Search Results for Tag: Emissions
Climate talks and linguistic finesse
Do you know the feeling when you read minutes or an account of a meeting and wonder if the person who wrote it was actually at the same event as you? Subjective perceptions are often very different, and that is even more the case when it comes to international negotiations about climate change. I remember when the last head of the UNFCCC Yvo de Boer resigned in the wake of the Copenhagen climate talks fiasco, I wrote a commentary entitled “No job for an optimist”. Maybe I should have turned it around to “optimism essential” – or at least keeping a positive attitude and repeatedly sending out positive signals no matter how frustrating the process is.
DateMay 30, 2012 | 1:28 pm
Climate agreement… under construction
Building work is continuing, to convert a building to host the expanding UN climate secretariat (UNFCCC) close to our Deutsche Welle offices here in Bonn. It strikes me as symbolic of what’s happening a few blocks away at the latest round of international climate talks. There, construction work to create a new international climate agreement continues to make slow progress. The meeting, which will continue until the end of next week, is the first since the Durban Climate Change Conference at the end of last year. The head of the UNFCCC Christina Figueres stressed at the start that there is still a gap between the agreed goal of a maximum 2 degrees C. rise in temperature (which an increasing number of experts are saying is not enough anyway) and the current global efforts. It’s hard to be optimistic. The negotiators have their work cut out for them.
I’ll be going round to the talks shortly to catch up on what’s been happening. Your ice blogger was on holiday for a couple of weeks, so apologies for the lack of updates. More on what’s happening at the Bonn climate meeting soon. Meanwhile, you might like to listen to this week’s edition of Living Planet, where there is a report I produced about the urgent necessity for adaptation to climate change. There are also some related stories on the website:
How much scepticism can the climate take?
Cities gird themselves for climate change
Changes at Germany’s Environment Ministry
New threat to Antarctic Ice shelf
DateMay 18, 2012 | 10:04 am
Titanic, Icebergs and a Warming Arctic
There’s a lot of media hype surrounding the 100th anniversary of the loss of the Titanic on April 15th 2012. It started so early, I was beginning to get tired of it – until I came across an article in the Vancouver Sun focussing on the fact that icebergs are still a danger in our high-tech age and that danger could increase rather than decrease as you might think at first, as the Arctic ice melts.
DateApril 13, 2012 | 11:01 am
NASA scientist for carbon tax to tackle “moral issue”of climate change
Spending a few days in Scotland over Easter, I was interested to read that the NASA climate scientist James Hansen is to be awarded the prestigious Edinburgh Medal for his contribution to science. The Guardian quotes Hansen, 70-year-old director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and one of the longest-standing experts on climate change, as saying “averting the worst consequences of human-induced climate change is a great moral issue on a par with slavery”.
DateApril 10, 2012 | 9:48 am
Extreme weather on the increase
Today is World Meteorological Day. An appropriate date to consider some of the findings reported at the Extreme Weather Congress which has been taking place in Hamburg over the last few days. Paul Becker, the President of Germany’s weather service, said extreme weather events here had more than tripled since the 1970s. Professor Peter Höppe from the German reinsurance group Munich Re explained how changes in the atmosphere played a role in bringing about this increase. And Professor Mojib Latif from the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel told the conference climate change would continue, as current efforts to reduce CO2 emissions are insufficient. The 2° goal, he said, was only still possible in theory. Experts are calling for better preparedness for severe weather. I’d like to give you some links to English-language coverage of the conference findings, but there seems to be a shortage. German media have given some attention to the conference reporting the rising number of extreme weather events here, but not masses. Here’s hoping we’re not all getting so used to all this that people lose interest in reducing emissions and helping to stabilise the climate. Clearly, the impact hits developing countries harder. But we don’t need to wait for the next catastrophe before tackling the risks.
DateMarch 23, 2012 | 11:23 am