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Partnership
International Collaborations and Partnerships on Climate Change

 

Background

In 1979 the first “World Climate Conference” organized by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) expressed concern that “continued expansion of man’s activities on Earth may cause significant extended regional and even global changes of climate”. It called for “global cooperation to explore the possible future course of global climate and to take this new understanding into account in planning for the future development of human society.”

In 1985 a joint UNEP/WMO/ICSU Conference was convened in Villach (Austria) on the “Assessment of the Role of Carbon Dioxide and of Other Greenhouse Gases in Climate Variations and Associated Impacts”. The conference concluded, that “as a result of the increasing greenhouse gases it is now believed that in the first half of the next century (21st century) a rise of global mean temperature could occur which is greater than in any man’s history.”

In 1987, the 10th Congress of the WMO recognized the need for objective, balanced, and internationally coordinated scientific assessment of the understanding of the effects of increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases on the Earth’s climate and on ways in which these changes may impact socio-economic patterns. In its follow up, the WMO Executive Council asked the Secretary General of WMO in co-ordination with the Executive Director of UNEP to establish an ad hoc intergovernmental mechanism to provide scientific assessments of climate change. Thus the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was formed in 1988.

The publishing of the IPCC’s first assessment report in 1990 spurred governments to create the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). By standards for international agreements, negotiation of the Convention was rapid. It was ready for signature at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development – also known as the "Earth Summit" - in Rio de Janeiro.

[More in depth information] Position paper on WMO’S role in global climate issues with a focus on development and science based decision making.

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