UNFCCC: Award-Winning Scientist Joseph Alcamo Named Special Science Adviser to UNFCCC Executive Secretary

Former UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Chief Scientist and award-winning environmental modeling researcher Professor Joseph Alcamo has become the Special Science Adviser to the UN’s chief climate official Christiana Figueres. Professor Alcamo, who is Executive Director of the Center for Environmental Systems Research at the University of Kassel, Germany and Professor of Environmental Systems Science and Engineering, is providing pro bono advice in this new capacity. “I would like to thank him for making time available to provide impartial and high quality scientific advice that will strengthen our ability to understand developments in the fast moving world of climate research,” said Ms. Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Since 1993, Professor Alcamo has been active with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC’s latest fifth assessment report provided sobering, new findings on current and future impacts of rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere while also identifying inspiring opportunities for action. Professor Alcamo said today on the announcement of his appointment: “I am pleased to be able to work with Christiana Figueres and the UN’s climate secretariat staff. Everyone wants important climate decisions to be science-based. In that respect we need to maximize efforts to convey the important science messages coming from IPCC to policymakers and others. I am honored to be part of this special effort.” “It is also important to convey that actions to protect the climate system will also be actions that make us more secure and better-off on a day-to-day basis. Things like more public transit and ecologically-sound agriculture, reducing energy loss of buildings, and practicing sustainable consumption will not only reduce emissions but also provide good livelihoods, a cleaner environment and an overall higher level of wellbeing,” he added.

While at UNEP, Professor Alcamo helped found the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, an alliance of governments and non-state partners dedicated to fast action on pollutants that cause air pollution, cause crop damage and contribute to climate change. He was also chair of the Scientific Steering Committee of the UNEP-convened series of emissions ‘Gap’ reports. Professor Alcamo also initiated an international “Foresight” process for identifying emerging issues, co-founded a new umbrella organization for climate impact science (PROVIA), co-organized the UN Global Assessment of Water Quality and played a key role in the founding of Future Earth– a new international framework for global change research. He received the Max Planck Research Prize for helping to develop the field of integrated modeling of the environment and is a recipient of the Grand Prix des Lumieres de l’Eau de Cannes for contributions to global water research.

About the UNFCCC

With 196 Parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol has been ratified by 192 of the UNFCCC Parties. For the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, 37 States, consisting of highly industrialized countries and countries undergoing the process of transition to a market economy, have legally binding emission limitation and reduction commitments. In Doha in 2012, the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol adopted an amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, which establishes the second commitment period under the Protocol. The ultimate objective of both treaties is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.

Read the release on the UNFCCC website

Source: UNFCCC Presse release from 04.06.2014