End section of a statement by Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the closing of the Copenhagen Climate Convention.
“A global agreement in Copenhegen, is not just about tackling climate change. It will constitute a new era in multilateral relations. It will be a unique occasion to construct a global solution based on mutual responsibility to act and to assist. People demand action.
Goverment must realize that it is in their interest to act. Government will fall if they fail. Politics must not be in the way of necessary solutions. The world needs better goverment.
So in conclusion, let me repeat the key messages:
Urgency. We must come to an agreement here in Copenhagen in December.
James Hansen fields a question during one of the many parallel sessions during the Copenhagen climate conference, a meeting aimed at consolidating the new scientific findings that have emerged since the fourth IPCC report of 2007. He recommends phasing out coal use as part of a strategy to avoid the positive feedbacks which emerge as the climate warms.
Today a three day conference on climate change begins here in a drizzly and cold, yet still ‘wonderful’ Copenhagen. This event is part of the build up to the pivotal November-December COP-15 meetings which will attempt to draft a new international agreement to replace the Kyoto protocol which is due to expires in 2012.
A major goal of this conference is to present the new scientific evidence and findings since the IPCC report of 2007. Since much of that report was based on work from 2006, there are essentially three years of work to review and then present to the policy makers attending the November-December meetings.
The program of speakers and scientists, including Dr. James E. Hansen of NASA, covers a dense collection of scientific and relevant social topics ranging from ‘cryosphere, instability, seal level rise’, ‘vulnerability in carbon sinks’, to ‘sustainable urban deveolopment’. Promises to be quite an education.
Copenhagen harbor Nyhavn where Hans Christian Anderson once lived.
‘Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula) mounted a military-style crackdown on deforestation in the Amazon in January — just a month after the government proclaimed that deforestation rates had dropped 59% over the previous three years. The action was prompted by alarming new satellite data from the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) in São José dos Campos, indicating that clear-cutting is once again on the rise.’
A glimpse into some of the politics behind the science:
‘Several authors of the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the projected effects of global warming now say they regret not pushing harder to include an updated diagram of climate risks in the report. The diagram, known as “burning embers,” is an updated version of one that was a central feature of the panel’s preceding climate report in 2001. The main opposition to including the diagram in 2007, they say, came from officials representing the United States, China, Russia and Saudi Arabia.’
Yet another example of the environmental consequences of military deployments. Always reassuring to hear that standard refrain, ‘releasing no radioactivity’.
‘LONDON – Nuclear-armed submarines from Britain and France collided deep under the Atlantic Ocean earlier this month, causing damage to both vessels but releasing no radioactivity, a British official said Monday.’
‘Fresh data has shown that greenhouse gas emissions have grown by an average of 3.5 percent a year from 2000 to 2007, Field told reporters at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
That’s “far more rapid than we expected” and more than three times the 0.9 growth rate in the 1990’s, he said.’
‘In June 2008, NorthWind added five more turbines, raising the wind farm’s capacity to 33 MW, enabling the company to provide half the province’s power needs.
Mr. Jacobsen attributes NorthWind’s success to a combination of three factors: right timing (NorthWind started the project when wind turbines were cheaper), right financing, and support from the World Bank through its Prototype Carbon Fund (PCF), which enabled NorthWind to generate more resources through the sale of “carbon emission reduction credits” under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol.’
When economic turmoil is so severe, it really ought to be considered as a key factor in environmental policy decisions. For example, how can a economic/political system teetering on collapse be relied upon to maintain nuclear power plants? Apparently last September the whole global economony almost went south – and we’re still not out of the woods either:
From Daily Kos:
According to Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D) (PA-11), in mid-September of 2008, the United States of America came just three hours away from the collapse of the entire economy. In a span of 2 hours, $550 billion was drawn out of money market accounts in an electronic run on the banks.
Rep. Kanjorski: “It would have been the end of our economic system and our political system as we know it.”