The Great Debate UK
from The Great Debate:
Most people who followed the Copenhagen climate talks in December will have been disappointed.
While the agreement brokered by the group of countries that included the United States, Brazil, China, India and South Africa and ratified by most of the attending countries is being touted as a success of sorts, it fell far short of the expectations that had built up, and achieved very little in concrete terms.
Now with the World Economic Forum approaching, the issue of climate change and sustainability will once again dominate discussions among the business and political leaders who attend the annual gathering in Davos.
Ever since the 1968 publication in Science of Garrett Hardin’s article “The Tragedy of the Commons,” it has been regarded as virtually an article of faith that only strong national and international regulators can be trusted with the proper management of public resources.
- Julian Hunt is visiting professor at Delft University and formerly director general of the UK meteorological office. Charles Kennel is distinguished professor of atmospheric science, emeritus and senior advisor to the sustainability solutions institute, UCSD. The opinions expressed are their own. -
The non-legally binding “deal” agreed at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen among the U.S., China, Brazil, South Africa and India, has brought to a conclusion what has proved an extraordinarily complex set of negotiations.
from The Great Debate:
- Dr. Fred Singer is the President of The Science & Environmental Policy Project and Professor Emeritus of environmental science at the University of Virginia. The views expressed are his own -
The International Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) charter states that the organization’s purpose is to look for human induced climate change. The Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) does not have this problem. If we find support for human induced climate change, we say so. If we do not find support for human induced climate change, we say so. In fact, the first NIPCC report, of which I was a lead author, was called 'Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate'.
from UK News:
Amid widespread speculation over whether delegates attending the United Nations Climate Conference in Copenhagen will reach a deal on emission targets, some environmentalists have suggested that climate change must be tackled at a local level.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, suggests a series of tips on its website titled "Twelve Days of Copenhagen" to mark each day of the Dec. 7 to 18 summit.
- John Reid MP, formerly UK Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Defence, is the Chairman of the Institute for Security and Resilience Studies at University College, London. The opinions expressed are his own. -
Barack Obama’s announcement that there will be no all-encompassing protocol agreed at Copenhagen underlines that climate change is perhaps the most complex issue facing the world today. In part, this is because it involves long-term thinking and modeling which our existing political, financial and economic institutions and governance frameworks are ill-designed and configured to grapple with and resolve.
from Environment Forum:
A report by a group of leading scientists that global warming is accelerating and that world sea levels could rise at worst by 2 metres by 2100* is grim reading.
But sceptics are using a flood of leaked e-mails from a British University -- dubbed "Climategate" -- to question the findings.
Ahead of a U.N. summit in Copenhagen next month, scepticism is growing that an agreement will be reached on a global climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol, due to expire in 2012.
The protocol set targets aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which are believed to be responsible for the gradual rise in the Earth’s average temperature. Many scientists say that reducing carbon dioxide emissions is key to preventing climate change.
Scientists argue that rich nations must make drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions to prevent dangerous climate change. The way energy is used, priced and created would have to change in order to institute these cuts.
Ahead of elections in Britain, which must be held before June 2010, Dave Timms of Friends of the Earth shared his thoughts with Reuters on what the group thinks the next government needs to do in order to build a low-carbon economy.
The European Union has been at the forefront in pressing for binding, internationally monitored reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and funding from industrialised countries to help developing nations switch to clean energy.
– Roger Martin is a former diplomat and leading environmentalist. He is now Chairman of the Optimum Population Trust. Any views expressed are his own -
I’ve been an environmental campaigner for 20 years, and can confidently summarise all our problems as ‘too many people consuming too much stuff.’ But in all those worthy meetings about all those worthy green projects, I’ve noticed that everyone talks about the stuff, like consuming less energy rather than providing more; and no-one talks about the people, the number of consumers.