As the opening day of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in December 2009 draws closer, the amount of information that climate change policy makers could incorporate into their decision-making process seems to increase exponentially.
This issue of Linkages Update reports on a number of recent events and studies that seek to influence the direction that climate change policy making will take in the coming months. The “World Economic and Social Survey 2009: Promoting Development, Saving the Planet” calls for an integrated approach based on the concept of sustainable development, arguing that global inequality and climate change should be addressed together. An evaluation titled “Assessing the costs of adaptation to climate change: a review of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and other recent estimates” assesses past estimates of the level of investment needed for adaptation to climate change, and suggests that the real costs of adaptation are likely to be two to three times greater than estimates for the year 2030 made by the UNFCCC in 2007. A new climate issues update by The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity project suggests that investing in the restoration and maintenance of the Earth’s ecosystems can play a key role in countering climate change and climate-proofing vulnerable economies. Meanwhile, regional groups have convened to examine the climate change question from their perspective. For example, the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean recently organized the Second Latin American and Caribbean Dialogue towards Copenhagen. And options to achieve climate change policy objectives through other international arrangements have been discussed; for example, the North American Leaders’ Declaration on Climate Change and Clean Energy commits leaders to work together under the Montreal Protocol to phase down the use of hydrofluorocarbons.
While we at IISD Reporting Services are working to keep up with all the developments that may influence international climate change policy, we are also working to improve the value of the information that we gather. At the end of each meeting that we cover, our websites now offer a summary of each day’s events, in reverse chronological order, to make it easier for users to review the meeting’s proceedings in subsequent weeks and months. In the coming months, we will be moving toward organizing the information we gather for Linkages Update
and MEA Bulletin
in a searchable platform such as that we have developed for Climate-L.org
. And we are experimenting with new communication methods, such as Twitter, to bring information to the user in multiple formats. We hope these changes will improve our users’ ability to manage the information that must be taken into account as they seek to make international sustainable development policy.