As members of the next generation of environmental scientists, we are committed to conducting solutions-oriented research on global environmental problems. In addition to the highly visible problem of climate change, we face global environmental threats such as biodiversity loss, worsening air quality, and limited food security and water availability. These threats do not stop at national borders. Research in these areas requires global coordination and collaboration, and it would be best served by an equally global funding infrastructure.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties will convene in 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark, to negotiate post—Kyoto Protocol climate policy. One criterion for the success of these negotiations is their basis in the best available scientific understanding of the climate system at local, regional, and global scales. While the organizational infrastructure for global research coordination exists, funding is managed by national and regional agencies individually, with increasing emphasis on local concerns.
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