Poznan (Poland) was host to the 14th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 14) and the 4th Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol on 1–12 December 2008, drawing almost 11 000 participants, including government delegates and representatives from business and industry. The two-week meeting was a step in the negotiations on an international climate change deal to be clinched in Copenhagen in December 2009. DG Research organised five side events during the conference contributing to the programme in the EU Pavilion and followed other Parties side events related to climate science. A special leaflet was also produced for the participation of DG Research in COP 14. Focus here centres on two side events organised by DG Research on 4 and 5 December.
The first event – Research on vulnerability, impacts and adaptation to climate change in Central and Eastern Europe – presented results from various EU projects looking at the physical impacts, economic consequences and political frameworks for adaptation in Central and Eastern Europe.
Key outcomes from the FP6 projects CECILIA, CLAVIER and ADAM were presented. It was found that detailed data and information is (or will soon be) available at local and regional level for various sectors such as agriculture, water resources and tourism, which will support the design and implementation of adaptation measures. In addition, the lack of comparable information in developing countries (which are expected to face major impacts of climate change) was stressed, together with the need to support adequate research efforts for these regions.
EU-supported projects dealing with human health effects related to climate change presented their work at this side event – Research into climate change impacts on health around the world. The diversity of adverse health effects linked to climate change was highlighted in the presentations which dealt with the impact of natural disasters (MICRODIS project) and with the changing distribution of vector-borne infectious diseases (EDEN project). As the impacts of floods and windstorms are most severe in South and Southeastern Asia, MICRODIS includes a number of partners from India, Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia. Initial results from a field survey in northern India were presented.
The side event attracted a number of participants from developing countries who expressed interest not only in the topics covered, but also in the demonstrated possibilities for these countries' participation in EU-funded research projects.