Search Results for Tag: EU
Climate change as the ultimate in unsustainable development?
Your ice blogger was asked to write an editorial post for the ThInk3 website.It’s part of an EU blogging competition, which might interest you.
It’s all about development – in my opinion climate change and development are inextricably linked. Ice blog readers might find the site interesting in general – (and of course I’d be interested in your opinions on the guest editorial).
Thinkaboutit blogging website
DateApril 14, 2010 | 1:41 pm
Follow the leader?
The question is who is the leader, in the crusade to avert a climate catastrophe? (I know, sounds a bit melodramatic, but…)
Today WWF is calling on the EU to push ahead and set a firm goal of a 30% reduction by 2020 instead of 20%. (There is a meeting of EU reps in Brussels to discuss this on Wednesday).
WWF says this would give the EU the leading position it seeks. If it sticks to its position of only going up from 20 to 30% if other countries also make some concessions, the leadership claim would have to lie elsewhere, says WWF. Seems logical.
On the “climate change calendar”, January 31st is an interesting deadline. The agreement drawn up in Copenhagen includes a list where countries are supposed to enter their planned emissions reduction targets by that date.
Don’t get your hopes up too much – but it’s a date to watch.
DateJanuary 19, 2010 | 9:43 am
Shifting the Goalposts for Copenhagen?
Apologies for “blog-silence”, I’ve been on an autumn break, enjoying the “golden October” weather we’ve been having here in Germany. Not that you ever really have a break from the climate change issue these days. For one reason and another, it seems to have become an everyday issue, from people wondering whether the thick frost we’ve been having in our area is “normal” to the nature documentaries on tv and the media in general either stressing the importance of a climate deal or telling us Copenhagen won’t work anyway, given governments’s preoccupation with the financial situation.
Some of the conservation groups are suggesting the world’s politicians and influential lobby groups are actively preparing us for a failure in Copenhagen to soften the blow if no legally binding agreement is achieved.
The latest EU discussions on Copenhagen don’t exactly make me optimistic.Ultimately, it comes down to the political will to cut emissions drastically and fund adaptation programmes in the developing world. The lack of a firm commitment to figures bodes ill.
In my efforts to balance my natural optimism with observations of political reality, I find myself struggling to believe we can reduce emissions to the necessary extent. I wish somebody could give me reason to be more positive?
The UN climate secretariat has just published the official emissions figures for 2007. (There’s that frustrating time lag when it comes to publishing data). “The continuing growth of emissions from industrialised countries remains worrying, despite the expectation of a momentary dip brought about by the global recession”, says climate chief Yvo de Boer. He says (he has to, really) this underscores the need for a “comprehensive, fair and effective climate change deal in Copenhagen in December”. Too true. I wish our decision-makers would come up with the decisive action (and funding) to make it happen.
DateOctober 22, 2009 | 7:29 am
Bangkok – “Bricks and Mortar”for Copenhagen?
According to the official source, the UNFCCC, the latest round of climate talks in Bangkok have led to more clarity on the “bricks and mortar” of a Copenhagen agreement. But when it comes to actually reducing emissions from industrialised countries in the mid-term and finance to help developing countries limit their emissions growth and adapt to the inevitable effects of climate change, even Climate Chief Yvo de Boer – an optimist by nature and profession – has to admit little progress was made. And we all know these are key issues.
WWF said the text for the Copenhagen climate agreement was “shorter but not much sweeter”. Kim Carstensen, the organisation’s climate intiative leader, like de Boer sees some technical progress, but still huge political hurdles when it comes to governments committing to emissions cuts and providing funding for the developing world.
The WWF is calling for another meeting of heads of state before the Copenhagen talks. Yvo de Boer is calling for “bold leadership” to “open the roadblocks around the essentials of targets and finance so that the negotiators can complete their journey”.
There are still the grand total of five official negotiating days ahead of Copenhagen , at a meeting in Barcelona, Spain. The “meetings to prepare the meetings” are clearly anything but mere “talk-shops”, plenty of hard work on the nitty-gritty. I don’t envy the people who have to argue over every word, figure or comma.
The lack of a bill from the United States Senate is one major hurdle to progress towards a new agreement. Good will alone will not make for an agreement without the necessary political backing from home. WWF is also calling for a clearer stance from the EU.
It looks to me like the overall message at the end of the Bangkok talks is that things are moving forward – but not nearly fast enough to guarantee the breakthrough in Copenhagen that would bring about the cuts in emissions the IPCC says we need – and there is no shortage of experts who say those targets themselves are no longer tough enough.
DateOctober 9, 2009 | 8:32 am
“A huge leap for the G8, a small step for the climate?”
I have mixed feelings about what has been happening at the G8 summit. On the one hand, agreeing on the 2 degree limit and including the key players India and China is definitely positive and a step in the right direction. But it comes very late – and we still don’t know how we’re actually going to get there.
WWF’s climate and energy chief Regine Günther came out with the adaptation of the Neil Armstrong quote I’ve used in the title. An 80% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is all very well, she says, but there’s still ambiguity about the reference year and no clear 2020 goal.
Of course we know this is especially to accommodate US President Barack Obama. He wants more time to get regenerative energy in place and do a bit more PR at home. By comparison with the bad ol’ Bush years, we have to be thankful the new administration has finally brought the US on board the climate ship. But time is running out.
According to the EU, to keep the temperature rise to a maximum 2°C (which would already have disastrous consequences for people in some areas of the globe), emissions would have to peak by 2020 and be halved by 2050 as against 1990 levels.
The Arctic sea ice is melting – decreasing in surface area and thickness – at an alarming rate. (Well it alarms a lot of us, anyway).
The Greenland Ice Sheet – the largest body of freshwater ice in the northern hemisphere – is losing mass. Leading ice scientist Dorthe Dahl-Jensen describes the ice sheet as the “awakening giant”. Increased melting and ice discharge would have major consequences for global sea level. Greenland is a key area in the global climate process. The warming climate is also already having a considerable impact on the lifestyle of the people of Greenland.
And that is why I’ll be spending the next 3 weeks travelling in Greenland, interviewing scientists and locals about what’s happening to the climate there, how we measure this and likely consequences for the population of Greenland and the areas of the world whose coastal areas are likely to “go under”.
DateJuly 9, 2009 | 1:59 pm