Thursday, 15 March 2007

All roads lead to climate change.  For those following the climate change debates, this is not news.  Issues and interlinkages related to climate change have commanded significant attention from policy makers, scientists, academic researchers and others for many years. Nonetheless, the variety of angles from which the issue has received attention in the last few weeks is striking.

Lynn Wagner, Ph.D.
Editor, Linkages Update and MEA Bulletin
The decisions taken at European Union’s March meeting, during which targets were adopted to cut carbon dioxide emissions, boost renewable energy, and support biofuels by 2020, are significant, but the details that come out in other stories highlight the diverse range of perspectives and actors through which this challenge is being addressed. Among the items our researchers found for this issue is a study that provides details about the impact of climate change at a European Seas level. The increasing prominence of cities and the private sector as key actors on this issue is evident in the newly announced partnership between the UN Global Compact, the City of San Francisco and a number of Bay Area businesses. Recognition of climate change’s implications for the finance sector is apparent in the announcements for the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative’s e-Learning course, “Climate Change: Risks and Opportunities for the Finance Sector,” and the planned buyout of a US energy utility by private equity groups. The recently published study that indicates the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is doing considerably more to combat climate change than the Kyoto Protocol highlights the interlinkages that exist among multilateral environmental agreements on this issue. A UN Foundation and Sigma Xi study identifies actions that the international community can take to “manage the unavoidable and avoid the unmanageable” results of climate change, while workshops explored the role for higher education institutions with regard to vulnerability, technology transfer relating to the energy sector in Asia, and adaptation to climate change at the community level. Although we do not have a story about it in this issue, even the magazine Sports Illustrated has just published a story on climate change’s impacts on the world of sports and how sports can adapt. We find this confluence of actions and actors inspiring and will strive to keep up with the ever expanding array of actors, events and decisions shaping climate change policy and the actions to address it.
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