Six key messages from the Copenhagen Congress on climate change

The international scientific congress on Climate Change "Global Risks, Challenges and Decisions" has been attended by more than 2 500 delegates from 80 countries in Copenhagen, (Denmark). The conclusions will be published in June 2009. However, the Congress' Scientific Writing team has already delivered six preliminary key messages during the closing session of the congress on Thursday 12 March:

1. Climatic trends
Recent observations confirm that, given high rates of observed emissions, the worst-case IPCC scenario trajectories (or even worse) are being realised.

2. Social disruption
Recent observations show that societies are highly vulnerable to even modest levels of climate change, with poor nations and communities particularly at risk.

3. Long-Term Strategy
Rapid, sustained, and effective mitigation based on coordinated global and regional action is required to avoid "dangerous climate change" regardless of how it is defined.

4. Equity Dimensions
Climate change is having, and will have, strongly differential effects on people within and between countries and regions, on this generation and future generations, and on human societies and the natural world.

5. Inaction is Inexcusable
There is no excuse for inaction. We already have many tools and approaches (economic, technological, behavioural, management) to deal effectively with the climate change challenge. But they must be vigorously and widely implemented to achieve the societal transformation required to decarbonise economies.

6. Meeting the Challenge
To achieve the societal transformation required to meet the climate change challenge, we must overcome a number of significant constraints and seize critical opportunities.

More about the Congress on the Congress Site