U.S. Contributes $500,000 to Support the World Climate Conference

Multi-agency U.S. Delegation will be headed by NOAA Administrator Lubchenco

The United States government is a sponsor of the World Climate Conference-3 (WCC-3), which will be held in Geneva from August 31 to September 4, 2009 under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization. The aim of the WCC-3 is to establish an international framework that will better integrate improved climate prediction and information into climate adaptation and risk management throughout the world.

Two U.S. government agencies, the U.S. Department of State and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), have pledged a total of $500,000 to support the conference. The United States will be represented at the conference by a multi-agency delegation headed by Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator.

In a July 24 letter, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Geneva informed Michel Jarraud, Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization, that the U.S. State Department would pledge $250,000 in support of the upcoming conference.    The State Department’s contribution is in addition to a $250,000 pledge announced earlier this year by NOAA and brings the total U.S. government support for the WCC-3 to $500,000.

NOAA has a long history of providing climate information, delivering climate products and services, and partnering with other federal agencies to offer the best scientific information available to decision-makers.  As it works to define its role in an inter-agency National Climate Service, NOAA continues to develop and expand its efforts with a focus on regional and national issues, including drought, sea level rise and extreme weather.

The contribution to the WWC-3 follows recent U.S. contributions to two other Geneva-based climate observation bodies:  The U.S. made pledges of $1.7 million to the intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and $250,000 to the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations.

A report released recently by U.S. Global Change Research Program found that climate change is already having visible impacts in the U.S. and throughout the world. Produced by a consortium of scientists from13 U.S. federal science agencies and several universities and research institutes, the report underscored that choices made now will determine the severity of future impacts.  Titled “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States,” the report compiles years of scientific research and takes into account new data not available during the preparation of previous large national and global assessments.  It cites a need for the additional scientific research and collaboration that venues like the WCC-3 will provide.