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Entries tagged with ‘energy’

Special Climate Change Program 2009-2012 Mexico (PECC)

Elaborated by the Mexican Federal Government this document establishes quantitative mitigation and adaptation goals for the period 2009-2012 and long term goals for 2020 and 2050. It is important because it incorporates actions to be taken by different ministries and goes beyond short term presidential periods. The objectives are specific and provide detail of the type of projects required in each sector. As a result it triggers clean technology innovation and deployment in Mexico. Currently the World Bank has provided US$500 million loan to increase scientific knowledge and technologies in relation to carbon sinks and strategies outlined in PECC.

Timeline entry contributed by Gabriela Moya Toledo

The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change

The Stern Review is a 700-page report released for the British Government in 2006, led by economist Nicholas Stern, on the economics of mitigating and adapting to climate change. This was the first serious attempt by any government to try to quantify in monetary terms the impacts of climate change.
The report concludes that global climate change is the greatest market failure the world has ever seen, and that the potential risk is so great that the benefits of strong, early action far outweigh the costs.
The report sparked widespread public debate and interest into the potential economic magnitude of anthropogenic climate change.

Timeline entry contributed by Emily Cox

‘Geoengineering the Climate – Science, Governance & Uncertainty’

‘Geoengineering the Climate – Science, Governance & Uncertainty’ is a report published by the Royal Society in September 2009 providing an assessment of the main geoengineering options for addressing climate change as well as a discussion of geoengineering governance issues such as those related to research and development and the potential deployment of geoengineering measures.

This was the first major publication addressing the potential of geoengineering solutions to address climate change. The report is important because it reviews technological fixes to the climate change problem that do not involve reducing carbon emissions. It also legitimises further research into the controversial geoengineering field. Given the slow political progress of climate change talks and the accelerating growth of emissions it is highly likely that this publication will influence science and technology
policy in the context of climate change in the coming decades.

The report was premised on a recognition of the widespread, diverse and significant impacts and costs of climate change, for which global efforts towards mitigation and adaptation are yet insufficient, specifically attention towards the reduction of emissions sufficient to avoid large-scale impacts.

The result has been interest in geoengineering, defined by the Royal Society’s report “as the deliberate large-scale manipulation of the planetary environment to counteract anthropogenic climate change.”

Acknowledging a lack of “accessible, high quality information on proposed geoengineering techniques which remain unproven and potentially dangerous”, the study aims to assess the various methods, their potential effectiveness and also possible risks posed.

In particular, it examines two types of geoengineering techniques: Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) (to remove CO2 directly from the atmosphere) and Solar Radiation Management (SRM) techniques (to reflect some of the sun’s light and heat away from Earth back into space)

The report recommends that parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change should increase efforts toward mitigation and adaptation; that “CDR and SRM geoengineering methods should only be considered as part of a wider package of options for addressing climate change” and that “CDR methods should be regarded as preferable to SRM methods.” The report also recommends that the UK government fund a ten year research programme into geoengineering, and with regard to governance that “The Royal Society, in collaboration with international science partners, should develop a code of practice for geoengineering research and provide recommendations to the international scientific community for a voluntary research governance framework.”

Timeline entry contributed by Matthew Gross and Joe Bull

Environmental Partnership for Sustainable Development founded

Founded in 1991 as a response to the dramatic political changes in the region, the Environmental Partnership for Central Europe (as it was first called) initially aimed to identify key environmental issues and goals within the regions, for which US-based private foundations could provide financial and technical support.

Moving from the Soviet regime and intense industrial production for economic growth towards the more Westernised goals for Sustainable Development provided a large ideological shift, so the goal for the EPCE was to support NGOs and governments while also encouraging grassroots civil engagement with the global sustainability agenda at both the local, community-based level and the broader cross-border level.

Today the EPSD functions as a consortium of national organisations that have awarded grants of around a total of €20 million across over 8,000 initiatives in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria. While these projects target many areas of environmental protection – for example NGO capacity building, organic agriculture and biodiversity protection – their flagship project is the Central European Greenways project which promotes sustainable transport alongside local economic needs and community engagement. These national foundations are the largest source of private investment for sustainable development in the region and continue to support both governments and individuals in meeting and developing their sustainability goals.

Further programs of the EPSD include Schools for Sustainable Development and Alternative Energy including monitoring, information and debate on the risks of nuclear energy.

Timeline entry contributed by Sam Rush

Source: EPSD website

Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. ‘The major feature of the Kyoto Protocol is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These amount to an average of five per cent against 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008-2012.’

‘The major distinction between the Protocol and the Convention is that while the Convention encouraged industrialised countries to stabilize GHG emissions, the Protocol commits them to do so.’

‘Recognizing that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of GHG emissions in the atmosphere as a result of more than 150 years of industrial activity, the Protocol places a heavier burden on developed nations under the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities.”’

‘The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997 and entered into force on 16 February 2005. The detailed rules for the implementation of the Protocol were adopted at COP 7 in Marrakesh in 2001, and are called the “Marrakesh Accords”.’

Countries are required to implement national measures to meet targets, but the Protocol also suggests three additional market-based mechanisms for doing so, including: emissions trading, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), and through Joint implementation (JI). The aim is for these three mechanisms to foster “green investment”.

Also part of the Protocol is a focus on adaptation to the effects of climate change. An Adaptation Fund was established to finance adaptation projects and programmes in developing countries that are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol.

Activities for the tansfer and access to environmentally sound technology and know-how were considered essential under the UNFCC and the Kyoto Protocol, especially for developing countries to meet emissions targets. Subsequently under the Marrakesh Accords, technology transfer activities have been grouped in a framework following five main themes, which are: technology needs & needs assessments; technology information; enabling environments; capacity building; and mechanisms for technology transfer.

Timeline entry contributed by: Go Maruichi

Source: The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change website (UNFCC)

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a scientific intergovernmental body tasked with reviewing and assessing the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of climate change. It provides the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic consequences, notably the risk of climate change caused by human activity.

The panel was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), two organizations of the United Nations. This was the first intergovernmental panel to investigate the shared international challenge of global climate change, representing a particular model for science policy decision-making.

Among other types of reports, the IPCC has provided periodic Assessment Reports of the state of knowledge on climate change, in 1990, 1995, 2001 and 2007. As of January 2011, the Fifth Assessment Report is in preparation.

In 2007, the IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Timeline entry contributed by Theodosis Kalogeropoulos

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