Changing the climate forecast - IUCN

17 November 2008 | Media advisory

IUCN hopes to see the roadblocks to a meaningful agreement on fighting climate change removed, especially given the climate agenda of the newly elected US government. Climate change is already affecting people and nature.

There is an urgent need to reach an equitable international agreement by 2009, as the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol will end in 2012. At the last UN summit in Bali, the negotiations reached a deadlock, crystallizing the debate on the issue of equity between rich and developing countries. The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poznań is an important meeting for moving ahead on emissions reduction targets and long-term co-operation on adapting to climate change.

KEY ISSUES:

  • Harnessing forests to combat climate change. “Forests have the potential to be one of the most cost effective and immediate options to mitigate climate change,” says Stewart Maginnis, Head of IUCN’s Forest Programme. “But for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) in developing countries to make an effective contribution to the post-2012 climate change framework, it will also be important to take into account land tenure rights, enhance good governance, involve local communities and respect indigenous people’s rights.”
  • Equity between the North and South. “No agreement will be reached unless there is a more equitable dialogue between developed and developing countries,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General. “Emission reduction targets should be defined according to equitable criteria. Developing countries need funding to adapt to the impacts of climate change and to access clean technologies. Special attention must be given to vulnerable countries and groups, such as indigenous peoples and women.”
  • Managing nature to help people adapt to climate change. “Nature already has many of the solutions to help people live with the effects of climate change,” says Neville Ash, Head of IUCN’s Ecosystem Management Programme. “It’s often better to use mangroves, for example, to guard coastal communities against extreme weather events than a sea wall because mangroves do more than protect the coastline. They provide means for people to make a living, they are a home for many different important species and – best of all – they already exist. We just need to recognize their values, and manage them better.”
  • Act now. “Despite the current economic crisis, we want governments here in Poznan to take concrete steps towards agreeing on interim targets for emission reductions,” says Ninni Ikkala, IUCN Climate Change Officer. “Developed countries signing up to reduce emissions by 80 to 95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 is a promise for the too distant future. We want to see concrete commitments to reduce those levels by 25 to 40 percent by 2020.”

KEY EVENTS AND MATERIAL FOR MEDIA

  • Monday, Dec 1: Opening Press Statement
  • Friday, Dec 5, 13:00-15:00: IUCN presents outcomes of The Forests Dialogue at the FAO / CPF side event. Room CCTV1.
  • Monday, Dec 8, 10:00: Press Conference on corals and climate change.
  • Monday, Dec 8, 19:30: Media drinks reception.
  • Wednesday, Dec 10, 10:00: Press Conference on IUCN-led dialogue between North and South
  • Thursday, Dec 11, time TBC: IUCN Photo opportunity
  • Friday, Dec 12: Closing Press Statement.
  • All media material available at www.iucn.org/unfccc

SPOKESPERSONS:

  • Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General (all)
  • Stewart Maginnis or Consuelo Espinoza (REDD)
  • Neville Ash (Ecosystems and adaptation)
  • Constanza Martinez (Climate change policy)
  • Claire Parker (Climate change policy, finance and North-South equity)
  • Lorena Aguilar (Gender)
  • Ninni Ikkala (IUCN’s overall work on climate change)

MEDIA TEAM:

Sarah Horsley, IUCN Media Relations, m +41 79 528 3486, e sarah.horsley@iucn.org
Borjana Pervan, IUCN Communications, m +41 79 857 4072, e borjana.pervan@iucn.org