Global Agenda Council on Climate Change 2012-2013
Recent studies indicate that climate change is taking place faster than originally thought. Climate change poses both immediate and long-term threats to the life-support systems upon which all people depend – food, water, habitat, health, ecosystem services and critical infrastructure such as energy, transport and coastal protection. Meanwhile, market opportunities for "green" technologies are growing, such as renewable and efficient energy that help to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, as their costs come down and they offer attractive investment possibilities.
As extreme temperatures and floods result in loss of life, livelihoods and assets, climate adaptation is becoming critical for business, society and governments, as they seek to respond to the risks posed by the unavoidable impacts of climate change. Indeed, climate change raises the possibility that societies must tackle climatic shifts (in temperature, storm frequency, flooding and other challenges) that previous experience has not prepared them for. Emerging countries are even more vulnerable as they are least able to recover from climate stresses and their economic growth is often highly reliant on climate-sensitive sectors.
While climate change is a growing concern, multilateral climate negotiations have progressed slowly. The agreement reached at the 17th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) in Durban to negotiate a new legally enforceable and universal Global Accord on greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2015 offers a significant opportunity to deliver a climate strategy that recognizes the important roles of all stakeholders in delivering solutions. Meanwhile, local initiatives show that progress is possible. Recent examples include Mexico’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020; Australia’s adoption of a carbon-price system; and China’s efforts to pilot emissions trading schemes to advance low-carbon development in cities and provinces.
- The global annual average temperature is expected to be 2ºC above pre-industrial levels by 2050. A 2ºC warmer world will have more frequent and intense droughts, floods and heat waves.
- Lloyd's of London was hit by record claims for natural disasters, as disasters in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the US made the first half of 2011 the costliest six-month period in the insurance market's 323-year history.
- In the past decade, renewable power has been growing at an annual rate of 27%. If it continues to grow at that pace, renewables are on track to achieve the pathway spelled out in the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Energy Technology Perspectives scenario to achieve stabilization at 2ºC by 2050.
“I’ve witnessed the challenges faced by vulnerable people in more than 110 countries as they relate to food, water, energy and lack of infrastructure. I’m convinced that private sector-led solutions are crucial to save lives, improve livelihoods and increase resilience around the world.”
Juan José Daboub, Founding Chief Executive Officer, Global Adaptation Institute (GAIN), USA
United Nations Framework for Climate Change
Information on adaptation: http://gain.org/ and http://index.gain.org/
World Economic Forum Climate Change Issues
Field, Christopher B., Barros, Vicente and Stocker, Thomas F. "Managing the risks of extreme events and disasters to advance climate change adaptation"
Muller, Richard A. "Energy for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines"
UNFCCC 18th Conference of Parties
26 November-7 December 2012
World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2013
Salzburg Global Seminar, A Climate for Change: New Thinking on Governance for Sustainability
23-27 June 2013
European Climate Change Adaptation Conference
18-20 March 2013
During its last term, the Global Agenda Council on Climate Change explored options for a successful framework for low-carbon, resource-efficient growth, taking into account the current economic and political landscape, and identified key enabling elements for action. The Council proposed a series of specific initiatives and actions that should be implemented. The group recognized that as the pace of international negotiations is too slow for a timely global solution to climate change, “bottom-up” movements, often driven by public-private collaboration at national, sub-national and regional levels, could help create a more favourable environment for a “top-down” approach to climate change.
In 2012-14, the Council on Climate Change intends to develop recommendations for effective climate adaptation, including sources of funding, and a better understanding of resource and supply chain risk and opportunities. In addition, it will advance new models for effective climate governance to achieve the goals of the Durban Platform in 2015.
The Council has acknowledged the urgent need to adapt to a fast-changing world. Accordingly, it will strengthen the argument that adaptation cannot wait and must be on a par with mitigation, health, education and development. To that end, the Council will work on identifying the metrics that best represent vulnerabilities faced by communities, entrepreneurs and governments, as well as metrics to measure results. In addition, it will focus on the capability of countries to attract investments needed to build a resilient society.
In 2015, the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will prepare a new legally-binding climate deal that will replace the Kyoto Protocol and take effect by 2020. The negotiations in the run up to 2015 will present a major opportunity to design a new kind of multilateral climate treaty, possibly one that recognizes the important role of non-traditional actors, such as sub-national authorities, public-private partnerships and multistakeholder coalitions.
Council Manager: Vanessa Lecerf, Senior Associate, Network of Global Agenda Councils, email@example.com
Forum Lead: Thomas Kerr, Director, Head of Climate Change Initiatives, firstname.lastname@example.org