Press Seminar: The Climate Change Challenge

Monday, 1 November 1999, Reger Room, Maritim Hotel, Bonn

10:00 - Opening

10:10 - What the science says -- Science was the driving force behind the adoption of the 1992 Convention and the 1997 Protocol. Although important uncertainties remain, enormous progress has been over the past decade in understanding how the climate system works and how it is affected by greenhouse gas emissions. Luiz Gylvan Meira Filho, Vice-Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and President of the Brazilian Space Agency, will review global climate models, projections of future climate change, the carbon cycle, feedbacks, and more.

11:00 - Adapting to the expected impacts -- Climate change is projected to affect temperatures, weather patterns, the hydrological cycle, sea levels, wildlife, and human health. Robert T. Watson, Chairman of the IPCC and Director of the World Bank's Environment Department, will present the past findings of IPCC Working Group II concerning the expected impacts of climate change, key vulnerabilities, and the policies and technologies that could be adopted in response.

11:50 - Coffee

12:10 - Reducing greenhouse gas emissions -- What policies will be most effective - How can governments encourage the adoption of climate-friendly technologies - How can global action be made cost-effective - Ogunlade R. Davidson, Co-Chairman of IPCC Working Group III and Dean of the Engineering Faculty at the University of Sierra Leone, will explore these questions.

1:00 - Lunch

15:00 - An introduction to the Climate Change Convention and its Kyoto Protocol -- The international climate change regime that has evolved over the past decade consists of the most complex set of agreements ever adopted in the fields of environment and development. Michael Grubb of the Royal Institute of International Affairs will explain how this legal regime works, with an emphasis on the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and its flexibility mechanisms.

15:50 - The Kyoto Protocol: Unfinished business -- Despite two years of intensive talks, governments were unable to finalize all of the Protocol's practical details at Kyoto. They are now working under the 1998 Buenos Aires Plan of Action to make the Protocol fully operational by 2001 at the very latest. Raul Estrada-Oyuela, former chairman of the Protocol talks and now visiting professor at Columbia University, will analyze the outstanding political and technical issues that need to be resolved to ensure an effective Protocol.

16:40 - Coffee

17:00 - Tips for press: How to cover the COP -- Intergovernmental meetings are based on jargon and procedures that can be baffling to newcomers. The COP press team, Michael Williams of the UN Environment Programme and Axel Wuestenhagen of the UN Information Center/Bonn, will explain how COP 5 works and describe the press arrangements so that journalists can more easily cover this complex and important event.

17:45 - Close

Sponsored by the German Foundation for International Development

in cooperation with the UNFCCC Secretariat and UNEP