Science is usually in advance of politics and technology and the implementation of both is usually, if not totally, associated with clear interests. Sometimes, not very often, politics and technology team up immediately whenever common and mutual interests are apparent especially with support of economic and/or power related advantages.
The history of the scientific discovery of climate change began early 19th century with various theories and arguments about possible natural and man-made drivers. In late 19th century and since 1960-1970 the warming effect of human emissions of greenhouse gases, in particular carbon dioxide, became more and more convincing. By 1990, scientific research on climate change expanded enormously with rich data explaining causal relations, links with historic and palaeo-climatic data with refined and validated numerical climate-change models. Climate change can be best described as change, significant and lasting, in statistical distribution of spatio-temporal weather pattern. Time periods of such changes can range from decades up to millions of years. The changes can be in average weather conditions or in the distribution of weather around the average. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_climate_change_science)
The enormous and accelerating pressures from the scientific community supported by huge convincing scientific data, observations and models resuled in political realization of the effects and impacts of global warming (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_global_warming). Though the evolution of the scientific discovery of climate change, unlike other scientific discoveries, took a long journey to develop still the political road map for realization of global warming, and implementation of mitigation actions, was still more complex. This is due to numerous factors that arise from the global economy’s interdependence on carbon dioxide and because it is directly implicated in global warming. Global warming is non-traditional environmental challenge as the impacts are global, relatively irreversible in terms of short-periods of time, i.e. because of the long residence-time in the atmosphere, act directly and indirectly not only on weather patterns but the global water cycle and have wide-range of impacts on the functioning and metabolisms of global ecosystems and biodiversity. Global warming is one of the most important man-made effects with considerable impacts on the sustainability of all life forms on our planet.
The UN Climate Change Conference opens today in Lima, Peru, and will continue until 12 December. The Conference includes the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 20) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 10th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 10). Three subsidiary bodies will also convene: the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), and the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP).
The document given below describes the political responses and achievements since 1992 where the first major global political engagement took place. The international political response to climate change began with the adoption of the “UN Framework Convention on Climate Change” UNFCCC in 1992, which sets out a framework for action aimed at stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” The Lima conference will consider agenda items related, inter alia, to finance, mitigation, adaptation and technology. The COP will also hear a report from the ADP concerning progress made during the third year of its mandate to develop “a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties” by 2015 to enter into force no later than 2020.