Climate Central reports: Two years after the Paris climate accord, climate policies are advancing in developing countries but stalling or regressing in richer ones. Here’s a trip around the world, assessing how pro-climate and anti-climate forces are faring in key nations and regions, showing how recent developments are affecting the languishing fight against global warming.
Paris climate talks
The Wire reports: If India builds all its proposed coal-based power plants, then it might not fulfill its promise made under the Paris climate agreement, says a new study conducted by CoalSwarm. The country is currently the fourth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, and its largely-coal-based energy sector contributes two-thirds of those emissions.
Down to Earth reports: With his executive order, which lifts the ban on coal production and lifts restrictions on production of oil, natural gas, ‘clean coal’ and shale energy, U.S. President Donald Trump has literally started the process of dismantling the Paris Climate Agreement— the landmark international pact adopted in 2015 to fight climate change.
A new study by Oil Change International and 14 other organizations, scientifically grounds the growing movement to keep carbon in the ground by revealing the need to stop all new fossil fuel infrastructure and industry expansion. It’s accompanied by a letter to global leaders, to be delivered at the next round of UN climate negotiations.
Former NASA scientist James Hansen is widely regarded as ‘the father of climate change awareness’. His new paper, titled ‘Young People’s Burden’, outlines how — if governments don’t take aggressive climate action today—future generations will inherit a climate system so altered it will require prohibitively expensive— and possibly infeasible— extraction of CO2 from the atmosphere.
Global Risk Insights reports: Recent developments suggest that India has been seeking to leverage its ratification of the Paris Agreement. Specifically, the Modi Government has claimed it will only be able to meet emissions reduction targets if it rapidly expands its capacity to produce nuclear energy, which would be difficult to achieve without NSG membership. Global
Katherine Ross reports: Last month’s release of India’s ambitious year-on-year solar energy capacity targets chart a roadmap for achieving the country’s 2022 goal. This sequence of yearly targets—as opposed to an assumed growth trend between current capacity and targeted capacity—shows that India is making concerted plans to reach its goals announced at the Paris talks.
Chris Mooney reports: A large team of researchers have reviewed individual country climate pledges made at the Paris talks to conclude that they fall short, forecasting that the full carbon “budget” that we’ve left to emit if we want to stay below 2 degrees Celsius of warming could be emitted by as early as 2030.
Shail Shrestha writes at Local Futures: Technology transfer from the North to South has long been regarded as the path to a better life in less-developed regions of the world. But even the best and the most sustainable technology proposed in Paris would make Nepal less sustainable than it is today, leading us in the wrong direction.
Recently, after a great deal of debate, the passengers aboard the Titanic voted to impose modest limits sometime soon on the rate at which water is pouring into the doomed ship’s hull. Despite the torrents of self-congratulatory rhetoric that flooded into the media afterwards, that is the sum of what happened at the COP-21 climate conference in Paris.
Bhamy Shenoy writes in Deccan Herald: There is a comforting thought that the fall in solar energy and wind energy prices, and their greater adaption will provide solution to reduce the use of fossil fuels. Often ignored or overlooked reality is the difficulty in reforming the existing energy scenario both in the developed and developing countries.
Climate change is just the most glaring manifestation of real and deeper causes – the growing demands of a growing world population, while our natural resource base is dwindling and the ability of nature to absorb man-made pollution is diminishing – in short, the lunatic idea that in a finite world infinite growth is possible.
Noted energy expert Richard Heinberg writes: Our primary task this century will be to shrink the economy and rein in population while promoting human well being. We can do so as we minimize climate change by reducing energy consumption and by replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy resources. Otherwise, we get climate chaos and economic collapse.
Devinder Sharma writes: The cumulative impact of cattle rearing in Australia, transportation of cattle from the ranches down under to China, and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions alone is going to be enormous. And yet meat consumption has not been mentioned at Paris climate talks. The reason is simple. The western lifestyle has not to be disturbed.
This interactive graphic by Carbon Brief outlines and explaines all the fundamental components of the Paris climate deal. Among other issues, the graphic covers mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, finance and transparency. It looks at the elements of the so-called “ambition mechanism”, the inclusion of a 1.5C aspirational target, the long-term goal, and much more.
Surya P. Sethi, India’s former Core Climate Negotiator, writes in The Wire: To those who say the Paris Accord “signals an end to the fossil fuel era”; I say please look at Bloomberg’s commodities page – fossil fuels are being produced in never before quantities and sold at the lowest ever prices in real terms.
Author and Post Carbon Institute founder Richard Heinberg writes: Here are nine critical issues to consider as we come away from COP21–because as media commentaries about whether the COP21 meetings were a success or a failure run their course, the burden falls on our shoulders to return to the hard work of fighting for, and implementing, the energy transition.
The figure quoted most often in climate change literature is a further warming of 0.6 ºC. This is unavoidable warming-in-the-pipeline, over and above the 1ºC rise the world has touched in 2015. This is not to minimise the political significance of the demand of 1.5 ºC, but to point out that it has already been breached.
Even if all emission pledges are fully implemented, temperature rise by 2100 will exceed 2oC, and may be in the range 3-4oC. The additional carbon space of 1,000 GtCO2 will fill by 2040, just 5 years later than had emissions continued in a business-as-usual manner. Clearly, the pledges are too little and have come too late.
The richest 10% of people produce half of Earth’s climate-harming fossil-fuel emissions, while the poorest half contribute a mere 10%, British charity Oxfam said in a report released Wednesday. “Rich, high emitters should be held accountable for their emissions, no matter where they live,” Oxfam climate policy head, Tim Gore, said in a recent statement.