Cryosphere Pavilion at COP 25

Call for “Cryosphere” Side Event Proposals:

Cryosphere Pavilion at COP-25 in Santiago, Chile

December 3-12, 2019

COP25 represents a key juncture as countries move towards their first revisions of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) since the signing of the Paris Agreement, and will therefore focus its agenda on initiatives that promote more ambitious climate action, both mitigation and adaptation. The Chilean government, as COP-25 President has made the Cryosphere one of its priority issues leading to such greater climate ambition, and is hosting a Cryosphere Pavilion as one expression of this priority. Cryosphere science makes clear that later timing of emissions reductions, and temperature “overshoot” scenarios can trigger cryospheric changes and global feedbacks that may be rapid and – more seriously — to some degree irreversible. The challenge for cryosphere science, per both the IPCC Special Reports on 1.5 Degrees (2018), and Oceans and Cryosphere (2019) is to capture the reality that while humans may trigger these events in the next few decades through insufficient action; many global impacts of such delay will not be seen fully for centuries.

The COP-25 Cryosphere Pavilion will provide a space for permanent exhibits, expert conferences and ministerial events, with one or more Focus Days on each of the following Cryosphere dynamics, with tentative dates:

  • Mountain Glaciers and Snow: Dec. 3 and 11
  • Ice Sheets: Dec. 4 and 10
  • Permafrost: Dec. 5
  • Sea Ice: Dec. 6
  • Polar Oceans (Acidification/Freshening/Warming): Dec. 9

In addition, Dec. 7 and Dec. 12 will focus on national actions and the policy response.

Cryosphere research institutions and organizations are welcome to participate in the Pavilion, the first of its kind at a UNFCCC COP.  In particular, proposals for Pavilion “side events” (seminars of approximately 90 minutes) are welcome from the cryosphere community.  Priority will be given to events tying cryosphere science to “urgency and ambition,” in accordance with the SR1.5; so especially to key dynamics between today’s temperature of about 1 degrees above pre-industrial, and anticipated changes at 1.5 versus 2 degrees and above. ICCI (www.iccinet.org) is coordinating Pavilion efforts on behalf of the COP-25 Presidency.  Event proposals (with proposed topics and speakers) should be sent to pam@iccinet.org; with more administrative questions on travel, accreditation etc. to stephanie@iccinet.org.

Side event slots will be assigned beginning September 30, so proposals received by that date have the greatest chance of approval; but later proposals welcome as space permits. Events with more than one institution/organizer are encouraged.  There is no fee, aside from needed travel/lodging. While we may have some travel funding avalable, it will be quite limited; so Pavilion participants should work to procure their own funding if at all possible. Participants will also need to obtain UNFCCC accreditation from their government or an accredited UNFCCC Observer.  However, if necessary ICCI should be able to provide accreditation to all approved side event organizers and speakers.

Due to its long and extensive experience in Antarctic, Southern Ocean and Andean glacier research; Chile is in a privileged position to lead a process to increase awareness of the global importance of Cryosphere: establishing an operational and practical link between science, and the political decision-making process on climate action and multilateral negotiations. The process aims to generate greater political level and public support for climate action plans consistent with a 1.5 Cº goal, incorporated into 2020 NDCs specifically to prevent global feedbacks from accelerating Cryosphere collapse at temperatures beyond 1.5 degrees.  We look forward to this exciting cooperation at COP-25.