The Eco News Roundup brings stories and commentary about issues related to climate change, renewable energy and the environment.
The next three years provide the “last chance” to limit global warming to safe limits in this century, the United Nations said, as it geared up for a conference in Morocco intended to carry forward the Paris agreement on climate change.
Unless nations move before 2020 to cut their emissions more aggressively than they have promised, the window of opportunity will close and the job that lies ahead will become more costly, it said.
A new chapter in the world’s climate talks starts this month as the Paris climate agreement enters into force on Nov. 4, followed by the first round of formal discussions on how to turn its promises into action.
Negotiators, leaders, experts and activists will gather in Marrakech, Morocco to begin the daunting task of implementing the historic accord that seeks to avert the worst impacts of man-made climate change. The 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) will convene from Nov. 7-18, tasked with continuing the momentum of the Paris accord that was negotiated last year and signed into force ahead of schedule.
The melting of Arctic sea ice may seem like an intangible, far-off problem, but what if there was a way to know how much you are personally contributing to the melt? A new study, released today in the journal Science, allows you to do precisely that.
The study makes a direct link between the amount of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions and sea ice loss, finding that for each metric ton of CO2 emitted during the period between 1953 and 2012, roughly 32 square feet of sea ice was lost.
The study’s authors, climate scientists Dirk Notz and Julienne Stroeve, applied this finding to per capita emissions data from 2013 for each country, and found that the average person causes the loss of hundreds of feet of sea ice each year. But the U.S. and other high-emitting countries like Australia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are not average. Americans, for instance, have a personal footprint of as much as 645 square feet of ice loss.
When it comes to global warming, we know that the real problem is not just fossil fuels – it is the logic of endless growth that is built into our economic system. If we don’t keep the global economy growing by at least 3% per year, it plunges into crisis. That means we have to double the size of the economy every 20 years, just to stay afloat. It doesn’t take much to realise that this imperative for exponential growth makes little sense given the limits of our finite planet.
Rapid climate change is the most obvious symptom of this contradiction, but we’re also seeing it in the form of deforestation, desertification and mass extinction, with species dying at an alarming rate as our consumption of the natural world causes their habitats to collapse. It was unthinkable to say this even 10 years ago, but today, as we become increasingly aware of these crises, it seems all too clear: our economic system is incompatible with life on this planet.
In July, UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon highlighted the role of hydropower in boosting the use of renewable energy globally, when he visited a nonprofit institute in China that helps emerging nations develop and build hydropower plants. Many countries consider hydroelectricity a clean source of power because it doesn’t involve burning dirty fossil fuels. But that’s far from true. Hydropower is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions: a new study shows that the world’s hydroelectric dams are responsible for as much methane emissions as Canada.
The land rights of indigenous people in the Amazon must be recognised if their countries’ commitments on reducing deforestation and lowering or capping carbon emissions are to be realised, according to native leaders from the nine South American countries across which the rainforest spreads.
Nearly 300 representatives of the forest’s several million inhabitants gathered in Lima last week to demand that their governments heed evidence of their ability to conserve the forest and thus protect their way of life.
“We are the ones who are protecting the forest from being destroyed, so if the government doesn’t respect our rights we’re going to see huge levels of deforestation,” said Maximiliano Correa, from the Coordination of the Indigenous Organisations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB).
At BPI Campus our Progressive Agenda is:
1. People matter more than profits.
2. The earth is our home, not our trash can.
3. We need good government for both #1 and #2.
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