Uncertainty Looms Over Terrestrial Ecosystems

By 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.

Green Climate Fund Moves Ahead

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.

Up To 5.3°C Rise in Global Temperatures Likely

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.

Global Climate Change Fears Are Genuine

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.

UNFCCC Partners With Yet Another African Bank

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.

The Tragic Paradox of the Doha Conference

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.

At the Crossroads for Climate Change Regime

By Vicente Paolo Yu III*
IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

BRUSELS (IDN) – Developing countries have long been at the frontlines of climate change and bearing the brunt of its impacts on sustainable development prospects and even, in many cases, physical survival and territorial integrity. The impacts of Hurricane Sandy in the Caribbean, the droughts that are afflicting Africa, the cyclones and typhoons that lash South and South East Asia and the Pacific islands, are all harbingers of what could become worse if no action is taken quickly and effectively by the global community with respect to climate change.

Decisive Action in Doha Necessary and Possible

By R. Nastranis | IDN-InDepth NewsReport

GENEVA (IDN) – If governments around the world pay heed to some major stakeholders spanning the globe, the UN climate change conference in the Qatari capital Doha will endorse decisive actions leading toward a world all sensible human beings want for themselves and generations to come. Viewed from that perspective, December 7, the last day of the conference, will be a historic day.

Climate Change Calls For Emergency Leadership

By Ian Dunlop*
IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

SYDNEY (IDN) – The latest evidence on climate change demands a radical reappraisal of our approach. The Arctic has been warming 2-3 times faster than the rest of the world, reducing the area and volume to levels never previously experienced.

Some 80% of the summer sea-ice has been lost since 1979; on current trends the Arctic will be ice-free in summer by 2015, and ice-free all year by 2030, events which were not expected to occur for another 100 years. More concerning, the Greenland ice sheet this year has seen unprecedented melting and glacial ice calving, adding to a trend which will substantially increase sea level rise.

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