1.1. UN report issues dire climate change warning
6 April 2007 , politics.so.uk
After all-night negotiations on the final contents of the report, representatives from governments around the world finally reached agreement on its conclusions.
The poorest are the most likely to suffer from the effects of climate change, with rising sea levels, heightened drought risks and negative agricultural impacts all expected to cause more suffering around the world.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has published three reports in its 19-year history, the last of which was released in 2001. The second volume of its fourth report comes out later today.
Last-minute negotiations over the contents of the report led to accusations from some scientists that its contents had been diluted, according to media reports, but these have now been dispelled.
Over 130 countries have participated in the IPCC’s fourth report, which has involved over 2,500 scientific expert reviewers, 800 contributing authors and 450 lead authors.
Environmental groups have hailed the report, saying it represents a call-to-action for countries around the world.
"Doing nothing is not an option, on the contrary it will have disastrous consequences," warned Hans Verolme, director of WWF’s global climate change programme.
"The industrialised countries simply need to accept their responsibilities and start implementing the solutions," he added.
Meanwhile the Friends of the Earth charity has demanded "steep emissions cuts" from all rich countries.
"Unless we take action to reduce emissions now, far worse is yet to come, condemning millions in the poorest parts of the world to loss of lives, livelihoods and homes," warned the charity’s international climate campaigner, Catherine Pearce.
Britain ‘s Environment Agency (EA) has today unveiled plans to cope with the effects it anticipates will hit the UK hardest – rising sea levels, higher temperatures and "boom or bust" rainfall patterns.
"Our present efforts to reduce emissions will prevent destabilisation of the climate during the second half of the century, but for now we need to adapt to changes that are for all practical purposes unavoidable and committed," EA chief executive Baroness Young said.
"There is already warming locked into the system and the trend in increased temperatures is likely to continue over the next 30-40 years. This means increased risk of flooding, coastal tide surges, water shortages and potential loss of biodiversity."
The EA said it was already acting to invest in reinforced flood risk management, coastal protection, water efficiency to minimise the impact of drought and biodiversity conservation.
Environment and climate change minister Ian Pearson responded to today’s IPCC report by saying that individuals were key to the future battle against carbon emissions.
"The report clearly shows that climate change will affect everyone on an individual level. It’s not just a problem for governments or big companies – we need people to be informed and engaged in the important role individuals and households can play," he said.
1.2. Climate change: poor suffer as world gets hotter
6 April 2007 , Friends of the Earth International
Friends of the Earth International has demanded steep emissions cuts by all rich countries and more funding for climate change adaptation in developing countries, after the world’s leading scientific experts today warned that the world’s poor – who have done least to pollute the atmosphere – will suffer most as the planet heats up.
Despite the negligible historical emissions of greenhouse gases by the least developed countries, their people will bear the brunt of climate change, as they are the most vulnerable to the impacts and least able to adapt.
This is the message of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which addresses climate impacts, adaptation and vulnerability.
The report – the second of a series based on the latest scientific literature – has taken six years to compile and draws on research by 2,500 scientists from over 130 countries. It should shock the world into taking urgent action to reduce global emissions.
Friends of the Earth International’s Climate Campaigner, Catherine Pearce, said: "This report confirms that the scientific findings are stronger than ever. World leaders have overwhelming evidence that urgent action must be taken to cut emissions of greenhouse gases."
“It is now clear that we are to blame for the last 50 years of warming, and this is already causing adverse changes to our planet. Unless we take action to reduce emissions now, far worse is yet to come, condemning millions in the poorest parts of the world to loss of lives, livelihoods and homes. Climate change is no longer just an environmental issue. It is a looming humanitarian catastrophe, threatening ultimately our global security and survival. Industrialised countries, including the USA , which have all done most to contribute to climate change, must lead the way by making significant cuts in their greenhouse gas emissions. Current efforts on and resources for adaptation, including available funds from the industrialized world, are clearly inadequate to meet the scale of what is required. Urgent assistance is needed for developing countries, which have done nothing to contribute to the current threat of climate change and who are already facing the devastating effects," Friends of the Earth International’s Climate Campaigner Catherine Pearce added.
Findings of the report include:
Projected climate change is likely to affect millions of already vulnerable people. Heat waves, floods, storm, fires and droughts will cause increased deaths and harm.
Many million more people are projected to be at risk from coastal flooding due to sea level rise, especially in densely populated and low-lying settlements which already face other challenges, such as tropical storms.
Roughly 20-30% of those species assessed so far are likely to be at high risk of irreversible extinction if global average temperature exceeds 1.5 – 2.5°C. Global average temperature has already increased by about 0.7 °C since pre-industrial levels.
Glacial retreat in the Himalayas will disrupt water supplies. Friends of the Earth International warns that this will have implications for billions of people across India , China , Nepal and Bhutan .
By 2020, 75-250 million people in Africa will be exposed to water scarcity due to climate change.
In some African countries, yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by 50% over the same period.
Over the next half century, climate change could impede the achievement of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals.
1.3. Global war chest needed to fight impact of climate change on poor
6 April 2007 , Christian Aid press release
Rich countries that have emitted the most pollution must establish a US$100 (£50) billion a year global fighting fund to enable poor, vulnerable countries to adapt to sea level rises, increased drought and more extreme weather, says Christian Aid.
‘The poorest people in the developing world emit a tiny fraction of the greenhouse gases we in rich countries are responsible for and yet they’re standing on the frontline of climate change,’ said Paul Brannen, head of Christian Aid’s Climate Changed campaign. ‘Their lives and livelihoods are already under threat due to our economic activities and it is up to us in rich to countries to compensate them for the damage done.’
Mr Brannen was commenting on the launch of the report of Working Group II of the United Nations’ Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change today (Friday 6 April). The scientists warn that some 100 million people living in coastal areas, where the majority of the world’s mega-cities are sited, could be flooded every year by 2080. Farmers, livestock herders and fishing communities will have the greatest difficulty adapting to climate change and will struggle to cope with hunger, disease and natural disasters.
In 1992, 154 countries agreed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in which the richest agreed to help developing countries meet the cost of adapting to climate change. Signatories to the Framework Convention, including the UK , the US and other G8 members, have an international legal, as well as moral, obligation to ensure money is available as the need for adaptation increases with global temperatures.
Yet most of the adaptation work currently being funded is for rich countries, even though their populations are least vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. In the UK , the government is expected to spend £4 billion to protect London and the Thames Estuary from flooding. Similar safeguards are urgently needed in low income countries where poverty means people do not have the resilience to cope with disasters.
‘It is a scandal that the world’s polluters have offered only tens of millions to poor countries when tens of billions are going to be required,’ said Mr Brannen. ‘The IPCC’s report spells out clearly and starkly how poor people are going to be driven from the countryside by drought and hunger, only to risk drowning in coastal cities as sea levels rise.
‘Rich countries must lead the effort to keep global warming to less than two degrees. They must not forget that even at this level changes to the climate are likely to be profound and the poorest, most vulnerable people living near the equator will still suffer,’ said Mr Brannen.
Christian Aid is proposing that funds already established under the UNFCCC are massively expanded to $100 billion a year. This money cannot simply be channelled from existing aid budgets. Instead, the payments should be compensatory and in proportion to CO2 emissions since 1990 (when UNFCCC negotiations began) and national wealth.
‘$100 billion is beyond the imagination of most people but it is only one-fifth of what the US spends on its military. When there is a war to fight, money is never an issue. As we go into battle against the changing climate, we need to ensure that no one suffers more than necessary because finance is not available for adaptation,’ said Mr Brannen.
2.1. "International and EU Climate Change Policies after COP 12 / MOP 2: Challenges and Opportunities for the New Member States and Candidate Countries"
The workshop is part of the conference series on "Future Climate Change Policy: Looking beyond 2012" and will take place in Prague at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on 12 April, 2007 .
For the workshop programme, please refer to Ecologic’s website at http://www.ecologic-events.de/climate2012/prague/programme.htm.
Further information: http://www.ecologic-events.de/climate2012/prague/index.htm.
2.2. International "Coping with Nuclear Waste" Conference
Stockholm 27-29 April 2007
Organised by The Swedish NGO Nuclear Waste Secretariat (MILKAS). The conference will take place in Stockholm , Friday 27 to Sunday 29 April 2007 . The Sunday session is an internal NGO strategy meeting. An overall perspective on nuclear waste is urgently needed, from the enormous quantity of waste produced by uranium mining to the final storage of spent nuclear fuel.
All interested individuals and organisations that want to influence these crucial issues are welcome to attend.
An on-line registration form is available at: http://www.nuwinfo.se/waste2007registration.
2.3. Russia and the Kyoto Protocol 2007
St. Petersburg , 24 – 25 May
Online registration will be available soon. Meanwhile please write to [email protected] to get registered.
Following the overwhelming success of last year’s conference which gathered over 300 participants and 20 exhibitors from from 24 countries, we are pleased to invite you to meet the Russian authorities, project owners and developers, emission reduction buyers, potential project hosts, technology providers, carbon investors and analysts.
To learn more about the conference, sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please visit http://www.pointcarbon.com/Events/article20697-369.html.
2.4. International Young Scholar Network for Earth Systems Science, Third Workshop
Bristol , UK June 2-5, 2007
This small workshop will focus on understanding decision making on land-use issues, in order to move towards modelling these processes in Earth System Models. We encourage interdisciplinary applicants from the natural and social sciences, economics, engineers and scholars from the humanities with research interests in the Earth system. The goal of the YSN workshop will be a manuscript reviewing the state-of-art in decision-making in land-use modelling and its impacts on biogeochemistry and climate from an Earth’s System perspective, and prioritise future research topics. Participants will be expected to write whitepapers before the workshop, and continue finalizing the manuscript after the workshop.
For more information see the attached flyer and also the web page at: http:///ww.aimes.ucar.edu/activities/YSN/2007_UK/YSN_BRISTOL.shtml.
2.5. YouPEC – European Youth Perspective on Energy and Climate
From June 22nd-27th, 2007 , the Youth Alliance for Future Energy, a public network of individuals and youth organizations, will hold YouPEC, a European conference on climate and energy, in Berlin . Young Friends of the Earth Germany (BUNDjugend) is responsible for the administration and organization of the conference.
Conference participants will be young people between the ages of 18 and 27 from all 27 member countries of the European Union. Five active young people from each country will be selected and invited to attend the conference.
The conference offers a unique opportunity for participants to forge international contacts and deepen their knowledge, exchange ideas and explore courses of action in the field of energy and climate protection. Therefore the various consequences of climate change (in terms of biodiversity, weather and living conditions etc.) and energy use and politics will be the central educational themes of the conference.
The goals of the conference are the development of a strategy to combat climate change from the point of view of young people, the drafting of a declaration and a personal commitment to protect the climate, as well as the planning of one or more European projects to reduce CO2 emissions.
The conference is being sponsored by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.
For further information contact: Julia Balz, [email protected].
2.6. IEW meeting 2007: first announcement
The International Energy Workshop (IEW) is a network of global energy experts who meet annually to discuss a wide range of topics, with particular emphasis on global as well as regional energy issues. The annual IEW meetings focus on energy assessments and try to understand the reasons for diverging views of development in the energy sector. This year’s meeting will be held 25–27 June 2007 at Stanford University , Stanford , California .
A call for abstracts in the energy-economy-environment field (including Post-2012 Regimes for the UNFCCC) can be found at http://www.iiasa.ac.at/Research/ECS/IEW2007/index_1stannouncement.html.
2.7. Scientific framework of environmental and forest governance — The role of discourses and expertise
The IUFRO conference to be held on 27 and 28 of August 2007 in Goettingen/Germany.
Please consult the Call for Papers for further information under: http://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-6/60000/61200/61202/activities/ or http://www.iufro.org/download/file/1648/3058/goettingen07-call-for-paper.doc.
2.8. DISCCRS International Interdisciplinary Climate Change Symposium
Hawaii , Sept. 10-17, 2007 — Deadline for applications: 30 April 2007 .
Airfare, room & board are fully paid for 36 accepted candidates from around the world. Social scientists are especially encouraged to apply!
DISCCRS (pronounced "discourse") is an interdisciplinary initiative for recent Ph.D. graduates conducting research related to climate change and its impacts. The goal is to broaden research interests and establish a collegial peer network extending across the spectrum of natural and social sciences, humanities, mathematics, engineering and other disciplines related to climate change and its impacts. The initiative includes a public webpage, electronic newsletter, and annual symposia funded through 2008.
Expenses: Airfare and on-site expenses are provided through NSF grant EAR-0435728 to Whitman College .
Eligibility: Ph.D. requirements related to climate change and impacts. Recent Ph.D. graduates from all disciplines and countries are invited to join the DISCCRS network and apply to be a DISCCRS symposium scholar.
Thirty-six applicants will be selected by an interdisciplinary committee of research scientists. During the week participants will provide oral and poster presentations in plenary format, hone interdisciplinary communication and team skills, and discuss emerging research, societal and professional issues with each other and with established researchers invited to serve as mentors.
For questions, please contact: [email protected].
2.9. COP 13, COP/MOP3
Venue of the thirteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 13) and the third session of the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 3) Nusa Dua, Bali, 3 to 14 December 2007.
The Bureau of the UNFCCC met on Tuesday, 13 February 2007 and decided to accept with gratitude the offer by the Government of Indonesia to host COP 13 and COP/MOP 3 at the Bali International Conference Centre and the adjacent facilities and services in Nusa Dua.
The Bureau requested the secretariat to complete the corresponding host country agreement with Indonesia in time for the sessions of the Subsidiary Bodies in May 2007.
Further information on the Conference will appear on the UNFCCC website.
3.1. On-line consultation on CCS: "Capturing and storing CO2 underground – Should we be concerned?"
European Commission is preparing a legislative proposal which aims at establishing the regulatory framework for the capture of carbon dioxide and its geological storage, often referred to as “carbon capture and storage” (CCS).
CCS is a technology concept to reduce the atmospheric emissions of carbon dioxide that result from various industrial processes, in particular from the use of fossil fuels (mainly coal and natural gas) in power generation. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) views CCS as “an option in the portfolio of mitigation actions” to combat climate change. CCS is expected to have far-reaching implications for the industry sectors based on fossil fuels, both in the EU and worldwide.
Commission wishes to consult European citizens and other stakeholders on benefits and challenges of CCS, and how the technology relates to other energy and greenhouse gas mitigation options. Your views will help to identify which issues to consider when preparing legislative proposals to regulate CCS for the end of 2007.
This consultation is open until 16 April 2007 at: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/climat/ccs/consult_en.htm.
Disclaimer: We do not guarantee for the accuracy, reliability or content of information. For help or questions, contact: [email protected].