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Towards better data to help policy makers keep climate action on track

The push for a global agreement on climate change is increasing like the pace of a high-speed train. The next stop is the Paris Climate Conference in December, where 196 countries need to get on board the new climate agreement. To navigate climate action along those tracks, policy makers will need reliable data to avoid any costly detours caused by misleading or biased data.

The statistical community is taking the challenge seriously. Official statistics are designed to provide objective and unbiased information compiled according to internationally agreed methods to enable the development of sound public policies. However, official statistics on economic, environmental and social issues were not originally designed for climate analysis. Therefore, they need to be fine-tuned for this purpose. As climate discussions may occasionally heat up, objective data would be more than welcome.

In 2014, UNECE published the Conference of European Statisticians’ Recommendations on Climate Change-Related Statistics, endorsed by over 60 countries and international organizations. The Recommendations anticipated the need to improve the usefulness of existing statistics and to develop new indicators to analyse climate change.

Countries will need better tools to monitor progress towards new climate targets, expected from Paris and the upcoming Sustainable Development Goals. Policy makers are increasingly focusing on climate change mitigation and adaptation, disaster risk reduction, climate funding and reducing impacts of extreme events.  

UNECE will organize an Expert Forum for producers and users of climate change-related statistics, in Geneva on 2-3 September 2015. The Forum will bring together statisticians, meteorologists, greenhouse gas emission and climate experts as well as researchers to discuss how to respond to the increased need of relevant statistics.

The expert network aims at drafting a road map with practical measures to improve the quality and reliability of information needed to analyse the impact of climate change, its mitigation and adaptation measures, emissions and disaster risks and to help policy makers keep climate action on track.

They will also define a set of key indicators to be produced across countries for monitoring climate change and its impacts.

See the programme at: http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=37898#/