17 January 2014
A leaked draft report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that the reluctance of states to take measures to battle climate change has made that the situation has grown critical, and the risk of severe economic disruption is rising. It also finds that another 15 years of failure to limit carbon emissions could make the problem virtually impossible to solve with current technologies.
The report finds that if states permit continued high emissions growth until 2030, the agreed target that the warming of the planet should be limited to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above preindustrial levels will most likely be impossible to meet. Future generations then would have to develop ways to pull greenhouse gases out of the air. But it is not clear whether such technologies will ever exist at the necessary scale, and even if they do, the approach would probably be wildly expensive compared with taking steps now to slow emissions.
Source: The New York Times | U.N. Says Lag in Confronting Climate Woes Will Be Costly
8 November 2013
Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a record high in 2012 and carbon dioxide, such as fossil fuel emissions, account for 80 percent of this increase, according to the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO). As a result, the weather is becoming more extreme, glaciers are melting, and the sea levels are rising. Such result, ‘will jeopardize the future of our children, grandchildren and many future generations,’ said WMO Secretary-General, Michel Jarraud.
The Emissions Gap Report 2013, produced by scientific groups set up by UN Environment Programme (UNEP), state wide-ranging global action is crucial to solve the emissions problem. This report also warned that if the international community fails to act, global temperatures will rise, causing a wide range of new challenges. UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner states, ‘delayed actions mean a higher rate of climate change in the near term and likely more near-term climate impacts, as well as the continued use of carbon-intensive and energy-intensive infrastructure.’ As a result developmental choices will be limited and it will become more difficult to introduce climate-friendly technology in the pursuit to lead the global community to a sustainable, green future. However, Mr. Steiner noted that environmental goals can still be met by 2020 with increased international cooperation in energy efficiency, fossil fuel subsidy reform, and renewable energy.
Source: UN News Centre | Amount of greenhouse gases in atmosphere reach record high, says UN agency
19 February 2012
The New York Times reports that China, the United States and two dozen other countries are looking at coordinated countermeasures against Europe — including putting pressure on European airlines and other industries — if Europe tries to enforce a law requiring airlines to pay for their greenhouse gas emissions.
The European measures are in part a response to the failure of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to move quickly enough to establish standards and goals for greenhouse gases from aviation, as required under the Kyoto climate treaty 15 years ago. Article 2(2) of the Kyoto Protocol stipulates that Annex I parties ‘shall pursue limitation or reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol from aviation and marine bunker fuels, working through the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization, respectively.’
Source: New York Times | Countries Seek Retaliation to Europe’s Carbon Tax on Airlines