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Climate Change Issues in the Third Pole

MEP and diplomats bring Himalayan Glaciers to the forefront.
8 December 2009

Climate Change Issues in the Third Pole - ImageOn 7 December, IES Vice-Chairman Tom Spencer took part in a roundtable on ?Climate Change Issues in the Third Pole? organised by British MEP Deva Nirj in Brussels. The meeting intended to assess the implications of the melting Himalayan glaciers on South and and Central Asia.

During his presentation, Tom Spencer emphasised the need for political attention on the Himalayas because it is this region that best demonstrates the visible effects of climate change. He said, ?There is nothing more sensitive than the loss of water in this region?.

Moreover, a short video of Prof. J-P Van Ypersele, Vice-Chair of the IPCC underlined that one of the main causes of this glacial melt could be attributed to the massive emissions of black carbon which dramatically reduce the ?albedo effect?, when deposited on snow and ice.

The melting of glaciers is an ongoing phenomenon that is accelerating rapidly and will have massive consequences for the region; altered dimensions of great river basins, disruption of the common hydro-electric power schemes and dramatic decrease in the availability of summer melt water, potentially driving millions of people off their land.

Participation at this event was varied, from representatives of the Asian countries of China, India, Bangladesh and Nepal, NGOs like EUROSTEP and WWF, the UNEP, EIB to those of the European Commission.

Out of such and other recommendations came the proposal for a plan of regional cooperation based on shared problems to deal with black carbon pollution and glacial melt.

At the same time it was agreed that the problem needed to be handled globally as the melting of Himalayan glaciers could destabilise the entire region and have major implications for international security.

Glacial Melt at the Third Pole - Tom Spencer

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