The launch of volume 8 of Environmental Research Letters (ERL) comes at a
critical time in terms of innovations and exciting areas of science, but particularly
in the areas linking environmental research and action.
The most recent climate change Conference of the Parties meeting (COP), in
Doha in December 2012, has now come and gone. As has been dissected in the
press, very little was accomplished. Some will see this as a failure, as I do, and
others will reasonably enough note that this meeting, the 18th such COP was1
never intended to be a milestone moment. The current plan, in fact, is for a
‘post-Kyoto’ international climate agreement to be adopted only at the COP 20
summit in December 2015.
As we lead up to COP20, and potentially other regional or national approaches
to climate protection, innovations in science, innovations in policy tools, and
political commitment must come together. The science of climate change only
continues to get clearer and clearer, and bleaker . Later this year the IPCC will
release its Fifth Assessment Report, AR5. The draft versions are out for review
ERL has published a number of papers on climate change science, mitigation
and adaptation, but one area where the world needs a particular focus is on the
nexus of science and action.