Our Common Future under Climate Change

“With close to 2000 academics from almost 100 countries, Our Common Future Under Climate Change (CFCC15) is the largest forum for the scientific community to come together ahead of the 21st UN Conference of the Parties (COP21) summit in Paris in December” writes IRDR co-sponsor ICSU, one of the organisers of the conference.

After opening addresses from Mme Segolène Royal, French Minister for the Environment, Energy and Sustainable Development, Mme Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, French Minister for Education, and M. Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of WMO, who also delivered a message on behalf of Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, ICSU President Gordon McBean chaired the plenary session on the opening day. He spoke on the “State of Knowledge on Climate Change“.

Gordon McBean addressing Our Common Future conference

“This conference is deliberately solutions-focused. A wide variety of evidence-based solutions are economically attractive and scaleable, to both limit the amount of climate change that occurs and prepare us to deal as effectively as possible with the changes that cannot be avoided. It is not scientists’ role to tell governments what to do in December, but to illuminate the choices – each with different levels of cost and risk, as well as opportunities to help build robust economies and vibrant communities” said Chris Field, Chair of the CFCC15 Scientific Committee and head of the US Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology.

“This conference has shown that social and technological innovation, from individuals, communities, firms, and nations, can lead to mitigation and adaptation options that are scaleable, fair and cost-effective,” ICSU quotes Future Earth Scientific Committee member and Oslo University Professor Karen O’Brien.

A total of 165 sessions were presented by academics from the physical and social sciences, with full consideration of ways to limit and manage change. IRDR SC members Ann Bostrom and Joern Birkmann were among the presenters: Ann Bostrom joined a panel “Perception of Climate Change” with a paper, co-authored with G. Böhm from Bergen, Norway, entitled “Mental models of climate change: Basis for risk evaluation, policy support, and message reception”.

A statement issued on the closing day of Our Common Future under Climate Change (CFCC15) explains that “a two in three probability of holding warming to 2°C or less will require a budget that limits future carbon dioxide emissions to about 900 billion tons, roughly 20 times annual emissions in 2014.” Click here for the full programme and blogs.