Global environmental challenges
from Summit Notebook:
Some politicians may be accused of dragging their heels when it comes to dealing with climate change, but you can't say members of the United Nations' Clean Development Mechanism's executive board aren't clocking in the hours.
The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), an emissions trading scheme under the Kyoto Protocol worth $33 billion last year according to the World Bank, allows companies and countries to outsource their greenhouse gas reduction efforts by investing in clean energy projects in emerging countries like China and India, where making emissions cuts costs less.
Projects are submitted to the CDM for registration and a staff of over 100 examine and scrutinize each one to ensure environmental integrity.
The whole scheme is supervised by a 20-member executive board, chaired by Lex de Jonge of the Netherlands' environment ministry.
The U.S. is out to create a clean-air zone around its coastlines, targeting diesel ships that look pretty dirty from shore. The cost will be only a penny per pair of sneakers, the EPA advises. Of course the cost of shoes can sneak up on you — the total is $3.2 billion per year by 2020. Health savings will more than compensate for costs, they say.
The idea of who should pay for carbon in the course of trade is getting a bit hazier, it seems. China only a couple of weeks ago said importers should pay for the carbon costs of goods they buy which are produced in China. The thinking largely has been you-make-it-you-pay-for-the-carbon, but maybe it will become you-bought-it-you-bought-the-carbon. It’s all up for grabs as nations talk about what to do once the Kyoto protocol runs out in 2012. At least the U.S. and China are making nice noises at each other as discussions in Germany get under way.
That probably seemed a great idea at the time.
But it is causing pollution as well as discontent among farmers facing forced resettlement to make way for a mammoth construction to help the parched north — the South-to-North Transfer Project. Much of the system, of dams, canals and tunnels, is due for completion in 2013-14.
A carbon fund named “Obama, future” could invest in increased forest coverage in another country and Obama himself could plant a tree there, Lin Hui said in an open letter, published on www.ditan360.com. Lin hopes that country will be China.
After one of the briefest honeymoons in history, developing nations at U.N. climate change talks in Poland are saying that President-elect Barack Obama’s goals for cutting greenhouse gas emissions don’t go far enough.
Delegates from China and India told Reuters at the Dec. 1-12 talks that they welcomed Obama’s plan to cut emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 compared to less ambitious goals set by President George W. Bush. (Emissions are now about 14 percent above 1990 ).
No pun intended but for the world’s carbon community, times are looking a little black.
The global financial crisis, or GFC as it is being called this week during Australia’s largest ever carbon market gathering, is deeply troubling many participants. But a larger, more worrying issue remains “post 2012″.
But this graph forecasts that coal, the dirtiest power source in terms of carbon dioxide and other pollutants, will still dominate global power generation growth for decades into the future.
The fate of a Chinese species may rest on whether the turtles in this photo mate.
Biologists believe only four Yangtze giant softshell turtles are left on the planet. So this month they shipped a more than 80-year-old female that had been living in China’s Changsha Zoo more than 600 miles to the only known male in China, who is more than 100 years old and lives at the Suzhou Zoo.