are already happening.
The role of science and technology
In advance of the Geneva conference, David Clary, Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office gave an exclusive interview to ActonCopenhagen.gov.uk.
In the interview, Prof Clary stressed that the need for global scientific action:
'It is only science and technology that will eventually solve this problem [climate change]. That is why it is so crucial that we get a firm agreement at the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen in December.
If the world acts to reduce green house gas emissions and the increase in temperature is kept within 2 degrees by 2020 then we will have gone a long way to avoiding a very serious problem for the world.
It is only a global, unified, scientific effort in low carbon science and technology that will enable us to make progress and solve the critical problem of climate change'.
The cost of adapting to climate change
A new report published by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) last week presents views from scientists around the world on the cost of adapting to climate change.
Professor Martin Parry, Report lead author on his concerns for a deal in Copenhagen:
'I doubt if there will be a strong enough agreement in Copenhagen, number two, if there was a provisional one we would be walking into the future bearing the cost of impacts of coastal erosion, coastal flooding, river flooding, increasing losses of people through disease and heat stress, stresses on food supply as well and we have seen signs of that which we think are likely to be due to climate change and a lot of impacts that we will be bearing the cost of and we reckon its much cheaper to adapt – in other words avoid the impact of climate change - probably the cost of adapting is a quarter to a third, broadly speaking, of the cost of bearing the impact.'
The report authors are now calling for detailed case studies into what adaptation costs in specific places and sectors so a more accurate figure can be allocated to responding to climate change.
UN tackels climate change effects, BBC News 31 August 2009
Better climate information seen aiding U.N. pact, Reuters 1 September 2009
International Institute for Environment and Development
Milestones on the road to Copenhagen
See what's happening in the lead up to Copenhagen this month
Ahead of the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum, this guide explains what CCS is, and why it's important for a global deal at Copenhagen
On track for emissions reduction
New technology is being exported around the world and is attracting interest across the UK network
Warming - Climate Change, the facts
350.org is an international campaign dedicated to building solutions to the climate crisis-the solutions that the science demand.