Throughout human history, the climate has influenced the development of societies and shaped the natural systems they depend on. Today, we observe unprecedented changes in the climate system caused by greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation and other human activities, making it more important than ever for decision-makers to be informed by high-quality scientific information.
Of course, climate science is not static. New discoveries are continually being made, which is why we must be clear about what we know and where there is still uncertainty. More creative approaches are also needed for communicating climate science in ways that educate, motivate and empower people to take action.
As climate change accelerates, it will become extremely difficult to adapt to rising sea levels, changes in the global water cycle, and decreases in food production, all of which will impact the lives of billions of people around the world.
Avoiding the worst impacts will require substantial and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions starting now. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), staying within the internationally agreed two-degree Celsius temperature rise limit can only be realized through urgent and ambitious action to move towards carbon-neutral economies and societies. This session will showcase how climate science can inform actions that support this goal.
Watch the session webcast:
President of Mongolia Mr. Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj holds Master of Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He was a Member of Parliament in 1990-2000, and 2008-2009, Vice Speaker of the Parliament in 1996-98, Prime Minister and Majority Leader in Parliament in 1998, Prime Minister in 2004-06 for the second time and President of Mongolia since June 2009.
President Elbegdorj prioritizes climate change mitigation and environment protection causes and has been contributing to the High Level Forum on Climate Change in September 2009, the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP15 /UNFCCC) in Copenhagen, World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in 2011, the Informal Gathering of World Economic Leaders on “The Future we Want from 2015” of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2013 and the Informal Gathering of World Economic Leaders the Reshaping the Global Climate Agenda in 2014. He has been member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Climate Change since 2011. The President initiated a Tree planting campaign across Mongolia and launched a National Tree Planting Day in April 2010 to curb desertification in Mongolia. His has been recognized as Champion of the Earth 2012 by UNEP.
Biography coming soon.
Aleqa is Greenland’s first female Premier. Aleqa has long worked to realize the desire for an independent Greenland and is driven by a wish to ensure basic welfare for all citizens in Greenland. She was born in 1965 in Narsaq (South Greenland) and raised in Uummannaq (North Greenland). As a 7 year old she lost her father, who was hunting. Her mother stood alone as 27-year-old with three young children. Aleqas sense of family and community importance is also the strong unity which was necessary to ensure that they could succeed despite the challenges. Aleqa has studied at Arctic College in Nunavut, and first ran for Parliament in 2005. She has been Minister of Family and Justice, and subsequently of Foreign Affairs and Finance. She has experiences of being the only female Minister in Government.
Thomas Stocker was born in Zürich and obtained a PhD in Natural Sciences of ETH Zürich in 1987. He held research positions at University College London, McGill University (Montreal), Columbia University (New York) and University of Hawai’i (Honolulu). Since 1993 he is Professor of Climate and Environmental Physics at the University of Bern. Thomas Stocker has authored or co-authored more than 180 peer-reviewed papers in the area of climate dynamics and paleoclimate modeling and reconstruction. Since 2008 he serves as Co-Chair of Working Group I of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Thomas Stocker was awarded a Dr. Honoris Causa of the University of Versailles (France) in 2006 and the Hans Oeschger Medal of the European Geosciences Union in 2009. In 2012 he was elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.
Julia Marton-Lefèvre is Director General of IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization which brings together states, government institutions, non-governmental organizations, scientists and experts around a unique worldwide partnership.
Prior to this position, she was Rector of the University for Peace, Executive Director of LEAD International and Executive Director of The International Council for Science. She is a member of several boards, including the UN Global Compact, the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, and Oxford University’s James Martin School. She is a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science and a member of the World Future Council. Ms. Marton-Lefèvre has co-authored numerous books and papers. She is a recipient of the AAAS Award for International Cooperation in Science, Chevalier de l’Ordre national de la Légion d’Honneur (France), Chevalier dans l’Ordre de Saint-Charles (Monaco) and the ProNatura award (Hungary). Born in Hungary, Ms. Marton-Lefèvre studied history, ecology and environmental planning in the US and in France.
Barbara Frost is Chief Executive of WaterAid, a global NGO working with some of the poorest communities in the world to improve their access to water, sanitation and hygiene. WaterAid works with national and local partners in 26 developing countries across Africa, Asia, Central America and the Pacific. Our programme work is supported by member countries in the UK, USA, Australia, Canada, Japan and Sweden.
WaterAid contributes to a vision of universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene by 2030 as a means to ensure that extreme poverty is eradicated. We work with governments, the private sector and civil society to address the water and sanitation crisis and improve the lives of poor people living in the most marginalised and excluded communities. Last year, through our partners, we delivered safe water to 1.9 million people and sanitation to 2.9 million people.
Barbara joined WaterAid in 2005 from her role as Chief Executive of Action on Disability and Development, working with disabled people in Africa and Asia to assist them to claim their rights. She had previously worked in Mozambique, Malawi and Australia.
Paul Tsietsi Monare is a Geography Masters degree graduate from the University of Johannesburg. Paul is confident and fluent in over five official South African languages. He has five years experience as a weather presenter for the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), where he produced and presented the weather for tv programmes such as Morning Live, Weekend Live, Business News at One, Prime Time news as well as International News for the SABC 24 Hour News Channel. Paul has completed short courses in broadcasting and basic meteorology. For the past three years he has been involved in a number of public speaking projects for companies such as MTN, The Coca-Cola Company, KIA and MasterCard as well as various governmental departments in South Africa. His other work experiences include working as an environmental and public participation consultant for Environmental Resources Management (SA), a junior lecturer for the University of Johannesburg as well as on air presenters training for the SABC.
United Nations Hosts
Cabinet and External Relations Department
World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
Assistant Director General a.o., Natural Sciences
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Manager, Climate Change
United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)
UN Secretary-General’s Climate Change Support Team