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Posts Tagged ‘REDD’

Rio+20 Outcome: The Anthropocene Challenge

September 10, 2012 Leave a comment

By Marcos Orellana, Rio de Janeiro (originally posted 22 June 2012)

Marcos, Alyssa and Andrea, part of CIEL’s delegation

On June 20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) officially started in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  The Conference opened with a documentary, Welcome to the Anthropocene, which was introduced by the UN’s Secretary-General.  The documentary visually portrays the alteration in Earth’s natural cycles induced by human activities.
Welcome to the Anthropocene echoes the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) 5th edition of the Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-5), published on June 6, 2012.  The report concludes that the “scientific evidence shows that Earth systems are being pushed towards their biophysical limits.” Also it “cautions that if humanity does not urgently change its ways, several critical thresholds may be exceeded, beyond which abrupt and generally irreversible changes to the life-support functions of the planet could occur.” Read more…

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It’s time to admit there is no future in fossils.

December 5, 2011 2 comments

By Niranjali Amerasinghe

Niranjali Amerasinghe, Staff Attorney

Following the UN climate talks in Durban can be a tedious business. Even for a conference junkie like me.  There are times when the discussions get so mired in petty political bargaining that it’s hard to keep the bigger picture in mind.  People seem to forget why they’re actually there: to find a solution to the biggest environmental threat ever faced by humanity.  This involves making significant changes to the status quo, like transitioning away from fossil fuels to cleaner sources of energy.  There is no way we will limit global warming to 1.5oC degrees Celsius (a level above which impacts from climate change are expected to be radically more extreme) if governments continue to pander to the special interests of the fossil fuels industry. Read more…

What’s at stake at Durban? We are.

November 23, 2011 1 comment

By Kristen Hite, Interim Director, Climate Change Program

In recent years we’ve seen global predictions on climate change becoming increasingly dire.  In recent weeks it’s gone from bad to worse:  The International Energy Association, often criticized for how its future projections of energy production rely too heavily on fossil fuels and nuclear energy just issued a report that says our current energy patterns will lead us to a global rise in temperature of 4 degrees Celsius or worse, leading to “irreversible and potentially catastrophic climate change.”  This comes on the heels of a new analysis by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which tells us that impacts are worse than expected and that climate change is increasingly responsible for natural disaster damages to the tune of billions of dollars annually.  Put simply: we can’t avoid climate impacts—we’re already experiencing them and they are getting worse.  But we can avoid locking in an unsustainable future that guarantees widespread destruction to communities and ecosystems across the globe—that is, if diplomats representing 190+ countries agree on how to act. Read more…

Glacial Progress at June Climate Talks in Bonn: Public Frozen Out

June 29, 2011 1 comment

By the CIEL Climate Team

Despite growing evidence that the effects of climate change are occurring earlier and more dramatically than foreseen just a few years ago, the UNFCCC negotiations continue to demonstrate how difficult it is to reach agreement on a broad-based binding framework for collective international action on climate change.  The two weeks of negotiations (June 6-17) in Bonn got off to a rocky start with agenda disputes holding up progress for several days.  Read more…

What’s hot in climate change

June 6, 2011 Leave a comment

By the CIEL Climate Team

Climate negotiations resume in Bonn, Germany this week with a full agenda and against a backdrop of reports that last year’s global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were at record levels despite the global economic downturn.  While the meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) in Cancun, Mexico last December failed to resolve a number of fundamental outstanding issues (such as the inadequacy of GHG reduction targets Parties have put forward and the ultimate legal form the negotiations will take), Parties will be busy this week and next elaborating a number of fundamental building blocks of the climate regime that were agreed in Cancun.  A quick overview of the issues CIEL is actively working on this week and next in Bonn follows. Read more…