Communication on Climate Change

Plenary Session, Wednesday, 01 October 2008

"Communication on Climate Change"

Organisers: R. van Dorland (KNMI, The Netherlands)
T. Cegnar (EARS, Slovenia; EMS Media Committee)
F. de Pater (Free University Amsterdam)
C. Molenaars (KNMI)

Climate change is a multi-disciplinary field of research, ranging from knowledge of the climate system, studying the effects of climate change to finding ways to temper the human influence as well as to adapt to the projected changes. As the climate is a complex system and possible measures depend on a number of socio-economic factors, there is intrinsic uncertainty in this chain of subjects. This gives rise to many discussions, not only in the scientific literature, but also in the media. Since there are security, health, economic and political interests at stake, measures by policy makers need support from the public. This implies a crucial role for communication. Therefore a plenary session on communication on climate change will organized with presentations by scientists, journalists, stakeholders and policy makers, aiming to optimize the process of transferring information. 

The central issue in this session is how to connect transmitters and receivers of climate information.
How to communicate scientific results from the perspectives of scientists, media and receivers of information, such as policy makers, stakeholders and the general public?
When should it be passive one-way communication and when more in dialogue?
How is communication on climate issues organized on the national level and what are the pitfalls and results?
How to deal with uncertainty and risks?
How to create awareness on the level of scientific understanding of climate change, risks and the need for adaptation and mitigation strategies?

Why should they believe us?

"Communication on Climate Change"

14:00–15:45 Strategic Lectures

Facilitator/Chair: P. van der Geer
Director debate & dialogue, The Netherlands

Opening Presentation
Dr. R. van Dorland
KNMI, The Netherlands

From climate assessment to climate services
Prof. Dr. M. Visbeck
Director IFM Geomar, Germany

Tayloring climate information for adaptation strategies and adaptation measures
Dr. A. Feijt
KNMI, The Netherlands

Platform Communication on Climate Change in the Netherlands
Dr. R. van Dorland
KNMI, The Netherlands

A scientific view on communications
Interview with Prof. Dr. C. van Woerkom
Wageningen University, The Netherlands

Introduction to panel discussion: actions by the audience

15:45–16:15 Coffee Break

16:15–17:30 Panel Discussion

Facilitator: P. van der Geer
Director Debate & Dialogue, The Netherlands


R. Flipphi
Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment, The Netherlands

J. Teather
Weather People Ltd., UK

Dr. I. Meinke
Institute of Coastal Research, GKSS Research Centre, Germany

Dr. F. Raes

Ir. J. van den Berg
DHV, The Netherlands

M. van Aalst
Climate Centre, Red Cross International

17:30–18:00 Opportunities for interviews