Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα climate change. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα climate change. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Τρίτη, Δεκεμβρίου 02, 2014

The annual UN global climate change talks started in the Peruvian capital of Lima

Thousands of representatives from nearly 200 nations gathered at the Peruvian Army Headquarters for the two-week-long negotiations formally known as the COP20, or the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Polish Environment Minister Marcin Korolec, who was COP19/CMP9 President, hailed the 2030 framework agreed by the European Union and the China-U.S. joint announcement for emission cut as some of the major achievements of this year.

Peruvian Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, who was elected at the opening session as COP20/CMP10 president, urged participants to work in a creative way to reach global consensus in the following 12 days and stressed that an inclusive and transparent process was his top priority.

"This conference should lead to a framework on structuring and strengthening financial mechanisms, launch ambitious process to accelerate pre-2020 action, and make progress on intended determined contributions, or INDCS in short," said Pulgar-Vidal, calling for collective action from all parties.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres encouraged all actors to broaden scope of actions, and create political parity of adaptation and mitigation.

"This COP must make history," Figueres said, highlighting increased collective capacity of climate action worldwide and urging stronger global moves for a sustainable future.

Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), promised to bring everyone down "with the reality of science" after the theatrical show organized by the Peruvian presidency.

The IPCC, UN's science panel, recently presented its synthesis report, which is the fourth and final element of the fifth assessment report on the state of climate change.

Pachauri spelled out the influence of human emissions and their unequivocal impact on the planet, which is underway across all countries and affecting all peoples alike. "It is very likely Arctic sea ice will continue to shrink, sea level will continue to rise, and glacier volume will decrease," he said.

Pachauri expressed his hope that this COP will focus attention on the need to keep a global temperature rise under 2 degrees Celsius and reach a zero emissions world by the end of the century in order to reduce climate change risks.

The UNFCCC 12-day talks took place amid depressing scientific warnings and rising prospects in advancing a draft universal pact with the aim of adopting it at the COP21 in Paris, France at the end of next year. The recent joint announcement made by China and the United States to limit greenhouse gas emissions provided practical and political momentum towards the new global agreement.

About 10,000 delegates, activists, journalists and support crew have been accredited for the conference, with thousands of police providing security.

Xinhua - china.org.cn - http://english.cntv.cn
1-2/12/14

Σάββατο, Νοεμβρίου 15, 2014

Obama: US Pledges $3 Billion to Developing Nations for Global Warming Fund

U.S. President Barack Obama has announced that the United States is contributing $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund to help developing nations deal with climate change.

Obama made his announcement Saturday at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia -- host city of this year's summit of the Group of 20 world economic powers.
The president said the fund will help pay for such necessities as early warning systems and stronger defenses against storm surges. It also will help farmers plant more durable crops and aid developing economies in cutting carbon emissions and investing in clean energy.

Obama said it is not just governments that can fight climate change. He called on citizens, especially young people, to raise their voices, saying they deserve to live in a cleaner and healthier world.

Without mentioning any specific country, the president said effective security in Asia must be based on alliances and international law -- not spheres of influence or big nations bullying the small.

He said the only real source of legitimacy is a democracy and the consent of the people.
[voanews.com]
14/11/14
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Τετάρτη, Νοεμβρίου 12, 2014

Going green: Beijing, Washington strike landmark climate change deal

The world’s top carbon polluters – China and the United States – have reached a landmark agreement on greenhouse gas emissions, with both countries pledging to curb them by about a third by 2030.

Under the agreement, which was announced by President Obama and President Xi Jinping in Beijing, the United States pledges to reduce the level of its greenhouse gas emissions – based off 2005 levels – by 26 to 28 percent by the year 2025. Ultimately, the goal for American policy makers is to reduce emissions 80 percent by 2050.
For its part, China has pledged to stop its emissions from rising by 2030 – the first time the country has ever promised to reach such a goal. President Xi said that in order to successfully accomplish this, 20 percent of China's energy needs will come from alternative sources by 2030, such as solar power and wind energy. 

With world leaders preparing to meet in Paris in 2015 to discuss international plans to combat global warming, both the US and China hope their new deal will motivate other countries to follow suit and set ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse gases.
The White House said in a statement that China is embracing the “energy revolution,” which includes economic reforms and ways to deal with air pollution. 

China has signed onto providing an "additional 800-1,000 gigawatts of nuclear, wind, solar and other zero emission generation capacity by 2030, more than all the coal-fired power plants that exist in China today and close to total current electricity generation capacity in the United States,” according to the statement. 

While the deal was hailed by the White House, serious roadblocks remain, considering that Congress will be controlled by Republicans starting in 2015. Conservatives have generally criticized attempts to combat climate change, to the point that many do not acknowledge that it exists. An unnamed official told CNN, however, that President Obama was committed to the effort. 

"Congress may try to stop us, but we believe that with control of Congress changing hands we can proceed with the authority we already have,” the official said. "This is really the crusade of a narrow group of people who are politically motivated and have made this a cause celebre, but we believe we will be successful."
 
The announcement of the climate change deal follows several reports on agreements between the US and China around trade tariffs, military maneuvers, and easing travel visas.
As part of the trade deal, both sides agreed to get rid of $1 trillion worth of tariffs a year surrounding global sales of information and communications technology, such as GPS devices, medical equipment, and game consoles. 

The move was hailed as a “breakthrough” deal that could boost bilateral trade and create more jobs. However, before the deal goes forward, the agreement will have to be approved by the World Trade Organization (WTO).
http://rt.com/news/204615-china-us-climate-change-deal/
12/11/14
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Researchers examine bottom of strange crater in N Siberia

Russian researchers for the first time have reached the bottom of the strange large crater on the Yamal Peninsula, northwest Siberia, the press service of the regional government told TASS.

Scientists went on the third expedition to the crater on November 10. They managed to take samples of the ground and ice.
It is located four kilometers away from a gas pipeline and at a considerable distance from gas fields. Human activities could not cause the cave-in, the press service said.
During the summer, scientists could not examine the bottom because ground continued to collapse in the crater.
On the last expedition, researchers reached the depth of 200 metres despite the strong wind with gusts of up to 20 m.sec.

Specialists will study the chemical composition of the samples.
Scientists say the crater may be filled with water in a few years and become a small lake, such as many others in Yamal. It is proved that some of them appeared in such cave-ins. But scientists still do not know definitely how the craters were formed, the press service said.
The next expedition is planned for April 2015.

  • The chairman of the board of the Tyumen Scientific Society of the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, academician Vladimir Melnikov, said the craters were formed in Yamal in 2012 and 2013 as a result of the climate warming.
Frozen ground began to melt. At some places, it became less thick, and shale gas came out through it. Shale gas is found along the entire sub-Arctic shelf. Supposedly, it caused the formation of the crater, Melnikov said.
 http://en.itar-tass.com/non-political/759237
12/11/14
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Πέμπτη, Νοεμβρίου 06, 2014

Climate change talks: MEPs chart the course from Lima to Paris

 Talks to be held in Lima next month should enable global partners to reach an ambitious climate agreement in Paris in 2015, so as to keep the world on track for a sub-2°C climate warming scenario, said the Environment Committee in a resolution voted on Wednesday.
 MEPs reiterated the pledge by the EU and its member states to step up contributions to the UN Green Climate Fund so as to mobilise USD 100 billion per year by 2020, and called on other donors to play their part too.

"Our ultimate goal is to put our economies on track for a sub-2°C climate warming scenario. In Lima next month, UNFCCC parties are to work constructively to develop elements of the agreement to be concluded in Paris, and we should play a key role", said Environment Committee chair Giovanni La Via, who will lead a parliamentary delegation to Lima next month.

“Of course we face a political challenge to convince all concerned that moving towards a low-carbon economy is not something punitive, but will instead allow us to create jobs and to develop the technologies and products that the global community will need”, he added.

All countries should contribute, as delaying action will increase costs and reduce options, says the resolution, which was approved by 56 votes to 2 with 9 abstentions. The Lima Conference should also agree on information requirements to ensure that national contributions are quantifiable and comparable, it adds.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050
MEPs see the 1-12 December Lima conference as an opportunity to set key goals ahead of the 2015 international agreement to be discussed in Paris (COP 21) on 30 November- 11 December 2015. This agreement should clearly include steps for mitigation, adaptation and an implementation strategy in to meet the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2050, they say.

EU contribution

MEPs note that by 2012, the EU had cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 19% from 1990 levels, in line with the Kyoto Protocol, while increasing its GDP by more than 45%. It thus almost halved its average emission intensity between 1990 and 2012, and reduced its per capita emissions by 25%.

They also recall the commitment made by the EU and its member states to step up funding for climate measures by capitalising the UN’s Green Climate Fund and jointly mobilise USD 100 billion per year by 2020, as part of their contribution to the December 2009 UN Copenhagen Accord aiming to keep global warming below 2°C. MEPs call on other donors to do likewise, so as to mobilise more funding for climate measures.

Developing countries

MEPs stress that agreements on funding climate measures, technology transfer and capacity building will be essential to help developing countries, which contribute the least to greenhouse gas emissions, but are most vulnerable to their effects, due to their limited capacity to react and adapt.

Air and sea

MEPs reiterate that both the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), must take steps to achieve satisfactory and timely results in line with the degree and urgency of climate change.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/content/20141104IPR77230/
5/11/14

Κυριακή, Νοεμβρίου 02, 2014

'Leaders must act', urges Ban, as new UN report warns man's impact on climate may soon be 'irreversible'

UN, 2 November 2014 – Citing “clear and growing” human influence on the climate system, a United Nations report issued today has warned that if left unchecked, climate change will increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.

Echoing that dire warning, UN Secretary-General Ban-moon said that if the world maintains its “business as usual” attitude about climate change, the opportunity to keep temperature rise below the internationally agreed target of 2 degrees Celsius, “will slip away within the next decade.”

 
 “With this latest report, science has spoken yet again and with much more clarity. Time is not on our side…leaders must act,” declared the UN chief, in Copenhagen, Denmark on an official visit that included a press conference to launch the final installment of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

According to a press release from the panel, the so-called “Synthesis Report” confirms that climate change is being registered around the world and warming of the climate system is unequivocal. Since the 1950s many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia.

“Our assessment finds that the atmosphere and oceans have warmed, the amount of snow and ice has diminished, sea level has risen and the concentration of carbon dioxide has increased to a level unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years,” said Thomas Stocker, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group I, which participated in the compilation of the final report along with two other expert working groups.

Calling the report the “most comprehensive assessment of climate change” ever carried out, the Secretary-General urged worldwide action in light of its stark findings, saying that “even if emissions stopped tomorrow, we will be living with climate change for some time to come.”

Yet, the “good news is that if we act now, we have the means to build a more sustainable world,” he said, explaining that quick and decisive action that draws on many readily available tools and technologies can put the world on the right track. It was a myth that climate action would be costly, he said, stressing that in fact, inaction “will cost much, much more.”

R. K. Pachauri, Chair of the IPCC, underscored that the means to limit climate change are at had. “The solutions are many and allow for continued economic and human development. All we need is the will to change, which we trust will be motivated by knowledge and an understanding of the science of climate change.” 

[un.org]
2/11/14
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Πέμπτη, Οκτωβρίου 16, 2014

Australia targets wildlife extinction

Australia's Environment Minister Greg Hunt has pledged to end the extinction of native mammal species by 2020, with a focus on culprits such as feral cats.

Hunt said Australia had the worst rate of mammal loss in the world and the nation's "greatest failure" in environmental policy was protecting threatened species.

"Our flora and fauna are part of what makes us Australian," he said in a speech late Wednesday.


"I don't want the extinction of species such as the numbat, the quokka, the bilby, on our collective consciences," he said, referring to mammals that are little-known outside Australia compared to other marsupials like the kangaroo.

Hunt said the government had been putting in place a "different approach" to halting the extinction of native wildlife, including the appointment of a Threatened Species Commissioner to spearhead the efforts.

Australia has some 749 species of plants, mammals, birds, frogs, fish, reptiles and other animals listed as threatened under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, with the numbers rising each year, Hunt said.

Over the past two decades, 53 land-based species moved to a higher threat category, but only 15 moved lower.

A study released earlier this year showed Australia's mammal extinction rate was the highest in the world, with more than 10 percent of species wiped out since Europeans settled the country two centuries ago.

  • Feral cats were identified as the main culprit, although feral foxes were also responsible. Other factors contributing to the extinctions include climate change, fire and habitat destruction.

Australian states and territories have separate threatened species lists and are "struggling with similar problems," Hunt said, adding that legislation is failing to arrest the declines.

"I have set a goal of ending the loss of mammal species by 2020.

"What's more, I want to see improvements in at least 20 of those species between now and then," he said.

The measures would focus on major threats such as those posed by feral cats, which number between 10 to 20 million across Australia and kill countless native animals every night.

  • Cats were first introduced to Australia by British immigrants in the late 1700s as domestic pets. But they went wild and spread across the continent over the next 100 years.

One measure under consideration is the development of a "new, humane bait" called Curiosity, which Hunt described as a "potential game-changer."

Apart from tackling the feral-cat threat, Hunt said the government was committing $2.9 million to the recovery of the endangered Tasmanian devil.

Sources: AFP - globaltimes.cn
16-17/10/14
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Τετάρτη, Οκτωβρίου 08, 2014

Scientists Discover World’s Oceans Warming Faster Than Predicted

The oceans are warming faster than previously thought, according to a pair of new studies released this weekend and published in the scientific journal Natural Climate Change. This conclusion is largely due to enhanced information gathering in the southern oceans, which was limited in the past. The research teams compared previous ocean warming figures, based on the less complete data, with projections based on information they were able to obtain from more detailed studies. They found that from 1970 through 2004, increases in ocean temperatures exceeded those earlier figures.


“The global ocean stores more than 90 percent of the heat associated with observed greenhouse-gas-attributed global warming,” opens the summary of the study “Quantifying underestimates of long-term upper-ocean warming,” produced by scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology.
They conclude that studies of global ocean warming since 1970 are low. “This underestimation is attributed to poor sampling of the Southern Hemisphere, and limitations of the analysis methods that conservatively estimate temperature changes in data-sparse regions,” they say. “Making adjustments to their model, based on recent access to additional information, they say “yields large increases to current global upper-ocean heat content change estimates, and have important implications for sea level, the planetary energy budget and climate sensitivity assessments.”

The other study, “Deep-ocean contribution to sea level and energy budget not detectable over the past decade,” also by CalTech scientists, attempted to measure the amount of sea level rise attributable to upper ocean vs deep ocean warming and when that warming occurred. Sea level rise occurs as warmer water expands.
“As the dominant reservoir of heat uptake in the climate system, the world’s oceans provide a critical measure of global climate change,” says the study’s summary.

They found that the deep ocean may not have gotten warmer in the last decade, but significant warming has occurred in the upper level of the ocean. They acknowledge “large uncertainty” in their calculations about the deep ocean since they were extrapolated from information based primary on upper ocean measurements.

“It’s likely that due to the poor observational coverage, we just haven’t been able to say definitively what the long-term rate of Southern Hemisphere ocean warming has been,” lead author  of the first study Dr. Paul Durack told the BBC. “It’s a really pressing problem—we’re trying as hard as we can, as scientists, to provide the best information from the limited observations we have.”
Anastasia Pantsios | October 6, 2014 10:10 am
http://ecowatch.com
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Τρίτη, Σεπτεμβρίου 23, 2014

Financial sector to help mobilize $200 billion to fight climate change in developing countries

UN,  23 September 2014 – Governments, investors and financial institutions today pledged to mobilize $200 billion by the end of next year for low-carbon programmes in developing countries, giving a significant boost to the United Nations goal of reaching $100 billion annually by 2020.

“This will serve as a catalyst in finalizing a universal and meaningful agreement at Paris on climate change in 2015,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said as he hosted the largest ever summit of world leaders on climate change at UN Headquarters in New York to prepare the ground for a global accord at a summit in the French capital in December next year.


Today’s agreement combines public and private financing, including pledges by donor and developing countries to capitalize the Green Climate Fund aimed at helping developing countries shoulder the burden of slashing emissions.

“The Summit has created a platform for new coalitions and has brought leaders from both public and private sectors across the globe to not only recognize climate risks, but to agree to work together,” Mr. Ban said of today’s gathering.

  • The private sector announcements were made by an unprecedented coalition of financial institutions, pension funds, insurance companies, development banks and commercial banks which had never previously acted together on climate change at such a large scale.

The Summit also marked a major advance in efforts by Governments and businesses to set a price on greenhouse gas emissions, a step that offers investors and consumers an accurate reflection of the true cost of goods and services. More than 50 countries and 500 companies endorsed the need for developing mechanisms that would adequately reflect the true costs relating to pollution and emissions.

In a major departure from the climate negotiations and previous climate summits, the business community and civil society are playing a major role. There were 181 representatives from the business and investment community, including 90 chief executive officers. There were 52 business and investors from developing countries. In addition, there were dozens of civil society representatives. 

[un.org]
23/9/14
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Κυριακή, Σεπτεμβρίου 21, 2014

NASA spacecraft seeks answers to lost water in Mars. (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution/MAVEN)

A NASA spacecraft designed to investigate how Mars lost its water is expected to put itself into orbit around the Red Planet today after a 10-month journey....

After traveling 711 million km from Earth, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, probe faces a do-or-die burn of its six braking rockets beginning.
If successful, the thruster burns will trim enough speed for MAVEN to be captured by Mars' gravity and fall into a looping orbit.

Over the next six weeks, as engineers check MAVEN's nine science instruments, the spacecraft will maneuver itself into an operational orbit that comes as close as 150 km and as far away as 6,200 km from Mars' surface.
  • Unlike previous Mars orbiters, landers and rovers, MAVEN will focus on the planet's atmosphere, which scientists suspect was once far thicker than the puny envelope of mostly carbon dioxide gas that surrounds it today.
Denser air would be needed for water to pool on the surface. While no water appears there today, Mars is covered with ancient river channels, lakebeds and chemical evidence of a warmer, wetter past.
  • "Where did the water go? Where did the CO2 (carbon dioxide) go from that early environment?" MAVEN lead science Bruce Jakosky, of the University of Colorado, asked reporters this week. "It can go two places: down in the crust or up to the top of the atmosphere where it can be lost to space," he said.
  • MAVEN's focus is the latter. The spacecraft, built by Lockheed Martin, will spend a year monitoring what happens when the solar wind and other charged particles hit the upper layers of Mars' atmosphere, stripping it away.
By studying the atmosphere today, scientists expect to learn about the processes involved and then use computer models to extrapolate back in time. Ultimately, scientists want to learn if Mars had the right conditions for life to evolve.
MAVEN, said Jakosky, will tell them "the boundary conditions that surround the potential for life."
MAVEN will join a fleet of two US orbiters, two US rovers and a European orbiter currently working at Mars. India's first Mars probe is due to arrive on Wednesday.
buenosairesherald.com
21/9/14
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UN summit test for new climate fund. (Donors yet to stump up to pay for assistance to developing countries)

A global fund created to spearhead climate change financing faces a key test at a UN summit this week when it looks to the leaders of the industrialized world to stump up billions of dollars to fill its underflowing coffers.

For the South Korea-based Green Climate Fund, the climate summit in New York on Tuesday is an opportunity for the developed world to demonstrate its financial commitment to securing a new, legally binding global climate deal with poorer countries in 2015.


The fund was born out of the UN climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009, when developed countries made a political commitment to mobilize $100 billion annually for developing countries by 2020.

So far only Germany has come up with a substantial commitment to the GCF, pledging around $1 billion in July.

"We expect at the summit other countries to come forward and show they are leading the way in contributing to the fund," said GCF executive director Hela Cheikhrouhou.

"Early pledges, like Germany or those who pledge in New York, are incredibly important for trust-building," Cheikhrouhou told AFP in an interview in Incheon.

The GCF, which was formally established in 2010, has had a slow gestation period, and it took 3-1/2 years to reach a working consensus on what it should do and how it should go about it.

"That's where people got impatient," Cheikhrouhou acknowledged.

"It took a long time to agree on the foundational policies and operational guidelines."

The fund's board is composed of 24 members, with equal representation from developing and developed countries.

Cheikhrouhou said debate had been "stormy" at times, but argued this was inevitable with an institution being built from scratch and entrusted with such a pivotal role.

The GCF was set up to channel funding from wealthy to poorer nations, helping them to shift their development pathways towards a greener track and shore up defenses against climate peril.

"We have to start this paradigm shift now," Cheikhrouhou said. "The more we delay action, the harder and more expensive it will be in the future."

The fund currently has around $55 million in its coffers, while Christiana Figueres, the head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), has called for an initial capitalization of $10 billion by the end of the year.

Confidence in the GCF is seen as critical for the UNFCCC's conference in Lima, Peru in December, which aims at clearing the way to a global pact on climate change a year later in Paris.

"Essentially, the fund should be proof that help will be on the way if you agree to an agreement," Cheikhrouhou said.

Sources: AFP - globaltimes.cn
21/9/14
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Ahead of summit, UN Headquarters complex becomes canvas inspiring action on climate change...

UN, 20 September 2014 – In the lead-up to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Climate Summit, the United Nations lit up its iconic Headquarters complex in New York with a spectacular 30-story architectural projection show aimed to inspire global citizens to take climate action.

Entitled “illUmiNations: Protecting Our Planet”, and organized in partnership with the Oceanic Preservation Society (OPS) and Obscura Digital, the projections were shown on the white marble west facade of the UN General Assembly Hall and north facade of the Secretariat building from 7:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday evening.


With its striking scenes, the display provided a breathtaking visual reminder of what is at stake as Member States, as well leaders from finance, businesses, civil society, and the public and private sectors, prepare to gather at the UN Tuesday, 23 September.

The Secretary-General's Climate Summit aims to catalyze ambitious action on the ground to reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience and mobilize political action toward a meaningful, robust, universal, and legal climate agreement by 2015.

“We must make our voices heard. These exceptional projections being shown at the United Nations will help draw attention to the need to make climate action a reality in every community and every society,” Mr. Ban urged in a press release on the event, which was organized in partnership with UN Department of Public Information

The OPS was expected to kick off illUmiNations with the arrival of professional racecar driver and environmental activist, Leilani Münter, in a specially-designed electric Tesla vehicle outfitted with a high-tech mobile projection unit.

“I think it's the biggest story on the planet,” said Louis Psihoyos, who founded the OPS Society and directed the 12-minute piece, which will be shown in a loop on Saturday night, then be dismantled. A video of the event will be posted on YouTube next week.

“This event is all about inspiring people,” he added about the display, which was expected to include a 3 minute solutions segment with the photographic works of Yann Arthulic Informatoins-Bertrand, telling the story of climate change and highlighting actions that Governments, businesses, industry and civil society can take to shift toward a low-carbon economy and strengthen adaptation strategies.

The finale of the projection show was set to included the photographic works of Sebastião Salgado.

“There's no bigger billboard on the planet,” says Academy Award-winning producer Fisher Stevens, who produced the work. “The projections that will stream across the UN General Assembly Hall and north Secretariat building are a call to action on the most urgent issue of our times.”
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=48763#.VB8GhFfQqt8
20/9/14

From Paris to New York, people rally against climate change

World leaders including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon were on Sunday set to join farmers, fishermen, children and others in demonstrations across the globe to demand action on climate change.

In New York, organisers were expecting some 100,000 to join the People’s Climate March ahead of Tuesday's UN summit, which will bring together 120 world leaders to discuss reducing carbon emissions that threaten the environment.


“You can’t fight climate change sitting on your couch and holding your breath,” said Jamie Henn, a spokesman for 350.org, which organized the New York event with more than a dozen other environmental, labor and social justice groups.

Sunday’s global rally - which is also being held in Berlin, London, Paris, Rio and Melbourne - is aimed at demanding changes that will lead to a world economy run entirely on clean energy.

The UN climate summit will focus on talks towards a pact 200 nations are working on that would rein in the rising greenhouse gas emissions. Negotiators aim to complete that deal in late 2015.

In Paris, activists said the mobilisation would act as a reminder for President François Hollande and his government of the huge responsibility they will shoulder when France hosts the Climate Conference in 2015.

“The climate crisis is already upon us and feeds the economic crisis. This is a silent tragedy, which kills tens of thousands of people every year”, said environmental activist and political figure Nicolas Hulot, who is joining the march.

Organisers have billed the event as the largest gathering focused on climate change since 2009, when tens of thousands of people gathered in Copenhagen in a sometime raucous demonstration that resulted in the detention of 2,000 protesters.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)

[france24.com]
21/9/14

Πέμπτη, Σεπτεμβρίου 18, 2014

Some 22 million displaced by natural disasters in 2013, UN-backed report reveals

UN, 17 September 2014 – A new United Nations-backed report launched today reveals that 22 million people worldwide were displaced in 2013 by disasters sparked largely by earthquakes or climate- and weather-related events – almost three times more than by conflict in the same year. The report, Global Estimates 2014: people displaced by disasters, conducted by the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), shows that the risk of displacement due to disasters has more than doubled over the last four decades–largely due to the growth and concentration of urban populations, particularly in vulnerable countries.

“This increasing trend will continue as more and more people live and work in hazard-prone areas. It is expected to be aggravated in the future by the impacts of climate change,” said Jan Egeland, Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, at a Headquarters conference. Launching the report alongside Mr. Egeland, UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said the report was “extremely timely” as it highlights the need for early warning systems and emergency evacuations in today’s world of increasing and intensifying disasters. “The numbers of people who need humanitarian assistance, and the cost of helping them, are skyrocketing. We need to shift our focus to prevention and preparedness in close cooperation with national partners,” said Mr. Eliasson. The report calls for action to be taken to reduce disaster risk and to help communities adapt to changing and more unpredictable weather patterns, to prevent further displacement.
  According to the report, both wealthy and poorer countries are affected, although developing countries bear the brunt, accounting for more than 85 per cent of displacement. But as in previous years the worst affected was Asia, where 19 million people, or 87.1 per cent of the global total, were displaced. In the Philippines, typhoon Haiyan alone displaced 4.1 million people, a million more than in Africa, the Americas, Europe and Oceania combined. 

Seasonal floods also caused significant displacement in sub-Saharan Africa, most notably in Niger, Chad, Sudan and South Sudan – countries with highly vulnerable populations who are also affected by conflict and drought.
Africa’s population is predicted to double by 2050 therefore displacement risk is expected to increase faster than in any other region in the world.
The extent to which populations in the most developed countries are exposed to hazards also led to some of the world’s largest displacements. Typhoon Man-yi in Japan displaced 260,000 people and tornadoes in the United States state of Oklahoma 218,500.
As the world gears up to solidify a post-2015 development agenda, there will also be an opportunity to include the needs and challenges of internally displaced people in negotiations.
“As we prepare for the [Secretary-General’s] climate summit next week the devastating impact of disasters and the massive displacement we see as a result, highlight the need for strong and decisive action to tackle the catastrophic threat of climate change,” Mr. Eliasson said. 
un.org
17/9/14
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Τρίτη, Σεπτεμβρίου 16, 2014

Marking International Day, UN officials hail progress in reducing damage to ozone layer

UN,  16 September 2014 – United Nations officials today hailed the progress made in reducing damage to the ozone layer and the vital role played by one of the most successful environmental treaties in history in phasing out ozone-depleting substances.

“Just over a quarter-century ago, the world united to reverse the rapid depletion of the atmospheric ozone layer, which protects Earth from harmful radiation from space. Today, the ozone layer is well on track to recovery within the next few decades,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message for the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer.


The Day is observed annually on 16 September, the date of the signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, which entered into force in 1989. The Protocol establishes legally binding controls on the national production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances, and enjoys universal ratification by 197 parties.

Recent scientific findings reveal the importance of the Montreal Protocol, said the Secretary-General, noting that without this treaty and associated agreements, atmospheric levels of ozone-depleting substances could have increased ten-fold by 2050.

The Protocol has also significantly contributed to the fight against climate change, as many ozone-depleting substances are powerful greenhouse gases, he added.

“Let us take inspiration from our efforts to preserve the ozone layer. The Montreal Protocol has shown that decisive action by the international community, including the private sector, can achieve transformative results for the common good. Let us learn from this example and apply its lesson to the urgent task of addressing the climate challenge,” Mr. Ban stated.

The ozone layer, a fragile shield of gas, protects the Earth from the harmful portion of the sun’s ultraviolet rays, thus helping to preserve life on the planet. A report released last week by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) found that the ozone layer is on track to recover by the middle of the century.

The assessment by 300 scientists noted that the recovery is attributed to the collective action through the Montreal Protocol, which has led countries to carry out policies to reduce and then phase out their use of ozone-depleting chemicals. At the same time, the report called for the same level of urgency and unity to tackle the challenge of climate change.

Among those celebrating the International Day, whose theme this year is “Ozone Layer Protection: The Mission Goes on,” is the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the other implementing agencies of the Montreal Protocol.

“Today is a great opportunity for us to reflect on the remarkable progress that has been achieved in reducing the damage to the ozone layer. UNIDO is very pleased that our major contribution to the implementation of the Montreal Protocol over the years is now bearing fruit,” said Stephan Sicars, Director of UNIDO’s Montreal Protocol Branch.

Through the promotion of clean production, UNIDO has supported industries to eliminate the use of ozone-depleting substances in manufacturing processes. The agency helps industries to either replace these substances with ozone- and climate-friendly substances, or to redesign their products entirely. UNIDO’s projects and programmes have helped a number of countries introduce new technologies that no longer use the harmful substances.

“The Montreal Protocol has significantly reduced the atmospheric abundance of gases, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halons that were once used in products such as refrigerators, spray cans, insulation foam and fire extinguishers,” said Mr. Sicars.

“With full compliance with the Montreal Protocol, the ozone layer is expected to recover to 1980 benchmark levels – the time before significant ozone layer depletion – around the middle of the century. This is great news.”

un.org
16/9/14
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Κυριακή, Σεπτεμβρίου 14, 2014

Climate Change: The World, ‘It Turned Out Right’

Stefanie Spear (founder and CEO of EcoWatch):
Portugal student Gonçalo Tocha, as part of the Action4Climate video competition, produced the inspiring short film The Trail of a Tale, which is a monologue of a letter from the future written to our recent past, telling us that the world, “It turned out right.”

The nearly four-minute video is captivating as the narrator tells us, the stranger, how things went right. Society gathered with a fundamental belief that the “purpose of the economic system is to improve the world being for all within the limits of what the planet can sustain … We had to deal with overconsumption first. The prices we paid for things had to reflect the social and environmental costs…”

Deciding to be “more self sufficient and produce more locally” and realizing the “false consumer promise of buying happiness,” people in the new world had more time for themselves and their friends and family.


  • The film reminds the stranger of what life use to be like when “the world was divided by great wealth and extreme poverty … the global economy was falling apart … we were accelerating toward the cliff edge of catastrophic climate change.”

I’ve watched a lot of short films about climate change, and this one does an incredible job providing hope for the future.

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***The Action4Climate video competition received more than 230 entries from 70 countries from students inspired to share their climate change stories. To watch other Action4Climate videos, click here.
http://ecowatch.com
13/9/14

Τετάρτη, Αυγούστου 27, 2014

WHO Warns of Climate Change Dangers, Calls for Stronger Actions

MOSCOW, August 27 (RIA Novosti) - The World Health Organization (WHO) is warning governments and the public of the negative effects that global warming is already having on people’s health, calling for urgent action, according to a press release published Wednesday.
“The evidence is overwhelming: climate change endangers human health,” WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan said at a global conference on health and climate change, which opened in Geneva on Wednesday.

Dr. Chan suggested that countries need to “act decisively to change this trajectory,” as the air pollution and shifting patterns of disease caused by extreme weather events, lack of water and poor sanitation are claiming hundreds of thousands of lives per year.
Another WHO official, Dr. Maria Neira, added that “reducing climate change can yield substantial and immediate health benefits.”

According to WHO, changes in energy and transport policies could save “millions of lives,” as in 2012 air pollution alone resulted in a death toll of seven million worldwide. The burden of climate-sensitive diseases, including cholera, malaria and dengue fever could also be reduced by the right policy changes.

The conference, which included over 300 participants, is being held on August 27-29 at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The objectives of the conference include empowering national health and sustainable development authorities, NGOs and the private sector to protect people’s health from climate change; and identifying the health benefits that come from reducing air pollution and supporting the relevant policies. The WHO climate conference precedes the UN Climate Summit, scheduled for September 2014.
http://en.ria.ru/society/20140827/192397151/WHO-Warns-of-Climate-Change-Dangers-Calls-for-Stronger-Actions.html
27/8/14
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Παρασκευή, Αυγούστου 22, 2014

Climate-cooling policies threaten food supplies

By Viv Forbes
A warmer, wetter climate with more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would undoubtedly produce more plant growth and more food.
However climate-cooling policies that claim to prevent global warming by throttling the use of carbon fuels will definitely reduce food supply and increase food prices.

The promotion of ethanol for motor fuel is anti-food. This "food for fuel" program has absorbed significant quantities of corn, soy beans, sugar and palm oils. Consequently prices for ethanol crops are higher than they would otherwise be, encouraging farmers to convert land currently devoted to grazing animals and other food crops to growing more profitable crops for ethanol.

Extreme greens also practise plant discrimination, favouring more trees at the expense of natural grasslands and open forest that support many grazing animals. These polices take many forms including planting carbon credit forests, banning regrowth clearing, anti-development zoning and blanket tree protection reserves. All such policies reduce food production from grasslands.

Climate-cooling policies also aim to decrease demand for carbon fuels, including coal, oil, gas and refined motor fuels, by increasing their costs and prices. Modern food production is totally dependent on low-priced carbon fuels for all farming activities. Diesel fuels are needed for cultivation, planting, harvesting and transport; and coal/gas powered electricity for irrigation, processing and distribution. Higher prices for carbon fuels will send some marginal farms out of business. The same policies will reduce profits and production in the fishing industry. All of these policies are anti-food.

Modern food production needs nitrogen fertiliser, which is made from atmospheric nitrogen and natural gas, with carbon dioxide as a by-product. Extreme greens all over the world are delaying and opposing the exploration and production of natural gas, and their carbon taxes are increasing the costs of this key fertiliser.
Finally, climate-cooling policies favour silly schemes like carbon capture and burial, which aims to pump carbon dioxide underground. The promoters should be told that current levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are BELOW those that maximise plant growth and food production. The rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels was a major contributor to increased world food production over the last century. To bury this free plant food is not food-smart.

These unproven solutions to unproven problems are unlikely to change the climate. But there is a 50:50 chance that instead of warming, the globe may cool naturally, which will cause dramatic reduction in food production.

Food is not easily storable and supply and demand are always finely balanced. If natural cooling comes on top of all these man-made anti-food policies, the world will see cascading food shortages.
Viv Forbes
Australia
[pravda.ru] 
21/8/14

Οι νεκροί Έλληνες στα μακεδονικά χώματα σάς κοιτούν με οργή

«Παριστάνετε τα "καλά παιδιά" ελπίζοντας στη στήριξη του διεθνή παράγοντα για να παραμείνετε στην εξουσία», ήταν η κατηγορία πο...