Implementation of the Paris agreement will require scientific knowledge to support decision-making. The opportunities and challenges of this were presented at a UN system side event during COP22 co-sponsored by WMO.
The side event on 12 November focussed on both adaptation as well as the urgent need for reduction of atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, which are driving climate change and affecting ocean chemistry.
“You can’t negotiate with the laws of nature. It’s a fact,” said Martin Frick of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and moderator of the event. “Fortunately the Paris Agreement called for the best available science, and it is remarkable what happened in terms of scientific progress over the past decades,” he said.
Coordinated long-term observations and analysis of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have been the basis of the science-based conclusions about the human role in climate change and will be the basis to track progress in limiting these changes in future.
The planned Integrated Global Greenhouse Gas Information System (IG3IS) will help government authorities and the private sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through a sound scientific, measurement-and -modelling-based approach, the side event was told.
This will reduce uncertainty of national emission inventory reporting – for instance sources of methane from agriculture. It will also locate sources of previously unknown emissions and shed light on highly variable ocean and land sinks and sources, said Phil deCola, who heads the WMO planning team on IG3IS.
The ultimate goal is to provide a globally harmonized tool for countries to build confidence in mitigation and enhance the global climate monitoring capacity, he said.
The side event also examined the need to act to limit the serious impacts on the environment, including the oceans. Participants discussed how climate services can help and support local communities and economies to strengthen their resilience to climate change and its impacts on food security and ecosystems.
The event was organized by WMO, the International Atomic Energy Authority, the World Food Programme, and the Food and Agriculture Organization, with support from UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and the UN Environment Programme.
Concept note available at http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/wcp/COP/documents/cop22/11Nov_COP22_Concept-note_SDG17.pdf