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Summary Report of the World Climate Change Conference
(Moscow, October 2003)

The World Climate Change Conference was held in Moscow from September 29th to October 3rd, 2003. Over 2200 participants from 86 countries attended this international scientific conference. At the Conference 51 plenary, 144 section and 273 poster presentations were presented. The Conference allowed for a large number of scientists to interact with representatives of governments, business sector, non-government and international organizations. The goal of the Conference was to have a comprehensive discussion of the climate change problem including: understanding natural and anthropogenic factors driving the climate; approaches to reducing anthropogenic emissions; impacts and adaptation measures to on-going climate changes; and hence, to achieve a maximum mutual understanding between scientists, governments, business circles and the public.

The Conference was opened by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir V. Putin and was addressed by senior representatives of a number of international organizations: Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme Klaus Toepfer, Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization Godwin O.P. Obasi, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Joke Waller-Hunter, Executive Secretary of the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer Marco Gonzalez, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Rajendra Pachauri, Director-General of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Jacques Diouf, and Minister of Environment of Canada David Anderson, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of France Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin and Minister of Environment of Norway Borge Brende. The first three days of Plenary sessions consisted of overview presentations on many aspects of the climate change issue and included an address by Professor Andrei N. Illarionov, economic advisor to President Vladimir V. Putin, who presented a set of important questions to the Conference, which generated lively discussion and some responses from the Conference participants who had been involved in the IPCC work.

Issues related to the Kyoto Protocol were raised several times at the Conference and widely different opinions were expressed.

The Plenary presentations were followed by a full day of detailed scientific reports on four parallel sections:

  • Science of Climate Change;
  • Ecological, Social and Economic Impacts of Climate Change;
  • Mitigation of and Adaptation to Climate Change and the Role of Technology;
  • Stakeholders' Dialogue.

The Conference also included four Roundtables, carried out in parallel with the Plenary and Section sessions:

  • Roundtable on Energy and Climate;
  • Carbon-Business Forum;
  • Social Forum on Climate Change;
  • World Climate Change Conference and Global Environmental Problems.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has provided the basis for much of our present understanding of knowledge in this field in its Third Assessment Report (TAR) in 2001. A large majority of the international scientific community has accepted its general conclusions that climate change is occurring, is primarily a result of human emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols, and that this represents a threat to people and ecosystems. Some divergent scientific interpretations were brought forward and discussed in the Conference.

The World Climate Change Conference provided a valuable opportunity for the presentation of new research results from many new studies and an improved understanding of the climate system, how it might evolve in the future, its potential effects and response options. The new studies presented by Russian scientists revealed the broad spectrum of research taking place in Russia. The rich number of presentations at the Conference allowed little time for detailed discussion or a full understanding of the implications of the new research studies. The results, nevertheless, will be available in the complete proceedings of the Conference and will undoubtedly provide a valuable input to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, work on which has just begun.

This Conference, which gathered together participants from all over the World, achieved its goal of presenting many new scientific findings and generating a lively dialogue between all participants and in that sense is expected to have a significant impact on further scientific research and policy discussions.

Summary reports from the individual scientific sections and Roundtables, prepared by their respective chairs and in the case of the Social Forum agreed by all participants in the Forum, are attached as appendices. Authors of these documents are fully responsible for the contents.

The participants at this Conference expressed their deep appreciation to President Vladimir V. Putin, the Government of the Russian Federation and the National Organizing Committee for hosting this timely and important international event, the International Organizing Committee and their sincere gratitude to Chairman of International Organizing Committee Professor Yury A. Izrael and to his assistants from Institute of Global Climate and Ecology.

Endorsed at concluding session of the Conference, October 3, 2003.


Appendix 1.

Key messages for Section 1.1

(Science on Climate Change - Data, Monitoring, Observed Changes and Extreme Events)

  1. Numerous regional studies of climate change in the 20th century show a tendency to more intense single precipitation events, also in areas with no increase or a slight decrease in total amount, i.e. they show an intensified water cycle. Hence, the duration of dry spells increases also in areas with slightly higher precipitation amounts.
  2. Modeled temperature extremes compare best with observed ones in the second half of the 20th century, if greenhouse gas increase, turbidity changes and ozone profiles variations are included besides natural forcing factors. In other words: for the first time modeled extreme values provide evidence that human-induced forcing plays an important role in extreme climate.
  3. Different tropospheric and stratospheric temperature trend analyses of the recent decade with satellite and radiosonde data agree in regional and temporal patterns.
  4. There is a continuing need to sustain and to further build up a global climate observing system in order to be able to monitor climate change.

(Hartmut Grassl)


Appendix 2.

Key messages for Section 1.2

(Science of Climate Change - Role of Oceans, Atmosphere, Land Surface, and Human Influence; Climate Models; Climate Change Projections)

  1. Some progress was reported in the critical and complex area of understanding the role of cloud-radiation interactions in the climate system, and representing such processes in climate models. However, this challenging and important topic requires much more attention.
  2. A preliminary modeling study of the impact of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration on inter-annual tropical variability has suggested a resulting weakening of the ENSO phenomenon. The prospect of such an important regional coupled atmosphere-ocean sensitivity and response to increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases is reminiscent of the corresponding potential sensitivity and response of the thermohaline circulation in the North Atlantic, and requires further, more comprehensive study.
  3. The importance of “marginal seas” in influencing the wide, larger scale ocean circulation and transports, and also both local and wider atmospheric circulations, and therefore climate, was illustrated by a report of recent advances in modeling the Mediterranean circulation and its effects on climate.
  4. Several studies re-emphasized the continuing need and value of increasingly detailed and sophisticated analysis, interpretation and validation of climate model simulations and projections. In this context, the need and the value of observational data and major model re-analyses were demonstrated clearly. Whilst recognizing the exiting prospect and potential value of the emerging ARGO system, a special plea was made for more and better observations over and in the oceans.
  5. Continuing progress was evident from modeling studies not only in the simulation of the particular broad characteristics of the climate of the 20th century, but also in the attribution of the observed and modeled changes in global temperature to a range of climate forcing factors, both anthropogenic and natural in origin. Whilst such studies continue to become more thorough and sophisticated, and include more such factors, care must be taken not to lose the key messages amongst the details.
  6. Several reports informed the Conference of a range of new observational and modeling studies aimed at a better analysis and understanding of regional climate and climate change in the context of global climate change. Of particular note were comprehensive studies covering the Arctic, the Mediterranean region, and several regions in Eastern Europe and the Russian Federation. It is now timely and important to encourage and increase such studies, which face their own particular challenges with request to their observational and modeling requirements.

(David Carson)


Appendix 3.

Key messages for Section 2

(Ecological, Social, and Economic Impacts of Climate Change and Adaptation)

 

  1. There is growing evidence of extensive current, measurable changes in the environment (e.g., in river runoff, tree growth, ice cover, etc.)… but their relationship to regional and global climate change is complex, unclear and remains a priority for research.
  2. Many of these reflect non-climate stresses on which the effects of climate change will be overlaid. How to handle the issue of climate change in the context of multiple stresses is problematic.
  3. Methodological refinements in impact/adaptation assessment offer the promise of significantly more robust conclusions, e.g. more regionally-specific, more related to management responses.
  4. In Russia: There is some evidence of (economically) more adverse effects in southern regions and more positive effects in northern regions. But, ecologically, both may represent a challenge; and the spatial pattern is likely to be complex.

(Martin Parry)


Appendix 4.

Key messages for Section 3

(Mitigation of and Adaptation to Climate Change and the Role of Technology)

Participants of Section 3 discussed a role of technologies in the climate change, and the climatic resources and risks; dangerous phenomena and catastrophes were considered too. A number of adaptive mechanisms to expected climate change was proposed. In particular, a strong need to develop a system of early warning was emphasized. Different opinion sounded in the auditorium with respect to the issue on the Russia’s ratification of the Kyoto protocol, both pro and contra.

Importance of scientific approach to the problem of the climate change was underlined at the Section 3 together with a certain necessity of reducing the anthrorogenic impact (load). In this sense, the Kyoto protocol is not only and not so much a limitation for emissions of anthropogenic gases, but this is a first effort of the mankind to distribute capabilities of the energy use by different countries. That was indicated by professor A.N. Illarionov in his talk: “increase of CO2 in countries with a low income (profit) is unavoidable”. So, in this respect, the Kyoto protocol needs a considerable improvement.

Different technology possibilities to reduce emissions of anthropogenic gases were presented and discussed. Among those are renewable sources, prospects of methods of the CO2 absorption presented in the report of Dr. Kurushima, new technologies in the field of agriculture (presentations by FAO, Dr. Cerry, etc.). However, the largest pollutant of the atmosphere is the base power industry, which uses in their technologies organic substances and nuclear processes.

Dr. Ostretsov demonstrated in his report a principle possibility of creation a waste-less nuclear energy production on the basis of processes of interaction between neutrons of high energy and heavy nucleus. Supporting all technologies aimed at reduction of the anthropogenic impact upon the biosphere, and, understanding that for further progress of the humankind we have to increase the energy production, the participants of Section 3 called to concentrate efforts of governments, scientists and business in direction of ways to create the waste-less nuclear power industry.

Based on the presentations by the Italian team of experts, the Section agreed that there was a strong need to fill a gap in the Urals and in the Caspian Sea area in the Global Atmosphere Watch to monitor atmospheric chemistry and pollution, green house gases and aerosols and their impact on climate change (a proposal put forward by F. Prody, Italy). To this effect mobilization of resources through governments and funding institutions was considered necessary.

(Nina Kobysheva, Valery Volkov, Franco Prodi)


Appendix 5.

Key messages for Section 4

Stakeholders' Dialogue (Governments, NGOs, Business, Scientific Community and Public at Large)

  1. Developing countries:
    1. Must participate after the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol in the long term implementation of solutions to the climate change problem;
    2. Need for that an acceleration of their development through financial support, technology transfer and more importantly capacity building to produce their own technologies.

  2. There is an urgent need for partnerships between the North and the South and between Governments, private sector and civil society, with specific clear-cut targets.
  3. Emphasis should be put on education, public awareness and participation.
  4. Climate change should be looked at also as an issue of intergenerational justice.
  5. Some participants suggested that the Kyoto protocol should include considerations of:
    1. Carbon dioxide and oxygen production and absorption
    2. The cold impact index
    3. The effect of C-trading on technology innovations

  6. The Brazilian proposals was considered unacceptable by some, others consider that measuring emissions historic responsibility is essential to bridge the gap between developed and developing countries
  7. There is a feeling that there is little connection between the debate on energy and that on climate.
  8. Some Russian business representatives present were supportive of the Kyoto Protocol and considered that its ratification serves the best interests of Russia.
  9. Representative of the World Business Council which includes a large number of major companies from all over the world, stressed that business needs from governments a framework for action on climate change, otherwise they would not move voluntarily.

(Mostafa Tolba, Kirill Kondratiev)


Appendix 6.

Key messages for Roundtable on "Energy and Climate Change"

Speakers and participants in the Roundtable on Energy and Climate Change discussed the problem of correctly assessing the influence of modern energy production on climate and the search for optimum ways for future energy production that will minimize ecological risk and increase economic efficiency. They noted the strong need for more active participation of scientists in decision-making on ecological problems related to fuel and energy development. Several recommendations were adopted with respect to future activities: investigation of the connections between global climate change and the level of development of energy production; development of prognostic models for the estimation of feedbacks within the climate-energy system; improvement of national and international inventories of natural and anthropogenic greenhouse gases and other important components of the atmosphere; and development of numerical models capable of estimating the occurrence, transformation, distribution and neutralization of toxic emissions from industry and transport. The Roundtable also discussed a proposal for the creation of an international coordination center aimed at the wider introduction of alterative energy sources in developing countries.

 

(Vladimir Volkov)


Appendix 7.

Key messages for Roundtable "Carbon-Business Forum"

Representatives of the global business community participated in the Roundtable on Carbon-Business Forum addressing carbon market. The need to develop flexible market mechanisms, notably joint implementation (JI) projects, was shared by the leaders of major corporations and financial institutions. Uncertainty regarding the future of the Kyoto Protocol was not seen by the participants of the Roundtable as a reason to stop development of the market. To make the carbon market global, an adequate framework is needed to ensure the widest possible participation. Russia is considered to be a major potential participant in this market and its efforts to develop adequate infrastructure for this purpose was supported. Early JI projects need to be initiated in order to ensure that learning by doing can be a useful tool for properly preparing Russian business for this new market. Special initiatives regarding coordination of Russian and Western JI business participants were welcomed especially that of establishing a JI Committee that could help shape the market. Transparency and responsibility are essential principles of any JI activity. The Roundtable approved the code of corporate JI behavior reflected in the JI Charter and agreed that it would be helpful in establishing JI activities as a legitimate business.

 

(Sergey Roginko)


Appendix 8.

Key messages for Roundtable "Social Forum on Climate Change"

(Roundtable of Non-Governmental and Social Organizations)

The Social Forum has concluded that mitigating global climate change will be possible only with the coordinated actions of all sectors of society:

  • Civil society should initiate and monitor all crucial actions to curb climate change, facilitating initiatives such as education, creation of an environmental culture and partnerships with business and government. Society and governments should work together to bring the Kyoto protocol into force as urgently as possible.

  • Governments should make policy on climate change one of their main priorities. This requires assisting business and the public in creating conditions for policy implementation. In this regard, the first priority is to facilitate launching the mechanisms of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol.
  • With all possible transparency, business should provide practical measures to reduce human-caused impacts, using mechanisms presented in the Kyoto Protocol and the opportunities of modern technology.

(V. Zakharov, A. Yablokov, P. Goldmark)


Appendix 9.

Key messages for Roundtable "World Climate Change Conference and Global Environmental Problems"

As a result of the discussion, a number of suggestions were developed. The most important of them are as follows:

  • There is a need in enhancement the dialogue on climate change problems between Governments, Heads of Environmental Protection Bodies, Scientists and Public at Large;
  • There is a need for wider attribution of ecosystem approach for solving global environmental problems taking into consideration the interrelationship between climate problem and those of desertification, exhaustion and degradation of water resources and biodiversity;
  • With consideration for significant climate-forming and regulating role of Russian forests in the carbon balance of the Earth, it is recommended to undertake intense measures for the forest restoration and cultivation;
  • With relation to the problems currently discussed and the preparation to ratification of the Kyoto Protocol (particularly, in Russia), it is necessary to establish national systems of monitoring greenhouse gas emissions and removals (sources and sinks);
  • The regular publication of National Communications should be considered mandatory for all the UNFCCC Parties.

(I.E. Osokina)


Supplementary information № 1
to Summary Report of the World Climate Change Conference

THE GOVERNMENTS OF COUNTRIES AND ORGANIZATIONS THAT PROVIDED SUPPORT TO THE WORLD CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE

 

The Governments of countries:

  1. Russian Federation
  2. USA
  3. Japan
  4. Germany
  5. Italy
  6. Canada

International organizations:

  1. World Meteorological Organization
  2. World Health Organization
  3. International Atomic Energy Agency
  4. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  5. Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO
  6. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  7. United Nations Environment Programme
  8. Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Companies of Russian Federation:

  1. JSC "Gazprom"
  2. JSC "Vnesheconombank"
  3. World Climate Change Conference Foundation

Supplementary information № 2
to Summary Report of the World Climate Change Conference

A thematic exhibition of post stamps on the history of hydrometeorology, climatology and relevant geophysical sciences was organized during the World Climate Change Conference by Italian side (Dr. Gudlielmo Racca). President of the Russian Federation Vladimir V. Putin visited the exhibition.

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