Paris

Australia is Lagging in the #ClimateChange battle #COP23 #StopAdani #Qldvotes 

Experts warn Australia is known as a “climate laggard” and is falling behind the rest of the world in tackling climate change as the window for action closes.Source: AAP

Australia is falling behind in the global fight against climate change as experts warn the time for action is almost up.
The Climate Council released a new report on Thursday labelling Australia a ‘climate laggard’ that lacked a coherent, long-term plan to tackle climate change.
Climate Council chief executive officer Amanda McKenzie said Australia had yet to develop a unified approach to reduce emissions despite the country being vulnerable to worsening heatwaves, droughts, coral bleaching and rising sea levels.

“This is a critical warning that the window of opportunity for the federal government to tackle climate change is closing,” Ms McKenzie said.
In its report the Climate Council detailed five key recommendations for Australia to help fight climate change.
It comes three-quarters of the way through what has been described as the ‘critical decade’ of 2010-2020 by climate experts, and amid an ongoing debate on energy policy by the major parties.

Under the government’s new energy policy released in October, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull ditched Chief Scientist Alan Finkel’s proposal to have a clean energy target.
Instead, energy retailers would need to meet guarantees on reliability and emissions – but how they do it would be up to them.
Labor remains committed to a 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030.

Meanwhile, the UN’s 23rd climate change conference is being held in Germany, the first major conference since President Donald Trump said the US will pull out of the Paris accord unless his administration can secure a better deal.
Conference chair Fiji pleaded for the world to do more to protect its most vulnerable people.
“All over the world vast numbers of people are suffering, bewildered by the forces ranged against them,” Fiji Prime Minikster Frank Bainimarama told the conference’s opening session on Monday in Bonn, citing destructive hurricanes, fires, floods and droughts.
FIVE CLIMATE COUNCIL RECOMMENDATIONS:
* By 2020 leaders from all sides of politics adopt a unified approach to climate change that involves embracing renewable energy sources
* Australia targets a net-zero emissions by the mid-2040s
* The government revitalises the Climate Change Authority and allows it to provide independent, expert-based policy guidelines
* Provide financial support to states, territories and local governments to accelerate their own climate change plans
* Transform Australia on the global stage from a laggard to a leader

Press link for more: SBS.COM

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Time to stand with our neighbours #ClimateChange #COP23 #Qldvotes #StopAdani 

Time to stand with our neighbours in the South Pacific they are living with climate change.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/435215796851135/permalink/493845720988142/

Heavy Hands of The Law #StopAdani #Qldvotes @RobJPyne 

I had a media interview with my local member Rob Pyne arranged for 11:30 this morning at the Cairns Lagoon, I arrived about 10 minutes early. 
There were TV crews there 7NewsCairns & WinNews doing an interview I thought I had arrived late, so I joined in not recognising who was being interviewed.
I was immediately asked to move by an LNP heavy, I asked why & who are you?

She replied “I work for Warren Entsch you must move away”


Warren Entsch LNP Federal member for Leichhardt.
I said this is a public space & I was waiting here for an interview with my local member of Queensland parliament Mr Rob Pyne 
She continued with the request to move away threatening to call the police, I said I have a appointment and refused to leave.
Suddenly two Queensland police officers came up to me threatening to arrest me if I didn’t move on. I repeated that I had an appointment with my local Member of Parliament.
I asked why was I being asked to move on from the Cairns Lagoon a public open space?
The police officers replied because you’re wearing a Stop Adani T shirt & could be a threat to the 10 or so LNP members, I said how could a 70 year old Vietnam Veteran possibly be a threat?

The police officers continued with their threats to arrest me.
It was then my local member arrived & the heavy hand of the law quickly disappeared.


Rob Pyne the only MP in the Queensland Parliament who voted to stop Adani.
The TV crews were filming most of this altercation so looks like I’ll make the news tonight.
So much for democracy.
I was simply trying to help my local member with a media interview to stop the Adani coal mine.

A mine that if opened could be the end of The Great Barrier Reef & the loss of thousands of tourism jobs in Cairns 

News footage of the incident 

4CA

https://www.4ca.com.au/news/local-news/74401-anti-adani-protestor-says-police-are-too-heavy-handed

 Cairns Post

V

India’s Battle with #ClimateChange Will be won with Clean Energy #StopAdani #COP23

How India’s battle with climate change could determine all of our fates
India’s population and emissions are rising fast, and its ability to tackle poverty without massive fossil fuel use will decide the fate of the planet
Michael SafiLast modified on Monday 6 November 2017
“It’s a lucky charm,” says Rajesh, pointing to the solar-powered battery in his window that he has smeared with turmeric as a blessing.

 “It has changed our life.”
He lives in Rajghat, a village on the border of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh states, and until very recently was one of the 240 million Indians who live without electricity.

 In the poverty that results, Rajghat has become a village of bachelors, with just two weddings in 20 years.
“No one wants to give their daughter to me,” says Sudama, another young man.

 “People come, they visit, but they see the conditions here and they leave.”
For now, the technology is proving most useful to Rajesh as a way to charge his mobile phone, saving a lengthy journey to the nearest city, but he also hopes for future benefits: “I’ll use this to let my children study.”
According to an ambitious pledge by India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, every Indian will have electricity, and the education, health and business benefits that follow, by the end of 2018. 

But how Modi achieves that, and the development of what will soon become the world’s most populous nation, matters to the entire world.
Of all the most polluting nations – US, China, Russia, Japan and the EU bloc – only India’s carbon emissions are rising: they rose almost 5% in 2016. 

No one questions India’s right to develop, or the fact that its current emissions per person are tiny. 

But when building the new India for its 1.3 billion people, whether it relies on coal and oil or clean, green energy will be a major factor in whether global warming can be tamed.
“India is the frontline state,” says Samir Saran, at the Observer Research Foundation in Delhi. “Two-thirds of India is yet to be built. 

So please understand, 16% of mankind is going to seek the American dream. 

If we can give it to them on a frugal climate budget, we will save the planet.

 If we don’t, we will either destroy India or destroy the planet.”
This view is shared internationally: Christiana Figueres, the UN’s former climate chief who delivered the landmark Paris climate change agreement says India is “very, very important” for everybody, and the nation will play a key role at the UN summit that starts in Bonn, Germany next week.


A highway in Jalandhar. India’s rapid rural-to-urban transition means an expected 200 million more city dwellers by 2030, all using new buildings, roads and cars Photograph: Shammi Mehra/AFP/Getty Images

Lord Nicholas Stern, the climate economist who has worked in India for 40 years, says a polluting, high-carbon development would leave India alone accounting for a huge chunk of the world’s future emissions, making it “very difficult” to keep the global temperature rise below the internationally agreed danger limit of 2C.
What will happen remains in the balance. “Anyone who claims to be able to predict India’s emissions in 2030 doesn’t have a lot of humility,” says Navroz Dubash, a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research in Delhi.
But what is clear is the scale of the challenge.

 “India has a vast amount of energy-using infrastructure yet to be put in place,” says Ajay Mathur, the head of the Energy and Resources Institute, an influential Delhi-based thinktank. 

“No matter what numbers you look at, we will at least double or double-and-a-half our energy consumption in the decade to 2030.”
India is embarking on one of the fastest rural-to-urban transitions in human history, with 200 million more city dwellers expected by 2030, all using new buildings, roads and cars.

 In this context, keeping the rise in emissions to just a doubling would be truly remarkable, says Stern, and leave India’s emissions per person well below the current global average.
But India’s vast population means that even small increases in emissions per person add up to a huge amount of carbon dioxide and India is likely to become the world’s biggest polluter.

 “The sheer numbers of the population multiplied by anything makes it a big number – that is India’s reality,” says Saran.


People using two-wheel vehicles in the wake of India’s 2016 odd-even experiment to reduce air pollution in Delhi. Photograph: Hindustan Times/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

There are signs of hope, however, driven by astonishing drops in the price of renewable energy in the last few years.

 Costs are falling faster than anyone predicted, with new record-low prices set this year for solar and wind. 

State governments can now pay less for clean energy than they pay for new coal power.

Mathur, who was the Indian delegation’s spokesman at the 2015 Paris climate summit, says that once batteries become powerful enough to store renewable energy for night time or when winds are weak, India’s energy emissions are likely to plateau and then fall.

 “I personally saw this happening around 2035, but in the past three years, that has shifted to 2025, driven by the news in the solar prices and the sharper than expected fall in the price of batteries.”
India’s government has now forecast that no new coal-fired power stations will need to be built for at least 10 years. 

By that time, Mathur argues, it will be cheaper to supply new demand using renewable power.

 “As [existing] coal plants retire they will be replaced by renewables, because that’s what makes economic sense.”
Another crucial driver is India’s appalling air pollution – half of the world’s most polluted cities are in the nation. 

“It is far, far worse than China,” says Stern.

 “That has really started to build into Indian consciousness and politics.”
That awareness is growing fast – India’s supreme court even banned Diwali festival fireworks in Delhi this year – and is putting heavy pressure on the government to act. 

In April, ministers announced that the sale of new petrol or diesel cars would be banned from 2030, a decade before the UK.


A man and child sit under a light powered from a solar microgrid at night in the village of Dharnai in Jehanabad. Photograph: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Cutting pollution also cuts carbon emissions, but filthy air is not the only incentive to act. 

Unchecked global warming will hit India hard, increasing extreme weather, like the floods that killed thousands in August, and affecting the monsoon upon which India’s farmers depend.
Heatwaves already cause thousands of deaths in India and rising temperatures that make outdoor work impossible have already seen the labour equivalent to about half a million people lost since 2000. 

But in coming decades, heatwaves could reach a level of humid heat classed as posing “extreme danger” for three-quarters of the population.
Despite the compelling reasons for India to follow a green path into the future, serious obstacles remain, not least the sorry state of the country’s coal-fired power industry, currently forced to slow its operations by a surplus of electricity in the market.
“These guys are hurting,” Mathur says, and that has knock-on effects for India’s slowing economy.

 “They have taken loans, and they can’t sell electricity, so they can’t repay the loans. 

And if they can’t repay the banks, the banks have no money to lend for more growth.” Recent months have seen a backlash against renewables, with intensified lobbying for coal.
Another problem is ensuring the buildings and transport systems shooting up in cities around India are energy efficient. 

“There is the risk of great, sprawling messes, and it is a very big risk,” says Stern, requiring the institutional ability of the government to shape the future to grow as fast as the cities themselves.
The political climate is – for now – behind the green growth story, says Saran: “Modi, unlike other populist leaders, has made climate into a strength and not an adversarial debate, like Donald Trump.”

 But he warns that could change: “The street capture of irrationality is not something India is immune from either.”
What happens in India also matters to the rest of the world for a practical reason, says Saran, by driving down the costs of, for example, rolling out solar plants and super-efficient LED bulbs. 

This would mean all developing countries can leapfrog a polluting fossil fuel phase as they grow.
“We will mass produce it, mass aggregate it, mass process it for the world,” he says. “America did it for the first billion people.

 India is now doing it for the rest of the six billion on the planet.”
The whole world would benefit from a clean, green India and can help make it happen, says Stern, by bringing down the interest rates on the loans used to fund the low carbon transition: “The best thing the world could do is help bring down the cost of capital.” That means long term finance and help to cut project risks.
The path India’s chooses will affect the whole world and, despite the uncertainties and risks, the mood is optimistic, for a variety of reasons. “India has all the institutions of democracy and a very smart entrepreneurial class which will respond, and that gives me optimism,” says Saran.


Solar panels added to a train roof in New Delhi aim to reduce carbon emissions and modernise India’s vast colonial-era rail network. Photograph: Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images

Dubash says: “We’ll [do] it because we don’t have that much high-quality coal. We are already hitting high pollution [levels]. We already have issues with imports, and so energy security is a big factor. All of those things will lead us to moderate.”
For those currently without any electricity, solar power is the perfect solution, both fast and affordable, says Stern. Back in Rajghat, a young mother called Ramhali agrees. Three days earlier, a group of students from a nearby city, Dholpur, installed a single, five-watt light in her home, powered by solar panels on the roof. It has replaced the old liquor bottle filled with kerosene, that flickered with toxic, black-tipped smoke and gave the children headaches.
So can India’s leaders bring light to its poorest people, build clean, green cities for its billion-strong population and end the plague of air pollution? Figueres says: “More important than my opinion is their opinion, and they think they can, and do so with many benefits.”

Press link for more: The Guardian

#COP23 A Pivotal Moment #ClimateChange #Qldvotes #StopAdani #CoralnotCoal 

COP23: 350.org’s Position on a Pivotal Moment
This is a pivotal moment for global efforts to combat climate change. 

Countries will either succumb to the forces of denial, like the Trump Administration, or move ahead to a clean energy future that works for all.
350.org is at COP23 to remind governments that people’s lives, livelihoods, homes, and futures are on the line, and to amplify the voices of communities around the world striving for climate justice. 

This is the first time that a Pacific Island nation holds the presidency of the COP, and a historic moment in the climate justice movement.
We are here with partners from different parts of the world, to share evidence of climate impacts, and of communities’ resilience, whilst also highlighting the interconnectedness in the climate crisis and how it is being addressed.
We are here to:
Amplify and strengthen the climate leadership coming from Fiji, the Pacific, and the Climate Vulnerable Forum: The Pacific Climate Warriors represent various grassroots, frontline and indigenous communities from across the Pacific, that come together under the banner ‘we are not drowning, we’re fighting’. 


 The Pacific nations are calling for a 1.5°C temperature change limit, a global moratorium on new coal mines and a loss and damage mechanism.  

Define climate leadership as leaving fossil fuels in the ground and moving to 100% renewable energy. 

Countries will be judged – and their leaders held accountable – for how, and how swiftly, they are transitioning their economies away from fossil fuels and towards renewables. 

Germany, as host country for this important COP, needs to take the lead and start by phasing out coal, and other fossil fuels, immediately.

 It is the only way to meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement, and halt the loss and damage being caused by the fossil fuel industry.


Highlight the action coming from cities, states, and civil society: A sense of hope is growing and gathering momentum, as local movements and frontline communities take action to stop new fossil fuel infrastructure and support renewables instead.

Challenge the Trump Administration’s position: The US People’s Delegation, made up of a coalition of organizations, showcases the strength of U.S-based communities and everyday U.S. citizens who are pushing for climate action on the city and state level despite the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement and recent rollbacks on climate protections.


Keep up pressure on big polluters, and keep them out of the talks: It is critical that the UNFCCC develop a clear, robust definition of ‘Conflict of Interest’ to ensure that the fossil fuel industry can no longer delay, weaken and block climate policy at every level they can. The fossil fuel industry works directly against the objectives of the UNFCCC: “to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.”

The only way we can honour the commitments made under the Paris Agreement is through concerted action, by politicians and government authorities alike, towards keeping fossil fuels in the ground.
This is a pivotal moment for global efforts to combat climate change. Countries will either succumb to the forces of denial, like the Trump Administration, or move ahead to a clean energy future that works for all.
We know which direction all of us in civil society are going in: forward!

Press link for more: 350.org

Are we ready for 20 million #refugees? 

Is the world prepared for climate refugees?
Senior US military experts say the effects of climate change could cause a migration wave of 20 million climate refugees over the next 20 years. 

But climate risk insurance schemes could prevent it.

 

Days before the climate change summit in Bonn, a new report warns that failure to stop climate change will force tens of millions of people from their homes.

The report from the Environmental Justice Foundation, based on interviews with senior US military and security experts, concludes that climate change will create far more refugees than have fled the Syrian civil war.

The EJF is calling on the delegates in Bonn to create a global climate risk insurance framework to protect climate refugees.

“In our rapidly changing world, climate change — and its potential to trigger both violent conflict and mass migration — needs to be considered as urgent priority,” says Steve Trent, executive director of EJF.


Threat multiplier

The report highlights the situation in the Middle East and Africa, including the worst drought to hit Syria in 900 years. It caused farmers to lose their livestock and livelihoods, which were desperately needed in the context of the war. The report notes that 1 million Syrians were already on the move because of the drought before a single gunshot was fired in the conflict.

The report says such events will spread to other parts of the world. And the hurricanes that have affected the United States this year show richer nations are not immune to the effects of climate change.

The report features interviews with military leaders who say global refugee numbers are set to rise as political, social and economic tensions collide with worsening climate change impacts.

“What we are talking about here is an existential threat to our civilisation in the longer term,” US Military Corps Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney told EJF. “In the short term, it carries all sorts of risks as well and it requires a human response on a scale that has never been achieved before.”

“If Europe thinks they have a problem with migration today, wait 20 years and see what happens when climate change drives people out of Africa — the Sahel especially.”

A separate report released this week by Oxfam details some of the displacement that has already happened because of extreme weather events. It found that between 2008 and 2016 an average of 21.8 million people per year were newly internally displaced by sudden-onset extreme weather disasters.

Such instances include the destruction wrought by Cyclone Pape in Vanuatu in 2015, and Cyclone Winston, which displaced more than 55,000 people in Fiji in 2016. Fiji, which is hosting this year’s climate summit in Bonn, lost around a fifth of its GDP as a result of the storm.


Worsening hurricanes in the Atlantic could drive increased climate migration

Climate risk insurance

Insurance against climate change-related weather events already exists. In 2015 at a summit in Elmau, Germany, the G7 group of wealthy countries set up an initiative on climate risk insurance for vulnerable areas of the world, covering around 400 million people. The objective is to stimulate the creation of effective climate risk insurance markets that could function on their own.

InsuResilience, an initiative of the German development agency GIZ, based in Bonn, is carrying out the G7’s plan. It is running programs to establish climate risk insurance markets across the world.

The insurance would help people rebuild after climate-change realted weather events that result in loss of life, livelihood and assets. The goal is to make sure those people stay put and do not become climate refugees. Rapid emergency assistance and reconstruction is provided by the schemes.


Germany wants to push for global climate risk insurance programs at the Bonn summit

Opportunities in Bonn

The German government has been a leader in pushing for these programs. Last year the German Development Ministry invested around €2.8 billion in international climate protection and adaptation.

A spokesperson for the ministry told DW that during the Bonn climate summit, Germany will push for a global partnership for climate risk insurance.

“Increasingly, climate change will also influence flight movements,” said Gerd Müller, Germany’s minister for economic cooperation and development. “Because where grass can no longer grow … or where the rising sea level has flooded coastal areas, people will have to find a new home.”

Although the COP23 summit is not being held in Fiji (the Fijian government is presiding over the meeting, which is being held in Bonn for logistical reasons), the country intends to leave its mark on this year’s summit by stoking the idea of climate risk insurance.

The new testimonials from military experts may convince other delegations that the time has come to establish more such schemes.


SOLOMON ISLANDERS FACE RISING SEA LEVELS

Life on the water

At high tide, Lau Lagoon’s manmade islands barely rise above the waterline. During king tides and
 strong winds, which are becoming increasingly frequent, some islands are now completely submerged.


SOLOMON ISLANDERS FACE RISING SEA LEVELS

The only way is up

As the sea level rises, more and more of the lagoon’s residents are building their homes on stilits for a few extra feet of grace.


SOLOMON ISLANDERS FACE RISING SEA LEVELS

Times of change

John Kaia, 52, is chief of the Aenabaolo tribe on the island of Tauba1. He says that over his lifetime he has seen dramatic changes to the climate – and his people’s way of life.
Press link for more: DW.COM

Why Does #COP23 Matter?  #ClimateChange #Qldvotes To help our neighbours 

The COP23 climate change summit in Bonn and why it matters.
Halting dangerous global warming means putting the landmark Paris agreement into practice – without the US – and tackling the divisive issue of compensation.


The people of Kiribati are under pressure to relocate due to sea-level rise. Photograph: Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images

Damian Carrington 

Environment editor 

Sunday 5 November 2017 
What is happening?

The world’s nations are meeting for the 23rd annual “conference of the parties” (COP) under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which aims to “prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”, ie halt global warming. 

It is taking place in Bonn, Germany from 6-17 November.
Why does it matter?

Climate change is already significantly increasing the likelihood of extreme weather, from heatwaves to floods. 

But without sharp cuts to global carbon emissions, we can expect “severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts” for billions of people and the natural world. 

The landmark Paris agreement at COP21 in 2015 delivered the first truly global deal to tackle climate change, but national action needs to be significantly toughened to meet to goal of keeping global temperature rise to well below 2C, and 1.5C if possible.
All the science, and the battering that extreme weather has inflicted this year from floods in India and Nigeria to hurricanes in the Caribbean and wildfires in the US and Europe, indicates that global emissions need to start falling urgently – in the next few years. 

The Paris agreement set out principles, but not the details, with one diplomat likening it to having a brilliant new smartphone but no operating system. The Bonn meeting will be vital in building the rules that will enable the Paris deal to work.
What’s new?

COPs are always run by a designated nation and for the first time this will be one of the small island nations that are most at risk from the sea-level rise and extreme storms that climate change is bringing. 

Fiji’s prime minister, Frank Bainimarama, is the COP president, though the summit is being held in Germany for practical reasons. 

Fiji suffered damages of well over $1bn after Cyclone Winston struck in 2016, which is likely to focus attention on the contentious issue of compensation for climate damage and adapting to future threats, as much as cutting emissions.


A family digs through the remains of their home in the town of Ba, after it was destroyed by cyclone Winston. Photograph: Naziah Ali/AFP/Getty Images
Hasn’t Donald Trump pulling the US out of the Paris agreement scuppered hopes of progress?

No. 

As the world’s second biggest polluter and richest nation, the US is important.

 But when President Trump announced the US withdrawal in June – it takes effect in 2020 – the UN’s chief climate negotiator, who delivered the Paris deal, ended up thanking him. 

“It provoked an unparalleled wave of support for the treaty,” said Christiana Figueres.

 “He shored up the world’s resolve on climate action, and for that we can all be grateful.”
The US now seems very isolated – only war-torn Syria is also outside the Paris deal. 

What role they will play in Bonn is largely unknown, though promotion of coal and gas as climate solutions is planned.

 Rumours that the climate-sceptic head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, would lead the US delegation proved unfounded however. 

One COP veteran said: “The mood on the ground is it is going to be OK: the US is not going to be a pain in the arse.

 They still don’t know what they actually want.” Nazhat Shameem Khan, Fiji’s chief negotiator was even less diplomatic when asked about dealing with the US: “You can have a dialogue [even] with somebody who is an axe murderer.”
In any case, many US states, cities and businesses have pledged to honour the Paris deal and will have a high profile in Bonn.

 Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has said he will pay the $15m in UNFCCC administration costs if the US government does not.
What needs to be done?

The current pledges for carbon cuts by the world’s nations would mean at least 3C of global warming and severe damage. 

So the Paris agreement included a mechanism for the pledges to be reviewed and ratcheted up, but without setting the rules.

 The vital groundwork for this has to be done in Bonn before being finalised in 2018.

 Without serious preparation to build trust and agreement, deals don’t get done, as the failed COP in Copenhagen in 2009 showed.

 Fiji has renamed the ratchet talks process from the bland “facilitative dialogue” to the “talanoa dialogue” after a Pacific island concept of using storytelling and talking as a way to make good decisions.
Could there be flashpoints?
Yes.

 There are deep and longstanding tensions over the issue of “loss and damage”, the idea that developing nations should be compensated for destruction resulting from climate change which they did little or nothing to cause. 

“The principle is one of compensation because the western countries developed their economies at the expense of the planet and of poor people,” says Dorothy Grace Guerrero, at campaign group Global Justice Now. 

The stakes are heightened further as some developing nations feel they lost out in the Paris agreement which, unlike previous deals, does not impose legally binding commitments on rich nations.
There is a strand of the negotiations tackling this – the Warsaw mechanism – but they have a “glaring omission”, according to aid groups: no money. 

The rich nations are opposed to loss and damage payments, seeing them as similar to calls for reparations for slavery.
The issue is highly charged and needs to be resolved to prevent harm spreading to other areas of negotiation.

 Widespread and cheap insurance against extreme weather is a compromise being heavily pushed by western nations, for example the G7’s InsuResilience initiative aimed at helping 400 million of the world’s poorest people.

 But it is unclear how insurance could solve slow and inevitable problems like overwhelming sea-level rise on low-level coasts.


Mousuni, a sinking island in the Sundarbans, West Bengal. Photograph: Sushavan Nandy / Barcroft Images

What about the funds already pledged to help poorer nations?

Rich nations had already pledged to provide $100bn a year by 2020 to help poorer nations restrict their emissions as they grow and adapt to climate change. But there are rows about what kind of funding should be counted and indeed whether $100bn is enough. The US was expected to be a big contributor and so a question to be tackled in Bonn is whether other countries will pick up the tab.
Who else turns up for the COP?
Nations do the negotiating but business groups pledging action also attend, such as the Renewable Energy 100 and We Mean Business, and in Bonn the California governor Jerry Brown and Bloomberg are expected to make a splash with an announcement about their America’s Pledge initiative on 11 November.
The presence of big fossil fuel companies is always controversial: detractors say their lobbying hinders progress while defenders say the low-carbon revolution won’t happen without getting them on board. The civil society groups that are always a big part of every COP will protest on this issue, in particular against the lignite coal industry near Bonn that still provides a lot of Germany’s power. “Some of our guests will be fairly surprised to see just how much Germany still relies on coal,” says Annalena Baerbock, climate spokesperson of Germany’s Green party.
NGOs also pressure nations to increase their ambition and aid smaller nations that lack the negotiating resources of the bigger countries. COPs are certainly becoming broader, with Figueres saying: “Paris is everyone’s deal. It belongs to cities, businesses, NGOs and all of global civil society as much as it belongs to nation-states.”


Construction at the site which will host the Bonn climate talks in Germany. Photograph: Friedemann Vogel/EPA

Won’t the Bonn summit have a massive carbon footprint?

There will be 10,000 government delegates, another 8,000 people from other groups and 2,000 members of the media travelling to Bonn from all over the globe. 

The organisers are trying to avoid as many emissions as possible, for example by using electric buses for conference transport. But the emissions that can’t be avoided will be offset, mainly using UN-certified schemes in small island states, in recognition of Fiji’s presidency of the COP.
So what represents success in Bonn?

An editorial in the leading science journal Nature, which calls the Paris accord a “triumph”, puts it succinctly: “In theory, the annual climate roller coaster is idling through one of the low-key phases in which success is measured by nothing going wrong. 

In practice, the Bonn meeting will serve as a litmus test of how the rest of the world plans to stand united [without the US] and to keep the spirit of Paris alive.”

Press link for more: The Guardian

COP23 What’s at stake? #StopAdani #ClimateChange is changing the planet. 

COP23: What’s at stake?
International climate agreements are hard-won through laborious negotiations and COP23 will be no different. 

The event may be taking place in Bonn, but Fiji’s presidency sends a clear signal to the likes of Donald Trump.


Usually, the country holding presidency of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) hosts it’s annual conference.
But Fiji, the country with that honor in 2017, was in no position to accomodate the 25,000 negotiators, environmental activists and journalists converging on COP23 from around the world. Apart from anything, the South Pacific island nation doesn’t have convention center anywhere near large enough.

Fiji’s President Bainimarama will put the plight of island nations center-stage

So, from November 6 to 17, the hordes are descending instead on Bonn, Germany — home of the UNFCCC headquarters.

 But Fiji will preside over the event — or more specifically, the country’s president, former naval officer Frank Bainimarama, will.
Fiji spotlights plight of island nations
For Fiji, a county of more than 300 islands, climate change isn’t just a talking point — it’s a threat to islands’ very existence.
Environmentalists hope Bainimarama will bring together different interests at the conference and lead the way to realistic compromise.
Sabine Menninger, climate expert at the NGO Bread for the World Germany, has been a frequent visitor to Fiji.
“They will use this conference to highlight the vulnerability of the Pacific island states,” she told DW. “They are particularly affected by climate change — and already by sea-level rise, which made Fiji the first country in the world to relocate an entire village due to climate change.”


As a low-lying island nation, Fiji is on the frontlines of the fights against global warming
Building on Paris
High on the COP23 agenda is firming up the 2015 Paris Agreement, which saw signatories commit to voluntary measures to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.
They have also agreed to make their targets more ambitious over the coming years.

 So far, national targets under the accord aren’t enough to keep within the 2-degree limit.
Out-going German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks told DW, “I expect we will take steps to clarify how we will fulfil the Paris climate agreement. 

That might sound unspectacular.

 But it’s like a new, worldwide law, which was adopted in December 2015. And for this, you now need rules of interpretation.”


Almost all UN states are committed to the accord.

 The stark exception is the United States.
Trump’s shadow
Donald Trump’s climate denialism casts a dark shadow over the conference. 

This year, the US president rescinded his predecessor Barack Obama’s commitment to the global pact.
Pulling the US out of the agreement isn’t straightforward — and can only officially happen in 2020. 

Which is why there will still be an American delegation in Bonn next week, led by a senior US state department official.


German Environment Minister Hendricks likens the Paris accord to a global law

“I am very pleased, because state secretary Rex Tillerson has a very balanced position,” Hendricks said.

 “I am confident the American delegation will not disrupt the negotiations.”
“The world has come a lot closer together,” she added, “especially because of the megastorms in the Caribbean, and the US exit from the Paris Agreement has strengthened the unity between states.”
Merkel, Macron & co.
Though negotiations kick off on Monday, environment ministers and heads of state aren’t expected to show up until mid-way through the following week. 

For German Chancellor Angela Merkel, it’s likely to be a welcome break from ongoing coalition talks in Berlin.
French president Emmanuel Macron also intends to speak, perhaps even in a joint address with Merkel.
And from California — which is storming ahead with its transition to green energy regardless of federal policy — state governor Jerry Brown has said he will speak for the section of American society committed to climate protection and vowing to uphold the Paris agreement through local action.


California is embracing solar power in a big way. And German legislation has helped bring down the cost of solar technology
With the most powerful country in the world isolated at the highest level, Germany is often cast as taking global leadership on climate protection. 

But its record at home is mixed.
What about Germany?
Recently, the country’s emissions have been rising. 

It consumes far too much coal and is likely to miss its 2020 target of cutting emissions by 40 percent of 1990 levels.
Hendricks insists Germany remains an international leader on climate protection, partly because of the role it has played in driving down the cost of renewable energy worldwide over recent decades — which she says will one day be seen as a major achievement for international development.
German environmental activists are more skeptical. 

Many believe Germany’s image as climate-protection poster child will collapse with its own climate targets. 
“That’s largely because, in Germany especially, the coal industry has successfully sabotaged the energy transition,” Jan Kowalzig, a climate expert at Oxfam, told DW.
Kowalzig believes Germany will only meet its 2020 targets if the Merkel’s new government firmly commits to giving up coal.
Still, on an international level, Germany might lead another important achievement at the conference, with a plan for climate insurance for around 400 million people in the global south.

 It’s an idea Germany already put forward at previous conferences — and may be looking to firm up in Bonn.


Building a global climate village

Bonn gets ready
Bonn will play host to the world climate conference COP23 from November 6 to 17.

 Within a few months, the former German capital has been completely remodeled — from a new train station to several massive tent cities. One of the biggest tent complexes has been built in Deutsche Welle’s backyard; here, the very first cranes appear for its construction in early August.

Press link for more: DW.COM

How to resolve the planet’s ‘biggest health threat’ #Qldvotes #StopAdani 

How to resolve the planet’s ‘biggest health threat’By Carl Meyer in News, Energy, Politics | November 3rd 2017


Courtney Howard, president-elect of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, at the release of the Canada brief of the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change, at the CHEO hospital on Nov. 2 in Ottawa. Photo by Alex Tétreault

When a group of researchers studying connections between public health and climate change in Canada tried to look into the impact of fracking on Indigenous communities, they made a startling discovery.
“There was not a single study published, ever, on the health impacts of fracking in Canada,” said Courtney Howard, president-elect at the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, at a presentation in Ottawa on Thursday.
A comprehensive literature review had been carried out by the library services of the College of Family Physicians Canada, she said — to no avail. “That was about a year ago, and I’m not aware of anything that has been published since.”
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a process used by the fossil fuel industry to inject a high-pressure mix of water and toxic chemicals into rock in order to release gas trapped underground.
The National Energy Board predicts an explosion of fracking activity by 2040, adding to Canada’s many current sites. But the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has found scientific evidence that fracking harms drinking water in “some circumstances,” Reuters reported last December.


Howard was speaking as a co-author of the Canada brief of the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change. The Lancet Countdown is a global, interdisciplinary partnership of 24 academic institutions and intergovernmental organizations, organized by the influential Lancet medical journal.
The yearly report, the first of its kind, is intended to track the connections between public health and climate change. It emanated from the Lancet’s scientific conclusion that climate change is the “biggest global health threat of the 21st century.”
It also warns that Canada’s push to phase out coal-powered electricity shouldn’t come with a phase-in of natural gas to replace coal plants. It notes that methane, the primary component in natural gas, is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period.
It also notes that an increased proportion of natural gas is being produced via fracking, “for which evidence is accumulating of negative impacts.”
“One public health hazard should not be exchanged for another,” the report states.


Trevor Hancock, professor and senior scholar at the University of Victoria, on Nov. 2, 2017 in Ottawa. Hancock said there are “massive inequalities in health” when it comes to climate change. Photo by Alex Tétreault

Climate change will affect health ‘for centuries’
Health is connected to climate change in many ways, the researchers said: permafrost melt is damaging infrastructure; there are increased heat- and water-related diseases and deaths; food security and clean water is increasingly threatened; there are increased health impacts from severe storms and floods; and more.
“Human symptoms of climate change are unequivocal, potentially irreversible and affecting the health of populations around the world today,” said the Canadian Public Health Association in a press release.
The association launched the Canada brief of the report at a Nov. 2 presentation at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, based in Ottawa.
“We’re doing this here at CHEO, at a children’s hospital, because what we’re doing today to the planet is going to affect the health of people for centuries,” said Trevor Hancock, professor and senior scholar at the University of Victoria and a co-author of the Canada brief.
“There are massive inequalities in health” when it comes to climate change, he said, as the transition will disproportionately impact Indigenous communities and low-income countries. “We need to be thinking about the health impacts on vulnerable people.”
The Lancet group expects to publish updates, including recommendations for regions, between now and 2030.

Health Canada has said there is “growing evidence” that climate change is “affecting the health and well-being of citizens in countries throughout the world, including Canada.” A major issue being examined is “longer and more intense heat events that can be dangerous for the health of Canadians.”
The department says it has identified seven categories of climate-related impacts on health: heat waves or cold snaps; floods or droughts; air pollution; contamination of food or water; bacteria and viruses; skin damage from ultraviolet rays; and socio-economic impacts like increased demand for health care services.
“As an illustration, severe weather events can result in loss of income and productivity, relocation of people, increased stress for families, and higher costs for health care and social services,” the department states.
Asked to comment on the report and its recommendations, departmental spokeswoman Tammy Jarbeau said Canada recognizes that climate change is impacting the health and well-being of vulnerable populations such as Indigenous peoples, children, seniors, and those with chronic illnesses.
“Health Canada welcomes the perspectives provided by the Canadian Public Health Association and Lancet Countdown and looks forward to reviewing the report in detail,” said Jarbeau.
“The department is open to all input on the health impacts of climate change, especially those input that helps to advance the dialogue and produce results.”


A slide from a presentation by Kris Murray, a lecturer at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London, shows the adaptation of various carbon pricing mechanisms, or emissions trading schemes, from around the globe. Kris Murray presentation

The ‘adverse impacts’ on Indigenous wellbeing
The report states that the rapid development of the oilsands and fracking has “generated a research lag regarding potential direct health impacts on local populations.”
“This is particularly relevant with regards to Indigenous communities, some of whom now express concerns that landscapes are fragmented to the extent that their traditional way of life is no longer possible, with adverse impacts on their culture and wellbeing.”
“One of our recommendations is to increase funding for research into the local health impacts of resource extraction, with a focus on the impact on indigenous populations,” said Howard.
“Related to that, we need to start integrating health impact assessments into our environment assessment process.”

A table from the Lancet Countdown report forecasting the health impacts of a phase-out of coal-powered electricity by 2030, assuming generators are shut down after 40 years or by 2030, and that at least two thirds of generation is replaced by non-emitting sources. Lancet Countdown screenshot

Canada warned not to replace coal with gas
The report makes it clear that Canada needs to keep its coal power phase-out commitment in order to help save thousands of premature deaths, emergency room visits, hospitalizations and asthma episodes.
It calls on Canada to stick with its coal-powered electricity phase-out by 2030 “or sooner” and for the country to replace that with “at minimum two thirds of the power replaced by non-emitting sources.”
That requires coal-powered electricity sources, which currently create 44 per cent of global emissions, to be replaced with cleaner sources.
But that shouldn’t be natural gas, the researchers warn. Methane has 84 times the potency of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period, the report notes, “leading to near-term [climate] warming risks.”
Canada has a plan to cut methane emissions 40 to 45 per cent below 2012 levels by 2025, but those regulations were pushed back from earlier plans.
“It is important to minimize the amount of natural gas used to replace coal-power,” states the report.


Kris Murray, a lecturer at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London, on Nov. 2, 2017 in Ottawa. Murray said global labour capacity has dropped by over 5 per cent in populations exposed to temperature change in the last decade and a half. Photo by Alex Tétreault

Climate slowing productivity, spreading disease
Canada says it will cut its carbon pollution 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 as part of its Paris Agreement commitments.
But the United Nations recently panned Ottawa for having insufficient policies to meet that target, as the country will miss the 2030 mark by over 40 million tonnes of emissions even if it achieves all its stated goals.
The report puts the global picture in stark terms. It concludes that meeting the Paris commitment globally will require emissions to peak within the next few years and move to negative emissions after 2050.
“This can be thought of as needing to halve [carbon dioxide] emissions every decade,” it states.
Kris Murray, a lecturer at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London and a co-author of the international Lancet Countdown report, said his research work on the project showed that climate change has slowed productivity and spread disease.
Global labour capacity has dropped by 5.3 per cent in populations exposed to temperature change between 2000 and 2016, he said.
Meanwhile, the disease transmitting ability of two versions of dengue, the virus that causes dengue fever, a mosquito-borne tropical disease, rose by 9.4 per cent and 11.1 per cent thanks to climate warming trends since the 1950s.


A graph from the Lancet Countdown report showing the ratio of private transportation to public transit and active transit like walking and cycling, in various cities around the globe. Lancet Countdown screenshot

Group calls for national transport strategy
The Canada portion of the report calls for developing a “national active transport strategy” for the country, and to boost support for telecommuting and telehealth options.
The report found that Vancouver, for example, was one of the best cities in Canada for the ratio of private transportation to public transit and active transit like walking and cycling — yet one of the worst cities internationally.
“Moving from private motorized transport to public transport, walking and cycling in urban areas helps to decrease emissions from vehicles, as well as having substantial health benefits,” the report states.
“Commuting on foot or by bike has been shown to decrease cardiovascular mortality, and cycling has been shown to decrease all-cause mortality and mortality from cancer.”

The researchers of the Lancet Countdown report at the CHEO presentation for the Canada brief of the report, on Nov. 2, 2017 in Ottawa. Photo by Alex Tétreault

‘Try a lentil’
The report also calls for health-sector support for Health Canada’s draft healthy eating guidelines, in order to coax Canadians away from meat protein, and toward plant-based protein sources.
Eating meat is associated with high levels of greenhouse gas emissions, water use and land use, the researchers said, and plant-rich diets have been shown to decrease colorectal cancer and cardiovascular disease risk, among other benefits.
“We’re not saying you need to go cold turkey,” joked Howard, which got some giggles from the room. “But try a lentil.”
Editor’s note: this story was updated at 4:01 p.m. ET to correctly attribute a quote about lentils. It was updated again at 5:16 p.m. to add a comment from Health Canada.
Press link for more: National Observer

CO2 Emissions Rising Faster Than Ever! #StopAdani #Qldvotes #Auspol 

A record surge in atmospheric CO2. Emissions rise faster than ever!
Yesterday (30/10), both the BBC and the Guardian posted an article proving the state of the world is atrocious.

According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), concentrations of atmospheric CO2 surged to a record high in 2016. 

What is more, the pace with which this process is taking place is accelerating. 

The year 2016 saw average concentrations of CO2 hit 403.3 ppm, up from 400 ppm in 2015.

 This is the largest increase the WMO watch programme has ever witnessed. 

Before 2016, the largest increase – 2.7 ppm – occurred in 1997-1998 when an El Niño was active (every El Niño impacts the amount of carbon in the atmosphere by causing droughts that limit the uptake of CO2 by plants and trees). 

Now the figure is 3.3ppm. It is also 50% higher than the average of the last 10 years, which is extreme.

 The last time the Earth experienced a comparable concentration of CO2 was three to five million years ago, in the mid-Pliocene Epoch.

While emissions from human sources have slowed down somewhat in the last couple of years, the cumulative total of atmospheric CO2 continues to spike. 

Since 1990 alone, there has been a 40% increase in total radiative forcing. 

The rise in CO2 and CO2e (equivalent) is due the Earth’s response to human warming. 

This means that, at one unknown point, climate change will be out of our hands: total emissions will continue to increase even if we decrease CO2 emissions from human sources (not that we significantly succeed in this or that there is a plan for achieving it). 

The problem is not only that human activity creates climate change, but that climate change destroys sinks, such as forests, that it warms oceans and seas and destroys the permafrost.

 This explains the spike of methane levels over the last 10 years.

Incredibly, there is still doubt.

 As professor Nisbet from Royal Halloway says:
“The rapid increase in methane since 2007, especially in 2014, 2015, and 2016 (…) was not expected in the Paris agreement. 

Methane growth is strongest in the tropics and sub-tropics. 

The carbon isotopes in the methane show that growth is not being driven by fossil fuels. 

We do not understand why methane is rising. 

It may be a climate change feedback. It is very worrying” 
And Erik Solhein, the head of UN Environment added that “The numbers don’t lie. 

We are still emitting far too much and this needs to be reversed” 

The numbers do not lie, but one has to use the right ones. 

The global CO2 measure tells far from the whole story.

 Atmospheric levels of gasses like methane, nitrous oxide, and a host of less common industrial chemicals are also all on the rise in the Earth’s atmosphere due to human emissions. 

According to research by the Advanced Global Atmosphere Gases Center at MIT, the total heat forcing equal to CO2 (this is the CO2 equivalent measure which adds all the other gases) was about 478 ppm during the spring of 2013 – almost two years before the Paris Agreement was signed (December 2015) (see here and here). 

The Paris Agreement does not contain the word “methane” 
Needless to say, in 2013, the situation – ca. 480 ppm CO2e – was already nothing short of fearsome. 

The last time the world saw such a measure of comparable atmospheric greenhouse gas heat forcing was during the Miocene around 15-20 million years ago. 

At that time, global temperatures were 3-4 C warmer. 

Today, CO2e stands at ca. 492 ppm. 

It is impossible that the IPCC was unaware of it. 

For one, Natalia Sakhova and her colleagues have been publishing papers on methane venting into the atmosphere from sediments of the East Siberian Ice Arctic Shelf since the 1990s.

That tropical forests could transform from a sink to a source due to rising temperatures has also been documented in the literature since the 1990s.

 According to an OECD study of 2011, GHG could reach 685 ppm of CO2e by 2050.

 In 2013, Michael Mann wrote that we will likely lock in a 2 C short term warming this century and a probable 4 C warming long-term. 


According to Mann in 2013, if the current, high-velocity pace of emission continues, we will likely hit 2C warming by 2036, setting off extraordinary, severe and irreversible global changes over a very short period. 

Since then, nothing has happened to change this gloomy picture.
It is absolutely necessary to understand the problem of the Earth’s response to human induced climate change. 

Natural carbon sinks on land and ocean buffer us from the full impact of carbon emissions.

 But we cannot assume this will continue indefinitely. 

The warmer the world becomes, the more difficult it will become to prevent further warming: even less emissions can lead to proportionally larger impacts. 

Natural carbon sinks become less effective and even become sources.


This is happening right now. 

The Earth’s tropical forests are now so degraded that they are emitting more carbon than all of the traffic in the United States.

 A healthy forest sequesters carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, whereas forests that are degraded by drought, wildfires and deforestation release previously sequestered carbon.

 In short, land ecosystems, mainly forests, have been mitigating part of the fossil fuel problem – they sucked CO2 out of the atmosphere, about 25% of our fossil fuel emissions. 

Not any longer. 

Another study showed that warming soils are now releasing much more carbon into the atmosphere than previously thought.

 This means another disastrous feedback loop exists that will trigger giant carbon releases in a cycle that will be (practically) impossible to stop.

It is true that emissions from energy decreased in the last three years. 

Emissions from land use, agriculture, aviation and shipping have not stalled.

 Increased use of biomass is still often calculated as zero-emission, which is nonsensical. 

CO2e is now already above what was considered the limit for a 2 degrees C rise – this limit was 450 ppm CO2e. 

We are now over 490 ppm CO2e and the concentrations are rising.

 It is not possible otherwise, also because the earth itself contributes to the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, mainly because of increasing emissions of CO2 and methane from wetlands, permafrost areas and sea beds. 

The IPCC, in its wisdom, does (or did) not count these contributions and so they do (or did) not exist. 

The world will pay a heavy prize for this ostrich policy.

The permafrost thaw caused by fossil fuel emissions already releases relatively large amounts of CO2, NH4 and NO2. 

Any reasonable discussion of our global situation therefore has to stop limiting the discussion to fossil fuel CO2 emissions and start evaluating the true global situation with regard to the planetary carbon cycle and the global warming of all the greenhouse gases.
The estimate is that about 50% of total global fossil fuel emissions over the past 100 years have been absorbed by land and oceans. 

If the sinks are exhausted or overwhelmed by permafrost or shallow marine sediment outgassing, it is possible that, in the worst case, a 50% reduction in the use of fossil fuels (again: not that there is a viable strategy to achieve this) would have no effect on the growth rate of atmospheric CO2.

It can be realistically expected that, IF every country meets its self-determined emissions goals, global temperature will increase by 3.7 degrees C at 2100 – and that is being optimistic!

 According to Friedrich et al. (see my article on this here and here for Friedrich et al.) a rise of 4.8 and 7.4 degrees can be in the making by 2100.
For CO2 emissions to fall, the use of fossil fuels has to decrease and brought to zero. 


This can only happen if they become so expensive that any other source is cheaper.

 It also means major changes in manufacturing, agriculture, transport and energy efficiency. 

It means changing and re-scaling the macroeconomic architecture.

We all know this, but it does not square with any reasonable projections of oil, natural gas and coal production.

 For example, the American EIA estimated future consumption of liquids and natural gas give annual rates of increase of 1.1 and 1.9 percent through 2040. 

Coal production also increases, albeit more slowly at 0.6 percent per year.

The idea that in such a world emissions will drop is magical thinking. 

The idea that climate change can be addressed in a technological way, leaving existing power relations intact is magical thinking – not only a myth, but a pertinent lie.

What is actually the “effort” that the “landmark” Paris Agreement expects countries to make?

 In 2015, the US budget was $3.800 billion.

 In 2016, the Department of Energy (DoE) budget request for all of energy efficiency, renewable energy and nuclear energy was $4 billion. 

This is a mere 0.1%. 

Where does most of this money end up?

 It goes to big multinationals in order to strengthen “competitiveness,” “create jobs” and “markets and growth” and to “reduce business risks,” as 360 big corporations wrote to Trump in an open letter, asking him to not quit the Paris Agreement.
Trump quit Paris and it is inherently stupid and regressive. 

But the Paris Agreement is also regressive.

At the end of 2017, CO2 and other GHGs are rising, they are rising faster than ever, temperatures are rising, new feedbacks and potential horrors are being discovered almost every day. 

As I wrote before, ‘this historical milestone that will safeguard the future of humanity’ (Cameron) contains no reference to “coal,” “oil,” “fracking,” “shale oil,” “fossil fuel” or “carbon dioxide.” 

The words “zero,” “ban,” “prohibit” or “stop” do not occur in it.

 The word “adaptation” occurs 85 times, although the responsibility to adapt is nowhere mentioned. 

Liability and compensation are explicitly excluded. 

There is no action plan.

 The proposed emission cuts by the nations are voluntary.

 There is no enforceable compliance mechanism.
Meanwhile, warming atmospheric temperatures coupled with warmer ocean waters have combined to cause Antarctic sea ice to shrink by two millions kilometres in just the last three years.


At the other pole, recently released data showed that the Arctic ice cap melted down to hundreds of thousands of square miles below its average this past summer. 

The ice minimum for this year was 610.000 square miles below the 1981-2010 average, in addition to its being the eighth-lowest year in the 38-year satellite record (to compare: Germany’s surface is 137.983.6 square miles) 
Some time ago, I would have ended this article by writing that ‘if the world’s nations are serious about addressing climate change, the rise in CO2 concentrations needs to cease. 

The sinks need to balance the sources. 

If the sinks degrade and become a source, the game is up.’ But I do not believe that the world’s nations are serious about addressing global climate change.

 There is nothing concrete that points in that direction. 

And so the problem becomes unsolvable.

Press link for more: Flassbeck Economics