Global atmospheric concentrations of GHGs have increased markedly as a result of human activity since 1750 and now far exceed pre-industrial levels spanning many thousandsof years, as determined from ice cores. Current atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) concentrations far exceed those spanning the last 650,000 years.
The world is already seeing many changes that point towards an increasingly warm planet. For example, 11 of the last 12 years (1995– 2006) rank among the 12 hottest years since 1850. The warming trend over the last 50 years (0.13°C per decade) is nearly twice that of the last 100 years and the total temperature increase from the period 1850– 1899 to the period 2001– 2005 has been 0.76°C.
Unmitigated climate change will have a significant impact in many areas: the risk of floods and droughts is projected to increase in many regions – as much as 20 per cent of the world’s population lives in areas that are likely to be affected by increased flood hazard by 2080; sea levels are expected to rise between 0.2 m and 0.6 m, or possibly more, by 2100; tropical and extra-tropical cyclones will become more intense; increased flooding and the degradation of freshwater, fisheries and other resources could affect hundreds of millions of people; the impact on agriculture will also be severe; millions of people are likely to face malnutrition; and increases in infectious disease vectors are also expected.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established in 1988 by the United nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Its role is to assess a range of information relevant for the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change.
Climate change is caused by fluctuations in solar radiation. Climate has been warming since the ice ages, but not in a linear fashion. It is cyclical.
Last tens or hundreds thousand years are reliably traced. There is no evidence that in the era of dinosaurs the carbon concentrations were below today’s levels
Climate will always be changing and we have to adapt to it to survive.
T he whole thing is a "hoax", a "politically correct position“.
W hy some regions like Maine still experience the worse winter in history last year, and why Canada was 'white' edge to edge at the start of winter for the first time in recorded history. ...and those polar bears really aren't endangered but lurking by the thousands around Hudson's bay town dumps where they are regarded as pests and tourist attractions.
T he total solar irradiance (TSI) has been measured by orbiting satellites since 1978 and it varies on an 11-year cycle by about 0 , 07%. So, from solar min to solar max, the TSI reaching the earth's surface increases at a rate comparable to the radiative heating due to a 1% per year increase in greenhouse gases, and will probably add, during the next five to six years in the advancing phase of Solar Cycle 24, almost 0.2 °K to the globally-averaged temperature, thus doubling the amount of transient global warming expected from greenhouse warming alone.
"Al Gore likes to say that mankind puts 70 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every day. What he probably doesn't know is that mother nature puts 24000 times that amount of our main greenhouse gas - water vapo u r - into the atmosphere every day, and removes about the same amount every day. While this does not 'prove' that global warming is not manmade, it shows that weather systems have by far the greatest control over the Earth's greenhouse effect, which is dominated by water"
GHG by population and GDP Source: CAN International 2008
GDP versus stabilisation levels Notes: Values given in this table correspond to the full literature across all baselines and mitigation scenarios that provide GDP numbers. a) Global GDP based on market exchange rates. b) The 10th and 90th percentile range of the analysed data are given where applicable. Negative values indicate GDP gain. The first row (445-535ppm CO2-eq) gives the upper bound estimate of the literature only. c) The calculation of the reduction of the annual growth rate is based on the average reduction during the assessed period that would result in the indicated GDP decrease by 2030 and 2050 respectively. d) The number of studies is relatively small and they generally use low baselines. High emissions baselines generally lead to higher costs. e) The values correspond to the highest estimate for GDP reduction shown in column three. Source: Climate Change 2007 – Assessment Report, IPCC
The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was adopted by COP-3, in December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, after intensive negotiations. Most industrialized nations and some central European economies in transition (all defined as Annex B countries) agreed to legally binding reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of an average of 6 to 8% below 1990 levels between the years 2008-2012, defined as the first emissions budget period. The United States would be required to reduce its total emissions an average of 7% below 1990 levels, however neither the Clinton administration nor the Bush administration sent the protocol to Congress for ratification. The Bush administration explicitly rejected the protocol in 2001.
Signatories to the UNFCCC are split into three groups:
Annex I countries (industrialized countries) ;
Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America
Annex II countries (developed countries which pay for costs of developing countries) ;
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America
The reality gap between what is needed and what has been a chieved is the percentage point difference in emissions between the Kyoto target and actual emissions of Annex I countries in 2005. Emissions changes exclude LULUCF. EIT countries are shaded. EU countries’ targets are those agreed under the EU burden sharing agreement. The figure for Turkey is from 2004. Source: CAN International 2008
Greenhouse gas emissions of Annex I countries 1990-2005, excluding LULUCF2 Source: CAN International 2008
Developing countries would account for most of the projected increase in world greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades Source: OECD Environmental Outlook to 2030 (2008) and OECD ENV-Linkages model
Cost-effective mitigation action would imply only limited costs in the first decades Source: OECD Environmental Outlook to 2030 (2008) and OECD ENV-Linkages model
Costs of abatement without redistribution Source: OECD Environmental Outlook to 2030 (2008) and OECD ENV-Linkages model
Who is most hurt by global warming? Source: Nordhaus and Boyer (2000), Mendelsohn et al. (2000) and IPCC (1995).
The main negotiations are complicated because in Bali, countries agreed to two distinct negotiating streams. One set of talks is focused on the Kyoto Protocol, which has been ratified by most countries, and is concerned with a new commitment period after the present one expires in 2012. But because several key countries, including the US, never joined the Kyoto Protocol, countries agreed to discuss an alternative possible arrangement that could go into effect in 2013. The US has engaged in those negotiations.
An emission cap and permit trading system is a quantity instrument because it fixes the overall emission level (quantity) and allows the price to vary.
In contrast, an emission tax is a price instrument because it fixes the price while the emission level is allowed to vary according to economic activity.
A third option, known as a safety valve, is a hybrid of the price and quantity instruments. The system is essentially an emission cap and tradeable permit system but the maximum (or minimum) permit price is capped. Emitters have the choice of either obtaining permits in the marketplace or purchasing them from the government at a specified trigger price (which could be adjusted over time).
Equitable effort sharing is one of the main principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Article 3.1 of the Convention states that the parties to the Convention should protect the climate system “on basis of equity and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities”.
However, the question of what is actually equitable is ambiguous. Numerous equity definitions have been proposed, and below is a partial list assembled from (Ringius et al. 1998) and (Aldy et al. 2003):
Horizontal equity – equal net change in welfare, e.g. in GDP
Vertical equity (or Comparable effort) – equal net cost, e.g., relative to GDP
Equal responsibility – effort based on historical emissions.
Uncertainty Emission estimates for different countries [Mt CO2-eq, logarithmic scale] based on UN-FCCC (X-axis) or IEA/EDGAR (Y-axis) statistics
Effort sharing Assessing the effort sharing for greenhouse gas emission reductions in ambitious global climate scenarios Tommi Ekholm, Sampo Soimakallio & Sanna Syri VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Niklas Höhne & Sara Moltmann Ecofys GmbH
Delegations from 190 nations came to Poznan to meet in the half way to Copenhagen COP 15 in December 2009. The date of the new Treaty setting international GHG commitments after Kyoto 2012 targets was agreed one year ago on COP13 in Bali.
It was not a conference of grand agreements or breakthroughs, but rather, it was a conference of rather technical discussions and decisions that will underpin the stiff year of negotiations that is forecasted for 2009.
The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reminded us that the purpose of the meeting was not to come to final decisions, “but rather to agree to a work plan for the intense negotiations ahead in 2009. Parties had taken an important step forward.” Yvo de Boer described Poznan a kind of “blue-collar” conference, "It’s a conference to get our job done, it's not a conference of spectacular or breakthroughs."
What happens now is that the wheels are in motion toward Copenhagen. The countries agreed that a negotiating text must be on the table by the June negotiating session that will take place in Bonn, a necessary step.
Developing countries expressed frustration throughout the two week Conference that discussions were veering away from some basic principles, including equity and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities that provides that all countries should act in a manner commensurate with their circumstances and resources. Small Island countries reminded all delegations that they stood to suffer the most from climate change, namely from the inundation of their countries.
Progress was made on a number of issues that includes making the Adaptation Fund operational. In addition to the funding that the Fund will receive through a levy on Clean Development Mechanism transactions, Sweden offered $500 million to the fund over the next three years.
Agreements were also reached on technology transfer, on financing and on improving the operations of the Adaptation Fund. One area of major disappointment for developing countries was the failure to reach agreement on a system to share proceeds from emissions trading systems for adaptation purposes.
H umanity has arrived at a moment of faithful decision.
S cience is clear, but a sharp contrast between two rates of change exists: first, related to the rate of climate change, and, second, related to the rate of action on climate change.
T he level of pessimism at the Poznań negotiations, especially with regard to: the global recession; the drop in oil and coal prices; the absence of a feeling of urgency; the gap between rich and poor not being closed with sufficient speed to build the necessary unity; and the powerful resistance of business lobbies.
the causes for hope and optimism are greater than the causes for doubt and discouragement, such as: efforts in China related to unprecedented levels of tree planting and a green economic stimulus package; efforts in Brazil related to halting deforestation; and technological advances. He noted progressive actions in the US, including California’s mandatory emissions reductions, cities embracing the Kyoto Protocol principles, and the cancellation of proposed coalfired power plants.
Gore stressed the need to link poverty reduction with emissions reductions, and called for adequate funding for adaptation.
the challenge inherent in reaching a target of 450 ppm of carbon dioxide, but argued that the target would need to be toughened to 350 ppm in order to avoid dangerous levels of climate change.
In conclusion, Gore voiced his confidence in reaching an agreement in Copenhagen in December 2009, and said that “not only can it be done, it must be done.” He stated that reaching agreement was not a political issue, but rather a moral and spiritual one, and said the climate crisis offered a generational mission and moral purpose. He called on Heads of State to meet several times before the Copenhagen negotiations, and concluded by passing along a message from the people of the US: “Yes we can.”
calls to mind Bali decision to enhance and enable the full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention through long term cooperative action in order to reach an agreed outcome and adopt a decision at COP15 in Copenhagen:
Undoubting Fourth IPCC Report and its conclusion on serious, perhaps beyond reversal, climate change with the role of human beings accelerating this change
GHG emissions of Annex I Parties continued to increase after 2000, when under Convention they should have peaked and begin to fall
Annex I Parties have not delivered on their commitment to enhance the transfer of technologies and increase financing to developing countries to meet the full cost of adapting to the adverse impacts of climate change and facilitate their mitigation actions
The Group has submitted concrete and detailed proposal on financial and technology mechanisms
Requests from Annex I Parties how they intend to begin to reduce emissions now, how they intend to commit for 2012 to 2020 and beyond
Outlines past efforts
Chinese Government issued National Climate Change Program in 2007. Energy per GDP has dropped in one year 2007 by 3,66%. In 2006 and 2007 China avoided 355 mln tons CO2 emissions by introduction of energy efficiency improvements .
In 2008 hydropower in China has installed capacity of 164 GW, 10 GW of wind power and 120 MW of PV. In 2007 China phased out 84 mln tons of backward steel making and iron smelting and 52 mln tons of cement production capacity. Finally 2322 small coal mines have been closed down . All in all it avoided emissions of 500 milion tons in 2007 alone.
Developed countries should... limit emissions between 25% and 40% at least, in mid term, support “South “with financial resources, build capacity and transfer technologies.
Barack Obama’s victory in the US Presidential elections was a reason for optimism in Poznań and is expected to dramatically change the dynamics of negotiations. Obama has promised to make climate change a high priority and highlighted a green energy economy as a remedy for the ongoing economic crisis. In Poznań, the US was still represented by the Bush administration and remained relatively subdued during the official negotiations. Some felt that uncertainty about the US position in 2009 caused other countries to refrain from making significant political advances in Poznań, and few expect developing countries to make significant moves before developed countries have clarified their positions on emission reductions and financing.
„ Looking forward to the meetings ahead that can lead to a ambitious and practical outcome in Copenhagen. Post-2012 agreement must reflect global changes since the 1990s. ”
60% long term.
Australia leads Global Initiative on CCS by incorporating an Institute that will drive and disseminate CCS technology and know how around the world. This is practical example of technology transfer in action.
stands on extending the CDM eligibility criteria for afforestation/ reforestation project activities
S audi Arabia
stands on the inclusion of CCS under the CDM.
stated the objective of meeting 90% of electricity needs from non-emitting sources by 2020.
N ew Zealand
proposed focusing first on the rules governing commitments before focusing on the commitments themselves , and urged further consideration of land management and forestry.
G8 leaders during Hokkaido Toyako Summit shared a long term target of GHG reduction by at least half in 2050. Japan has the long term goal of reduction of current emissions by 60-80% in 2050. Now Japan is working on setting a quantified mid term target and will announce it at an appropriate time in 2009.
Japan primarily stands on adoption of at least 50% GHG reduction by 2050 under UNFCCC. Secondly each developed country should set its quantified limit while developing countries should be classified in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.
Will follow the aims of EU and proposes to reduce emissions by 20% until 2020 and 30% if other countries pledge to do the same. All countries should adopt binding commitments. For example, emissions in specific sectors. We must invest in technologies and infrastructure as well as in improving energy efficiency.
Switzerland renews proposal for a CO2 levy in line with the “polluter pays” principle in order to repair some of the damage caused by climate change and prevent further damage.
EU (by Stavros Dimas, European Commissioner for Environment)
„ First and foremost, the developed countries should, as a group, reduce their emissions by 30% by 2020 ”
The developed countries must take the lead and make major emission reductions, as well as assist developing countries to adapt. The midterm target to reduce emissions by 25-40% is needed. That should be accompanied by a long term target to reduce emissions by 80-95% until 2050.
Need for pricing mechanisms. So let’s put price on CO2 globally
2 Celsius as overall reference objective
At least 50% long term target
Negotiations have by far not progressed fast enough. No progress was made on critical issues
There are attempts to exploit the current financial crisis as an excuse for moving away from committed climate protection
What has been learnt from the financial crisis is that trading in bad loans leads to loss of trillion euros or dollars and the worst loan we are trading in globally is the climate loan.
Germany has already achieved Kyoto target in 2008 and will exceed it in 2010. Germany has set itself the target of 40% GHG reduction in 2020 compared to 1990. If these targets are implemented effectively, the country will save 17 billion euro on energy imports in 2020.At the same time it will generate demand in employment intensive domestic sectors, thus creating 500000 new jobs by 2020.
The central obstacle on the Road to Copenhagen is the question of financing. Current funds from CDM projects are not sufficient for the Adaptation Fund and additional money from carbon market for adaptation is required
EU leaders contentiously disagree on how to structure their own region-wide goal of reducing carbon emissions 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the head of a country that has long been considered a leader in climate and renewable energy policies, is causing a stir by announcing that Germany is pulling back from earlier commitments to the structure of a carbon cap and trade program. In order to protect Germay's large industrial base from higher carbon prices, Merkel is urging the EU to give away more allowances than originally proposed.
Without additional protections, argues Merkel, steel manufacturers, chemical producers and shipping companies could lose their competitive edge, thus shedding jobs. Angela Merkel said that jobs come first and then climate . Her position has steadily shifted over the last year as the EU works out the details of its carbon reduction plan.
Both climate protection advocates and detractors have criticized the German government for its inconsistent message to the international community.
The irony of the climate crisis is that those most affected, have not only contributed the least to the problem, but have the least capacity to cope with, or solve it. …
Time is not on our side. The science indicates that a narrow window of opportunities exist for action to prevent an unprecedented climate catastrophe. We must act boldly and we must act together. We can only share a vision for the future, if we have a future
Still s ome opponents of the Convention argue that the split between Annex I and developing countries is unfair, and that both developing countries and developed countries need to reduce their emissions.
Some countries claim that their costs of following the Convention requirements will stress their economy.
COP 14 pronouncedly showed differences between extreme climate change positions of North and South, Developed and Developing, Rich and Poor
U ncertainty about the US position in 2009 cause d other countries to refrain from making significant political advances in Poznań, and few expect developing countries to make significant moves before developed countries have clarified their positions on emission reductions and financing.
Parties now, are by far better prepared to defend their own benefits and preferences in climate deal
The current financial crisis is a serious obstacle for moving away from climate agre e ment
As long as we have no clear position toward the mechanisms of emissions trading, it's very difficult to establish something meaningful
In case of no success in Copenhagen , the Treaty with all last commas and every last rule, whatever, is expected between 2010 and 2015 with 2020 targets postponed until 2030 or 2050, fairly agreed and monitored.
In terms of dollars, the World Bank has estimated that the size of the carbon market was 11 billion USD in 2005, 30 billion USD in 2006, and 64 billion in 2007.
Critics argue that emissions trading does little to solve pollution problems overall, as groups that do not pollute sell their conservation to the highest bidder. Overall reductions would need to come from a sufficient and challenging reduction of allowances available in the system.
Regulatory agencies run the risk of issuing too many emission credits, diluting the effectiveness of regulation, and practically removing the cap. In this case, instead of any net reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, beneficiaries of emissions trading simply do more of the polluting activity. The National Allocation Plans by member governments of the European Union Emission Trading Scheme were criticised for this when it became apparent that actual emissions would be less than the government-issued carbon allowances at the end of Phase I of the scheme.
The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), defined in Article 12 of the Protocol, allows a country with an emission-reduction or emission-limitation commitment under the Kyoto Protocol (Annex B Party) to implement an emission-reduction project in developing countries. Such projects can earn saleable certified emission reduction (CER) credits, each equivalent to one tonne of CO2, which can be counted towards meeting Kyoto targets.
The mechanism is seen by many as a trailblazer. It is the first global, environmental investment and credit scheme of its kind, providing a standardized emissions offset instrument, CERs.
A CDM project activity might involve, for example, a rural electrification project using solar panels or the installation of more energy-efficient boilers.
The mechanism stimulates sustainable development and emission reductions, while giving industrialized countries some flexibility in how they meet their emission reduction or limitation targets.
A CDM project must provide emission reductions that are additional to what would otherwise have occurred. The projects must qualify through a rigorous and public registration and issuance process. Approval is given by the Designated National Authorities. Public funding for CDM project activities must not result in the diversion of official development assistance.
The mechanism is overseen by the CDM Executive Board, answerable ultimately to the countries that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol.
CDM all figures as at 24 November 2008 CLEAN DEVELOPMENT MECHANISM The clean development mechanism allows emission-reduction projects in developing countries to earn certified emission reduction (CER) credits, each equivalent to one tonne of CO2. CERs can be traded and sold, and used by industrialized countries to meet a part of their targets under the Protocol. The CDM assists countries in achieving sustainable development and emission reductions, while giving industrialized countries some flexibility in how they meet their emission targets. Source: UNFCCC CDM manual
UNFCC established special working group for energy efficiency under Meth Panel and the same for PoA – Programmatic CDM Approach which was established 3 years ago in Montreal. Programmatic Approach is about converting policy into projects. This approach is to help many dispersed projects with different sizes and delivery periods. and will do it.
Two basic approaches are used benchmarking (generic) and deemed savings.
CDM has promised to develop all guidelines and procedures in February 2009.
The implementation of CDM activities under a programme of activities (PoA) may reduce some barriers to energy efficiency but not all.
The restriction to one technology in PoA is perceived as a barrier.
Policies as a PoA . Policy, itself cannot demonstrate additionality required by CDM but policy implementation can
Labelling under the CDM
CDM methodology issues related to energy efficiency projects
It was noted that energy efficiency methodologies suffer the highest rate of rejection by the EB.
The participants called for more top-down guidance from the EB and Meth Panel on methodologies for energy efficiency project activities. Some common reasons for the rejection of energy efficiency methodologies were highlighted:
Failure to provide method/procedure for selecting the baseline scenario;
Lack of clear definition of project boundary;
Lack of justification for the appropriateness of benchmark period
Failure to consider variables that would affect future emissions (i.e. autonomous energy efficiency improvements);
Inadequate monitoring and verification plans;
Deficiencies in accounting for leakage;
Lack of distinction between discretionary retrofit, planned replacement and new equipment projects;
Lack of methodological specificity to allow DOE to verify reductions.
The current forecasts for increased output from wind energy and GHG saving potential Source: GWEC
Adapting to climate change is a major issue in the climate change talks, particularly for people in the world’s poorest countries. Most of these countries account for only a miniscule contribution to the greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating the rate of climate change, yet they stand to suffer the most from climate change.
100 developing countries, with a a population of one billion people, account for only three percent of all emissions. For many participant here in Poznan, the evidence that climate change is already taking a toll on developing countries is abundantly clear--they are facing periods of longer droughts, and rainfall, when it occurs, is more intense and more damaging to crops.
Adaptation Map courtesy of UNOCHA, CARE International and Maplecroft, from Humanitarian Implications of Climate Change, 2008
The Adaptation Fund was established to finance concrete adaptation projects and programmes in developing countries that are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. The Fund is to be financed with a share of proceeds from clean development mechanism (CDM) project activities and receive funds from other sources. (The share of proceeds amounts to 2% of certified emission reductions (CERs) issued for a CDM project activity.)
The CMP 3 decided that the operating entity of the Adaptation Fund shall be the Adaptation Fund Board and invited the GEF to provide secretariat services and the World Bank to serve as the trustee of the Adaptation Fund on an interim basis. These interim institutional arrangements will be reviewed after 3 years. The Adaptation Fund Board is composed of 16 members and 16 alternates and its meeting will take place at least twice a year in the country hosting the UNFCCC secretariat.
Opertaional principles and criteria
Decide about projects, including allocation of funds
Monitor and review implementation
Establish working bodies, secure expert advice
Approve draft legal and administrative arrangements
The success on the Adaptation Fund was tempered by the inability to secure additional resources for the Fund due to lack of agreement on extending the share of proceeds (or “adaptation
levy”) to Joint Implementation and emissions trading under the second review of the Protocol under Article 9.
As many had predicted, these consultations were difficult and were unable to produce an agreement, leading COP/MOP 4 to conclude the second review of the Protocol without any substantive outcome.
Most developing countries expressed deep disappointment at the failure to increase adaptation funding.
While many parties and private sector representatives had also hoped for improvements to the CDM under the Article 9 review, the lack of outcome on the review meant that the improvements negotiated in Poznań were not adopted. The AWG-KP, however, agreed to further consider issues related to the mechanisms in the post-2012 period in its March/April session.
Assessing the effort sharing for greenhouse gas emission reductions in ambitious global climate scenarios; VTT Research Notes 2453; http://www.vtt.fi/inf/pdf/tiedotteet/2008/T2453.pdf
Climate Action Series Published by Sustainable Development International in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme , http://www.climateactionprogramme.org/books/2008/
energy [r]evolution, A Sustainable Global Energy Outlook, EREC , Greenpeace; http://www.energyblueprint.info/fileadmin/media/documents/energy_revolution2009.pdf
Realizing the Potential of Energy Efficiency - Targets, Policies, and Measures for G8 Countries , UNF Expert Report; http://www.globalproblems-globalsolutions-files.org/unf_website/PDF/realizing_potential_energy_efficiency.pdf