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Author Topic: UN Climate Agreement - Paris 2015 and beyond  (Read 194677 times)

Sigmetnow

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UN Climate Agreement - Paris 2015 and beyond
« on: October 15, 2014, 06:04:55 PM »
Might be helpful to start amassing the "will they, or won't they, sign a significant treaty in Paris" comments under one thread.

Here's the latest proposal:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States wants to broker a global agreement on climate change that would contain some legal elements but would stop short of being legally binding on an international level, the country's top diplomat on climate change issues said.

Todd Stern, the State Department climate change special envoy, addressed one of the thorniest issues in ongoing talks to secure a global plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions – its legal form.

Stern said a recent proposal by New Zealand for countries to submit a "schedule" for reducing emissions that would be legally binding and subject to mandatory accounting, reporting and review offers an approach that could get the buy-in of countries like the United States that are wary of ratifying an internationally binding treaty.

The content of the schedule itself and the actions each country pledges would not be legally binding at an international level.

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN0I409X20141015
« Last Edit: July 25, 2016, 12:49:00 PM by Sigmetnow »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2014, 05:34:51 PM »
Armchair travellers:  Here is the Information for Participants for the December 1-12 UN Climate conference in Lima, Peru.  I particularly enjoyed the establishment of the "Blogger's Loft" and the repeated requests to not print anything unless absolutely necessary, using both sides of the paper, and most importantly no colored paper!

http://unfccc.int/files/meetings/lima_dec_2014/application/pdf/information_for_participants_cop20.pdf
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Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2014, 05:55:11 PM »
A new study:  what if China and the US actually worked together to address climate change?
If the US and China were to adopt global best practice in their domestic climate policies, together, the world’s two largest emitters could close the 2020 emissions gap by 23%, according to new research.
...
Bill Hare of Climate Analytics, said:

"The US and China produce 35% of global emissions and have been making efforts to work with each other on climate change. If they scaled up action to adopt the most ambitious policies from across the world, they would both be on the right pathway to keep warming below 2ºC."
...
The research comes as countries, including the US and China meet in Bonn for the latest round of the UN climate change negotiations, to set out the elements of the next global climate agreement, to be agreed in Paris in 2015.
...
According to the IEA,  the US must decarbonise by 80% by 2030 , China by 60-70%. Yet current policies in both countries are inadequate to meet the necessary limit; the US has pledged to reduce coal by about 20% and China is stabilising coal use by 2030.

http://tcktcktck.org/2014/10/study-us-china-co-operation-help-close-emissions-gap/64897
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viddaloo

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2014, 06:20:13 PM »
Armchair travellers:  Here is the Information for Participants for the December 1-12 UN Climate conference in Lima, Peru.  I particularly enjoyed the establishment of the "Blogger's Loft" and the repeated requests to not print anything unless absolutely necessary, using both sides of the paper, and most importantly no colored paper!

I'm sorry I cannot share your enthusiasm, there. Instead of saving printer paper in Lima, Peru, all the participants should go to their local hometown coffee bar and participate digitally in the so–called Climate conference. The plane trip to Lima, Peru vastly outweighs the climate footprint of printing important information, I'm afraid. (And as we all know, these conferences are already meaningless, pointless exercises that mostly serve to passivate the home population through the appearance of 'action'.)
[]

Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2014, 09:34:13 PM »
EU agrees to 40% cut in emissions by 2030.  Poland and other coal-centric countries had threatened to veto any agreement, but will now be helped financially. 

"Europe's leaders have been under heavy pressure not to impose much higher energy costs, especially when the economy is struggling."

"The EU is already on target to cut its CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020, compared with 1990 emission levels."

Others' descriptions of the new target ranged from "very modest" to "desperately ineffective."

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-29751064
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Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2014, 09:47:20 PM »
European Commission:  "We have set the example and others should follow. Europe accounts for only 11% of global emissions, so we need all others to step up to the plate."
http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-14-719_en.htm
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wili

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2014, 01:34:58 AM »
http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-10-23/letter-to-the-pm-outlining-how-2-c-demands-an-80-cut-in-eu-emissions-by-2030

Letter to the PM outlining how 2°C demands an 80% cut in EU emissions by 2030

Kevin Anderson
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2014, 02:43:29 AM »
TEXT-Key elements of EU climate deal
BRUSSELS | Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:17pm EDT
BRUSSELS, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Following are key elements of the deal to curb global warming struck by European Union leaders early on Friday, as given by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy:

- A reduction of at least 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. This figure, which refers to the classic 1990 baseline, is binding. About half of the effort takes place within the EU-wide ETS (Emissions Trading System); the other half takes place in the non-ETS sectors, with national, yet tradeable targets.

- Clean energy. We commit to at least 27 percent of renewables in 2030. Here we are talking about a share of total energy consumed and the target is binding at EU level. Currently, the share of renewables stands at about 14 percent.

- Energy savings. We commit to an increase of at least 27 percent in energy efficiency. This figure is indicative and compares to 2030 projections based on current consumption and technology. It will be reviewed by 2020, having in mind an EU level of 30 percent. Energy savings are about changing behaviour and about innovation. Saving energy also is the surest way of reducing our energy dependency.

- Energy linkage. The objective is to have electricity interconnection worth 15 percent by 2030. This means that for each 100 megawatts (MW) it produces, a member state should have the infrastructure to be able to import or export 15 MW. (Reporting by Alastair Macdonald)

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSL6N0SJ00B20141024
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Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2014, 02:46:34 PM »
Poland, which relies on coal for 90 percent of its electricity, successfully put the brakes on the EU's climate policy. This shows some of the weaknesses of the EU's structures. With regard to energy and climate policy, not only the overall framework, but every single proposal by the EU Commission has to be agreed on unanimously by the Council of Ministers. That meant Poland could threaten to veto any decision and derail ambitious proposals from Germany and others.

Yet Poland has had plenty of time to realize coal is bad for the climate and has to be replaced. And the country's insistence on limiting energy efficiency goals is completely illogical. Better insulation and other energy-saving measures are good for the climate - and the economy, no matter what source of energy is used.

http://www.dw.de/opinion-eu-abandons-stance-as-climate-leader/a-18019656

Disappointing, to say the least.  Can other, bigger-emitting countries do any better?
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Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2014, 04:49:58 PM »
Brings to mind the Top Gear disclaimer:  "Ambitious but rubbish."

"@StollmeyerEU: Great page with links to pre- & post EU Summit coverage, quotes & reactions to the #EU2030 deal"

http://t.co/rjGhYKa4bR
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Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2014, 02:53:37 PM »
The IPCC Synthesis Report and the three underlying Working Group Reports are now available for download at http://www.ipcc.ch/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2014, 02:57:34 PM »
Statement from 350.org:
COPENHAGEN — One month after unprecedented numbers of people took to the streets to demand climate action as part of the Peoples’ Climate Mobilisation, the world’s scientists have issued their clearest call yet for bold action to address the climate crisis.

May Boeve, Executive Director of 350.org, issued the following statement:

“The scientists have done their job, now it’s the politicians’ turn. World leaders have everything they need to act: clear scientific evidence, a strong economic case, and huge public support. The only thing they lack is the will.”

The report states, with a high degree of confidence, “Substantial reductions in emissions would require large changes in investment patterns.” That conclusion will add momentum to the growing fossil fuel divestment campaign, according to Boeve:

“The report strengthens the case for fossil fuel divestment. It clearly states that the vast majority of coal, oil and gas must remain underground and that investments in the sector must fall by tens of billions of dollars a year. The fossil fuel industry’s business plan and a liveable planet are simply incompatible.”

The report will also help in the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline, a 1,700 mile project that would take tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Boeve added:

“This report is another nail in Keystone XL’s coffin. The US played a leading role in shaping this report, which says we must stop developing unconventional fossil fuel reserves like tar sands. It would be deeply hypocritical to turn around and approve a carbon bomb like Keystone XL.”

http://350.org/press-release/ipcc-report-strengthens-case-against-fossil-fuel-industry-350-org-says/
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crandles

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2014, 03:04:56 PM »
Does there seem a bit of a disconnect between

The unrestricted use of fossil fuels should be phased out by 2100

per BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-29855884

Current CO2eq at something like 478, and

and IPCC
Mitigation scenarios in which it is likely that the temperature change caused by anthropogenic GHG emissions can be kept to less than 2 °C relative to pre-industrial levels are characterized by atmospheric concentrations in 2100 of about 450 ppm CO2eq (high confidence).


Even allowing as likely as not in place of likely only puts the allowable CO2eq level up to 500 but that is more like 11 years away rather than 86 years. Maybe 530 is allowable as a temporary overshoot.


Is the explanation a substantial hope? / trust? / faith? in CCS?

Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2014, 01:41:42 PM »
Is the explanation a substantial hope? / trust? / faith? in CCS?

Or, lots and lots of trees.... 
And a desperate hope that the oceans don't start emitting carbon instead of absorbing it.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2014, 01:48:12 PM »
Ban Ki-moon: World leaders are ready to sign climate deal

Scientists and governments have worked intensively over the last week to prepare the report, meeting once again in Copenhagen.

The location has been a bitter reminder for some of the 2009 conference, branded at the time as “No Hopenhagen” thanks to its failure to secure a deal committing governments to meaningful action on climate change.

A recent round of talks in Bonn ended in stalemate, with countries unable to agree on what their contributions to a proposed 2015 climate deal could look like.

But also speaking at the IPCC launch, Manuel Pulgar Vidal, environment minister of Peru and president of this year’s set of main UN negotiations in Lima said he felt hopeful about the prospects of success.

“We are in a completely different process in contrast to what we have in Copenhagen five years ago. We are closer to the science, with more actors like business and civil society.”

http://www.rtcc.org/2014/11/02/ban-ki-moon-world-leaders-are-ready-to-sign-climate-deal
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Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2014, 01:57:05 PM »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2014, 06:16:06 PM »
John Ibbitson says the next climate deal is doomed.  But there's another way to proceed.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/the-next-climate-deal-is-doomed-but-our-planet-isnt-doomed-yet/article21300990/
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P-maker

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2014, 12:07:21 AM »
CCS Tax on fossil fuels

According to information presented during an IEA CCS workshop in Sydney, Australia in February 2012, the following approximate cost estimates for planned new Carbon Capture and Storage plants World-wide were provided:

CCS based on coal (a few R&D demo sites) was estimated to cost about 40 USD per ton of CO2, when fully developed.

CCS based on natural gas (a few operational sites) was roughly estimated to cost about 20 USD per ton of CO2.

CCS based on oil (no real experiments apart from a few EOR sites in North America) could be set at a cost somewhere in between (30 USD per ton of CO2).

Coincidentally, these preliminary cost estimates are fairly well aligned with the relative CO2 emissions from the various fuel types. These cost estimates are also roughly equivalent to the sulphur content of these fuels. And to some extent also the environmental burdens attached to these fuels (water and energy used in extraction processes, and air pollution and aerosols during combustion).

Contacts with major shipping companies have made it clear that a global CCS tax on bunker fuel would be preferable to a patchwork of regional Carbon trading schemes. Considering the environmental problems with this type of fuel (sulphur, NOx and particle pollution), the CCS tax should not be set lower than 50 USD per ton of CO2 emitted. As an example, in order to secure a transparent and non-bureaucratic system, the tax should be collected by a limited number of bunker fuel traders world-wide under strict IMO control.

New fuels have become prominent players on the markets in recent years. First of all, the fracking technology has led to methane production and associated emissions, mainly from US sources. It is estimated that CO2-equivalent emissions from producing and burning of this type of gas is approximately twice as high as conventional natural gas (thus a CCS cost around 40 USD per ton CO2 would bring it on par with coal).

In Germany and other European countries, the phase-out of nuclear power plants has led to re-opening of lignite (brown coal) open cast mining. Also Indonesia, Russia, India and China have traditionally exploited this type of fossil fuel. In October 2014 Canada announced the opening of the World’s first commercial CCS plant, which is based on local brown coal resources and local EOR projects. The plant has received CAD 240 million in public support  out of a total construction budget of 1.5 billion CAD.
( see http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/01/canada-switches-on-worldsfirst-carbon-capture-power-plant ).  No production figures have yet been released from this plant. Brown coal is – both from an environmental point of view and regarding greenhouse gas emissions – considered a worse pollutant than traditional coal. Assuming a 50 % higher burden on the atmosphere, the CCS cost (or subsidy) could thus be set at 60 USD per ton of CO2.

Finally, the extraction of liquid petroleum products from tar sands primarily in Canada is generally considered one of the most in-efficient and dirtiest ways of producing liquid fossil fuels. It has recently been estimated that total CO2 emissions from the traded oil products are 3-4 times higher than from conventional oil products. This would imply that the CCS tax on this particular product should be higher than above 100 USD per ton of CO2 emitted.

It is thus suggested to create a level playing field between fossil fuel types, which take into account both environmental and climate change impacts. The CCS Tax system should be transparent and easy to implement.  It should set clear targets for the cost of energy in 2020 to help businesses, consumers and governments in their investment planning. The following tentative  tax levels are suggested to take effect in 2020. The system could start already in 2016 at a 50 % level, increasing the tax by 10 % points each year until 2020.

Fuel Type                    CCS Tax                       Global emissions          Estimated revenue
                                 (USD/t CO2)                 (Gt CO2)                      (Billion USD)

Tar Sand                      100                                  1                                 1
Brown coal                     60                                  3                                 2 
Bunker Fuel                    50                                 2                                  1
Coal & fracked gas          40                                12                                48
Oil                                 30                                12                                36
Natural Gas                    20                                  6                                12

Total  (annual)                                                   36                               100*

*Which is close to the estimated Green Fund pledges made at COP15 ~ 100 Billion USD annually by 2020.

Summary

A gradually implemented global CCS tax along these lines could be negotiated up to and agreed during COP 21 in Paris next year. Not to say that the revenue should be used for CCS projects alone. Other ways of spending the dividend from such a scheme could be negotiated in a parallel negotiation process. But, in order to create a level playing field for competing fossil fuel technologies in a transparent and predictable global system, global policy-makers should design such a scheme to help governments and energy-intensive industries decide on future investments now.

To some extent it is expected, that the revenue will be used to fund time-bound support schemes to implement new renewable energy and energy efficient technologies. These investments will go hand in hand with adaptation measures World-wide. All these measures will make our societies more resilient and contribute to global disaster risk reduction over the next few decades.

SATire

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2014, 10:07:14 AM »
This morning news on the radio in Germany: "The world largest climate killers USA and China very surprisingly agreed on goals for CO2 emissions". Those goals seems to be not very ambigious and scheduled for 2025 or 2030 but it was concluded, that this agreement could result in some hope, that Paris 2015 is not dead from beginning as everybody is thinking here after all the other failed conferences...   

Some German on-line media: http://www.zeit.de/wirtschaft/2014-11/klimaschutz-usa-china
http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/natur/klimawandel-china-und-usa-einigen-sich-auf-klimaziele-a-1002398.html

So - there may be some hope for the first time after 1995.

Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2014, 02:41:48 PM »
The U.S. and China just announced a significant climate agreement! 
This sees two of the biggest global emitters acting on climate -- even if the Paris 2015 deal underwhelms -- and provides impetus for other countries to step up as well.

Beijing (CNN) -- At the end of the APEC trade summit in China, U.S. President Barack Obama announced a climate change agreement with Chinese President Xi Jinping that would cut both countries' greenhouse gas emissions by close to a third over the next two decades.

Under the deal, the United States would cut its carbon emissions between 26-28% -- from levels established in 2005 -- by 2025. China would peak its carbon emissions no later than 2030 and would also increase the use of non-fossil fuels to 20% by 2030.

"As the world's two largest economies, energy consumers and emitters of greenhouse gases, we have a special responsibility to lead the global effort against climate change," Obama said Wednesday in a joint press conference with Xi.

Obama said he hopes the announcement will spur other nations to tackle climate change.

http://m.motherjones.com/environment/2014/11/obama-just-announced-historic-climate-deal-china

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/11/climate-rules-obama-112792.html

http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/11/politics/us-china-climate-change-agreement/index.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/12/world/asia/china-us-xi-obama-apec.html?emc=edit_na_20141111&nlid=38021197&_r=2
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Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2014, 12:16:30 AM »
And another good article by Ben Adler of Grist:

According to a statement from the White House press office, the U.S. will reduce emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, with “best efforts” to hit the higher end of that range. China will have its CO2 emissions peak around 2030, “make best efforts to peak early,” and increase the share of non-fossil fuels in its energy portfolio to “around” 20 percent by 2030. You might notice a lot of wiggle room in that language. There’s more. The White House release refers to these goals as statements of “intent.” They don’t promise or even “agree” to hit these targets, they merely “intend” to.

That may sound a little weak, but it’s necessary. Remember, foreign treaties require approval from a two-thirds supermajority of the U.S. Senate before they can be ratified. There’s no way Senate Republicans would vote for an emission-reduction treaty. But by merely jointly announcing with China their intentions, the Obama administration avoids signing an actual treaty. So the Senate can’t formally stop this agreement.
 
http://grist.org/climate-energy/new-u-s-china-climate-deal-is-a-game-changer/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2014, 01:51:00 AM »
More on the China-U.S. agreement:

@EricHolthaus: China Tries to Save Earth; Republicans Furious http://t.co/Fxng3K4g31

@EricHolthaus: If China follows through with new climate pledge (and if everyone else joins in), world now on pace for 2.5ºC vs 4ºC http://t.co/5Aexr2gsg7

@EricHolthaus: China's 'airpocalypse' may turn out to be one of the best things to ever happen in the fight against climate change. http://t.co/gjgc3OQPSA

Slate:
@EricHolthaus: Slate on climate deal
http://t.co/5Aexr2gsg7
Airpocalypse
http://t.co/gjgc3OQPSA
Coal
http://t.co/4FDDWQ5KZ2
Politics
http://t.co/cbGmrwdP2d

ThinkProgress:
@re_ari: US-China deal in 4 stories: http://t.co/984he8gvkF
Energy http://t.co/vg91tPSqOh
Science http://t.co/4o5MNbgYvF
Coal http://t.co/PKMG1DBDUi
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Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2014, 01:53:25 AM »
Carbon Tracker on how the China and U.S. pledges differ from previous statements:
http://climateactiontracker.org/assets/publications/briefing_papers/CAT_release_20141112Final.pdf
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Bob Wallace

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2014, 07:31:09 AM »
This morning news on the radio in Germany: "The world largest climate killers USA and China very surprisingly agreed on goals for CO2 emissions". Those goals seems to be not very ambigious and scheduled for 2025 or 2030 but it was concluded, that this agreement could result in some hope, that Paris 2015 is not dead from beginning as everybody is thinking here after all the other failed conferences...

First you agree that something needs to be done.

Then you agree that you will each do something.

Then, over time, you ratchet up what each will do.  Change starts slow and then accelerates....

SATire

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2014, 10:15:08 AM »
Bob,

I think I understood well, that this announcement is a big step for USA and it is one of the very limited possibilities USA could do at all against climate change today, since there is hardly any tradition in agreements due to the usual policital fights and blockings. So I really appreciate that there is a now goal at all. So at least it is looking like there could be some will on your side.

But it is a bit annoying to read this pathetic background music from the parallel universe of silly Hollywood movies. E.g. if we would take words like this
 
"As the world's two largest economies, energy consumers and emitters of greenhouse gases, we have a special responsibility to lead the global effort against climate change," Obama said Wednesday in a joint press conference with Xi.

Obama said he hopes the announcement will spur other nations to tackle climate change.
litterally, then we should stopp all efforts in EU until 2030 to give USA a small chance to lead the efforts against climate change by that time.
Of course that will not happen and we should try to ignore that diplomatic bullshit words and keep on trying harder. That roadmap is anyway well outside any track towards a 2°C goal. So there is some hope now. But finaly any hope will die because reality will be different.

Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #25 on: November 13, 2014, 04:03:01 PM »
...
But it is a bit annoying to read this pathetic background music from the parallel universe of silly Hollywood movies. E.g. if we would take words like this
 
"As the world's two largest economies, energy consumers and emitters of greenhouse gases, we have a special responsibility to lead the global effort against climate change," Obama said Wednesday in a joint press conference with Xi.

Obama said he hopes the announcement will spur other nations to tackle climate change.
litterally, then we should stopp all efforts in EU until 2030 to give USA a small chance to lead the efforts against climate change by that time.
...
I can understand how those words would be annoying to folks in other countries and cities that are way ahead of the U.S. in their clean energy efforts!  I think Obama's words were meant more as encouragement to Americans: let's stop lagging behind; let's catch up to, and encourage, everyone else -- and stop being a model of inaction for those countries still not engaged.  Other countries are moving; why aren't we?
  Given the lethargy of many Americans on this subject, he's likely trying to harken back to the proud old days of the space race and a once powerful economy.
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SATire

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #26 on: November 13, 2014, 05:40:05 PM »
Sigmetnow,

I did understand very well from your words, that Obama has some reasons to use annoying words to please someone at home. It is as easy for poeple here to see the things from US perspective as the other way around - so it is not a big deal.

Nevertheless, it is annoying to realize, that annoying words are necessary just to please the US poeple...  That is not a good sign if such tricks are performed in foreign affairs at a place in Asia to prepare a world conference. If even the US diplomatic poeple can not see that difficulties I think they should be substituted by normal poeple with average empathy. Usually it is not helpful to demonstrate hubris in foreign affairs.

Bob Wallace

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #27 on: November 13, 2014, 09:34:20 PM »
Whether Europe likes it or not, the US is seen as "the leader". 

(BTW, we get a bit tired of being put in that position all the time.  How about someone else jump in and lead the fight against ISIS?  Why was there a call for the US to come straighten out the European mess in Bosnia/Serbia/wherever?  Why do we have to send our military to Africa to fight Ebola?  End of rant....)

The US is seen as the leader in many areas.  That's just the way it is.

China and India have been seen as the big roadblocks.  Or the big "gonna make it fail" countries because if they weren't willing to fight climate change the rest of the world probably couldn't carry their share for them.

Now PBO has announced that he's going to speed up GHG reductions in the US (we're down 10% already).  Now China has committed to peaking and dropping.  Those are corners turned.  Appreciate them.  Put them in perspective.


SATire

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #28 on: November 15, 2014, 01:26:24 PM »
  Those are corners turned.  Appreciate them.  Put them in perspective.

Bob, I did appreciate, that Obama turned the corners - please read my first post on this topic. It is very good, that Obama quit fighting against an agreement on CO2 emission as USA did since the Kyoto conference. If USA stops being the biggest roadblock that opens the door for other countries also to join an agreement. China is a candidate for this since some time - they allways said that they would join an agreement if USA would do so, too.

However - to call that announcment a sign of leadership is very strange. From here it is even not clear if Obama leads USA in this question. Does he or USA really lead the world in CO2 reduction from your point of view? Is reallity looking so different on both sides of the Atlantic?

No doubt USA is today the most powerfull nation in the world. That is also seen in Europe. But leadership is more than power - it needs some goal or strategy and it needs some will, to motivate others to follow by choice. Such things are not visible here. If you think I am wrong please explain.

And please do not argue with US leadership in near-east. If there is any strategy involved I would be glad to hear about it. Since the overthrough of Mossadegh (the only democracy next to Israel in that region that time) USA was busy fighting its previous friends against former enemies. Is there a strategy in Syria? After fighting Assad last year and ISIS this year maybe PKK next year? You also mentioned Yugoslavia in the 90ies - it was a good thing that USA helped EU with their long term goal to attract more countries and to fight the murder. But today - after the US "fuck the EU" diplomacy and the friendly-fire spying, the "strategy" could also be just to offend Russia. I hope that is not true but I can not know. So I would be gratefull for any explanations to understand which kind of leadership we should appreciate.

Finally, I would be glad if nobody would jump in to take over the leadership in the world. A modern participative leadership would try to save the world with China, India, Russia, USA, Europe and as many others as possible together with equal responsibility, duty and rights. You may blame this boring "old European words" - but the to-do is to prepare the last international climate conference with a minimal chance for all of us. So please do not polarize against that fragile challenge.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2014, 01:33:41 PM by SATire »

Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #29 on: November 15, 2014, 03:02:08 PM »
SATire,
Perhaps the words in this video are closer to what you wish to hear.  This is a speech President Obama just gave to students at the University of Queensland, and so is addressed to a non-U.S. audience.

He speaks of an American presence in the Pacific -- but for assistance, not for conquest.  And of cooperation and support for human rights, the rule of law, the freedom of religion, and why today a problem in one country may affect the whole world.  The several-minute section on climate change (which receives the most applause of any subject in the speech) starts about 25 minutes in.  (In his introduction, he gives a shout out about the Australian 97% climate change consensus study.)

http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=52ZPlDSmEj4
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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #30 on: November 15, 2014, 06:54:39 PM »
Does (PBO) or USA really lead the world in CO2 reduction from your point of view?

No, not at all.  I doubt anyone in the US who has been paying attention would make that claim. 

I'm not sure what head of government stands out as a leader in the fight against climate change.  While Germany, Denmark and other countries have installed a lot of renewables I don't see their presidents/prime ministers standing out from the crowd and encouraging the world to move faster.

In terms of a country, Spain did a lot for a while.  Germany has had a good run but might be slowing.  Australia did great but now may be going backwards.  Things seem to run in starts and stops.

I don't expect to see a dominate "leader".  It's more a case of all countries changing directions, some faster than others.  Some spurting ahead and then encountering a problem that slows their progress. 

What I expect is that with each passing year there will be an evolution of the zeitgeist that moves everyone more toward reducing our climatic problems and we'll all move in that direction as an immense disorganized group.

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #31 on: November 15, 2014, 07:02:58 PM »
I'm passing on the political discussion.  I, personally, can't sort out the Palestinian/Israeli problem.  I'm at the point of saying to hell with both sides.  These idiots have had far, far too much time to sort out their issues.

I recognize the disruptive role the US has played in the Middle East.  We're going to continue to pay a price for putting oil ahead of principals.

TeaPotty

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #32 on: November 15, 2014, 10:15:14 PM »
DeSmogBlog has posted the most balanced (imho) assessment of the US-China Climate deal and its larger context: the good, the bad, and the ugly. (Posted in 2 threads)



China-U.S. Climate Deal Is Historic, But On Its Own Is Not Enough
http://www.desmogblog.com/2014/11/14/u-s-china-climate-deal-historic-its-own-not-enough


Quotes
it is historic. For the first time ever, China has agreed to put a cap on the emissions produced by its rapid, voracious economic expansion. While it's certainly not true that the U.S. taking responsibility for its share of global warming pollution wouldn't have had a meaningful impact anyway, it also can't be ignored that averting runaway climate change would be nearly impossible if China's emissions keep growing unabated

...is not the same thing as saying that the deal President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping struck is enough to get the job done... the emissions targets themselves, which come nowhere near what climate scientists say are needed to prevent catastrophic warming. We must lower global warming pollution 80% below 1990 levels by mid-century, yet the US is still using 2005 as its baseline, and has only committed to lowering emissions 26-28% by 2025. China, meanwhile, needs to see its emissions peak by 2020, climate scientists say, but has only committed to doing so by 2030.

“The net result is not victory,” writes Peter Lee in Counterpunch, “it’s probably the recipe for a global temperature rise of 4 degrees which is much higher than the 2 degree rise that everybody said would be very, very bad.”

There's some fuzzy logic at work in how emissions will be tracked, too, according to DeSmog research fellow Steve Horn: “As the saying goes, read the fine print: nuclear energy will be accounted for as ‘zero emission’ and it looks like carbon capture and storage (CCS) will too, aka ‘clean coal,’ or ’21st Century Coal’ as the U.S. has preferred to call it in terms of its wheeling and dealing with China.”

Meanwhile, a major push to export the U.S.'s fracking boom to China is underway, which further complicates the matter. China is looking to exploit its vast shale gas resources as a means of lowering its reliance on coal and addressing its smog problem, at a time when the U.S. is only beginning to grapple with the true extent of emissions from its own fracking boom.

Another cause for concern: even the emissions reduction commitments in the deal, weak as they may be, are non-binding, so there are no legal or other mechanisms stipulated to actually hold both countries accountable. As Bill McKibben says, “In effect President Obama is writing an IOU to be cashed by future presidents and Congresses (and Xi is doing the same for future Politburos). If they take the actions to meet the targets, then it's meaningful, but for now it's a paper promise. And since physics is uninterested in spin, all the hard work lies ahead.”



Naomi Klein points out that, “by tying the emission reduction targets of both countries together in a bilateral deal, the President is making sure that his successor will have to weigh any desire to break these commitments against the risks of alienating America most important trading partner.”

The signal it sends to the international community could well be the most important aspect. It has already put pressure on the world's third-largest emitter, India, to develop its own strategy for lowering emissions... Another good sign is China's commitment to getting 20% of its energy from zero-emission sources by 2030... because they've revolutionized the production of solar energy, driving down the cost of panels by 90 percent or more in the last decade. Who knows how much cheaper this commitment will drive solar prices.


Naomi Klein's new book This Changes Everything makes the case that globalization based on neoliberal economic policies is essentially the antithesis of climate action, and she reiterated that point in her response to the China-U.S. deal:

As I argue in the book, free trade deals and World Trade Organization rules are increasingly being used to undercut important climate policies, by blocking subsidies for renewable energy and other supports for the clean energy sector. The mindless expansion of cross-border trade also fuels carbon-intensive consumption and emissions growth, and NAFTA-style pacts bestow corporations with outrageous powers to challenge national policies at international tribunals. Climate objectives could yet be undermined by the US-China deal on high-tech goods, which still has to be approved by the WTO, or by a massive new regional trade agreement like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.


Republicans have already said they're gunning for the emissions standards in the Clean Power Plan, and have shown their willingness to shut down the entire federal government to get their way in the past.

Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #33 on: November 19, 2014, 08:19:54 PM »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #34 on: November 21, 2014, 06:57:36 PM »
Arguments against the pushback on the UK pledge to the Green Climate Fund.

"People recognise that we live in a global economy where when something happens in another part of the world it can impact on our lives here. The idea we should be isolationist Little Englanders is absolute nonsense."

'No magic drawbridge'

Mr Davey said there would be a UK member on the board of the Green Climate Fund to ensure the money is spent on helping the poorest countries adapt to climate change and industrialise in a low carbon way.

And Lord Stern, a former government adviser on the economics of climate change, said: "To suggest that we must choose between investing in flood defences in the UK or helping international efforts to tackle the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing sea levels to rise along British coasts and leading the heavier rainfall is to misunderstand both the phenomenon itself and the basics of policy.

"Reducing risk and managing the effects of climate change must go hand in hand. To suggest otherwise is foolish."

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-30126953
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Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #35 on: November 23, 2014, 02:05:33 PM »
Really hard to see how Australia's PM Abbott can keep up his strident support for coal and adversity to climate action.

This writer feels much the same way:
http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2014/nov/21/tony-abbott-keeps-digging-himself-in-deeper-and-it-makes-no-sense
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Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #36 on: November 24, 2014, 02:04:50 AM »
Los Angeles, California, will host a summit for Chinese and U.S. cities to launch carbon emissions cuts.
http://www.latimes.com/local/cityhall/la-me-garcetti-china-20141122-story.html
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Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #37 on: November 25, 2014, 01:17:23 PM »
The world's fossil fuels will "obviously" have to stay in the ground in order to solve global warming, Barack Obama's climate change envoy said on Monday.

In the clearest sign to date the administration sees no long-range future for fossil fuel, the state department climate change envoy, Todd Stern, said the world would have no choice but to forgo developing reserves of oil, coal and gas.

http://m.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2383277/obama-s-climate-change-envoy-fossil-fuels-will-have-to-stay-in-the-ground
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Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #38 on: November 26, 2014, 05:47:24 PM »
Negotiators weigh in on what it will take to make the numbers add up.
Franz Perrez, Switzerland:

We see the process as following the four C’s.

The first C would be “clarification”, so that we understand what the specific mitigation targets are, and commitments or intended contributions on mitigation, and understanding with regard to emissions: how much emissions can we expect afterwards? Also with regard to the effort that is behind these numbers.

The second C would be to “compile”, or aggregate these different mitigation targets.

The third C would be to “compare” it with what is needed to be on track with a 2C objective.

The fourth C would be a process of “cooperation”, to close the remaining gap through international cooperation. This means for us it is also important that these intended nationally determined mitigation contributions are unconditional, that these are contributions that parties are willing to take independently of support they’re receiving, because support will then be the cooperative tool to close the remaining gap.

http://www.rtcc.org/2014/11/25/un-climate-negotiators-outline-priorities-for-lima/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #39 on: November 29, 2014, 06:43:18 PM »
US-China pact has shifted the dynamics of climate talks
India is looking for new allies, Peru wants to bring Latin Americans together and Europe needs to get its mojo back.

http://www.rtcc.org/2014/11/28/us-china-pact-has-shifted-the-dynamics-of-climate-talks/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #40 on: November 30, 2014, 07:12:33 PM »
One year to save the planet from climate change disaster, UK energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey warns

Agreeing global deal to cut carbon emissions next year is only way to protect "way of life we take for granted", energy secretary says, ahead of UN climate change summit in Lima
...
"If each of the important ministers leaves Lima feeling confident that all the others are committed to making a new deal in Paris that will enable the 2C target to be met, then the prospects of making that deal will be significantly higher.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/11262835/One-year-to-save-the-planet-from-climate-change-disaster-Ed-Davey-warns.html
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Bob Wallace

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #41 on: December 01, 2014, 12:21:12 AM »
That seems to be hyperbole to me.

We could continue as we are doing right now for a few more years and then work that much harder the following years in order to hit 2030, 2050 and 2100 targets.

Obviously the smart thing would be to not delay.  And the smarter thing would have been to start many years earlier.

Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #42 on: December 02, 2014, 03:26:32 PM »
Global Climate Talks Open with Push for Human Rights
The U.N. climate negotiations are no longer just about emissions limits but also social justice.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/global-climate-talks-open-with-push-for-human-rights/
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viddaloo

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #43 on: December 02, 2014, 06:10:46 PM »
Global Climate Talks Open with Push for Human Rights
The U.N. climate negotiations are no longer just about emissions limits but also social justice.

Right.... Pair every last sock first, then we can start thinking about this climate thing later.
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viddaloo

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #44 on: December 02, 2014, 06:20:30 PM »
OMG, it's the Empathy Crowd.

"When we started off talking about climate change, it was climate scientists talking about tons of carbon, and degrees of warming, and inches of sea level rise," said Tara Shine, head of research and development for the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice. "That is all perfectly correct, but people have more empathy and are more concerned when you talk about climate in terms of people right from the start."
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Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #45 on: December 02, 2014, 08:45:24 PM »
The U.S. is backing a plan that lets each country decide the emissions cuts it will make to curb global warming.
Despite more than 20 years of international discussions about addressing climate change, the world's emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases are higher than ever. Efforts have stumbled, in part, over the stringency and feasibility of emissions cuts. In the past, big polluters such as the United States were mandated by a U.N. accord to make deep cuts, a top-down approach that Congress rejected.

This time, the U.S. is backing a bottom-up plan that lets each country determine the emissions cuts it will make, Stern said. Still, countries would have to accept other binding conditions, such as a schedule for announcing planned cuts, and uniform and transparent reporting standards. Further, countries would have to agree to no backsliding: Emissions targets set every five or 10 years would have to be increasingly more ambitious.

http://www.latimes.com/world/mexico-americas/la-fg-us-climate-20141202-story.html
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viddaloo

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #46 on: December 02, 2014, 09:04:27 PM »
Yup. It's like saying people can bring their six–pack plastic and cans and garbage back from the forest if they feel like it, but if they would rather leave their litter out in the free nature, that is also their free choice as human beings, the 'wise ape'.

The conclusion is that this 'climate thing' is something insignificant, something people can do in their spare time if and only if they are so inclined, but no bad thing will happen to them if they simply don't care (this time around either).

The 'carbon limiting process' till now is impossible to separate from no negotiating process at all. We could just as well in blissful ignorance all just have tried to pollute as much as we could, the difference for the atmosphere would certainly be minuscule.

Oh, well. I guess all it boils down to is: Don't Believe The Hype.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #47 on: December 03, 2014, 01:29:30 AM »
Pollution forced China into climate change action.  Will India be next?
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/03/upshot/the-next-big-climate-question-will-india-follow-china.html
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Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #48 on: December 06, 2014, 04:51:15 PM »
As negotiators gather in Peru for a critical round of climate talks, U.S. delegates are straining to explain what they call a “counterintuitive” reality: For next year’s global climate agreement to be effective, commitments made under it must not be legally binding.

Still, there are plenty of signs that there’s room for a global accord to emerge, with every faction — from the poorest to the richest — finding a comfort zone thanks to the 24-year-old clause in the original climate treaty laying out nations’ “common but differentiated responsibilities” (here’s a great explainer from McGill’s Center for International Sustainable Development Law).

http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/12/05/the-soft-path-to-a-climate-agreement-from-lima-to-paris/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« Reply #49 on: December 06, 2014, 05:37:14 PM »
New approaches at the Lima talks.
Zero Emissions

Talk of limiting warming of the planet to 2 degrees Celsius is giving way to talk of reducing greenhouse gases emissions to zero this century. It's the same goal, just put more bluntly: total decarbonization of the world's energy economy within a generation.

All eyes are on this revolutionary prize.

Unless the world attains zero emissions, it will miss the 2-degree goal. On the present course, the planet is likely to warm considerably more than that.

So it's not that negotiators are giving up on the temperature target. But it is seen as too abstract, requiring complex math to translate into concrete policies. Depending on how sensitive the climate system is to carbon dioxide pollution, the 2-degree goal probably requires keeping CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere below 450 parts per million. That means staying within a fixed "carbon budget"—one that the world will bust in just a few decades unless emissions are reined in severely. ...

All those numbers are hard to fathom. So climate hawks have started to use a much starker and comprehensible number: zero.

http://insideclimatenews.org/carbon-copy/20141202/biggest-hurdles-plaguing-global-climate-accord-explained
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