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Brussels, 3 September 2009

Commission supports UN World Climate Conference: Realizing a Global Framework for Climate Services

Today the European Commission declared its support for a new Global Framework for Climate Services that is being discussed at the 3rd World Climate Conference (WCC-3) in Geneva. Proposed by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the purpose is to obtain more scientifically reliable data and prediction systems for climate forecasting. It will set new international foundations for the provision and use of science-based climate information and prediction. This initiative comes in the run up to the Copenhagen Conference that will take place in December this year.

EU Commissioner for Science and Research, Janez Potočnik, underlined the importance of being properly prepared for the impacts of climate change. "Climate change is a common challenge that must be addressed at global level. Reaching global agreement on reducing emissions remains the first priority. But we already know that we will have to mitigate the consequences of climate change. This will be best done on the basis of best possible scientific data. The availability of globally recognized climate information, tools, methods and models is crucial, especially for developing countries that are likely to suffer most from the negative impacts of climate change."

International cooperation is of central importance in European climate research

Since 2004 the European Commission has funded over 130 climate-related projects with more than 540 Million through its Framework Programme for R&D (FP7). The European climate research and observation research has a global scope. That's why these projects, aiming to improve the understanding of climate change, have been conducted in cooperation with non-EU research institutions from some 60 countries. The current 7 th Framework Programme runs until 2013 and will continue to facilitate and advance international climate science with participation from all continents. Nearly 1.9 billion are earmarked for environment research over the period 2007-2013. On top of that, other FP7's areas such as transport and energy fund climate related research.

Climate change impacts have been targeted around the globe

Key scientific questions and challenges in vulnerable regions around the globe have been targeted. Examples are studies about the melting of Himalayan glaciers and their impact on water resources in Northern India. There are also projects which support environmental observation in Asia and Africa, contributing to global observation systems and capacity building in developing countries. Other topics include the impacts of climate change on water resources as threats to security in Southern Europe and neighbouring countries, the carbon cycle and land-use change in Africa, climate change predictions in Sub-Saharan Africa and the better quantification of impacts (for more details, see brochure below).


This initiative of the WMO is in line with the EU position on adaptation in the UN climate negotiations and with the needs identified by the Commission White Paper on Adaptation from April 2009. It will also contribute to the research and information needs emphasised in the EU strategy on supporting Disaster reduction in developing countries and the Community approach on the prevention of natural and man made disaster.

More information:

Information and links to 134 research projects funded by the European Commission in the field of climate change can be found in the book "European Research Framework Programme: Research on Climate Change " (prepared for the Third World Climate Conference (WCC-3) and the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP-15)) at the following link:

WCC-3 homepage:

See also MEMO/09/372 (questions & answers)

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