Daily Archives: December 23, 2015

A Historic Agreement to Combat Climate Change


The White House

Published on Dec 23, 2015

On December 12, nearly 200 countries came together in Paris to announce the most ambitious global agreement ever to combat climate change. Watch a message from President Obama on this historic achievement.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Advertisements

Why The Crash of 2016 Will Happen…


The Big Picture RT

Published on Nov 14, 2013

The next big financial crisis is already on its way.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Trump Predicts Crash of 2016


The Big Picture RT

Published on Dec 23, 2015

By raising interest rates have the feds set us up for a new financial crisis? Here to discuss the Fed’s interest rate hike – the likelihood of an economic crash in 2016 – and what’s really going on in our economy – is Marshall Auerback – Research Fellow – the Levy Institute and Director of Economists for Peace and Security.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Former World Bank Chief Economist on Climate: “I Hope Historians Will See This as a Turning Point”


Democracy Now!

Published on Dec 11, 2015

In 2006, Lord Nicholas Stern, the prominent British climate economist and former chief economist of the World Bank, published a pioneering report, “The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change.” We speak to Lord Stern about where we stand almost a decade after he published the nearly 700-page report and what he would like to see come out of COP21. “I hope historians will see this as a turning point, that the world got together to change direction to say we are now moving together towards the low-carbon economy, that this is the great story of the future,” Stern says. “This is the way that we can get secure growth. This is the way we can get clean growth.”

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

At COP21, U.S. Allows Mention of Climate Reparations — Only If It Doesn’t Have to Pay Them


Democracy Now!

Published on Dec 11, 2015

The United States will allow the words “loss and damage” in the Paris accords only if it is agreed that the U.S. is not liable for paying for it. “Loss and damage” refers to compensation for countries already suffering from the impacts of climate change caused by more industrialized nations. We discuss the role of the U.S., China and other major countries at COP21 on this issue and on REDD, a mechanism meant to stem deforestation in countries such as Indonesia. “REDD is labeled as a solution to the climate crisis,” says Ruth Nyambura, Kenyan political ecologist, part of the African Ecofeminist Collective. “But it has given polluting countries in the developed world, and corporations, the ability to say, ‘I will continue to pollute as long as I pay for forest rehabilitation in the Global South.'”

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Sacrifice | George Monbiot

Sacrifice
22nd December 2015

The joints of meat that do more damage than a long-haul flight

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 23rd December 2015

The figures were so astounding that I refused to believe them. I found them buried in a footnote, and assumed at first that they must have been a misprint. So I checked the source, wrote to the person who first published them(1), and followed the citations. To my amazement, they appear to stand up.

A kilogramme of beef protein reared on a British hill farm can generate the equivalent of 643 kg of carbon dioxide. A kilogramme of lamb protein produced in the same place can generate 749 kg. One kilo of protein from either source, in other words, causes more greenhouse gas emissions than a passenger flying from London to New York(2).

This is the worst case, and the figure comes from a farm whose soils have a high carbon content. But the numbers uncovered by a wider study are hardly reassuring: you could exchange your flight to New York for an average of 3kg of lamb protein from hill farms in England and Wales(3). You’d have to eat 300kg of soy protein to create the same impact.

In choosing our Christmas dinner – or making any other choice – we appear to take informed and rational decisions. But what looks and feels right is sometimes anything but. In this case, the very features we have been led to see as virtuous – animals wandering freely across the mountains, tended by horny-handed shepherds, no concrete and steel monstrosities or any of the other ugliness of modern intensive farming – generate astonishing impacts.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice
Food-Matters

Robert Stavins | Thanks to Paris, we have a foundation for meaningful climate progress

Laurent Fabius has brought the gavel down on a successful deal. Reuters/Stephane Mahe

Robert Stavins

Professor of Business and Government, Harvard University

Disclosure statement

Robert N. Stavins receives funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Enel Foundation.

The Conversation is funded by Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Knight Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Alfred P Sloan Foundation, Rita Allen Foundation and the Simons Foundation. Our global publishing platform is funded by Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The Paris Agreement is a truly landmark climate accord, and checks all the boxes in my five-point scorecard for a potentially effective deal. It provides a broad foundation for meaningful progress on climate change, and represents a dramatic departure from the Kyoto Protocol and the past 20 years of climate negotiations.

In Paris, representatives of 195 countries (plus the European Union) adopted a new hybrid international climate policy architecture that includes: bottom-up elements in the form of “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDCs), which are national targets and actions that arise from national policies; and top-down elements for oversight, guidance, and coordination. Now, all countries will be involved in taking actions to reduce emissions.

Remarkably, 186 of the 196 parties to the agreement submitted INDCs by the end of the Paris talks, representing some 96% of global emissions. This broad scope of participation under the new agreement is a necessary condition for meaningful action – but, of course, it is not a sufficient condition.

Also required is adequate ambition of the individual contributions. But this is only the first step with this new approach. The INDCs will be assessed and revised every five years, with their collective ambition ratcheted up over time.

That said, even this initial set of contributions could cut anticipated temperature increases this century to about 3.5℃ – more than the frequently discussed aspiration of limiting temperature increases to 2℃ (or now, under the Paris deal, potentially to 1.5℃), but much less than the 5-6℃ increase that would be expected without this action. (An amendment to the Montreal Protocol to address hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) is likely to shave off a further 0.5℃ of warming.)

The problem has not been solved, and it will not be for years to come, but the new approach brought about by the Paris Agreement can be a key step toward reducing the threat of global climate change.

The new climate agreement, despite being pathbreaking and the result of what The New York Times rightly described as “an extraordinary effort at international diplomacy”, is only a foundation for moving forward. But it is a sufficiently broad and sensible foundation to make increased ambition over time feasible for the first time.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice