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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2003 > February
Press Statement
Richard Boucher, Spokesman
Washington, DC
February 7, 2003


United States and European Union Joint Meeting on Climate Change Science and Technology Research

Following is the text of a joint statement issued by the United States and the European Union upon the conclusion of the U.S. – EU Joint Meeting on Climate Change Science and Technology Research.

Begin Text:

“The United States and European Union convened the first bilateral “U.S.-EU Joint Meeting on Climate Change Science and Technology Research” in Washington on February 5-6, 2003, following an invitation from Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky to European Commission Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin. The meeting was conducted under the April 23, 2002 agreement of representatives to the U.S.-EU High Level Dialogue on Climate Change to enhance cooperation on climate-related science and research.

The respective delegations were led by Dr. Harlan Watson, Senior Climate Negotiator and Special Representative of the Department of State for the U.S. side, and by Dr. Anver Ghazi, Head, Global Change Unit of the European Commission Research Directorate-General for the European side.

The U.S. delegation included representatives from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, U.S. Climate Change Science Program Office, U.S. Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of State, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, and U.S. Agency for International Development. The European Union delegation included representatives from the European Commission Research Directorate-General, selected research experts from European Union Member States, and the Delegation of the European Commission to the United States.

The two sides identified cooperative research activities in six areas: (1) carbon cycle research; (2) aerosol-climate interactions; (3) feedbacks, water vapor and thermohaline circulation; (4) integrated observation systems and data; (5) carbon capture and storage; and (6) hydrogen technology and infrastructure. Specific topics of potential cooperation in each area are identified in an annex to this statement available at: www.state.gov/g/oes/climate/.

The two sides agreed to designate points of contact to coordinate the development of specific research activities and modalities of cooperation and to monitor the progress of these activities, building on existing cooperative arrangements wherever possible.

The two sides further agreed to review the progress of their cooperation at the next Joint Meeting, which could take place in Italy later this year. Additional topics to be considered then are abrupt climate change including critical thresholds, integrated assessment of mitigation and adaptation options, linkages between climate change management and energy systems transformations, and capacity building for strengthening the involvement of developing countries and young scientists in climate change research and monitoring.”

End Text.


ANNEX—United States and European Union Joint Meeting on Climate Change Science and Technology Research: Specific Topics of Potential Cooperation

The United States and European Union identified cooperative research activities in the six areas at the first bilateral “U.S.-EU Joint Meeting on Climate Change Science and Technology Research” held in Washington on February 5-6, 2003: (1) carbon cycle research; (2) aerosol-climate interactions; (3) feedbacks, water vapor and thermohaline circulation; (4) integrated observation systems and data; (5) carbon capture and storage; and (6) hydrogen technology and infrastructure. Other non-greenhouse gas emitting energy sources (e.g., nuclear energy, renewable energies), although not discussed in detail, were mentioned as worthy for cooperation in future discussions.

Specific topics of potential cooperation in each area include the following:

Carbon Cycle Research

  1. Define and implement an integrated and optimized carbon observing system over the atmosphere, land, and oceans, with special emphasis on the carbon budget of North America, Europe, and the North Atlantic region;
  1. Coordinate efforts in modeling (future projections, assimilation methods, and analysis of past changes) integration, interpretation, and future data acquisition strategies;
  1. Enhance georeferenced carbon cycle data availability and quality; and
  1. Develop common assessment methods and state-of-the-art reports.

Aerosol-Climate Interactions

  1. Perform studies of aerosols, their influence on clouds, climate, and links to the water cycle in sensitive regions (hot spots) that are strongly affected by anthropogenic emissions (South and East Asia, and the Mediterranean);
  1. Improve emission data sets of reactive gases and aerosols from anthropogenic and biomass burning sources;
  1. Perform studies on intercontinental transport and chemical transformation of anthropogenic emissions that affect climate and air quality;
  1. Advance integrated global/regional earth system modeling to study feedback mechanisms and develop mitigation and adaptation strategies; and

5. Further satellite observations of reactive gases and aerosols and down-scaling through in situ and remote sensing measurements in anchor stations.

Feedbacks and Climate Sensitivity
1. Improve representations of cloud feedbacks in coupled climate models through participation in the Cloud Feedbacks Model Intercomparison Project (CFMIP);

  1. Begin to quantify and reduce uncertainty in model predictions through joint work on ensemble approaches to integrated climate change scenarios; and
  1. Maintain and enhance participation in joint research on thermohaline circulation
Integrated Observation Systems and Data
  1. Cooperate, within existing international frameworks, to plan and develop the integrated observation systems required to provide the data needed for climate change research;
  1. Continue with efforts to combine satellite and in situ global observations that are essential to detect climate change and improve evolving climate models, especially to encourage expanded involvement of developing countries to fill gaps in existing databases;
  1. Encourage and further improve the sharing and archiving of climate data and the design of common standards and formats; and
  1. Encourage the widest possible participation in the Earth Observation Summit in July 2003 and prepare for appropriate follow-up.
Carbon Capture and Storage

  1. Identify potential areas of collaboration on carbon capture and storage;
  1. Foster collaborative research and development projects;

3. Identify opportunities to discuss the perspectives of governments and other key stakeholders; and

4. Discuss planning, including research and development, for large integrated sequestration and energy plant projects.

Hydrogen Technology and Infrastructure
.
1. Development of international codes and standards including testing and certification;

2. Pre-competitive research and development on critical enabling technologies including: polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells, non-precious metal catalysts, high temperature membranes, solid oxide fuel cells, hydrogen storage concepts (e.g., carbon nanostructures and complex metal hydrides), refueling technologies and procedures, and hydrogen production;

3. Data exchange on hydrogen energy technology and fuel cells; and

4. Benchmarking of development and deployment strategies for hydrogen energy technologies and fuel cells.


Released on February 7, 2003

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