<ul><li>Climate Change Negotiations at Cancún, Mexico & </li></ul><ul><li>Pacific Island Countries </li></ul>The University of the South Pacific, Fiji Pacific Centre for Environment & Sustainable Development Prof. M. Lal Dec 2, 2010
<ul><li>Climate Change </li></ul>The effects of climate change are already being observed on every continent and sectors . “ the greatest challenge facing the world since the beginning of the 21 st century”
Early signs of El Nino related year to year variability & its consequences on rainfall patterns and some alterations in the thermohaline circulation leading to poor fish catches have been observed in recent years in PICs . Climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of natural hazards – particularly floods, storms, and droughts. Compared to an average of 300 "natural" disasters per year from 1980-2000, this past decade saw 426 events per year. The climate-related worldwide disaster occurrence rose from 50% in the 1980s to 82% since 2005.
Annual ice mass loss for the Antarctic continent more than doubled between the periods 2002–06 and 2006–09. Worldwide, the average annual rate of mountain glacier melt was over twice as great between 1996 and 2005 as during the previous decade.
The total melt area of the Greenland ice sheet increased by 30% between 1979 and 2008
Ice extent for September 2010 was the third lowest in the satellite record for the month; The linear rate of decline of September ice extent over the period 1979 to 2010 is now 81,400 square kilometers per year, or 11.5% per decade relative to the 1979 to 2000 average.
Key Projected Climatic Changes Increased warming mostly over land and at the highest northern latitudes; Contraction of the areas covered by snow, and a decrease in the extent of sea ice ; Increase in the frequency of extremes of heat, heat waves and heavy precipitation; A likely increase in tropical cyclone intensity; Large scale land inundation due to sea level rise.
Sea level Rise: The red bar corresponds to additional rise due to instabilities of ice sheets
Impacts of Salt water intrusion on Copra trees are already visible in Kiribati
The ecological stability of mangroves and coral reefs is threatened in PICs ?
Projections of global mean surface temperatures for the B1, A1B and A2 scenarios and the ‘Year 2000 constant concentration’ Without the mitigation of emissions, the 2°C target will be exceeded by mid-21 st century
The fossil fuel emissions have accelerated in 21 st Century in spite of regulations under Kyoto Protocol
Many Pacific islands are extremely vulnerable to climate change induced risks ( e.g., large scale inundation due to sea level rise and widespread damages with high intensity tropical cyclones). They could be among the first to be forced to relocate from their homes to an accelerated sea level rise . Pacific Island Countries are More Vulnerable to Climate Change
First, the combination of development choices, adaptation actions and capacities will allow us to address the issue of climate change effectively Second , understanding the implications of the impacts of a changing climate at the local level is necessary to effective adaptation Thirdly, it is important to understand adaptation as part of development choices Climate Change Adaptation: Capacity Building Needs in PICs
Pacific Island Countries at COP-15 Ian Fry, Tulavu Delegate to the COP-15 at Copenhagen, Denmark said on December 9 th , 2009: “ An irony of the modern world is being determined by some senators in the US Congress ” – “ the fate of my country rests in the hands of US President ”. “ A new target on arresting the global warming at 1.5 o C above the pre-industrial levels was proposed .” Contd…
Pacific Island Countries at COP-15 The AOSIS (Group of 43 countries vulnerable to climate change) along with 48 other least developed countries backed the new target proposed by Tuvalu on December 10 th , 2009. On the outcome of COP-15, Kiribati President His Excellency Anote Tong said: “ while the signs don’t look good now, he has no choice but to remain optimistic .”
The United States, China and other countries accounting for ~80% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions have signed onto a voluntary agreement to curb climate change. If the countries make good on their pledges, they will reduce the emissions linked to global warming, but not enough to hold temperatures to levels needed to minimize climate extremes and other catastrophic effects . Even at their most stringent, the pledges do not meet the accord's goal of holding warming to 2 o C above pre-industrial levels. The countries still have major issues to hash out, including how to handle the billions of dollars to be funneled from wealthy nations to poorer ones to help them adapt to climate change and develop cleaner sources of energy.
Major emitting developed countries are asked to take on stronger targets for reducing their emissions We want that the larger developing countries (e.g., China, India) take on commitments to reduce their increase in fossil fuel use and GHG emissions We demand substantial funding assistance towards adaptation to deal with unavoidable and inevitable impacts of climate change Pacific Island Countries at Canc ú n, Mexico
Pacific Island Countries at Canc ú n, Mexico <ul><li>Climate Finance – Key Issues </li></ul><ul><li>Climate finance must be adequate, predictable and appropriate. </li></ul><ul><li>Climate funds must be fairly governed. </li></ul><ul><li>Old coordination problems between funding nations need to be solved. </li></ul><ul><li>Accountability & independent evaluation are critical. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Focus on Disaster Risk Reduction & Short- </li></ul><ul><li>Term Adaptation to Climate Change </li></ul><ul><li>Policies to focus on increased resilience of poor communities to disasters and adverse impacts </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure investment of large share of adaptation and risk reduction funding towards responding to local needs and in social assistance to poverty alleviation programmes </li></ul>Pacific Island Countries – Actions at Home
National Adaptation Strategies Mainstreaming climate change in national and sector development planning, through technology deployment Strengthening capacity of national institutions to seek complementarities among the environment and development frameworks through linkages with MDGs Prioritizing short and medium term adaptation actions which have a direct bearing on the livelihoods of vulnerable communities Integrating alternative livelihood strategies for extreme climatic events through national disaster management plans
<ul><li>Acceptance that some places cannot continue to be occupied or utilized (as they are today) in future. </li></ul><ul><li>Disruption associated with relocation can be reduced / postponed by early (anticipatory) action. </li></ul>Relocation: The Only Realistic Option for Pacific Islanders?
University of the South Pacific <ul><li>PACE-SD serves as a focal point within USP for the integrated study of all aspects of environmental issues in the region, providing better enabling environments for implementing pragmatic initiatives for sustainable development creating a sound knowledge base at USP. </li></ul><ul><li>It co-ordinates, stimulates, catalyzes and carries out teaching of formal and informal courses on environmental issues relevant to the Pacific Island Nations and undertake applied research and consultancy projects at USP. </li></ul>Pacific Centre for Environment & Sustainable Development
<ul><li>The general goals are pursued through four thematic strategic groupings: </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching and Training (TT), </li></ul><ul><li>Research, Publication and Consultancy </li></ul><ul><li>(RPC), </li></ul><ul><li>Networking and Outreach (NO), and </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate Capacity Building (CCB). </li></ul>Four Basic Themes
USP Postgraduate Courses – Capacity Building in the PICs