The Rio+20 Summit emphasized that climate change represents an immediate and urgent global priority. This has increased the pressure to provide new information to support analysis of climate change and improve existing statistics for climate change analysis.
UNECE is actively working to develop climate change related statistics with its member countries and other international organisations. The work primarily addresses data that are already collected by statistical offices and that can support analysis or research related to climate change. Scientific data (e.g. meteorological data) that measure changes in weather and climate are not a focus of the work.
The Conference of European Statisticians (CES) set up a Task Force on climate change related statistics in November 2011. The work resulted in CES Recommendations on climate change related statistics that were endorsed by the CES plenary session in April 2014. The recommendations are now being finalised for electronic publication.
In April 2014, the Conference asked UNECE to establish a small steering group to provide direction to countries in implementing these Recommendations. The Conference also recommended establishing a regular Expert Forum for producers and users of climate change related statistics to share ideas and experience, discuss concepts and measurement issues, and identify areas where practical methodological guidance would be needed.
Climate change related statistics refers to:
environmental, social and economic data that measure the human causes of climate change, the impacts of climate change on human and natural systems, the efforts of humans to avoid the consequences as well as their efforts to adapt to these consequences.
The recommendations include several case studies of existing country practices. One of them is the quarterly estimate of greenhouse gas emissions produced by Statistics Netherlands. Their press release, translated into English, may be an interesting benchmark to other statistical offices.
Before launching the Task Force, a survey of statistical offices was conducted to explore the extent to which statistical offices are involved in producing climate change related statistics.
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.
Click here for more information about other UNECE Task Forces.
Meetings and events
The Task Force organized a first expert meeting on Climate Change Related Statistics for Producers and on 19-20 November 2012 to explore the user demand and take stock of statistical offices’ practices in the area.
The second expert meeting to discuss the draft recommendations of the Task Force was held on 8-9 October.
The meetings brought together around 50 producers and users of climate change information, and provided valuable input to the Task Force work.