Canada's role in the origins of the IPCC

Written by  //  December 9, 2007  //  Canada, Climate Change, Science & Technology  //  No comments

December 9 2007
Canadians take leadership role on climate change

Mike De Souza, CanWest News Service

NUSA DUA, Indonesia — It all started about 20 years ago in a basement room of the Geneva conference centre.

The group wasn’t even big enough to reserve one of the larger meeting rooms above. In fact, there were only about 80 people who came together for that first meeting in November 1988, including Jim Bruce, a retired senior official from Environment Canada who helped organize the gathering of his peers from around the world.

…Bruce explained that the early meetings of climate scientists in the 1980s at conferences in Austria and Toronto were eventually what attracted the governments to get involved.

“In early 1988, the Americans began to get very worried because they could see that this was becoming a very important issue environmentally as well as economically,” said Bruce.

“They thought this was too important an issue to leave to a seven-member group of experts, however eminent, and so they wanted something which would allow governments to have a bit of a say in how the science was assessed and out of that was born the idea of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

John Stone, who is now the senior Canadian climate scientist on the IPCC, said he personally urged the panel’s current chairperson to include Bruce as part of the 30-person delegation at the Nobel-Peace prize ceremony to recognize his colleague’s historic role in the battle against global warming. Full story

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