The cryosphere is different, requiring different yet complementary climate solutions to those of the globe as a whole. ICCI therefore seeks to:
- Highlight the plight of the cryosphere, the rapid changes taking place there and their global consequences;
- Inform climate negotiators and the global community of the important differences in the climate dynamics driving cryosphere climate change;
- Bring together networks of NGOs, scientists and policymakers to develop policy solutions based specifically on cryosphere climate needs;
- Help obtain funding for integrated projects across regions and disciplines, bringing together a range of organizations and individuals (for example Arctic, Himalayan and Antarctic black carbon experts) for cryosphere research and action.
A focus on CO2 and other greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions will remain the basis for any long-term efforts to preserve as much of the cryosphere as possible. ICCI has served as a strong advocate for these efforts since its founding in the immediate wake of COP-15 (2009) in Copenhagen, through highlighting the implications of CO2-driven cryosphere climate change for the globe. However, where other solutions such as regional black carbon reductions are supported by the science, ICCI also works to bring these to light, including through demonstration projects.
The ICCI timeframe originally focused on a five-year timeline of work, from 2010-2015 and towards the 2015 Paris Agreement. While Paris represented a major step forward, the climate commitments (or “NDCs,” Nationally Determined Contributions) adopted there were however totally inadequate to the task of cryosphere preservation, on which the Earth’s climate system rests; and as outlined in ICCI’s 2015 “Thresholds” report. ICCI therefore has continued its work post-Paris; and is focused on COP-26, now rescheduled for November 2021 due to the Covid-19 crisis and when countries will update their NDCs. In the lead-up to COP-26, ICCI is working to make the “1.5°C cryosphere guardrail”, and the urgent need for countries to move towards 1.5°C pathways, more clear. These are physical climate science realities: like the novel corona virus, they cannot be merely wished away.
Today, ICCI is registered as a non-profit in both Sweden and the United States, with programs related to the Arctic, Antarctica, Himalayas, Andes and other mountain regions, as well as the polar oceans.