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Anyone seeking to better understand the problem of global climate change and follow the ongoing public debate can quickly become overwhelmed by the range, scope and depth of issues and information sources. Given the rapid-fire frequency of inter-governmental meetings, domestic policy developments and private-sector endeavours, climate change policy is a moving target. Until 2002, the Climate Compendium sought to channel, condense and consolidate the latest and best information in all fields—political, economic, scientific and legal—into a frequently updated “cyber-briefer.” By providing background materials and extensive resource guides, the Climate Compendium was intended to provide the best possible “starting point” for people seeking to better understand the issues related to global climate change.

Reflecting the situation up until December 2002, the Climate Compendium was divided into five broad sections—International Climate Negotiations, Domestic Policy and Implementation, Business and Technology, Scientific Research and Climate Change Impacts, and Related Conventions and Agreements—to reflect the wide range of topics encompassed in the issue of global climate change, as well as to make the information easier to find, organize and understand. Many topics were interlinked and intersected each other, and so the Compendium highlighted these linkages and gave the reader a better overall view. Each of the five sections consisted of an Overview Article to provide background information on history, terms and evolution of the public debate, and provided extensive guides to article, reports and websites for further research and education on selected topics.

The Climate Compendium was produced through funding provided by the Canadian International Development Agency and the United States Agency for International Development.

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