Tiempo Climate Newswatch
Subsidiary Bodies Meet in Bonn
The Blue Carbon Portal brings together the latest knowledge and resources on the role of oceans as carbon sinks.
WalkIt provides walking routes between user-defined points in selected British cities, with an estimate of the carbon savings.
Joto Afrika is a series of printed briefings and online resources about adapting to climate change in sub-Saharan Africa.
The CoolClimate Art Contest presents iconic images that address the impact of climate change.
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The Twenty-Second Session of the Subsidiary Bodies to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change began with a two-day experts' meeting. Opening the meeting, Jurgen Trittin, German environment minister, said that the Kyoto measures had "proved successful" and called for industrialized nations to meet tougher targets, a 15 to 30 per cent reduction, by 2020. Harlan Watson, chief negotiator for the United States, speaking to the BBC prior to the meeting, said that "we are still not convinced of the need to move forward so quickly.... There is general agreement that there is a lot known, but there is also a lot to be known." The United States is proposing carbon intensity targets, with reductions scaled by Gross Domestic Product. Others argue for weighting by population.
In the run-up to the meeting, Papua New Guinea proposed that forest protection should be permitted under the financial mechanisms aimed at reducing carbon emissions. "Kyoto does not allow developing nations that reduce deforestation emissions to get credit. Kyoto unfairly discriminates against rainforested developing nations who seek to participate within the world carbon market," argued ambassador Robert Aisi. "Tropical rainforest nations deserve to be treated equally. If we reduce our deforestation, we should be compensated for these reductions, as are industrial countries. The compensation we seek is access to the world's carbon markets, but on a fair and equitable basis."
Planning for a five-year work programme on adaptation began at the Twenty-Second Session, but the programme was not finalized. There was disagreement as to whether the programme should be structured by priority sectors (the United States proposal) or take an integrated approach (suggested by the G-77/China). It also proved impossible to reach any firm conclusions during discussion of the Special Climate Change Fund, particularly with regard to priority or focal areas. Delegates were urged to come to the next session with "more flexible mandates". Finally, there was no agreement on whether it was appropriate to consider whether or not the Climate Convention process might assist the Mauritius Strategy, for implementing the Programme of Action for Small Island States, and what such action might involve.
On the positive side, agreement was reached on the timing of non-Annex 1 national communications. Moreover, following lengthy negotiations, agreement on the LDC Fund, financial support for Least Developed Countries (LDCs), was reached and will be recommended to the Conference of the Parties later this year. Bangladesh, speaking for the LDCs, described the final text as a compromise and called on the Global Environment Facility to operationalize the guidance in a way that truly responds to the need to implement the National Adaptation Programmes of Action. There had been considerable disagreement over whether or not responses to short-term climate variability should be supported as well as adaptation to long-term, anthropogenic climate change. The final wording side-steps this issue.
As the meeting closed, the national science academies of the G8 nations and others, including China, India and Brazil, issued a strong statement calling on their governments to take immediate action to limit global warming. The statement has been sent to world leaders in the run-up to the G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, in July. It is clearly intended to put additional pressure on the United States to take part in a post-2012 global emissions control regime.
"The scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify prompt action," according to the statement. "It is vital that all nations identify cost-effective steps that they can take now, to contribute to substantial and long-term reduction in net global greenhouse gas emissions."
According to Earth Negotiations Bulletin, prominent issues at the December Conference of the Parties/Meeting of Parties will include:
The issue of climate and indigenous peoples is also likely to be to the fore, with strong lobbying from Arctic leaders amongst others.
General Electric plans to cut solar installation costs by half
Project 90 by 2030 supports South African school children and managers reduce their carbon footprint through its Club programme
Bath & North East Somerset Council in the United Kingdom has installed smart LED carriageway lighting that automatically adjusts to light and traffic levels
The United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the American Public Gardens Association are mounting an educational exhibit at Longwood Gardens showing the link between temperature and planting zones
The energy-efficient Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers hotel is powered by renewable and sustainable sources, including integrated solar photovoltaics and guest-powered bicycles
El Hierro, one of the Canary Islands, plans to generate 80 per cent of its energy from renewable sources
The green roof on the Remarkables Primary School in New Zealand reduces stormwater runoff, provides insulation and doubles as an outdoor classroom
The Weather Info for All project aims to roll out up to five thousand automatic weather observation stations throughout Africa
SolSource turns its own waste heat into electricity or stores it in thermal fabrics, harnessing the sun's energy for cooking and electricity for low-income families
The Wave House uses vegetation for its architectural and environmental qualities, and especially in terms of thermal insulation
The Mbale compost-processing plant in Uganda produces cheaper fertilizer and reduces greenhouse gas emissions
At Casa Grande, Frito-Lay has reduced energy consumption by nearly a fifth since 2006 by, amongst other things, installing a heat recovery system to preheat cooking oil
Tiempo Climate Newswatch