To Save Water, Drive Less It takes an average of 3 liters (0.8 gallon) of water to make one liter (about 1 quart) of gasoline. Unconventional oil such as that from Canada’s tar sands needs up to 55…
The moon has no atmosphere so it is scorching hot (+100C) during the day and bitterly cold (-150C) at night. The Earth has an atmosphere made up of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide (CO2) and other gases. Over 150 years ago scientists proved that CO2 traps heat from the sun. We also know without any doubt that burning fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal emits CO2.
Measurements, not computer models or theories, measurements show that there is now 46% more CO2 in the atmosphere than 150 years ago before massive use of fossil fuels. That extra CO2 is like putting another blanket on at night even though you are already nice and warm.
The Earth is now 1.0 C hotter on average according to the latest measurements. Heat is a form of energy and with so much more energy in our atmosphere our weather system is becoming supercharged resulting in stronger storms, worse heat waves, major changes in when and where rain falls and more.
[For story behind this explanation – a Russian journalist and a bar are involved – click here. (only 320 words!)]
World hopes to improve the Master Plan to keep warming to 1.5C
The best the Paris Agreement can do to control climate change is to keep the warming to 2.7C according to the international Climate Action Tracker. That is assuming every country meets their individual CO2 emission reduction target does and no natural feedbacks will speed the heating of the planet.
Other analysis find the Agreement will result in global temperatures rising to 3.0C or more. Even 2.7C is far too dangerous for humanity and most natural ecosystems we all depend on. Coral reefs will not survive scientists have warned.
Keeping warming below 2.0 will be more challenging – 1.5 even more so. This something humanity has yet to fully understand.
Here’s some things that will have to change:
* No more exploration for more oil, gas, coal
* The current $650 billion to $1 trillion/a year in fossil fuel subsides shift to alternative energy
* No new oil or gas wells, no new coal mines
* Sharply reduce the manufacture of anything that requires fossil fuel or convert them to run on renewable energy including cars and trucks, buildings, power plants and so on. See Study: Stop Building Carbon Infrastructure by 2018
That’s just for starters.
Climate science uses hard numbers. Those numbers say Fossil fuel use has to go to net zero sometime between 2060 and 2070. There is no negotiation.
I’m really thrilled Canada was able to play an active part of it.
— Catherine McKenna, Minister of environment and climate change
Years from now, today may very well be the day our children look back to as the beginning of an ambitious global effort to finally fight climate change. I am proud of the role Canada is playing in reaching this historic and balanced agreement, and I am confident that the world will rise to the challenge of addressing climate change.
— Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
Canada: What a difference an election can make
The historic Paris Agreement is front page news in most of Canadian media in part because Canada’s new minister of environment and climate change Catherine McKenna was a key player in the final outcome. Moreover McKenna endorsed the 1.5C target, and lobbied to ensure human and indigenous rights were part of the agreement.
In Paris Canada might have won the “most helpful” or “biggest turn around” award if such things existed — 180 degree change from previous COPs.
For eight years under the previous Stephen Harper government, ‘won’ consecutive “Fossil of the Day” awards for being the most unhelpful country. An award Canada’s previous Minister’s of the Environment took pride in. It was a government so intent on supporting the county’s fossil fuel industry it denied the reality that climate change was already impacting the country.
“We see in Canada the impacts of climate change. We have wildfires in B.C.; we have flooding in Alberta; Prince Edward Island is shrinking; and we see in our Arctic the permafrost is melting and hunters have shorter seasons. Canadians know that we need to act, and that’s what we’re going to do,” McKenna told the Toronto Star.
“Now it’s time to do the hard work,” McKenna added. “We’re going to go home and figure out the plan. . . Every Canadian has to do their part.”
So far there is little analysis of the implications of the deal for Canada, the world’s fifth largest crude oil producer and the biggest supplier of oil to the US. It is also the third largest producer of natural gas and one of the top ten miners of coal.
For context here is my four part series revealing how Canada became a very wealthy, fossil-fuelled energy superpower and an international climate pariah.
First published on the Climate News Mosaic Paris Climate Talks Live Blog available here:
Every country in the world just agreed to:
1. Phase out fossil fuels well before the end of the century
2. Try to keep global warming to less than 1.5C (very difficult since it’s already 1.0C)
3. Rich countries will help poor countries to green their economies, help pay for the damages from climate impacts and help them adapt to future impacts.
[The Paris Agreement is like buying life insurance. It’s for the benefit of our children and grandchildren.]
And its over!! Paris Agreement Adopted
Cheers and Tears all round
Post COP21 Analysis: Paris Agreement is now legal
what just happened?
what does it all mean?
It will take time to process but we will provide analysis Sunday.
Breaking: Final Plenary to Vote on New Climate Agreement Delayed to 17:30 CET Saturday
Now that parties have had a chance to review the final text points of disagreement remain. Some changes will likely be made in the final plenary this evening. However these usually need to be agreed on beforehand in the informal sessions that are happening right now.
Tension mounts while it is clear nearly everyone senses the end of COP21 is very near.
Wide Range of Reactions to the new final text:
The Paris agreement is a historic turning point for the whole world. One of the most remarkable outcomes of the agreement is that its objective is to “pursue efforts to limit” global warming to 1.5C above preindustrial, while holding warming “well below 2C.
While the agreement is itself historic, the challenges ahead in achieving it will dominate the 21st-century. The agreement has been made at a time when national greenhouse gas emission reduction contributions for 2025 and 2030 together far exceed the levels needed to hold global warming well below 2C, let alone limit to 1.5C.”
Bill Hare, CEO of Climate Analytics
“If agreed and implemented, this means bringing down greenhouse-gas emissions to net zero within a few decades.
John Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
There’s much in the text that has been diluted and polluted by the people who despoil our planet, but it contains a new imperative to limit temperature rises to 1.5 degrees. That single number, and the new goal of net zero emissions by the second half of this century, will cause consternation in the boardrooms of coal companies and the palaces of oil-exporting states.”
— Kumi Naidoo, International Director, Greenpeace
Rich countries have moved the goal posts so far that we are left with a sham of a deal in Paris. Through piecemeal pledges and bullying tactics, rich countries have pushed through a very bad deal
Sara Shaw, Friends of the Earth International climate justice and energy coordinator.
t’s a sad day for vulnerable people everywhere. An exclusion clause that robs the poor of their right to compensation.
Azeb Girmai, LDC Watch International
If agreed and implemented, this means bringing down greenhouse-gas emissions to net zero within a few decades. … CO2 emissions have to peak well before 2030…
John Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
“If agreed, this deal will represent a turning point in history, paving the way for the shift to 100% clean energy that the world wants and the planet needs. By marching in the streets, calling leaders and signing petitions, people everywhere created this moment, and now people everywhere will deliver on it to secure the future of humanity.
Emma Ruby-Sachs, Acting Executive Director, Avaaz
For the first time in history, the whole world has made a public commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and deal with the impacts of climate change
Mohamed Adow, Senior Climate Advisor, Christian Aid
Final Paris Agreement to be released Sat Dec 12 at 1030 am CET
Countries will then spend Saturday reviewing, commenting and, if all goes well, voting on the new climate agreement by end of day.
It is certainly possible – some say likely – that contentious revisions will be requested by a few countries and that will delay a final vote until Sunday.
Once accepted by all (or nearly all) — it is a consensus process which often leads to last-minute drama, sometimes forcing the COP President to bend the rules — the Paris Agreement will be the climate action plan for all nations.
“How can our voices be silenced here?” Jannie Staffansson – a Sami woman from Northern Europe
We are the persons who are dying. My friends, my family are the ones who go through water, they are the ones killed in avalanches. How can the purpose of this negotiation not be people? How can our voices be silenced here?
- Jannie Staffansson – a Sami woman from Northern Europe
Two environmental activists are killed every week according to Global Witness, and disproportionate number are Indigenous people
- Kumi Nadioo, Greenpeace International
Why is this important?
Article 2 is about the purpose of the agreement which surely is to protect people and the climate said María José Veramendi Villa, Asociacion Interamericana Para La Defensa Del Ambiente (AIDA) of Perú.
“Indigenous peoples are amongst the most impacted by climate change,” she said in a press conference today.
Article 2 also sets out how the agreement is to be implemented. This is crucial because some purported climate actions already in place such as biofuel plantations and carbon sequestration projects have already violated the rights of local people. People have been removed from their ancestral lands and protesters have been killed in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Norway, the European Union, the US and others oppose the inclusion for reasons that are completely unclear said Veramendi.
“It doesn’t change obligations that are already in the UN Declaration on Human Rights,” she said.
Countries like the US are only acting to protect the interests of a few powerful corporations in these negotiations, said Greenpeace’s Nadioo.
That’s why there is a global movement, a dynamic movement for real climate action that they cannot stop, he said.