The objective (Article 2) of the UN Framework Convention
on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is stated as follows:
The ultimate objective of this Convention and any related
legal instruments that the Conference of the Parties may adopt
is to achieve, in accordance with the relevant provisions
of the Convention, stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations
in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous
anthropogenic interference with the climate system.
Such a level should be achieved within a time-frame sufficient
to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change,
to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable
economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.
This objective has been little explored in international
science studies. The IPCC presented an initial assessment
of the scientific knowledge surrounding stabilisation in its
Third Assessment Report published in 2001. We believe that
it is important to make progress in understanding the ultimate
scale and effect of climate, what effects need to be avoided
and what this means for actions in the near and medium term.
The UK has therefore decided to host an international scientific
meeting to take an in-depth look at the scientific issues
associated with stabilising greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
The conference will review the likely impacts of climate
change. Such impacts could include abrupt and rapid change,
irreversible changes to the climate system and significant
sectoral or regional impacts.
The meeting provides an opportunity to take stock of the
scientific and technical issues surrounding stabilisation
between the IPCC 3rd (2001) and 4th (2007) Assessment Reports,
and will also encourage more research on this particular issue.
The meeting will take as read the conclusions of the IPCC
3rd Assessment Report that climate change due to human actions
is already happening, and that without actions to reduce emissions
climate change will continue, with increasingly adverse effects
on the environment and human society.