Tuesday, 6 March 2007

UN calls for aid to curb climate change

Rich countries will need to boost the $100bn U.S. in financial assistance given to the developing world each year by 50 to 100 per cent if they want a global deal to curb climate change, the United Nations’ Kemal Dervis, head of the UN Development Programme has said recently. He said countries such as Bangladesh, or regions such as the Sahel and the Caribbean, contributed little to global emissions – so would not be significant players in a carbon market – but were expected to suffer disproportionately from climate change; and their support would be needed for a global deal He proposed the financial assistance could come from mechanisms linked to moves to curb climate change, including industrialised countries buying more carbon credits from poorer countries as a result of lowering the amount of carbon emissions rich countries are allowed.

New research suggests industrial pollution coming from Asia is having a wider effect on global weather and climate than previously realised.

Undergoing rapid industrialisation Asian countries have been releasing massive amount of pollutants into the atmosphere such as sulphur which has grown by more than a third in the last decade. These aerosols are driving the formulation of larger clouds that last longer and include the deep convective cloud type, that transmit more heat from the Earth's surface into the higher atmosphere. Coverage for the period 1994-2005 was between 20% and 50% higher than in the preceding decade. With increased clouds and increased convection came a growth in storminess over the ocean that computer models suggest are being driven by Asian aerosol production, rather than by other factors such as changes in ocean temperature.

Government projects almost 20 percent rise in U.S. emissions between 2000 and 2020
By 2020, the United States will emit almost one-fifth more greenhouse gases than it did in 2000, says an internal draft report from the Bush administration that is more than a year overdue at the United Nations. The draft report, which is still being completed, projects that the current administration’s climate policy would result in the emission of 9.2 billion tons of greenhouse gases in 2020,

UK plans to cut CO2 doomed to fail - scientists
An independent scientific audit of the UK's climate change policies predicts that the government will fall well below its target of a 30% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2020 - which means that the country will not reach its 2020 milestone until 2050.

Road transport subsidies of up to €140bn a year are preventing attempts to reduce Europe's greenhouse gas emissions.

A recent report
issued by the European Environment Agency found €270bn-€290bn is being spent annually in Europe on transport subsidies. Almost half goes to road transport, which saw emissions rise by a quarter between 1990 and 2004, according to the report. It says rising emissions from transport are one of the biggest obstacles to tackling climate change. Between 1990 and 2003, passenger transport volumes in the European Economic Area countries rose by 20 per cent. Air transport volumes increased at the highest rate but road transport was the biggest environmental problem, accounting for 93 per cent of greenhouse gases from transport.

Global warming would be much worse if the world had not put a halt to the destruction of the ozone hole above Antarctica, say researchers.

Researchers from the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency say the 1987 Montreal Protocol, which restricts the use of CFCs and other ozone-depleting chemicals, will cut warming by five or six times more than the Kyoto Protocol. Using computer models to simulate how the planet would have warmed had it not been for the Montreal Protocol. They conclude the warming caused by halocarbons would be nearly twice that currently seen, or the equivalent of 9.7 and 12.5 gigatonnes of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere every year. In contrast, Velders calculates that if all countries were meet their Kyoto targets by 2012, this will have avoided the equivalent of 2.0 gigatonnes of CO2 every year.

Greenpeace climbs Huntly power station and releases report

Greenpeace activists climbed Huntly power station unfurling banners and attempting to transport coal back to the mine. Greenpeace also launched a report called New Zealand Energy Revolution: How to prevent climate chaos. The report is the first ever extensive examination of how New Zealand can restructure its energy system to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avoid the worst effects of climate change.


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