The Nile Delta, Egypt’s breadbasket since antiquity, is being turned into a salty wasteland by rising seawaters, forcing some farmers off their lands and others to import sand in a desperate bid to turn back the tide. Continue reading
New Economics Foundation releases report: ‘Growth Isn’t Possible: Why We Need a New Economic Direction’
Growth Isn’t Possible: Why We Need a New Economic Direction argues that indefinite global economic growth is unsustainable. Just as the laws of thermodynamics constrain the maximum efficiency of a heat engine, economic growth is constrained by the finite nature of our planet’s natural resources (biocapacity).
Or download the report here.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued an apology regarding its prediction that ‘Himalayan glaciers were likely to disappear by 2035’. It is thought by some that this admission will impact on the credibility of the IPCC and will certainly ‘embolden critics of the panel’.
The full news article can be accessed here.
‘Estimating least-developed countries’ vulnerability to climate-related extreme events over the next 50 years’
Anthony G. Patt, Mark Tadross, Patrick Nussbaumer, Kwabena Asante, Marc Metzger, Jose Rafael, Anne Goujon and Geoff Brundrit ‘Estimating least-developed countries’ vulnerability to climate-related extreme events over the next 50 years’ 2010 (107:4) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 1333-1337
Abstract: When will least developed countries be most vulnerable to climate change, given the influence of projected socio-economic development? The question is important, not least because current levels of international assistance to support adaptation lag more than an order of magnitude below what analysts estimate to be needed, and scaling up support could take many years. In this paper, we examine this question using an empirically derived model of human losses to climate-related extreme events, as an indicator of vulnerability and the need for adaptation assistance. We develop a set of 50-year scenarios for these losses in one country, Mozambique, using high-resolution climate projections, and then extend the results to a sample of 23 least-developed countries. Continue reading
Press Release of 21 January 2010:
Global Economic Prospects 2010 …warns that while the worst of the financial crisis may be over, the global recovery is fragile. It predicts that the fallout from the crisis will change the landscape for finance and growth over the next 10 years.
Global GDP, which declined by 2.2 percent in 2009, is expected to grow 2.7 percent this year and 3.2 percent in 2011. Prospects for developing countries are for a relatively robust recovery, growing 5.2 percent this year and 5.8 percent in 2011 — up from 1.2 percent in 2009. GDP in rich countries, which declined by 3.3 percent in 2009, is expected to increase much less quickly—by 1.8 and 2.3 percent in 2010 and 2011. World trade volumes, which fell by a staggering 14.4 percent in 2009, are projected to expand by 4.3 and 6.2 percent this year and in 2011. Continue reading
Hannah Reid, Mozaharul Alam, Rachel Berger, Terry Cannon, Angela Milligan (IIED) ‘Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change’
This special issue of Participatory Learning and Action focuses on recent approaches to climate change adaptation which are community-based and participatory, building on the priorities, knowledge, and capacities of local people. It discusses how community-based approaches to climate change have emerged, and the similarities and differences between CBA and other participatory development and disaster risk reduction approaches. It highlights innovative participatory methods which are developing to help communities analyse the causes and effects of climate change, integrate scientific and community knowledge of climate change, and plan adaptation measures. Whilst CBA is a relatively new field, some lessons and challenges are beginning to emerge, including how to integrate disaster risk reduction, livelihoods and climate change adaptation work, climate change knowledge gaps, issues around the type and quality of participation, and the need for policies and institutions that support CBA.
The report can be ordered or downloaded here.
Aaron Atteridge (SEI) ‘Private Sector Finance and Climate Change Adaptation: How can voluntary private finance support adaptation in developing countries?’
The private sector is already an important source of climate finance. Multilateral and bilateral development banks, for instance, issue generic bonds as a means of raising private finance from capital markets, some of which is then used to support projects that deliver climate change outcomes. However, the major focus of the private sector to date has been on supporting mitigation activities.
There is an emerging market for raising new finance from the private sector for adaptation. Recent signals from large institutional investors suggest that further capital could be raised specifically for adaptation activities, provided the right investment products are available. Continue reading
The post-Copenhagen world requires a fresh look at the big picture. In the absence of international agreements, what steps can be taken nationally, regionally and locally to reduce both carbon emissions and carbon concentrations? The former can be achieved through a transformation in energy production, saving and use, and the latter through biological carbon sequestration. This book sets out examples of these strategies, in policy and practice, from around the world. In addition, the essential question of the active participation of all sectors of society in this transformation is considered through examples of existing initiatives, and the wider issue of democratic reform. Continue reading
The 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) and the 5th Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP5) in Copenhagen marked the culmination of two years of negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Bali Roadmap. The purpose of the negotiations was to ultimately create a comprehensive, legally-binding international treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol when it expires in 2012. However, it has been clear for some time that such an agreement would not materialise in Copenhagen as a result of the ongoing contention associated with many of the issues on the negotiating table. Continue reading
The new ad valorem excise tax on vehicles will not be deferred and will come into effect on 1 March 2010. The ‘basic’ excise tax will be decreased and an additional ‘luxury’ tax will be imposed on the sale of new vehicles to take into account the amount of greenhouse gas emissions they produce. Vehicles producing less than 120 grams of greenhouse gas emissions will be exempt from the tax. This tax is being opposed on the basis that it should only be introduced when cleaner fuels are available.