GLOBAL VOICES083Below: WWF Climaterescue team come to theaid of an ill planet Earthas part of a WWFawareness stunt insideCOP15. The doctorsarrive to examine the ill,deflated planet andprescribe injections of,"Ambition", "Finance",and "Political Will"with an added transfusionof "Technology"... but itis not enough.The planethas to then be shockedback into recovery andwrapped in legallybinding deals to help itrecover. COP 15, Copenhagen, Denmark.Indian economy and help it on its path to a low carboneconomy. Rolling out climate finance would also helpadaptation: small island states and vulnerablecountries could undertake adaptation measurescombined with low-carbon development while beingable to advance their economic development.ADAPTATION, TECHNOLOGY ANDFORESTSGovernments can also agree on three other policy areas- adaptation, technology, and forests. High on the listis a UNFCCC adaptation framework to help coordinatethe efforts of countries in making their economiesmore climate change resilient. An internationalmechanism for insurance needs to be part of such aframework. There is broad agreement on the need forstrengthening international technology cooperation;emerging economies such as South Africa, Mexico,India and China see agreement on this point as crucialfor the overall negotiations. There is no reason whygovernments in Cancún should not make progress inthis field. A strong negotiation text on REDD (ReducingEmissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation)was proposed at Copenhagen and needs to beapproved at Cancun without further dilution; insteadgovernments should set a global goal for REDD ofsecuring net-zero emissions from deforestation anddegradation by 2020. The REDD+ partnership hasshown some initiative by establishing mechanisms tocoordinate the US$4.5 billion that have already beenpledged to stem tropical forest loss. This now needs tobe brought into the UNFCCC framework to give theestablishment of a REDD+ framework momentum.THE ROAD FROM CANCUN TO SOUTHAFRICAWhile a final climate agreement can earliest beexpected in December 2011, Cancun is a criticalmilestone. Parties need to make substantial progresson all key issues. Potential stumbling blocks such asthe intense discussions about openness and credibility("measurement, reporting and verification") and theconcrete targets for emission reductions need to beovercome. A zero carbon energy future is the world's inevitabledestination. If governments want to lead the way thenCOP17 in South Africa, a year on from now, needs tobe about wrapping up the legally-binding globalagreement. Such a deal would be pivotal in leading theworld towards a clean and sustainable economy.Cancún is the litmus test: we will see if governmentsare willing to protect their citizens throughinternational co-operation. nABOUT THE AUTHORGordon Sheperd joined WWF in 1986 as Director ofInformation and Education and has led WWF's workon International Environmental Treaties and globalpolicy since 1990. ABOUT WWF WWF is one of the world's largest and mostexperienced independent conservation organisations,with over five million supporters and a global Networkactive in more than 100 countries. WWF's mission isto stop the degradation of the planet's naturalenvironment and to build a future in which humanslive in harmony with nature, by: conserving the world'sbiological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewablenatural resources is sustainable, and promoting thereduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.
limate change is rightly recognised as avery real and urgent global issue. Itsconsequences are already beingexperienced every day and are likely to getworse. At the Met Office we have been studying climatechange for over thirty years. As one of the world-leadersin climate change science, we provide expert evidenceon past and future climate change to governments,businesses and the public on almost a daily basis. THE FACTSOver the time that the Met Office has been studyingclimate change, research has progressed at anincredible rate; the key facts of climate change are wellknown by all:. Human activities, especially burning coal, oil andgas, have led to an increase in greenhouse gases inthe atmosphere. These enhance the naturalgreenhouse effect and cause the Earth to warm.. The main greenhouse gas responsible for recent climate change is carbon dioxide (CO2). Atthe same time that our emissions have been growing,the ability of the natural world to take up CO2 has been declining through actions such asdeforestation. . As a result, over the past century there has been arapid rise in CO2 levels to values not experienced bythe Earth for at least 800,000 years, and with that,an underlying increase in average temperatureswhich is continuing. Globally, the ten hottest years onrecord have all been since 1997.The overwhelming majority of climate scientists allagree on the fundamentals of climate change -thatclimate change is happening and increasedgreenhouse gases from human activities are causing it.Despite this overwhelming consensus, the last 12months have been some of the most challenging forthe climate change science community. From stolenemails, the perceived lack of a deal at Copenhagen, to the uncovering of errors in the IPCC reports, these events have all taken their toll on the credibilityof our science. However, despite the furore created by these events,the body of scientific evidence showing how ourclimate is changing continues to grow. THE EVIDENCEUnmistakable evidence of our warming world wasrevealed in the most recent "State of the Climate"report, issued by US National Oceanic andAtmospheric Administration (NOAA). The report,drawing on data from key climate indicators compiledby the Met Office Hadley Centre, showed how land and ocean temperatures and ocean heat content are all increasing.The evidence, however, is not only seen in globaltemperatures. Further Met Office research hasrevealed shifts in rainfall patterns, changes inhumidity, reductions in the extent of sea ice, snowcover and glaciers, as well as changes in the salinity ofthe oceans. All these trends follow the pattern of expected climate change and bear the fingerprint of human influence. This compelling evidence draws us tothe conclusion that our climate isunequivocally changing, and man-made greenhouseAN UNCERTAIN FUTURE?084GLOBAL VOICESCPROFESSOR JULIA SLINGO OBE, CHIEF SCIENTIST, MET OFFICE