66 Climate Change Paris Conference
News Articles from 2015
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340 global warming science news articles in 2015.
The global warming deniers have nothing to even remotely match this.
12-18-15 Paris climate talks yield historic deal
Paris climate talks yield historic deal
World leaders from 195 countries reached a landmark agreement at the U.N. climate summit in Paris last weekend, ending a decades-long search for a global accord to reduce carbon emissions. “This is a truly historic moment,” said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “[The accord] is a health insurance policy for the planet.” Reached after 13 days of intense negotiations, the agreement binds together voluntary pledges by individual nations to limit their carbon emissions. Unlike previous agreements, it requires commitments from leading emitters China and India, and includes a provision for the world’s wealthiest countries to give poorer nations at least $100 billion a year to help them adapt to climate change. Compliance won’t be required by international law, meaning the deal does not have to be approved by the U.S. Congress. The stated goal of the agreement is to limit the global temperature increase above pre-industrial levels to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit)—the point at which scientists believe the destructive effects from climate change will become truly dangerous—and to “pursue efforts” to limit the rise to just 1.5 degrees C. While the current commitments would keep the increase closer to 3 degrees C, countries will reconvene every five years to update their pledges.
12-15-15 The global fight against climate change needs a leader. Step up, America.
The global fight against climate change needs a leader. Step up, America.
For the first time in history, almost every independent country in the world has agreed to a bold climate policy target, and taken concrete steps toward it. This is a tremendous victory for humanity and the planet we live on. But a word of caution: Despite this historic agreement, actual policy success is not remotely guaranteed. Each nation is now going to have to follow through on its own. And for the deal to work, the United States must get out in front of the pack. Doing so would be relatively easy for the U.S. Though we have made much progress over the last decade or so, we've got a long ways to go to catch up to countries like Denmark and Germany — and because the U.S. is so big, decarbonization would mean a far larger absolute volume of reduced emissions anyway. And being richer than almost all European nations, we can also more easily afford aggressive policy.Second, such a policy would have many ancillary benefits. Aside from causing climate change, oil and especially coal are dirty energy sources that kill thousands of Americans every year and sicken orders of magnitude more. Climate policy means fewer respiratory disorders and cancers, and longer, healthier lives for American citizens.
12-15-15 Why the Paris climate deal is a total sham
Why the Paris climate deal is a total sham
Oh, the self-congratulation! Heads of state and foreign ministers shaking hands and patting each other on the back for a historic, wonderful climate deal. And oh, how the media is lapping it up. Historic, historic, we tell you! Except that it's all a sham. Let's get the big issue out of the way first, the one everyone knows: The agreement is not legally binding. It's not a treaty. It's just an agreement to give it a shot. Now, the supporters of the deal, such as Secretary of State John Kerry, tell us that doesn't mean the deal is worthless, because there will be enforcement through public pressure, and "naming and shaming." This, by itself, isn't ludicrous. I mean, yes, it doesn't seem very likely that Greenpeace can do much to shame the Politburo of China's Communist Party, but at the end of the day, yes, public pressure and shaming can and sometimes do change things. But this is actually why the deal actually goes against that goal, because the targets agreed upon — or rather, not agreed upon — by the parties are a sham. (Webmaster's comment: The Emperor has no clothes!)
12-14-15 COP21: What does the Paris climate agreement mean for me?
COP21: What does the Paris climate agreement mean for me?
As the euphoria of delegates at the UN climate talks in Paris fades, it is time to get down to the business of saving the planet and ask what does it mean for me? What did I miss? Projected temperature change 1986-2005 to 2081-2100). What does it mean for me? If it's not legally binding, how will it work? Average warming (C) projected by 2100. World's top ten emitters. Who sealed the deal? Reality bites... (Webmaster's comment: Reality bites? Will it ever!)
12-14-15 Why the Paris climate agreement is a big, big deal
Why the Paris climate agreement is a big, big deal
Fast-forward six years. On Saturday evening in Paris, 187 nations ratified a landmark climate accord known as the Paris Agreement. This 31-page document is a big, big deal. Here's why it matters and what we learned. First, the bad news. Together, the voluntary commitments the world's nations agreed to probably aren't enough. The stated goal of the agreement is to keep global temperatures under 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Farhrenheit) of warming since preindustrial times, but the best estimate of the actual agreement puts us on a trajectory of 2.7 C of warming. The problem is, since carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for centuries, humanity only has a limited "carbon budget" of emissions that it can spend before warming above 2 degrees C is highly likely. Just from the gases already in the atmosphere, we are close to crossing 1 C already and have probably committed ourselves to 1.4-1.6 C of eventual warming. That doesn't leave a lot of wriggle room.
12-13-15 COP21: Did the Pope save the climate deal?
COP21: Did the Pope save the climate deal?
As world leaders hail what they are calling an historic deal at the climate summit, rumours abound about how the final deadlock was resolved. Exhausted delegates were held up for hours in the final stage of the conference as final glitches were ironed out. It was a typical last-minute drama in climate talks. The world is gathered to cheer a deal, then a few nations decide to dig in their heels. This time, the US is one of the deadline delayers; it often is. The text says developed countries "shall" take the lead in cutting emissions. US lawyers say this will never get through Congress. Then Nicaragua will not sign up. It says there is a total mismatch between what the document says is needed to protect the climate, and what it proposes to do about it. This is true and others nations feel the same. But they are not willing to ruin the deal to make the point. (Webmaster's comment: In effect the United States Congress will never allow a deal which means less money for American Corporations. Let the planet roast, more money for the already rich is the only thing that matters!)
12-13-15 COP21: Paris climate deal is 'best chance to save planet'
COP21: Paris climate deal is 'best chance to save planet'
The climate deal reached in Paris is "the best chance we have to save the one planet we have", US President Barack Obama has said. He said it could be a "turning point" towards a low-carbon future. China, the world's biggest polluter, also hailed the deal, as did India. But some campaigners said it did not go far enough to protect the planet. The Paris pact aims to curb global warming to less than 2C (3.6F) by the end of the century. Nearly 200 countries took part in tense negotiations in the French capital over two weeks, striking the first deal to commit all nations to cut emissions. The agreement - which is partly legally binding and partly voluntary - will come into being in 2020. (Webmaster's comment: So nothing will change in the next five years, except we'll pump more CO2 into the atmosphere and the planet will continued to heat up.)
12-12-15 Paris climate deal is agreed – but is it really good enough?
Paris climate deal is agreed – but is it really good enough?
The Paris climate agreement is better than many expected but it is not enough to achieve the stated aim of limiting warming to 2 °C, let alone 1.5 °C. History has been made in Paris – but perhaps not the kind of history we hoped. The climate summit in Paris may come to be remembered as the moment when the world’s leaders let the last hope of limiting warming to 2 °C slip away from us. The Paris agreement, which covers the period 2020 to 2030, is a better deal than many expected, and if countries stick both to the spirit and the letter of the agreement, it could give us a good chance of limiting global warming to under 4 °C and perhaps even under 3 °C. Many scientists have welcomed the stated aim in the Paris agreement not just of trying to keep warming under 2 °C but endeavouring to limit it to 1.5 °C – a more ambitious goal than expected before the summit. However, they point out that what is in the agreement does not go nearly far enough to achieve these aims. The strongest criticism has come from renowned climate scientist James Hansen. “It’s just worthless words. There is no action, just promises,” Hansen said today. “As long as fossil fuels appear to be the cheapest fuels out there, they will be continued to be burned.” It has long been clear that what countries were offering to do as part of a deal was not nearly enough to keep us under 2 °C. In the lead-up to Paris, this was not only been acknowledged but stressed by many involved in the process, including UN chief negotiator Christiana Figueres. This has not changed. “The emissions cuts promised by countries are still wholly insufficient,” says Corinne Le Quere of the University of East Anglia, who studies global emissions. Webmaster's comment: Like I've said until people begin to die by the millions the industrialists will rule. They think their money will save them. To them other people don't matter. They are just cannon fodder.)
12-12-15 COP21: World awaits landmark climate deal
COP21: World awaits landmark climate deal
Organisers of climate talks in Paris have released details of a proposed landmark deal to curb climate change. France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the final draft of the agreement aimed to limit warming to "well below 2C". The final document has been presented to international delegates in Paris after two weeks of talks. If endorsed, the global climate pact would represent "a historic turning point", said Mr Fabius. French President Francois Hollande, who joined the meeting on Saturday, called the proposal unprecedented.
12-11-15 COP 21: Five ways climate change could affect Africa
COP 21: Five ways climate change could affect Africa
As the UN climate change summit in Paris enters its final scheduled day, delegates from 196 countries are desperately trying to hammer out a deal, which could fundamentally alter the future of the planet. Fifty-four African nations have adopted a unified position, calling for an agreement to limit warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels by the end of this century. It is a more ambitious target than the 2C previously favoured by many developed nations and which is generally regarded as the gateway to dangerous warming. Africa is expected to be one of the continents hardest hit by climate change, with an increase in severe droughts, floods and storms expected to threaten the health of populations and economies alike.
1. Farming will mostly become harder
2. But there will be some new farming opportunities
5. Water shortages
12-11-15 COP21: Final push for climate deal amid 'optimism'
COP21: Final push for climate deal amid 'optimism'
Negotiators at the Paris summit aim to wrap up a global agreement to curb climate change on Saturday - a day later than expected. "We are nearly there. I'm optimistic," said French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who is chairing the summit. Efforts to forge a deal faltered on Friday, forcing the talks to overrun. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the negotiations were the "most complicated, most difficult, but, most important for humanity". Mr Fabius told reporters in Paris that he would present a new version of the draft text on Saturday morning at 0800 GMT, which he was "sure" would be approved and "a big step forward for humanity as a whole". "We are almost at the end of the road and I am optimistic," he added.
12-10-15 COP21: US joins 'high ambition coalition' for climate deal
COP21: US joins 'high ambition coalition' for climate deal
The United States has joined with the EU and a range of other countries at COP21 in an effort to secure a final agreement. The so called "high ambition coalition" now comprises well over 100 countries from the rich and developing world. As well as the US, Norway, Mexico and Colombia have offered their support to the alliance. Delegates worked through the night on a draft text of the agreement with a further version likely on Thursday. On Tuesday the European Union joined with 79 countries from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific to push for an "ambitious, durable and legally binding" deal with a strong review every five years. On Wednesday, the US joined the grouping, which, although it will not be a formal negotiating block, has set out a common position on what the Paris agreement must achieve.
12-9-15 COP21: Namibia on frontline of drought battle
COP21: Namibia on frontline of drought battle
On a farm so parched that it looks like a desert, Monica Amaraki reaches for an old brass tap only to find that no water flows from it. Here in Namibia in southern Africa, a drought is intensifying, the soil has been turned into dust and animals are scouring the baked land for something to eat. Over the past two years, the weak or absent rains have left Monica among at least 500,000 people needing emergency food aid - and many here are wondering whether climate change will bring an even hotter and drier future.
12-9-15 COP21: 'Fireworks' expected as new climate text published
COP21: 'Fireworks' expected as new climate text published
A critical "clean" draft text has been published at UN climate talks here in Paris after delays. This new version, 29 pages long, marks the first time the French presidency of the meeting has pulled together an outline of a deal. The new draft has significantly reduced the options on many of the key questions after days of negotiations. One observer warned that there could be "fireworks" if countries are unhappy with the compromises proposed.
12-9-15 COP21: Cardinal says birth control may offer climate 'solution'
COP21: Cardinal says birth control may offer climate 'solution'
One of the Catholic Church's most senior prelates has said that birth control could "offer a solution" to the impacts of climate change. Cardinal Peter Turkson, the Pope's leading adviser on climate issues, told the BBC that the Church had never been against natural family planning. Speaking in Paris, the cardinal called for a strong agreement that would protect the most vulnerable nations. He said climate change was a looming ecological disaster.
12-8-15 Optimism grows for a climate deal at UN’s Paris summit
Optimism grows for a climate deal at UN’s Paris summit
With delegates in their last week of negotiations, the deal is widely expected. But will it have what it needs to set us on path to zero emissions world? The mood extended to the science on Monday, with news of a probable fall in global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels in 2015 – for the first time in the absence of economic recession. This is thanks to one-time climate bad-boy China shutting so many coal plants that its emissions fell almost 4 per cent. Nobody imagines global emissions have peaked, though. But if China can go green, any country can. Maybe even India, now the world’s fourth largest emitter. Its insistence on industrialising by burning coal is the nearest thing to a wet blanket here in Paris. “India is where China was in 1990,” said Corinne Le Quéré at the University of East Anglia, UK, who presented the new emissions assessment. But optimism is drowning out such fears. A host of leading bankers and investors – bosses of Allianz and ABP, to name two – showed up promising to divest their portfolios of fossil fuels and reinvest in solar and wind. While governments fuss over billions to fund green development, bankers are talking trillions, noted UN Environment Programme director, Achim Steiner, as he announced a Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition. But there are grounds for pessimism, too. Most of the 186 national emissions pledges submitted here for the period 2020 to 2030 – the bedrock of the agreement – are vague and riddled with promises conditional on rich nations stumping up funds. Crucially, none will be legally binding.
12-7-15 COP21: Ministers in final push for Paris climate deal
COP21: Ministers in final push for Paris climate deal
Ministers from all over the world gather in Paris on Monday in a final push for a new global climate compact. The politicians will attempt to craft a deal from a draft negotiating text signed off by delegates here on Saturday. Poor countries warned the talks would fail if the rich tried to limit their right to grow to protect the climate. One delegate said the poor could not accept starvation as the price of a successful deal in Paris.
12-7-15 COP21: US energy secretary 'wants binding climate processes'
COP21: US energy secretary 'wants binding climate processes'
Ministers from all over the world are in Paris, making a final push for a new global climate pact. The politicians will attempt to craft a deal from a draft negotiating text signed off by delegates on Saturday. US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz told the BBC he wanted the processes around verification and climate targets to be binding.
12-7-15 COP21: Alberta's radical climate change plan
COP21: Alberta's radical climate change plan
Canada is one of the world's worst emitters of greenhouse gases but the premier of one province has pledged to drastically reduce its emissions. The Oil Sands in Alberta, Canada contain the third largest reserves of oil in the world. Premier Rachel Notley plans to tackle Alberta's woeful environmental record with a proposal to completely phase out coal emissions and cap Oil Sands emissions. It should come as good news to the indigenous Bear Lake Cree Nation who have seen their homeland spoiled by mining and oil extraction.
12-5-15 COP21: Climate delegates agree draft deal text
COP21: Climate delegates agree draft deal text
Delegates at a UN climate conference in Paris have approved a draft text they hope will form the basis of an agreement to curb global carbon emissions. The 48-page document will be discussed by ministers on Monday. They will try to arrive at a comprehensive settlement by the end of next week. The French climate ambassador warned that major political differences still needed to be resolved.
12-4-15 COP21: City mayors discuss green solutions
COP21: City mayors discuss green solutions
Cities could use water from rivers and the sea to stay cool as the climate heats, city mayors have been told. Carbon emissions from air-conditioning are expected to soar as temperatures climb and people become richer. But at a global mayors summit, Paris is showcasing a simple technology using water piped from the Seine to cool apartments near the Champs Elysees.
12-2-15 COP21: India signals willingness to cut coal for climate cash
COP21: India signals willingness to cut coal for climate cash
A senior Indian negotiator says his country will cut back its use of coal, if sufficient cash for renewables emerges from a Paris deal. Dr Ajay Mathur said coal would be restricted if there was help to pay for "more expensive" green energy. India is expected to become the world's biggest importer of coal by 2020 as it seeks to expand electrification. Other nations welcomed the statement, saying that it enhanced the chances of a new agreement. India's national climate plan, submitted ahead of this meeting, suggests a significant role for coal going forward. According to the document, coal "will continue to dominate power generation in future". (Webmaster's comment: Blackmail! I'll increase global warming unless you give me your money!)
12-1-15 COP21: Coal plans would derail 2 degree warming target
COP21: Coal plans would derail 2 degree warming target
Attempts to keep global warming to 2 degrees will be wildly off course if all planned coal fire plants are built. That's the conclusion of a new analysis presented here at the UN climate conference near Paris. Researchers said construction would see emissions four times higher than the 2 degree target by 2030. They say the building plans are in conflict with the carbon cutting agendas of countries like India and China. The Climate Action Tracker analysis says that 2,440 coal fired power stations are planned around the world before 2030. Emissions from the world's existing plants will be 150% higher than what is consistent with a 2 degree target, says their report.
12-1-15 The last stand of the climate change deniers
The last stand of the climate change deniers
World elites, it turns out, are beginning to correctly grasp the implications of climate change — that it is not some niggling environmental issue, but a serious threat to human society. This is reflected in the structure of the talks. The Kyoto Protocol of 1997 attempted a top-down approach with binding agreements and targets, and largely failed. Now, as Brad Plumer explains, the thinking is to treat the meeting as a venue to discuss and compare internal goals and progress, together with some subsidies to poorer countries. The bulk of the policymaking will happen within individual countries, but meetings will keep everyone on track, hopefully. Most everyone was coming naturally to this understanding, but not in America. There are two large obstacles to the U.S. getting on board with the rest of humanity, but both are slowly cracking. The first is the awesome wealth and power of the carbon industry. This is still extremely formidable, but far less than it once was, and fading fast. Big Oil is still huge and strong, but Big Coal is slowly perishing. Meanwhile, renewable technology is advancing at a blistering pace — solar power, for instance, is now price-competitive with carbon power for 30 million Americans, and millions more every year.
12-1-15 Will the world innovate its way out of climate disaster?
Will the world innovate its way out of climate disaster?
But I'm talking about something much more specific: The possibility of coordinated global action to drastically cut down greenhouse gas emissions continues to run aground on the same basic conflict. Major economic powers like America and Europe reached their current stage of development by burning enormous amounts of fossil fuels over two or three centuries. And they clearly have no plans to significantly slow down doing so anytime in the foreseeable future. Because the effects of greenhouse gas emissions are cumulative, this leaves poorer and developing countries effectively no room to emit anything without driving the total amount of carbon in the atmosphere far beyond any limit that scientists have agreed is safe. Poor and developing countries are understandably unwilling to give up their chance to get in on the economic development promised by burning fossil fuels — at least without sufficient reimbursement. And more advanced countries are understandably unwilling to fork over anything even close to the necessary amounts of money to make such a reimbursement. Hence the current impasse.
12-1-15 Paris climate summit: What they don't tell you about renewables
Paris climate summit: What they don't tell you about renewables
Renewable energy is getting cheaper, but is the switch to these sources happening fast enough for us to drop fossil fuels and limit warming to safe levels? The optimistic view: Renewable energy is getting so cheap it will soon replace fossil fuels. The realistic view: There is a very long way to go before renewables take over, and very little time.
12-1-15 Critical Paris climate summit kicks off – but can it deliver?
Critical Paris climate summit kicks off – but can it deliver?
Given that current pledges will bring us to 2.7 °C of warming, the wording and legal basis of any agreement will be crucial sticking points. But wording on the summit’s overall aims – whether to keep warming below 2 °C or perhaps 1.5 °C – and when the world will aim to be carbon neutral could be sticking points, especially since some scientists believe 1.6 °C of warming is already locked in, that 2 °C may be inevitable, and that the current pledges will bring us to 2.7 °C. Despite this, a group of 43 countries will sign a declaration urging the UN to adopt a 1.5 °C target and the V20 – the 20 countries most vulnerable to climate change – are expected to vote as a bloc, urging stronger aims.
12-1-15 COP21: Business needs to act on forests, says Charles
COP21: Business needs to act on forests, says Charles
Prince Charles has expressed hope that politicians and businesses are starting to act on the need to protect forests. The Prince of Wales told a meeting at the Paris climate summit that attitudes were beginning to change, with forest protection initiatives being introduced. But he said too many companies still turned a blind eye to their commercial activities destroying forests. We are testing the world to destruction, he said. "It's very simple. We must save our forests," he added. "There is no Plan B to tackle climate change without them."
12-1-15 COP21: Residents on Vanuatu 'must be relocated'
COP21: Residents on Vanuatu 'must be relocated'
With climate change topping the agenda in Paris, community leaders on the Pacific island of Vanuatu are calling for residents to be relocated further inland to avoid storm surges and rising sea levels. The BBC's Matthew Price reports from the island, described by some as being on the "front line of climate change".
12-1-15 Tonga facing up to rising sea levels
Tonga facing up to rising sea levels
DThe vulnerability of the Kingdom of Tonga to any rise in sea level is starkly evident from the moment your plane begins its descent. From the air, the flat, small island of Tongatapu doesn't look much like land at all, with the astonishingly blue Pacific Ocean dominating the view. But it is home to Tonga's capital, Nuku'alofa, and to the majority of the country's population - 70,000 or so out of around 90,000. And for Tongans - who have lived here since the 9th Century, when the first settlers arrived by boat, the issue of rising sea levels and climate change is not just one for discussion at an abstract level - it proves a threat to their very existence.
11-30-15 COP21: Fine words but divisions run deep
COP21: Fine words but divisions run deep
"We are on the front line; we will fall. It must not happen to anybody else," says the President of Kiribati, Anote Tong. President Tong called for a strong, legally binding deal and a moratorium on coal mining. It's too late for his people, he says. They are actively preparing to evacuate the coral atolls that they call home. Although they were supposed to talk for just three minutes each, most of the leaders took as much time as they wanted. And you wonder why this process has lasted 20 years? There are certainly positive omens. Leader after leader sang the same hymn - climate change is a huge challenge, only co-operation on a global level can solve it, and my country is doing great! (Webmaster's comment: Talk is so cheap!)
11-30-15 COP21: Why should we care about climate change?
COP21: Why should we care about climate change?
We hear a lot about climate change but it seems that most of the problems and solutions lie in the hands of major industry and government. What can we do and, more importantly, why should we care? As the UN Climate Change Convention kicks off in Paris, BBC environment correspondent Matt McGrath explains how climate change is going to affect everyone - all in less than the time it takes to make a coffee.
11-30-15 Paris climate summit: Why the details of a deal won't matter
Paris climate summit: Why the details of a deal won't matter
Some argue that the particulars of the climate deal don't matter so much as the message it sends. Others say we need action, not more messaging. The optimistic view: The details won’t matter because decarbonisation has already started – Paris is just a catalyst. We know that any agreement reached in Paris will not be enough to limit warming to the safe level of 2°C, and it is not yet clear if it will involve increasing countries’ targets in the coming years. To criticise any agreement on the grounds that it does not go far enough, or contains this or that flaw, is to miss the point. What really matters is that Paris sends out a clear signal that the world is decarbonising, and there is no going back..The realistic view: The details won’t matter because much tougher action is needed to cut emissions fast enough. The laws of physics wait for no one. The growth in emissions may be slowing, but to limit warming to 2 °C we should have started cutting them at least five years ago. It is extremely optimistic to think we will be able to reduce emissions fast enough without much tougher international action than anything currently on the table. The disinvestment campaign has led to some major investors announcing that they will sell off their fossil fuel holdings, or at least their coal ones. What’s not clear is whether it will result in any less CO2 ending up in the atmosphere – and that is what really matters.
11-30-15 COP21: Paris conference could be climate turning point, says Obama
COP21: Paris conference could be climate turning point, says Obama
US President Barack Obama has said the UN climate conference in Paris could be a "turning point" in global efforts to limit future temperature rises. Negotiators from 195 countries will try to reach a deal within two weeks aimed at reducing global carbon emissions and limiting global warming to 2C (3.6F). Leaders from 147 nations are addressing the meeting, known as COP21. President Obama urged negotiators to deliver a meaningful deal, because the "next generation is watching".
11-30-15 Attenborough: 'Solar energy should undercut oil'
Attenborough: 'Solar energy should undercut oil'
Sir David Attenborough is attending the UN climate conference in Paris. He is working with the Global Apollo Programme, a campaign group which supports renewable energy. Attenborough told BBC Breakfast that solar energy needs to "undercut the price of energy obtained from oil and coal."
11-29-15 The Paris climate summit: A brief guide
The Paris climate summit: A brief guide
More than 190 countries will gather in Paris on Nov. 30 to try to slow climate change. Is it too little, too late? Here's everything you need to know: What is the goal of the conference? Why didn't nations act earlier? How so? Who could ruin the deal? Is 2 degrees a lost cause? What then? Hacking our planet's atmosphere: But geo-engineering is highly controversial. Some scientists warn that disrupting the enormously complex system we call climate would have unpredictable and potentially catastrophic results. (Webmaster's comment: Mankind's attempts to modify our environment by introducing various species into areas where they were not for various "good" reasons has been by-in-large nothing but disasters. These small scale impacts by insects, birds, and mammals in limited areas are nothing compared to modifing the entire atmosphere. We simply don't know enough. And if we make a mistake we will not be able to undo it. Geo-engineering will be nothing but a total disaster and millions, if not billions, could ultimately die because of it. The solution is to cut back on CO2 emissions to the point where the atmosphere itself can recover using natural processes already in place.)
11-29-15 COP21: Paris climate deal 'more likely' after terror attacks
COP21: Paris climate deal 'more likely' after terror attacks
Nearly 150 global leaders are gathering in Paris amid tight security for a critical UN climate meeting. The conference, known as COP21, starts on Monday and will try to craft a long-term deal to limit carbon emissions. Observers say that the recent terror attacks on the French capital will increase the chances of a new agreement. Around 40,000 people are expected to participate in the event, which runs until 11 December. The gathering of 147 heads of state and government is set to be far bigger than the 115 or so who came to Copenhagen in 2009, the last time the world came close to agreeing a long term deal on climate change.
11-29-15 COP21: Rallies call for Paris climate change action
COP21: Rallies call for Paris climate change action
Demonstrations are taking place around the world to demand action to stop climate change, on the eve of the UN summit in Paris. More than 2,000 events are happening, with tens of thousands beginning the day of protests in Sydney, Australia. In the French capital, activists formed a "human chain" in a scaled-down rally following the recent attacks. Activists want action to limit the rise in the average global temperature to 2C (3.6F) above pre-industrial levels.
11-28-15 Is there an economic case for tackling climate change?
Is there an economic case for tackling climate change?
What is the economic case for tackling climate change? And if that case can be made, what's the best way of going about it? And, yes, this is all based on the assumptions that policy makers are taking with them to the Paris conference: that the climate is warming due at least partly to human activity and it is possible to slow or halt that process. Economists have been wrestling with the question since at least the early 1980s.
11-28-15 COP21: Pope's adviser urges Catholics to join climate marches
COP21: Pope's adviser urges Catholics to join climate marches
The Pope's closest adviser on ecology has urged Catholics to join global climate marches planned for Sunday. In an internal letter to bishops, Cardinal Peter Turkson says people should be "encouraged" to exercise their "ecological citizenship". The letter says that climate negotiators meeting in Paris need to hear the voice of "God's people". Activists say the call is evidence of a step-change in the Church's approach to climate change.
11-27-15 Paris climate summit: Will nations make bigger cuts after Paris?
Paris climate summit: Will nations make bigger cuts after Paris?
A deal at the UN summit might not be enough to keep warming to "safe" levels. Ratcheting up the action in the coming years could help, but it may be too late. Paris is just the start. The aim is to ratchet up the action in the coming years. Any deal signed in Paris will establish a floor rather than a ceiling for cuts to greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, says chief UN negotiator Christiana Figueres. The idea is that every five years or so, countries will be asked to review their targets to see if they can do more. The details of this “ratcheting mechanism” have yet to be agreed, but it would have to be entirely voluntary to win support. However, as the US has argued, clean energy technology is advancing, its cost is falling and the political will to take action is increasing. For example, the leaders of US and China – the two biggest polluters – recently came together to back action on climate change. Many countries may be prepared to do more come 2020 or 2025. The G8 industrial countries and a few others have already gone far beyond what any Paris agreement is likely to require, saying they will cut emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 – the minimum required to keep warming below the “safe” 2 °C limit. More countries are likely to join them.
11-26-15 Paris climate summit: Can a deal be reached at the UN's meeting?
Paris climate summit: Can a deal be reached at the UN's meeting?
Almost 200 nations are expected to agree on a single deal to drastically cut carbon emissions. There's is political will, but more than one sticking point. A deal looks likely – the political will is there. The countries that signed up to the 1992 climate convention – the Conference of the Parties or COP in diplomatese – started meeting every year in 1995. The third COP meeting established the Kyoto Protocol, to run until 2012. The infamous 2009 meeting in Copenhagen failed to extend the protocol beyond 2012. A major sticking point, as ever, was trying to get industrialised countries to sign up to bigger cuts when developing nations were allowed to increase their emissions. In theory the Kyoto Protocol did get extended to 2020 after the 2012 talks, but efforts in the last few years shifted from extending Kyoto to setting up a whole new climate treaty to run from 2020 to 2030. Instead of trying to impose targets on nations, individual countries have instead been asked to declare what they are prepared to do: their “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions”. Negotiators say the INDCs have exceeded expectations, and they are optimistic that a deal can be agreed at COP21 in Paris. Unlike with previous meetings, they say, there is real political momentum. Whether or not a deal is reached, it won’t be enough.
11-27-15 COP21: Public support for tough climate deal 'declines'
COP21: Public support for tough climate deal 'declines'
Public support for a strong global deal on climate change has declined, according to a poll carried out in 20 countries. Only four now have majorities in favour of their governments setting ambitious targets at a global conference in Paris. In a similar poll before the Copenhagen meeting in 2009, eight countries had majorities favouring tough action. Just under half of all those surveyed viewed climate change as a "very serious" problem this year, compared with 63% in 2009.
11-25-15 Paris climate summit: Do UN climate change treaties ever work?
Paris climate summit: Do UN climate change treaties ever work?
As the world's leaders prepare for the most important UN climate summit in 20 years, we ask if such meetings and their outcomes actually make a difference. The UN says that an agreement at the Paris climate summit will build on the success of the previous treaty, known as the Kyoto Protocol. Others say Kyoto was a failure, and that the same problems will plague any agreement in Paris. Read both sides and make up your own mind. (Webmaster's comment: There is only one measure, atmospheric CO2 is reduced. But it has been increasing for 58 years at an accelerating rate since first measured in 1958. See the chart at CO2 Increase Charts.)
11-25-15 COP 21: 2015 likely to be warmest on record, says UN weather body
COP 21: 2015 likely to be warmest on record, says UN weather body
Global average temperatures in 2015 are likely to be the warmest on record, according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). Data until the end of October showed this year's temperatures running "well above" any previous 12 month period. The researchers say the five year period from 2011 to 2015 was also the warmest on record. The rise, they state, was due to a combination of a strong El Nino and human-induced global warming. The WMO said their preliminary estimate, based on data from January to October, showed that the global average surface temperature for 2015 was 0.73 degrees C above the 1961-1990 average. Their scientists also found that global temperatures were approximately 1 degree C above the 1880-1899 period,
11-24-15 COP21 primer: A brief history of climate talks
COP21 primer: A brief history of climate talks
Next week, representatives from 195 countries will arrive in Paris to take part in a major UN climate summit. Outcomes of previous meetings have ranged from promising to downright disappointing, ending without agreement and in some cases acrimony. But there are high hopes that this one will be different.
11-23-15 COP 21: Why Philippines faces climate questions
COP 21: Why Philippines faces climate questions
A developing country dubbed one of the most vulnerable to climate change has confirmed controversial plans for more coal-fired power stations. The president of the Philippines has told the BBC the new coal plants are needed to meet demands for energy. This comes despite environmental groups and some leading Filipino politicians arguing that coal is one of the biggest contributors to global warming.
11-20-15 Big firms are still not acting on their deforestation promises
Big firms are still not acting on their deforestation promises
Global deforestation cuts already agreed by corporations could help meet the 2 °C warming target expected at the Paris summit, but progress has been slow. Corporate inaction on deforestation could scupper hopes of keeping global warming at 2 °C, according to experts behind two major deforestation progress reports. Emissions pledges from governments to next month’s UN climate summit in Paris will put us on a road to potentially catastrophic 2.7 °C warming. But deforestation rates already agreed by corporations 14 months ago would have been sufficient to bring this down to safe levels. Yet there has been a lack of corporate action, despite pledges made in September 2014, when the New York Declaration on Forests was published to a fanfare of publicity. (Webmaster's comment: Never expect a corporation to keep a promise if it has a potentially negative impact on profits.)
11-13-15 World must adapt to climate change
World must adapt to climate change
As delegates prepare for the forthcoming climate talks in Paris, they need to accept some “sobering realities,” said Steven Koonin. The modest cuts in greenhouse gas emissions collectively proposed by the world’s nations will fall far short of what climatologists say is needed to prevent dangerous warming, so we must start putting money and ideas into “adaptation” to a changed climate. As the global population grows to 9.7 billion people by 2050 and the middle class expands in the developing world, total energy demand is expected to increase by 50 percent. There is virtually no chance any major nation will adopt the drastic reductions in emissions necessary to keep warming within “safe” levels of below 2 degrees Celsius. Even a “heroic” 20 percent reduction in emissions, instead of the 3 percent now proposed, would delay the projected doubling of carbon dioxide concentration by just 10 years. That’s why we should focus on adapting to rising temperatures—by raising sea walls, shifting to drought-resistant crops, and increasing our understanding of how climate works. Our species has adapted to dramatic changes in climate before. “The reality is that humans must continue to adapt.”
10-27-15 Buddhists call for strong Paris climate deal to limit warming
Buddhists call for strong Paris climate deal to limit warming
Senior Buddhists have called on world leaders to agree a new climate change agreement at a conference in Paris next month. The 15 signatories, including the Dalai Lama, are urging politicians to completely phase out fossil fuels. They argue that the rise in global temperatures must be limited to 1.5C in the future. Observers say it is the first time that so many leading Buddhists have joined together on a global issue.
10-26-15 How a selfish world can still avoid catastrophic climate change
How a selfish world can still avoid catastrophic climate change
We can still avoid 2°C of global warming even if nations can't agree on a fair way to share the burden of emission cuts – someone just has to take the lead. We’re set for catastrophic climate change that exceeds 2°C of global warming even with the emission cuts pledges made ahead of the Paris climate summit in December. But there’s a way out. If the US wants to lead the world on climate change mitigation it will need to almost double its pledged greenhouse gas cuts – and many other countries will need to double their cuts in turn. That’s the conclusion of an interactive tool that looks at ways of avoiding 2°C of warming by 2100 – agreed to be the limit beyond which warming would lead to catastrophic consequences.
10-26-15 Why 'climate justice' has India and the West at each other's throats
Why 'climate justice' has India and the West at each other's throats
You wouldn't know it from the happy spin emanating from the Oval Office, but a Third World revolt in Bonn, Germany, this week almost derailed the Paris climate change negotiations in November. Although peace has been restored for now, it only happened by papering over this fundamental conundrum: The world can either avert climate catastrophe or seek "climate justice," not both. The revolt was triggered when 130 developing nations including India and China noticed that the draft action plan that is supposed to serve as the blueprint for the Paris negotiations had omitted their most important conditions about the "fairness and financing" of the final deal — in other words, who is going to take responsibility for the warming and who should pay to reduce it? The South African delegation condemned the omission as "apartheid" that would penalize poor countries for the sins of the rich. (Webmaster's comment: It's all about the rich staying rich while others pay the price.)
10-23-15 Bonn climate talks: Questions over cash dominate
Bonn climate talks: Questions over cash dominate
Negotiators meeting in Germany say that questions over cash are the biggest barrier to a new global climate deal. The Bonn talks are the last chance for delegates to clarify their positions before the Paris conference that aims to seal a new binding treaty. Developing country delegates said clear guarantees on finance must be a core part of that compact. Officials said that finance was likely to be the very last issue to be resolved before a deal is struck. Money has always been at the root of difficulties in solving the climate issue. (Webmaster's comment: Everyone's terrified to cut their CO2 emissions cause then someone else will be making more money than they do. Greed virtually guarantees nothing will be done to reduce CO2emissions until the lots of people are dying from the heat, floods, and rising sea levels.)
10-23-15 Copenhagen ghosts haunt climate talks
Copenhagen ghosts haunt climate talks
"I already seen that movie, it doesn't end well, it doesn't, it gets really nasty." So said Venezuelan negotiator Claudia Salerno in a tense session here at the Bonn climate talks on Thursday evening. "I hope this is not going to be just a really, really nasty second Copenhagen," she said to sustained applause. Yes Claudia mentioned the C-word that was on everyone's minds here in Bonn. Copenhagen. The city where aspirations for a strong, global deal on climate change came to nothing in the chilly Danish capital, back in 2009.
10-22-15 Guide to Climate Change. What do we - and don't we - know?
Guide to Climate Change What do we - and don't we - know?
What is climate change? In December, officials from across the world will gather in Paris, France, to try to hammer out a deal to tackle global warming. Here's what we know and don't know about the Earth's changing climate.
10-16-15 Paris climate summit: Major oil producers back 'effective' deal
Paris climate summit: Major oil producers back 'effective' deal
The leaders of 10 of the world's biggest oil companies have offered their qualified support for a new global treaty on climate change. The producers of 20% of the world's oil and gas say they share the ambition to limit warming to 2C. They promise to work to reduce the greenhouse gas intensity of the global energy mix. But green groups were dismissive, saying that "arsonists don't make good firefighters". (Webmaster's comment: The very fact that the oil companies endorse the treaty tells you that the it will probably be totally ineffective in slowing global warming. The oil executives will never be rich enough, and they can't get richer if they can't dump more CO2 up into the atmosphere without restrictions.)
10-13-15 EU climate chief hails global progress on emissions
EU climate chief hails global progress on emissions
Europe's climate change chief says he is astonished at the positive progress by governments towards a global deal on CO2. Miguel Arias Cañete said it was "quite astounding" that 149 nations have published their plans to curb carbon emissions. He told BBC News that even six months ago he would not have believed such commitments would emerge. Nations have been announcing plans ahead of the Paris climate summit. He warned, though, that nations' pledges had not yet reached the level needed to prevent potentially dangerous warming. (Webmaster's comment: As long as CO2 levels keep climbing we are losing this battle. So far the levels haven't even hestitated.)
10-12-15 Paris climate summit: UN negotiations 'need redesign'
Paris climate summit: UN negotiations 'need redesign'
The UN climate negotiations are heading for failure and need a major redesign if they are to succeed, scientists say. The pledges that individual countries are offering ahead of the Paris climate summit in December are too entrenched in self interest instead of being focussed on a common goal. Instead, they say the negotiations should focus on a common commitment on the global price of carbon. This means countries would agree on a uniform charge for carbon pollution, a scheme that would encourage polluters to reduce their emissions.
10-12-15 Climate talks: Mind the emissions gap
Climate talks: Mind the emissions gap
Global experts are meeting in Morocco to assess the adequacy of politicians' pledges to protect the climate. So far, about 150 nations have promised the UN to curb (NB: Not cut) CO2 emissions, but analysts say the pledges are not enough. One think-tank, Climate Analytics, estimates promises so far will lead to a global temperature rise of about 2.7C - well over the 2C "safety threshold". (Webmaster's comment: So far none of the talk or action has reduced the rate of CO2 being added to the atmosphere, in fact the rate is increasing. People in rich countries like the US will have to start dying before anything significant is done and by then it will be far to late.)
10-6-15 Korea's Hoesung Lee named head of UN climate panel
Korea's Hoesung Lee named head of UN climate panel
Hoesung Lee of South Korea has been named the new head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN body tasked with assessing climate science. Prof Lee, an expert on climate economics and sustainable development, was elected to chair the panel at its ongoing meeting in Dubrovnik, Croatia. He is the fourth person to lead the IPCC in its 27-year history.
9-25-15 Warming tempts China in from the cold
Warming tempts China in from the cold
Perhaps inspired by the man in the snazzy white cassock, the leaders of the US and China issued a joint statement on climate change that has been headlined on the announcement of a national cap and trade scheme for China to start in 2017. The statement from the White House shows that China has gone even further, signing up to a "common vision" with the US on the Paris climate agreement that sets out their "shared understandings" with talk of a long-term low-carbon transformation of the global economy and ramping up ambition over the years. And at a time when trust on the reality of how much emissions can be curbed has wavered (I'm looking at you folks!), the US-China statement said both countries "agreed on the need for an enhanced transparency system to build mutual trust and confidence, and promote effective implementation, including through reporting and review of action," in the 2020 period of any new climate deal.
9-16-15 Paris climate summit: Don't mention Copenhagen
Paris climate summit: Don't mention Copenhagen
For officials and politicians getting ready for the UN summit on climate change in Paris later this year, there's a word that dare not be uttered: Copenhagen. In some ways, the negotiating landscape is transformed, mainly because of dramatic shifts by the two biggest emitters, the United States and China. President Obama spoke of the threat of global warming from his first day in office but he came to Copenhagen with his hands tied by a reluctant Congress. After years of resisting any attempt to be included in an international system of carbon targets, the Chinese leadership is now openly talking of national emissions peaking around 2030, if not before - something that would have been unimaginable amid the chaotic scenes of Copenhagen.
9-4-15 'Snail's pace' row over progress at UN climate talks
'Snail's pace' row over progress at UN climate talks
UN officials have reacted sharply to criticism from their Secretary General that climate talks are going at a "snail's pace". Ban Ki-moon has been concerned that the negotiations are moving too slowly to deliver a new global deal in December. His views were echoed by many delegates at this latest meeting in Germany. But one of the men tasked with drafting a new text said that even going at the pace of a mollusc, a draft agreement would be ready for Paris.
9-4-15 UN climate talks: Hints of compromise on key issue
UN climate talks: Hints of compromise on key issue
Rich nations at UN climate talks are said to be edging towards a compromise on the thorny issue of loss and damage. Poorer countries want compensation for extreme weather events that they link to large scale carbon emissions. But the US and EU have long resisted this idea, fearing an endless liability running into billions of dollars.
9-1-15 Obama pleads for Paris climate change deal
Obama pleads for Paris climate change deal
US President Barack Obama has called on world leaders to agree to cut carbon emissions at crucial talks in Paris later this year. Speaking in Alaska, he said countries including his own were not doing enough to stop global warming. World powers meet in Paris in December with the aim of agreeing to curb global temperature rises.
8-11-15 Australia criticised over emissions cuts that defy 2 °C target
Australia criticised over emissions cuts that defy 2 °C target
Pledges on reducing carbon emissions by between 26 and 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 would not help towards world's 2 °C target, say critics.Australia is set to weaken its targets for carbon emissions ahead of the UN’s climate-change summit in Paris this December, contrasting with a push by the US, China and other countries towards more ambitious cuts. Australian prime minister Tony Abbott announced on Tuesday that the country would aim to cut emissions by between 26 and 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. This is significantly weaker than recommended reductions by the country’s Climate Change Authority – which Abbott previously tried to axe.
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