Talking green is cheap

Postponing emissions cuts carries steep price-tag.

Dateline: Tuesday, June 28, 2011

by Stephen Leahy for InterPress Service

BONN, Jun 20, 2011 (IPS) — If we’re lucky, by the time a tough but fair international treaty to meet the climate change challenge is finalised, it will be largely unnecessary. The snail’s pace of negotiations certainly gives countries plenty of time to understand the financial, social and environmental advantages of kicking their dangerous addiction to fossil fuels.

That may be a cynical optimist’s hope, but the European Union is already moving in that direction.


No developed country is close to the 40-percent cut that the science says is needed by 2020 to stay below a two degrees C increase.

via Straight Goods – Talking green is cheap.

2020 Climate Deadline Is the Crucial “Litmus Test”

Chile—The fury of Chaitén volcano - nat geo

The atmosphere and the climate is a public good, a commons, and can’t be protected by the private sector.”

— Marianne Haug, Oxford Institute for Energy

By Stephen Leahy

VIENNA, Jun 29 2009 (IPS)

“So who here thinks there will be a meaningful deal in Copenhagen?”

Few of the more than 600 energy ministers, officials and experts from 80 countries attending the Vienna Energy Conference raised their hands in response to the conference moderator’s question about the final round of climate negotiations this December in Copenhagen.

“I don’t think there will be agreement on an emissions cap,” said Andre Amado, Brazil’s vice-minister for energy, science and technology.

Greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels must peak between 2015 and 2020 and then decline to prevent dangerous, irreversible climate change, scientists have warned. A strong international agreement on emissions targets for both the industrialised and developing world is widely believed to be the only way to ensure emissions peak and then decline.

“There will be agreement on technology transfer and reducing barriers for technology transfers,” to assist developing countries in cutting their emissions and adapting to the changing climate, Amado told participants last week in Austria’s capital city.

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Desperately Seeking Leadership on Climate

penguin palm tree

Civil society will have to provide unrelenting leadership if  global carbon emissions are to peak in less than 10 years and go ‘negative’, experts say.

By Stephen Leahy

UXBRIDGE, Canada, Jan 15 2009 (IPS)

Global emissions of carbon dioxide must reach a peak in less than 10 years and then begin a rapid decline to nearly zero by 2050 to avoid catastrophic disruption to the world’s climate, according to a new report.

Emissions of carbon dioxide will actually need to “go negative” – with more being absorbed than emitted – during the second half of this century, according to “State of the World 2009: Into a Warming World” released by the U.S.-based Worldwatch Institute this week.

“2009 is a pivotal year to deal with climate change,” said Christopher Flavin, president of well-respected Worldwatch Institute (WI), a U.S.-based environmental think tank.

“Humanity will face grave danger if we don’t move forward now,” Flavin told IPS.

Climate change is happening faster and with larger impacts than previously predicted, concludes the 26th annual “State of the World” report, devoted entirely to the challenges and opportunities of global climate change.

Even an additional warming of 2 degrees Celsius poses unacceptable risks to key natural and human systems, warned climate scientist W.L. Hare, one of the report’s 47 contributors.

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