Highlights of ECCA2023 conference on Monday 19th, 2023

19 June 2023

As delegates, speakers and VIPs arrived for ECCA2023 they were welcomed by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Caroline Conroy, at a reception at City Hall, Dublin, Ireland.

Evening Welcome Reception with Caroline Conroy, Lord Mayor of Dublin

A few hours earlier the historic landmark was the setting for the launch of the State of the Climate Report 2022 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) which revealed that Europe has been warming twice as fast as the global average.

A panel of climate experts introduced the report, chaired by Eoin Moran, Director of Met Éireann and headed by WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas.

World Meteorological Organization and Copernicus Climate Change Service: 

Launch of the State of the Climate in Europe 2022 Report. 

Chair: Eoin Moran, Director, Met Éireann

In 2022, Europe was approximately 2.3°C above the pre-industrial (1850-1900) average used as a baseline for the Paris Agreement on climate change. The target of that agreement is to keep average global temperature rise ‘well below’ 2°C.

Prof. Taalas addressed the launch event, saying: “Last year [temperatures] broke records in 10 European countries, mostly in central and western regions.”

The report also states that 2022 saw record melting of glaciers in the Pyrenees and The Alps, low snow falls, sea level rise has doubled in the past years and record high temperatures were recorded  in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Stark facts were quoted demonstrating the devastating personal impacts behind the climate data. Based on information in the Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT), meteorological, hydrological and climate-related hazards in Europe in 2022 resulted in 16,365 reported fatalities and directly affected 156,000 people. About 67% of the events were flood- and storm-related, accounting for most of the total economic damages of about US$2bn. Heatwaves reportedly led to more than 16,000 excess deaths.

The positive news was that, for the first time, more electricity was generated by wind and solar than by fossil fuels in Europe in 2022, with energy being a particular focus of the report. The Early Warnings for All Initiative was also highlighted as a positive step, enabling the C3S Early Warning System to be extended to be available to more nations, including Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDs)

Dr. Carlo Buontempo, Director of C3S at the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF), described 2022 as a year of ‘unprecedented recording-breaking  and unseasonal weather’ adding ‘this data predicts a grim picture’.

The speakers were:

Chair: Eoin Moran, Director, Met Éireann

Speakers: Jack Chambers, Minister of State, in the Department of Transport and the Department of the Environment, Climate & Communication

Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization    

Carlo Buontempo, Director, Copernicus Climate Change Service, ECMWF       

Uroš Vajgl, State Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Climate and Energy, Slovenia  

Espen Barth Eide, Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway

Mauro Facchini, Head of Unit for Earth Observation, European Commission

Panelists: Rebecca Emerton, Scientist, Copernicus Climate Change Service, ECMWF

Andrew Ferrone, Head of Meteorological Department, Administration des services techniques de l’agriculture, Luxembourg

Kornélia Radics, Director, Regional Office for Europe, World Meteorological Organization 

Marie Donnelly, Chairperson of the Irish Climate Change Advisory Council

Eimear Cotter, Director at the Irish Environmental Protection Agency

They highlighted the urgent need for climate adaptation – hence the launch being held on the eve of ECCA2023, the European Climate Change Adaptation Conference. Cllr. Conroy picked up the theme in her welcome, describing ECCA2023 being held in Dublin for the first time as ‘timely’, stressing that laws to protect the environment and biodiversity are essential. She said: “We need a vibrant, natural world and a stable climate. We need it to stay healthy to keep us healthy.”

The AXIS research programme held its final event on Monday at the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin. The collaborative team of 11 funding agencies from 10 European countries presented highlights from holistic climate impacts, economics and pathways research. You can watch the presentations on the ECCA YouTube channel.

AXIS research programme final event: Highlights from holistic climate impacts, economics and pathway research. Chair: Rolf von Kuhlmann, DLR with Lead Project Investigators of AXIS projects.

Read more about the State of the Climate Report in Europe 2022: Climate change impacts scar Europe, but increase in renewables signals hope for future | World Meteorological Organization (wmo.int)

ECCA2023 begins officially on Tuesday, June 20th, with an opening plenary for some 450 in-person delegates and many more watching online. 

Explore the photo galleries from:

-ECCA2023 Monday 19 June, 2023 here.

-ECCA2023 Tuesday 20 June, 2023 here.

-ECCA2023 Wednesday 21 June, 2023 here.

-ECCA2023 Extra photos (side events, creative arts, presentations, workshops, etc.) here.