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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-05-30

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Int'l conference on climate change

  • [01] Int'l conference on climate change

    An international conference on Climate Change and Human Security organised by the Greek foreign ministry ended in Athens on Friday, with speakers concluding that climate change was coming faster than expected, especially in terms of the melting of the polar ice caps and rising sea levels.

    According to the World Meteorological Organisation General Secretary Michel Jarraud, this acceleration in the melting of the ice was only now beginning to be studied and understood by scientists.

    Among the meeting's conclusions was a prediction that Greece would find itself at the crossroads of environmental migration in years to come, with environmental factors seen as playing an increasing role in the volume, frequency and direction of migration.

    Experts noted that calculating levels of migration in coming years could prove very difficult, with estimates ranging from 24 million people on the move today to 700 million people by 2050. They stressed the need for studies on population movements linked to climate change, as well as estimates of their cost as part of the overall costs of climate change on the global economy.

    Another point noted by the conference was the lack of funding for programmes targeting adaptation to climate change, with speakers stressing that adaptation would be a decisive factor in reducing the cost of climate change in human lives from freak weather events, diseases and other threats.

    Speakers said that funding for such programmes by both national governments and international organisations was extremely low, amounting to a few hundred million dollars when the estimated funding needs according to the World Bank and the UNDP ranged between 46-80 billion dollars.

    Participants in the conference included specialist scientists and representatives of several international organisations, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew who delivered an address via a teleconferencing link from Istanbul.

    After the conference there was the annual ministerial meeting of the Human Security Network, which marked the end of Greece's presidency of the Network and included texts prepared by the Greek presidency on climate change and the security of vulnerable population groups and on the links between climate change, human security and development.

    Points raised during the meeting included the adverse effect of climate change on gender equality, the need for a successful outcome of the international negotiation for the post-Kyoto regime, especially for children, and the need to development appropriate strategies for international developmental cooperation for dealing with the repercussions of climate change on human security.

    It also ascertained a need to support the least developed countries and developing island states in preparing for an active role in the negotiations for the post-Kyoto era.

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