Warsaw UN Climate Meet Bears Promising Fruit

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By Martin Khor* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

GENEVA (IDN | South Centre) - The UN Climate Conference held in Warsaw has set up a new international mechanism to help developing countries affected by loss and damage from climate change, such as the Philippines typhoon.

The setting up of a loss and damage international mechanism was the major achievement of the 19th Conference of Parties of the UNFCCC (COP19) that ended on November 23, a full day after its scheduled conclusion.

Read more...

Beware Of Persistent Coal Use

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By Jaya Ramachandran & Anna Rutkowski
IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BERLIN | WARSAW (IDN) - Coal currently provides 40 percent of the world’s electricity and has been the fastest-growing global energy source since the year 2000, reports the International Energy Agency (IEA). Its most recent World Energy Outlook finds that while renewables and natural gas generation will grow rapidly, coal is still projected to be the dominant source of electricity through 2035.

As the UN climate change conference COP 19 entered second week on November 18, Greenpeace unfurled a banner on the front of Poland’s Ministry of Economy, protesting against the World Coal Association’s International Coal and Climate Summit taking place inside. The banner read: “Who Rules Poland? Coal Industry or the People?”

Read more...

Health Issues On The Margins Of UN Conference

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By Richard Johnson | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

WARSAW (IDN) – They are not in the limelight. But experts are drawing attention to the human health dimension of climate change at the global climate change talks in Poland’s capital Warsaw scheduled to conclude on November 22.

Dr Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum of the World Health Organization (WHO) has delivered “five health messages” for COP 19, the 19th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). A scientist and team leader in WHO’s Climate Change and Health Unit, Dr Campbell-Lendrum says:

Read more...

Warsaw Meet Crucial To Combat Climate Change

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Image credit: UNEPBy Jutta Wolf | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BERLIN (IDN) - Dangers are lurking all around but appropriate action can help avoid perilous levels of climate change. Much hope is therefore pinned on the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) from November 11 to 22 in Warsaw.

Read more...

Poland Braces For UN Climate Conference

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By Anna Rutkowski | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

WARSAW (IDN) - “We need to be prepared for nine billion people on this planet, as we all deserve a decent and secure life. By being creative, the world can reduce greenhouse gas emissions while creating jobs, promoting economic growth and ensuring better living standards. Where there is a will, there is a way!” says Marcin Korolec, the Polish Minister of the Environment, who will chair a landmark UN climate change conference from November 11 to 22, 2013 in Warsaw.

A lawyer, career civil servant and negotiator, Korolec wants the global conference to agree on a balance between the needs of the environment and the economy, "in order to seamlessly unite environmental protection and economic growth". Environmental protection, he says, is an interdisciplinary field that directly influences many other policy areas and is strongly influenced by international arrangements and standards.

Read more...

Uncertainty Looms Over Terrestrial Ecosystems

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSLBy Jutta Wolf | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BERLIN (IDN) - The doomsday clock has not yet struck zero hour but it is now beyond scientific doubt that atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), one of the greenhouses gases responsible for climate change, have reached levels that are higher than any time during the past one million years.

As Markus Reichstein, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry (MPI-BGC) in Jena points out, increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases do not only lead to gradual ‘global warming’, but also to changed patterns of rain and snowfall (precipitation), more weather extremes such as heat waves, longer dry spells, variability of growing season length, recurrent heavy rainfall, and storms. And, there is general concern that climate change will have fundamental impacts on our natural environment, our economic activities and life.

Read more...

Green Climate Fund Moves Ahead

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By Meena Raman* | IDN-InDepth NewsReport

GENEVA (IDN) - The fourth meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change's Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board, which began on June 26 in Songdo, South Korea, concluded on June 28 with the selection of its Executive Director as well as the adoption of decisions on the ‘business model framework', which includes the private sector facility.

A decision was taken to set up three new structures under the private sector facility, to determine the terms of engagement with the private sector, exert due diligence and manage risks, as well as to review investment proposals and instruments.

The GCF Board selected Hela Cheikhrouhou as the Fund Secretariat's first Executive Director (ED), following a global recruitment process.

Read more...

Up To 5.3°C Rise in Global Temperatures Likely

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By Richard Johnson | IDN-InDepth NewsReport

LONDON (IDN) - The world is not on track to limit the global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius, says the World Energy Outlook Special Report, Redrawing the Energy-Climate Map, urging governments to swiftly enact four energy policies that would keep climate goals alive without harming economic growth.

"Climate change has quite frankly slipped to the back burner of policy priorities. But the problem is not going away – quite the opposite," said the International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven launching the report in London on June 10.

Read more...

Global Climate Change Fears Are Genuine

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By Stephen Leahy* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

UXBRIDGE (IDN) - Around the world scientists are not sleeping well. They toss and turn knowing humanity is destroying the Earth’s ability to support mankind. The science is crystal clear and all of us 'ought to be shaking in our boots', Achim Steiner, the executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme told me last year.

But hardly any of us are shaking in our boots. Why is that?

The most extensive survey about the scientific consensus that humanity is causing global warming was published on May 16, 2013 in Environmental Research Letters (ERL). Researchers looked at 12,000 scientific articles published between 1991 and 2011 on the subject and found that 97.1% of these agreed global warming is primarily caused by human activities.

Read more...

UNFCCC Partners With Yet Another African Bank

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsReport

BONN (IDN) - The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat is joining hands with the East African Development Bank (EADB) to establish a regional collaboration centre in Ugandan capital Kampala, to increase African countries' participation in clean development mechanism (CDM) projects.

An agreement for the purpose was signed by UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres, and the EADB Director General, Vivienne Yeda, on February 12.

Read more...

The Tragic Paradox of the Doha Conference

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By Martin Khor* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

GENEVA (IDN) - The annual UN climate conference concluded in Doha on December 8 with “low ambition” both in emission cuts by developed countries and funding for developing countries. Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted many decisions, including on the Kyoto Protocol’s second commitment period in which developed countries committed to cut their emissions of greenhouse gases.

Read more...