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The Copenhagen Climate Congress final press release

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  • Christopher Miller
    http://climatecongress.ku.dk/newsroom/ This and other materials are available at the above URL. ========================================================= Key
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 12, 2009

      This and other materials are available at the above URL.


      Key Messages from the Congress

      12 March 2009

      Copenhagen, Denmark: Following a successful International Scientific
      Congress Climate Change: Global Risks, Challenges & Decisions attended
      by more than 2,500 delegates from nearly 80 countries, preliminary
      messages from the findings were delivered by the Congress? Scientific
      Writing Team. The conclusions will be published into a full synthesis
      report June 2009. The conclusions were handed over to the Danish Prime
      Minister Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen today. The Danish Government will
      host the UN Climate Change Conference in December 2009 and will hand
      over the conclusions to the decision makers ahead of the Conference.

      The six preliminary key messages are:

      Key Message 1: Climatic Trends
      Recent observations confirm that, given high rates of observed
      emissions, the worst-case IPCC scenario trajectories (or even worse)
      are being realised. For many key parameters, the climate system is
      already moving beyond the patterns of natural variability within which
      our society and economy have developed and thrived. These parameters
      include global mean surface temperature, sea-level rise, ocean and ice
      sheet dynamics, ocean acidification, and extreme climatic events.
      There is a significant risk that many of the trends will accelerate,
      leading to an increasing risk of abrupt or irreversible climatic shifts.

      Key Message 2: Social disruption
      The research community is providing much more information to support
      discussions on ?dangerous climate change?. Recent observations show
      that societies are highly vulnerable to even modest levels of climate
      change, with poor nations and communities particularly at risk.
      Temperature rises above 2oC will be very difficult for contemporary
      societies to cope with, and will increase the level of climate
      disruption through the rest of the century.

      Key Message 3: Long-Term Strategy
      Rapid, sustained, and effective mitigation based on coordinated global
      and regional action is required to avoid ?dangerous climate change?
      regardless of how it is defined. Weaker targets for 2020 increase the
      risk of crossing tipping points and make the task of meeting 2050
      targets more difficult. Delay in initiating effective mitigation
      actions increases significantly the long-term social and economic
      costs of both adaptation and mitigation.

      Key Message 4 - Equity Dimensions
      Climate change is having, and will have, strongly differential effects
      on people within and between countries and regions, on this generation
      and future generations, and on human societies and the natural world.
      An effective, well-funded adaptation safety net is required for those
      people least capable of coping with climate change impacts, and a
      common but differentiated mitigation strategy is needed to protect the
      poor and most vulnerable.

      Key Message 5: Inaction is Inexcusable
      There is no excuse for inaction. We already have many tools and
      approaches ? economic, technological, behavioural, management ? to
      deal effectively with the climate change challenge. But they must be
      vigorously and widely implemented to achieve the societal
      transformation required to decarbonise economies. A wide range of
      benefits will flow from a concerted effort to alter our energy economy
      now, including sustainable energy job growth, reductions in the health
      and economic costs of climate change, and the restoration of
      ecosystems and revitalisation of ecosystem services.

      Key Message 6: Meeting the Challenge
      To achieve the societal transformation required to meet the climate
      change challenge, we must overcome a number of significant constraints
      and seize critical opportunities. These include reducing inertia in
      social and economic systems; building on a growing public desire for
      governments to act on climate change; removing implicit and explicit
      subsidies; reducing the influence of vested interests that increase
      emissions and reduce resilience; enabling the shifts from ineffective
      governance and weak institutions to innovative leadership in
      government, the private sector and civil society; and engaging society
      in the transition to norms and practices that foster sustainability.


      Christopher Miller
      Montreal QC Canada

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