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:
The Conference also included four Roundtables, carried out in parallel with the Plenary and Section sessions:
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.
Key messages for Section 1.1
(Science on Climate Change - Data, Monitoring, Observed Changes and Extreme Events)
Key messages for Section 1.2
(Science of Climate Change - Role of Oceans, Atmosphere, Land Surface, and Human Influence; Climate Models; Climate Change Projections)
Key messages for Section 2
(Ecological, Social, and Economic Impacts of Climate Change and Adaptation)
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)
Key messages for Section 4
Stakeholders' Dialogue (Governments, NGOs, Business, Scientific Community and Public at Large)
(Mostafa Tolba, Kirill Kondratiev)
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.
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.
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:
(V. Zakharov, A. Yablokov, P. Goldmark)
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:
Supplementary information № 1
THE GOVERNMENTS OF COUNTRIES AND ORGANIZATIONS THAT PROVIDED SUPPORT TO THE WORLD CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE
The Governments of countries:
Companies of Russian Federation:
Supplementary information № 2
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.