Academic joins UN scientific Climate Change panel

27 July 2016

UC political scientist Bronwyn Hayward has been invited to advise how the world's scientific community should respond to limit global warming.

Academic joins UN scientific Climate Change panel

University of Canterbury political scientist Bronwyn Hayward: "The task is daunting but I am honoured to be invited to help address such a complex problem, one that is already influencing the lives of so many children and young people."

University of Canterbury political scientist Bronwyn Hayward has been invited to join a crucial planning meeting to advise how the world’s scientific community should respond to the challenge of limiting global warming.

In August, the meeting will bring the world’s leading experts to Geneva to offer strategic advice to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the needs of poor communities and sustainable development as well as global greenhouse gas emission pathways.

Associate Professor Hayward was nominated to the team leading the scoping report by the International Social Science Council and the international science research agency Future Earth.

“The task is daunting but I am honoured to be invited to help address such a complex problem, one that is already influencing the lives of so many children and young people,” she says of her appointment, which has already made the news.

“This scoping report is an enormous opportunity and responsibility – it builds on the work of so many international and national colleagues in science who have worked for many years on these issues. We are basically drafting the world’s scientific research work plan for the next 5 to 10 years in response to climate change.”

The invitation to be part of the globally important Scoping Meeting for the IPCC followed a competitive selection process in which 78 world experts were selected from a possible field of 600 international nominees.

“The world now has an opportunity to decide how it will respond to our changing climate and what we do next. Addressing the complex problems of climate change will require different ways of thinking and new approaches from all fields, including economics, politics and sociology, to literally rethink how we produce and consume and relate to each other if we want to sustain human well-being and a liveable planet,” Assoc Prof Hayward says.

In response to last year’s Paris climate agreement, the scoping meeting will be held from 15 - 18 August at the World Meteorological Organisation in Geneva to make recommendations to the next IPCC meeting about existing expertise and critical issues and approaches that need to be considered in forthcoming research if the world has any chance of keeping global warming within 1.5°C.

In April, the IPCC Panel accepted the invitation from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to provide a special report in 2018 on the impacts of global warming and related global greenhouse gas emission and to prepare a special report on this topic in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.

Head of the University of Canterbury’s Political Science and International Relations Department, Assoc Prof Hayward also leads the multidisciplinary research group Sustainable Citizenship and Civic Imagination: Hei Puāwaitanga.

She is an international expert in sustainable development, with particular emphasis on multidisciplinary insights into issues affecting children and youth in periods of rapid environmental, social, economic and political change.  Her 2012 book Children, Citizenship and Environment (Routledge, London) has received international praise.

What is the IPCC?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the international body for assessing the science related to climate change. The IPCC was set up in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to provide policymakers with regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation.

For further information please contact:

Associate Professor Bronwyn Hayward, Head of Political Science and International Relations, University of Canterbury, Phone: +64 3 364 2987 ext 6096, bronwyn.hayward@canterbury.ac.nz

or

For further information please contact:
Margaret Agnew, Senior External Relations Advisor, University of Canterbury
Ph: (03) 364 2775 | Mobile: 027 5030 168 | margaret.agnew@canterbury.ac.nz
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