Global perspectives from Copenhagen

Recent article from BIOLinks, The School of Biological Sciences Newsletter

Kerrie Wilson has recently returned from a productive (and very cold) couple of months working with researchers at the University of Copenhagen

particularly, Professors Niels Strange, Carsten Rahbek and Neil Burgess, world leaders in ecological economics, climate change science and conservation biology respectively.

During her time in Copenhagen, Kerrie participated in the COP15 meeting, where her professional focus was directed toward better understanding ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation (UQ News).

Kerrie views the COP15 as the most significant environmental “conference” of the decade.  Who’s who in climate change science was present along with global leaders and representatives from government and non-government organisations and advocacy groups. While the form of the final treaty was neither desired nor expected by most, expectations were probably a little too on the high-side.

The enormous complexity of climate change was certainly revealed and this no doubt influenced the final outcomes. Relations between China and the US aside, in addition to the manoeuvrings of countries such as Canada and Australia, perhaps the most stark impression made was how intricately complicated climate change is…with advocates for poverty alleviation, transport unions, women’s rights, and biodiversity conservation (to name just a handful) represented and having a voice at Copenhagen. But did their presence confuse the main goals, or did they enhance our understanding of climate change and the urgency of identifying solutions?