The Rio+20 Conferences on Sustainable Development have emphasized that climate change represents an immediate and urgent global priority. There is a pressing need for new information to support analysis of climate change and for the improvement of currently available information. National governments have for many years published information on greenhouse gas emissions through a well-established collection and reporting process. Information on other aspects of climate change, including on the social and economic impacts of mitigation and adaptation, are less well developed.
National statistical offices offer a wide range of environmental, social and economic statistics that could be better utilized for climate change analysis. Many indicators exist but the focus differs among countries and international comparability requires improvements. Analysing climate change across all its dimensions requires linkage of climate information with national statistics on cross-cutting societal issues.
The term “climate change related statistics” refers to environmental, social and economic statistics measuring the drivers, impacts and costs of climate change. The term is not meant to cover data measuring climate and weather directly; for example, temperature and precipitation.
The Conference of European Statisticians set up a Task Force on climate change related statistics in November 2011. The Task Force is to identify priorities for the further development of climate change related statistics in national statistical offices and to explore data requirements of users of these statistics. See here for more information about UNECE Task Forces.
Before launching the Task Force, a survey of statistical offices was conducted among member countries of the UNECE and the OECD to explore the extent to which statistical offices are involved in producing climate change related statistics. Of the 48 offices that replied, 37 reported involvement in work related to greenhouse gas emission inventories and 18 produced other statistics related to climate change. Survey respondents called for an investigation of ways in which their data could be made more useful for climate change analysis and decision-making.
The United Nations Secretary-General has put climate change at the top of the United Nations agenda. Here you can find information about UNECE work on climate change.
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