Climate Change Knowledge Network

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THE CLIMATE Change Knowledge Network (CCKN) was established in 1998, to enhance cooperation between developed and developing countries on research related to climate change. The network aims to make knowledge about climate change available to all countries of the world. The collaborative efforts encouraged by the network strive to disseminate knowledge on climate change and to make such knowledge relevant for the international policy process. The network includes 12 core member institutions in Senegal, Zimbabwe, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, China, India, Norway, the Netherlands, and Sweden. The governments of Canada, the United States, and Norway support its activities.

The aims of the network are to promote more sustainable and equitable climate change management through research and communication on issues such as the Kyoto Protocol, to develop a dialogue between developed and developing countries for a better understanding of the global effects of climate change, and to help each member institution to increase its capacity to propose regional policies about climate change. The network promotes international negotiations that make explicit connections between development and climate change. The network also enables members to take part in various projects, to share their results with other members, and to bridge the gap between development and climate change. The CCKN is pledged to equity among its members and is based on mutual learning. Members take part in activities that involve the whole network and also in partnerships with other members.

The CCKN has its headquarters at the International Institute for Sustainable Development, in Canada, which also helps the members to disseminate their work and projects via the internet. The network's core members are institutions selected from developing and developed countries. They participate in decision-making processes, research projects, and fundraising activities. The network also has associate members, who are either former core members, or organizations with interests in climate change that share the same aims as those of the network. Network members usually meet in person, once a year, at the annual meeting the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Through individual and joint projects, member organizations identify relevant research areas and work collaboratively to shape the international climate change process, as well as regional and local processes. An ongoing interest of the knowledge network is the assessment of the socioeconomic and environmental impacts to implement the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol.

The CCKN is committed to the training of negotiators from developing countries so that they can effectively take part in international negotiating processes. As part of its activities, the network has devised an online resource to provide an overview of the key topics and actors in climate negotiations. This is an important tool for developing countries that are the most affected by climate change, but whose negotiating capabilities are often challenged. The network recognizes that developing and least-developed countries are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, so it has undertaken research on the long-term policy measures to be adopted. The CCKN was able to bring together the International Institute for Sustainable Development, the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research, and the Tata Energy Research Institute to explore the impacts of economic changes and climate change for India's agricultural sector.

The most significant project of the CCKN is the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), a multiphase assessment of the role of decentralized renewable energy in sustainable development, poverty relief, and greenhouse gas mitigation through the Kyoto Protocol. As the first stage of the CDM, the network commissioned a series of short scoping studies completed by its partners in developing countries. These studies assessed the national state of decentralized renewable energy in China, India, Senegal, Zimbabwe, and Chile and were completed in early 2002. The second stage of the project involves ways to encourage the use of decentralized renewable energy systems.

SEE ALSO: Center for International Climate and Environmental Research; Clean Development Mechanism; Kyoto Protocol; Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs).

BIBLIOGRApHY. Climate Change Knowledge Network, www. cckn.net (cited September 2007); Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, www.ipcc.ch (cited October 2007).

Luca Prono University of Nottingham

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