As an accredited observer organisation with UNFCCC, IPCC, CBD, IPBES and UN Environment, Future Earth engages regularly with various international science-policy processes to ensure that there is a clear dialogue both from and to our community.
International climate change processes are dominated by the negotiations body, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the science assessment body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Their annual summits (known as COPs) bring together official representatives of the countries who have signed the agreement to discuss how to limit greenhouse gas emissions, as well as civil society actors and NGOs. Future Earth showcases our community’s research through side events and at press conferences as well as by making statements in plenary. Future Earth is also part of the official group of Research and Independent Non-Government Organisations (RINGO) through which we are able to make statements at high-level segments, which are negotiations attended by senior representatives of states.
Since 2017, in addition to sending a delegation, the Earth League and Future Earth have synthesized recent key insights from science that summarize what policy and decision makers need to know to navigate the transformation to low-carbon societies. These reports have been presented at the annual COPs. At COP-23, in Bonn, Germany, we released the 10 Science ‘Must Knows’ on Climate Change 2017. This was followed at COP-24, in Katowice, Poland, with the 10 New Insights in Climate Science 2018.
In addition to the COPs, the Future Earth community also engages regularly with the UNFCCC’s scientific and technical body (SBSTA).
Future Earth engages with IPCC directly by nominating people as coordinating lead authors, lead authors and review editors for the IPCC Assessment Reports and Special Reports. Our community is also encouraged to contribute as Expert Reviewers on the first and second order drafts of the reports.
Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) are the two avenues through which Future Earth regularly engages with the international biodiversity processes. The CBD is the main negotiating body and IPBES the main science assessment body.
In 2017, CBD and Future Earth signed a memorandum of understanding, marking an important commitment by both organisations to jointly strive to achieve the Aichi biodiversity targets and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Future Earth is also a strategic partner of IPBES, with the hope of mobilising the scientific and sustainability communities. Future Earth engages with IPBES on a regular basis by nominating authors, fellows, reviewers and editors for their various assessments, as opportunities arise.
Sustainable Development Goals
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are central to Future Earth’s mission to accelerate transformations for global sustainability. Future Earth has been active in the international negotiation process since 2015 and our community is well-represented in their Global Sustainable Development Report.