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he challenge of climate change wouldneed to be met essentially throughcoordination between variousstakeholders which would includegovernments, NGOs, business and civil society. The forthcoming 17th Conference of the Parties(COP17) to be held in Durban would be an importantoccasion for all these stakeholders to evaluate optionsthat are available in mobilising finance, facilitating thedevelopment and dissemination of clean technologies,and taking in hand a set of actions including bothadaptation to the impacts of climate change andmitigating the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs)in different parts of the globe. The Fourth AssessmentReport (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel onClimate Change (IPCC) projected different scenarios ofclimate change including an assessment of impacts onseveral sectors of the economy. Actions to deal with the challenge of climate changewould need to be based on scientific knowledge whichis provided through the collective efforts of thousandsof scientists working under the umbrella of the IPCC.In its 23 years of existence, the IPCC has brought outfour comprehensive assessment reports as well asseveral special reports and technical papers focusingon specific subjects. Currently the IPCC is engaged in the preparation of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), having recently completed a special report on "RenewableEnergy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation". By the time COP17 is held, the IPCC would also havecompleted a Special Report on "Managing the Risks ofExtreme Events and Disasters to Advance ClimateChange Adaptation".The writing process of the IPCC's Fifth AssessmentReport (AR5) is well under way to produce a strong,robust and comprehensive report which advances ourknowledge and understanding of climate changesignificantly beyond what we already know; thoughwhat we know already on the basis of the AR4 isenough for us to justify adequate, timely andpurposeful action to deal with the growing challenge ofclimate change.Indeed, the fact that the climate of the Earth ischanging is now accepted as a scientific reality whichhas major implications for the structure and process ofdevelopment. The Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) ofthe IPCC clearly states that "Warming of the climatesystem is unequivocal, as is now evident fromobservations of increases in global average air andocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow andice and rising global average sea level". The AR4 alsostates that "most of the observed increase on globalaverage temperatures since the mid-twentieth centuryis very likely due to the observed increase inanthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations".In light of this, societies can respond to climatechange by adapting to its impacts and by reducingGHG emissions through mitigation measures,thereby reducing the rate and magnitude of change.The capacity to adapt and mitigate is dependent onsocio-economic and environmental circumstances,and the availability of information and technology.Neither adaptation nor mitigation alone can avoid allclimate change impacts; however, they cancomplement each other and significantly reduce therisks of climate change. Adaptation can reduce vulnerability to climate changein the short and long-term, while many studies showCLIMATE SCIENCE ANDINTERNATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS030GLOBAL VOICESDR R.K. PACHAURI, CHAIRMAN, INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE (IPCC) DIRECTOR-GENERAL, THE ENERGY & RESOURCES INSTITUTE (TERI)DIRECTOR, YALE CLIMATE AND ENERGY INSTITUTE (YCEI)T

" "GLOBAL AWARENESS OFCLIMATE SCIENCEAND OPTIONS FOR MITIGATION ANDADAPTATION NEEDTO BE MORE EFFECTIVELY DISSEMINATEDACROSS ALLSTAKEHOLDERGROUPSGLOBAL VOICES031Above: Dr R.K. PachauriPhoto: UN Photo/Evan Schneiderthat mitigation has substantial economic potential inthe coming decades with many near-term co-benefits, which include lower levels of air pollutionand associated health benefits, higher levels ofenergy security, higher levels of employment andhigher levels of agricultural production. There are alsozero and negative cost mitigation opportunities in allsectors of the economy, including energy productionand transport. Nonetheless, it is important toremember that the global trajectory which bears thelowest costs requires carbon emissions to peak by2015, and deviating from that would only increasecosts in the future.Changes in lifestyle and behavior patterns cancontribute to climate change mitigation across allsectors and management practices can also have apositive role. There is also a wide variety of nationalpolicies and instruments available to governments tocreate the incentives for mitigation action, includingintegrating climate policies in broader developmentpolicies, regulations and standards, taxes andcharges, voluntary agreements between industry andgovernments, information campaigns and throughresearch, development and demonstration. Their applicability depends on nationalcircumstances and an understanding of theirinteractions. In this context, mobilising finance formitigation is of crucial importance as economic costsare often critical to overcome barriers, and availablefunds encourage and stimulate the development,diffusion and transfer of new technologies. Withoutsustained investment flows and effective technologytransfer, it may be difficult to achieve emissionreduction at a significant scale and to that end,mobilising financing of incremental costs of low-carbon technologies is important.Addressing climate change can be considered anopportunity and an integral element of sustainabledevelopment policies, involving all stakeholders at theinternational, national, regional and local levels. Localauthorities in particular are responsible for overlookingthe correct implementation of mitigation actions and adaptation strategies, and orchestratingappropriate coordination between municipalities,NGOs, businesses, civil society, institutions and theresearch community. Nevertheless, a global response to climate change isalso required to lay the foundations and framework forfuture mitigation efforts. The United NationsFramework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)and its Kyoto Protocol have already stimulated anarray of national policies, created an internationalcarbon market, and established new institutionalmechanisms which may entail a reduction of global GHG emissions at the international levelthrough co-operation. In view of COP17, one shouldremember that achievements of the UNFCCC suggestthat successful agreements are environmentally-effective, cost-effective, incorporate distributionalconsiderations and equity, and are institutionallyfeasible. With this in mind, some analysts andcommentators have stated that it is important for afew concrete and focused steps to be taken at COP17so as to avoid a post-Kyoto vacuum. They state thatthe Parties should work towards creating trust andconfidence in the Adaptation Fund established atCOP16 in Cancun so that it is designed efficientlyand ambitiously, and towards developing institutionalmechanisms so as to create and build capacity, ratherthan merely making money available.Finally, and perhaps most importantly, globalawareness of climate science and options formitigation and adaptation need to be more effectivelydisseminated across all stakeholder groups. To quoteAlbert Einstein: "Problems cannot be solved at thesame level of awareness that created them." In the realm of climate change it is vital that thescientific community challenges the view that sciencehas already revealed all there is to know, and strives toaddress any gaps in existing knowledge as newevidence surfaces. In this endeavour the IPCC iscontributing to the upholding of science as aconstantly evolving enterprise and laying an additionalstone to the understanding of climate change in orderto deal with it. Producing scientific knowledge is a way to raiseawareness and anchor the reality of climate changeand the urgent need to act on it. It is the spread ofrobust knowledge on climate science that will benefitpolicy-making, send appropriate signals to the marketand generate changes in consumption and productionto ultimately provide solutions for the benefit ofhumanity and the ecosystems on this planet.n