Showing results for: Climate policy
A top China government advisor said at a recent Beijing conference that China, the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter will limit its total emissions for the first time by the end of this decade. The Chair of China's Advisory Committee on Climate Change said that an absolute cap on emissions will be introduced sometime within the next five years. Although the advisor later stated that these were only his own opinions, commentators expressed a cautious optimism about the statement.
This study in BioScience compares coverage of biodiversity and climate change in newspapers, scientific articles, and research funding decisions, and finds that climate change eclipsed biodiversity loss as a priority in the mid-2000s.
New official data from the European Union shows a 19.2 % reduction on GHG emissions on 1990 levels, suggesting that the union is within reach of its target to reduce emissions by 20% until 2020. Emissions fell by 1.3 % between 2011 and 2012, largely due to reductions in transport and industry and a growing proportion of energy from renewable sources. Italy alone accounted for 45 % of the total EU net reduction in emissions in 2012, largely due to lower emissions from transport and industry.
Africa has been thought to be a potentially large carbon sink of great value in efforts to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions. But this study reveals that it could be a net source of greenhouse gases that will increase global warming.
The long awaited Working Group II report on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability for the IPCC Fifth Assessment Round was released on March 31st 2014. This report details the impacts of climate change to date, the future risks from a changing climate, and the opportunities for effective action to reduce risks.
GreenFacts has produced a summary of the “Physical science basis” of climate change, which is the first part of the new report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The international research team behind this article calls for an increased climate policy focus on reducing ruminant meat consumption. They argue that climate negotiations thus far have paid too little attention to the role of livestock when discussing greenhouse gas mitigation. Methane from ruminants is the largest human-related source of the greenhouse gasses. As such, reducing ruminant populations is the most effective way to cut methane emissions and would also reduce CO2 emissions resulting from forest clearance for livestock farming. The livestock sector as a whole contributes around 14.5 % of all human-caused GHGs according to the latest FAO report) – a figure that includes overall GHG emissions, not just methane.
This FAO key note presentation was given by Andrea Cattaneo at the 3rd Global Conference on Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Security and Climate Change, held in South Africa in December 2013.
This paper, which looks at the impact of agricultural intensification on soils across Europe, suggests that differences in the intensity of land use significantly affects soil ecosystems and the services they provide. High intensity arable land use is found to a have lower diversity and biomass of soil organisms than lower intensity arable or permanent grassland, and that this affects the carbon and nitrogen cycles in the environment.
In this guest-blogpost on the SIANI website, Rachel Kyte, Vice President for Sustainable Development at the World Bank, contributes with a piece on the UN climate talks in Warsaw, Poland and the lack of progress made in getting agriculture on the agenda. She also reflects on the potential for climate-smart agriculture and in particular the opportunities for an Alliance on Climate-Smart Agriculture to forge consensus and collaboration in this area.
This review article, Population, development, and climate change: links and effects on human health, discusses the results from a University College London & Leverhulme Trust Population Footprints Symposium on the linkages between population, development, climate change and health. The review, published in The Lancet, shows that while population growth is an important factor, consumers rather than people per se, drive climate change, and therefore reducing consumption represents the most effective way to reduce carbon emissions. It says that family planning (when implemented with other social and economic improvements) is one of the most effective ways of managing increases in population growth and of delivering extensive health benefits in both high and low-income countries. However when it comes to addressing climate change, demographic trends with respect to ageing, urbanisation and consumption are more significant than total population numbers. The authors conclude that reducing consumption and creating sustainable lifestyles in rich countries represent the most effective way of reducing carbon emissions and ultimately delivering health benefits.
A video recording of Al Gore's public lecture for the Oxford Martin School is now available on the Oxford Martin School website here.
In his lecture Gore outlined the challenges presented in his latest book, ‘The Future’, ranging from climate change and wealth inequality to biotechnology and the loss of jobs to automation.
Additional events arranges by the Oxford Martin School can be found here.
This video features some of the young researchers who took part in the networking conference on interdisciplinary research into future food systems in April 2013. Behind the initiative was Future Earth a new global 10-year interdisciplinary research programme and the three partners ICSU, ISSC and the DFG.