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Brussels, 3 September 2009

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

Q: Why does the European Commission support the establishment of the 3 rd World Climate Conference's Global Framework for Climate Services?

The provision and use of science-based climate information and prediction is of utmost importance to prepare for climate change impacts. Comprehensive and precise climate prediction would allow targeted and more cost efficient decision making and would help our economies to become climate resilient.

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.

Q: What does the Global Framework for Climate Services mean?

The Global Framework for Climate Services is a commitment to establish a global framework for strengthening climate observing and modelling programmes worldwide. This framework aims also at providing improved climate data and forecasts with increased relevance for the user's community. Focus would be put on climate modelling and prediction research required for the provision of climate services. The new system will develop sector- and user-targeted services, build capacity in developing countries and develop policies to support the application of climate services with economic and societal benefits.

Q: What is the European Commission contribution to this international initiative?

The European Commission provided a financial support to the WCC-3 and contributed to the drafting of the high level declaration. It will provide its political support to the initiative.

In parallel, the European Commission is funding many research projects on climate change. International research and technology development is of crucial importance for tackling climate change. Since 2004 the Commission has funded through the Framework Programme for Research and Development (FP7) more than 130 climate-related and focused projects with more than 540 Million. 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.

Q: What are the research priorities contributing to international cooperation with developing countries struggling with climate impacts?

The international cooperation focuses on the impact of climate at regional level and climate change adaptation with emphasis to water and soil resources as well as health. The prediction, prevention, risk management and mitigation of extreme events and their impacts are an integral part of the cooperation for climate change. FP7 is targeting key scientific questions and challenges in vulnerable regions around the globe. Examples include: melting of Himalayan glaciers and their impact on water resources in Northern India, avoiding deforestation in tropical forests (e.g. Indonesia, South America, Africa), climate change impacts on water resources as threat to security in Southern Europe and neighbouring countries, carbon cycle and land-use change in Africa, climate change predictions in Sub-Saharan Africa and quantification of impacts. Institutions from 50 developing countries (called Non Annex-I Parties in the UN Climate Convention) participate in current EC-funded climate related research projects. They benefit from an overall EC contribution of nearly 20 million €.

The Commission is also participating in the effort of the international Group on Earth Observations, the GEO, in building the Global Earth Observation System of Systems and for promoting the sharing of Earth observation data at international level. The European Union's main contribution to GEO systematic and Earth observation activities is the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security initiative. The GMES provides data useful in a range of issues including climate change and citizen's security.

Q: What is the Commission proposing in order to de-carbonize the energy system?

The development of new energy technologies is crucial to successfully fighting against climate change and securing world and European energy supply. The European Commission has proposed a comprehensive plan to establish a new energy research agenda for Europe, the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan), and bring Member States, the industry and the science community to join forces to foster the development of these new energy technologies.

Sources and links:

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:

White Paper - Adapting to climate change: Towards a European framework for action (COM (2009) 147 final)

EU strategy for supporting disaster risk reduction in developing countries (COM (2009) 84 final)

Community approach on the prevention of natural and man-made disaster (COM (2009) 82 final)

See also the press release: "Climate change: Commission welcomes final adoption of Europe's climate and energy package" (published on 17 December 2008):


Link to the WCC-3 homepage:

See also IP/09/1273

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