Kategoriarkiv: Economics

Risky Business

U.S. Regions and Business Sectors Face Significant Economic Risks From Climate Change

Risky Business: The American economy could face significant and widespread disruptions from climate change unless U.S. businesses and policymakers take immediate action to reduce climate risk, according to a new report released today. The report, “Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States,” summarizes findings of an independent assessment of the impact of climate change at the county, state, and regional level, and shows that communities, industries, and properties across the U.S. face profound risks from climate change. The findings also show that the most severe risks can still be avoided through early investments in resilience, and through immediate action to reduce the pollution that causes global warming.

More: http://riskybusiness.org/blog/risky-business-report-press-release

Catastrophe Modelling & Climate Change,

Lloyds: Against a background of more frequent severe weather events, such as floods and windstorms, a new report from Lloyd’s highlights the importance of insurers ensuring that their catastrophe modelling tools keep pace with the effects of climate change.

Catastrophe Modelling & Climate Change, produced by Lloyd’s Exposure Management & Reinsurance team, explains how the insurance industry increasingly relies on computerised “probabilistic” catastrophe models from different providers to manage their catastrophe risk exposures.

More: http://www.lloyds.com/news-and-insight/news-and-features/emerging-risk/emerging-risk-2014/keying-climate-change-into-catastrophe-models

EU to cut carbon emissions by 40% by 2030

eu flag 1

Guardian: Europe will cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, compared with 1990 levels, the toughest climate change target of any region in the world, and will produce 27% of its energy from renewable sources by the same date.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jan/22/eu-carbon-emissions-climate-deal-2030

Guardian: Europe’s 40% emissions cuts target has set the course for a low-carbon future

Connie Hedegaard , the EU commissioner for climate action

The European commission outlined its proposals for climate and energy policies up to 2030 recently. These include a binding emissions reduction target of 40% from 1990 levels and an EU-wide binding target of at least 27% of energy coming from renewable sources. And on energy efficiency, the energy commissioner will first review the current legislation before proposing the next steps. But they will come.

Overall, these proposals seemed to have had a timid reception here in Europe compared to the more positive comments coming from international leaders. But these give us reasons to believe that the real ambition of our proposals and what they mean to the fight against climate change have been recognised.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/feb/07/europe-emissions-carbon-climate

Halving CO2 emissions by 2050: New report says it will cost $2 trillion a year

imperial college london

Imperial College London: Now researchers at Imperial have considered what technologies and interventions are required to limit these global CO2 emissions from human activity to 15 Giga-tonnes per year by 2050, a level that many studies show could help to limit global warming to around two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Their report concludes that reaching this target will cost $2 trillion per year by 2050, which is about one per cent of the world’s GDP in 2050, and considerably less than this if fossil fuel prices increase with time. more

IMF Sees Big Gains from Energy Subsidies Reform

A new report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) urged policymakers the world over to reform subsidies for products from coal to gasoline, arguing that this could translate into major gains both for economic growth and the environment. The comprehensive study, Energy Subsidy Reform – Lessons and Implications, released today, estimates that energy subsidies amount to a staggering $1.9 trillion worldwide—the equivalent of 2½ percent of global GDP, or 8 percent of government revenues.

http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/2013/INT032713A.htm

Climate change, debt and inequality ‘threaten financial stability’

wef

WEF: The Global Risks Report 2013 analyses 50 global risks in terms of impact, likelihood and interconnections, based on a survey of over 1000 experts from industry, government and academia.

This year’s findings show that the world is more at risk as persistent economic weakness saps our ability to tackle environmental challenges. The report highlights wealth gaps (severe income disparity) followed by unsustainable government debt (chronic fiscal imbalances) as the top two most prevalent global risks. Following a year scarred by extreme weather, from Hurricane Sandy to flooding in China, respondents rated rising greenhouse gas emissions as the third most likely global risk overall. The findings of the survey fed into an analysis of three major risk cases: Testing Economic and Environmental Resilience, Digital Wildfires in a Hyperconnected World and The Dangers of Hubris on Human Health More

Guardian: Climate change, debt and inequality ‘threaten financial stability’

Vicki Arroyo: Let’s prepare for our new climate

ted

vicki ted

Set aside the politics: Data shows that climate change is happening, measurably, now. And as Vicki Arroyo says, it’s time to prepare our homes and cities for the new climate, with its increased risk of flooding, drought and uncertainty. She illustrates this inspiring talk with bold projects from cities all over the world — local examples of thinking ahead. TED Talks

Global warming: New research emphasizes the role of economic growth

TerraDaily: It’s a message no one wants to hear: To slow down global warming, we’ll either have to put the brakes on economic growth or transform the way the world’s economies work. That’s the implication of an innovative University of Michigan study examining the evolution of atmospheric CO2, the most likely cause of global climate change. Continue

Paper:

Climate change and the world economy: short-run determinants of atmospheric CO2

José A. TapiaGranadosa, Edward L. Ionidesb, Óscar Carpinteroc,

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2012.03.008,

Environmental Science & Policy,  Volume 21, August 2012, Pages 50–62

Tropical Cyclones to Cause Greater Damage

trophical cyclones

Tropical cyclones will cause $109 billion in damages by 2100, according to Yale and MIT researchers in a paper published in Nature Climate Change.

That figure represents an increased vulnerability from population and especially economic growth, as well as the effects of climate change. Greater vulnerability to cyclones is expected to increase global tropical damage to $56 billion by 2100—double the current damage—from the current rate of $26 billion per year if the present climate remains stable.

Scientific Paper:

The impact of climate change on global tropical cyclone damage.

Robert Mendelsohn, Kerry Emanuel, Shun Chonabayashi & Laura Bakkensen

Nature Climate Change (2012) doi:10.1038/nclimate1357

Received 29 July 2011 Accepted 01 December 2011 Published online 15 January 2012

WORLD’S LARGEST INVESTORS, WORTH $20 TRILLION STEP UP CALL FOR URGENT POLICY ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE

The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) is a forum for collaboration on climate change for European investors.

2011 Global Investor Statement on Climate Change

Climate change presents major long-term risks to the global economy and to the assets held by global investors. At the same time, well designed and effectively implemented long-term climate change and clean energy policy (“investment-grade policies”) will not only present significant opportunities for investors in areas such as cleaner and renewable energy, energy efficiency and decarbonisation, but will also yield substantial economic benefits.

In a joint statement, a group of 285 investors representing more than $20 trillion in assets, stresses the urgent need for policy action which stimulates private sector investment into climate change solutions, creates jobs, and is essential for ensuring the long-term sustainability and stability of the world economic system.

New Report on the Costs of Climate Change to Canada

The NRT has released its latest groundbreaking report as part of its Climate Prosperity series. Paying the Price: The Economic Impacts of Climate Change for Canada, is the first national-level study to assess the costs of growing climate change in our country and what it could mean to people, places, and prosperity.

Adaptation to climate change is becoming increasingly important as the physical impacts of this phenomenon become known and visible. Knowing what the economic costs of climate change could be will help us craft cost-effective adaptation strategies to reduce those impacts and cut those costs. Our report shows real examples.

Based on NRT original economic modelling, the report finds that the economic impact on Canada could reach:

2020: $5 billion per year

2050: Between $21 and $43 billion per year

In the 2050s:

Timber supply impacts could range from $2 billion to $17 billion per year with high impacts in B.C.

Flooding damages to coastal dwellings, resulting from climate change-induced sea-level rise and storm surges, could cost between $1 billion to $8 billion per year with higher than average cost impacts in Atlantic Canada

Poorer air quality resulting from higher temperatures will lead to more hospital visits, resulting in millions of dollars in costs to local health care systems for four of Canada’s major cities – Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver and Calgary

Continue

Why Bangladesh doesn’t want climate adaptation loans

guardian powerty matters blog

Guardian: This week in Cape Town, the World Bank will decide whether to approve new climate adaptation loans for five countries. In Bangladesh and around the world, campaigners are resisting these loans and urging their governments not to accept new debt for climate change. More than 50 organisations from countries due to receive the loans recently signed a statement opposing the concept of climate loans, which was initially invented by the UK.

In Bangladesh we have already seen the impacts of climate change, with thousands of lives lost and thousands of people displaced. By pushing climate loans, the UK is making people in countries like mine pay twice for climate change, even though we played virtually no part in causing the problem.

First, we have to endure the impacts. Bangladesh will lose around one-third of its land and there will be 30 million more displaced people due to climate induced problems in next 50 years. Second, if rich industrialised countries get their way, we will have to repay these unfair climate loans. Continue

Opportunities offered by climate change

guardian_logo

Posted by Rachel Godfrey Wood Tuesday 26 April 2011 07.00 BST

It’s not always a great idea to acknowledge that bad things can create opportunities – but they can. Bad things cause suffering and tragedy, but they can also destabilise the status quo, open space for new discussions, and give an impetus to groups looking for positive change.

This is particularly relevant for climate change, which is likely to challenge governments and social systems in a way that has never happened before. This point has been made by Mark Pelling, who in his new book, Adaptation to Climate Change: From Resilience to Transformation, argues that adapting to climate change should be seen as an opportunity to challenge existing social contracts and unequal relationships.

A good example is the discussion over climate change and its potential to cause “instability” and threat to “security”. This issue has apparently been rising up the priority list of military establishments and has been used by some environmentalists to advocate mitigation policies.

Continue: Guardian

Transparency International launches the Global Corruption Report: Climate Change

corruption climate change transparency int 2011

Overcoming climate change is the most critical challenge of the 21st century. The flows of funding to assist developing countries in combating climate change have already begun and are likely to be ramped up to many billions of US dollars a year within a few years. The transparent utilisation of these funds will determine their effectiveness. At this critical juncture, the Global Corruption Report provides the most comprehensive assessment of the safeguards that need to be put in place to build trust and strengthen integrity in these processes. Framed by Transparency International’s wide expertise in anti-corruption and accountability, this book will serve as an essential reference for anyone engaged in climate policy and decision-making’.

It includes more than 50 articles by experts on a variety of issues, including:

Transparency in the science of climate change;

How to safeguard against gaming in carbon markets;

Preventing fraud in the transition to a low-carbon economy (such as false claims of carbon reduction);

Building trust in the financing of projects that support countries adapting to climate change;

How the REDD+ system is supposed to work to keep forests clean and green

Continue: Transparency Int

we ADAPT

Stockholm Environment Institute_1259241294363

SEI has unveiled a new version of weADAPT, an online ‘open space’ on climate adaptation issues for practitioners, researchers and policymakers.

Created in collaboration with a wide range of partners, weADAPT is designed to help users access credible, high-quality information about adaptation – including synergies with mitigation – and to share experiences and lessons learned.

The new release of weADAPT includes several innovative tools, including the Adaptation Layer, a Google Earth interface that maps adaptation initiatives around the world and allows users to post their own ‘adaptation stories’, accessible by clicking on dots on the 3-D map

weADAPT 4.0 2011-04-27 12-13-18 weadapt sei

Continue: Stockholm Environment Institute, weADAPT

weADAPT 4.0 2011-04-27 12-22-34 adaption layer google earth sei

Shift fossil fuel subsidies to back clean tech

IEA releases first Clean Energy Progress Report

The International Energy Agency on Wednesday released its first Clean Energy Progress Report, which assesses global deployment of clean energy technologies and provides recommendations to countries on future action and spending.

In order to change this status quo, the IEA argues that more aggressive clean energy policies are required, including the removal of fossil fuel subsidies and the implementation of transparent, predictable and adaptive incentives for cleaner energy options.

Continue: IEA

Carbon Nation – The Movie

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Carbon Nation doesn’t waste time arguing that climate change is real and caused by humans, the film steps right into what can be done about it. The main theme — that it makes simple, good business sense to use energy more efficiently and to find alternatives to fossil fuels — is developed on economic arguments. Fossil fuels are getting more expensive and we must find alternatives. When evaluated on basic economics, the new fuels are nearly always renewable energy sources.

carbon nation

Continue: Carbon Nation

Overall picture of natural catastrophes in 2010

Munich Re - RSS-ATOM-XML_1262093218835

Several major catastrophes in 2010 resulted in substantial losses and an exceptionally high number of fatalities. The overall picture last year was dominated by an accumulation of severe earthquakes to an extent seldom experienced in recent decades. The high number of weather-related natural catastrophes and record temperatures both globally and in different regions of the world provide further indications of advancing climate change.

Continue: Munich Re

10 amazing facts you probably didn’t know about renewable energy.

greenpeace renewables wind

greenpeace

In all the spin from fossil fuels and nuclear industries, it is easy to start believing that renewable energy can’t get us out of the climate change hole. Think again – not only is an Energy [R]evolution happening, it’s already underway.

Continue: Greenpeace

Improved financing for climate change adaptation in least developed countries

The Least Developed Countries Report 2010, released today, is subtitled “Towards a new international development architecture for LDCs”. The report urges that climate change adaptation and mitigation should be one of the five central pillars of a new international architecture to support LDCs. (See press release 3.) It cautions that, while LDCs have historically contributed few of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that are now changing the global climate — and while they currently contribute only 1 per cent of such emissions — they face much greater economic and literal damage from climate change effects than do long-industrialized countries.

Continue: UNCTAD.org

disasters temp unchad

Putting a Price on Global Environmental Damage

Global environmental damage caused by human activity in 2008 represented a monetary value of $ 6.6 trillion, equivalent to 11% of global GDP, calculates a study released today by the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). Those global costs are 20% larger than the $ 5.4 trillion decline in the value of pension funds in developed countries caused by the global financial crisis in 2007/8. The study, an initial effort to quantify in monetary terms the environmental harm caused by business and the possible future consequences for investor portfolios, fund returns and company earnings, estimates that in 2008 the world’s top 3,000 public companies were responsible for a third of all global environmental damage. The study warns that as environmental damage and resource depletion increases, and governments start applying a “polluter pays” principle, the value of large portfolios will be affected through higher insurance premiums on companies, taxes, inflated input prices and the price tags for clean-ups.

Continue: UNEP Finance Initiative

Governments have their heads in the sand when it comes to oil

denial

Sir David King, Director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, has today called on governments to recognise that they need to develop alternative solutions to reduce our continued dependence on oil reserves and create a clear pathway towards a de-fossilised economy.

The former UK chief scientific adviser said that as global oil demand starts to outstrip supply, oil companies will be forced to drill in unconventional places.

More:  http://www.smithschool.ox.ac.uk/governments-have-their-heads-in-the-sand-when-it-comes-to-oil-says-sir-david-king/

Smith Scholl Oxford

Climate Crisis, Credit Crisis: The Quest for Green Growth

climate crisis credit crisis

April 2010 —

The Global Economy and Development program at Brookings today released a new report — “Climate Crisis, Credit Crisis: The Quest for Green Growth” — focused on finding solutions to the world’s two most pressing challenges: restoring sustainable and balanced global economic growth and reducing the risks of climate change.

As the global economy struggles to sustain its recovery from the deepest recession in sixty years, another challenge looms large: preventing the Earth from warming more than 3.6 °F, widely considered by climate experts as the acceptable level to reduce the risk of irreversible global damage resulting from climate change. To meet these challenges, we must look beyond our national borders, recognize that we face an uncertain future, and collaborate to ensure our collective well-being. Our success or failure will depend both on our timeliness and resolve—and will shape the fate of our planet for years to come.

http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2010/0422_climate_change_poverty.aspx

Roadmap 2050: A Practical Guide to a Prosperous, Low-Carbon Europe.

European Climate Foundation - Home_1271262104027

Europe can switch to low carbon sources of energy without jeopardising reliability or forcing up energy bills to punitive levels, according to a major new study that claims to be the most comprehensive assessment to date of the viability of zero carbon power supplies.

Roadmap 2050: a practical guide to a prosperous, low-carbon Europe will be released later today and will demonstrate how transitioning to a low or zero carbon power supply based on high levels of renewable energy would have no impact on reliability, and would have little impact on the cost of producing electricity in the period up to 2050.

The report was developed by think tank the European Climate Foundation (ECF) in collaboration with a number of leading economists and energy industry experts, and includes contributions from McKinsey, KEMA, Imperial College London and Oxford Economics.

Its analysis argues that cost effective zero carbon power is not reliant on technology breakthroughs, although it warns that they would help to further reduce the cost of decarbonisation.

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http://www.roadmap2050.eu/

The Impact Of Global Warming

american chronicle

Global warming is continuing to cause enormous devastation on the worlds economies particularly in countries like India. India today, is relying on their agriculture sector for about 1/5 of their GDP. This industry alone employees over 60% of India’s population. Now, the problem of ensuring India’s continued economic growth is greatly hampered due to the fact that their rainy season has produce so little rainfall this year over 280 districts were forced to declare drought conditions.

http://globalwarming.einnews.com/news.php?fid=261328837

IMF: Financing the Response to Climate Change

IMF

This note outlines a scheme for mobilizing financing to help developing countries confront the challenges posed by climate change. The idea is to create a “Green Fund” with the  capacity to raise resources on a scale commensurate with the Copenhagen Accord ($100 billion a year by 2020).

By providing a unified resource mobilization framework, with up-front agreement on burdensharing and the capacity to meet the financing needs identified at Copenhagen, the Green Fund could facilitate progress toward a binding global agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and allow developing countries to begin scaling up their climate change responses without delay.

http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/cat/longres.cfm?sk=23725.0

US: Green economy grows despite policy vacuum

The Daily Climate_1269358873319 tdc

SAN FRANCISCO – The green economy continues to show almost remarkable signs of vitality, business leaders say, despite the near-total collapse of global talks, stalemate in Washington, D.C., and polls showing decreased urgency to tackle global warming.

Driving the industry, investors say, are consumer interest in the environmental and economic benefits of energy efficiency, corporate sustainability mandates and essentially a bet that at some point there will be a price on carbon emissions.

http://wwwp.dailyclimate.org/tdc-newsroom/2010/03/green-economy-grows-despite-policy-vacuum

- We are facing interconnected challenges

intro state planet small

Stockholm Resilience Center: Centre director Johan Rockström among prominent list of speakers at State of the Planet 2010.

Rockström was among the list of speakers for this year´s State of the Planet conference which took place on 25 March in New York.

Hosted by The Economist, Ericsson and The Earth Institute at Colombia University, the conference brought together the world’s most influential and innovative thinkers and leaders in a wide range of fields — from many academic disciplines to media, government, policy and business spheres — to tackle critical issues facing the world.

This year´s conference addressed issues regarding climate change, poverty, economic recovery and international systems.

Together with Wallace S. Broecker, Newberry Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University and Mark Cane, G. Unger Vetlesen Professor of Earth and Climate Sciences, Columbia University, Rockström took part as a panelist discussing climate change and what it would take to complete a climate deal.

Rockström not only stressed the moral importance of acting, but also how climate change should be seen in a broader perspective, linking the discussion to the recent identification of the nine planetary boundaries.

– Perhaps solving the climate issue is the easy part of the story, because we are facing interconnected challenges of reduced biodiversity, ocean acidification, nitrogen and phosphorus inputs to the biosphere, land use change, which all reinforce climate change and deteriorate the resilience of ecosystems, Rockström said.

The climate change session was hosted by Matthew Bishop, American Business Editor and New York Bureau Chief for The Economist.

state planet small

China Leads G-20 Members in Clean Energy Finance and Investment

pew charity trust

Washington, DC – 03/24/2010 – For the first time, China led the United States and other G-20 members in 2009 clean energy investments and finance, according to data released today by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Last year, China invested $34.6 billion in the clean energy economy – nearly double the United States’ total of $18.6 billion. Over the last five years, the United States also trailed five G-20 members (Turkey, Brazil, China, the United Kingdom, and Italy) in the rate of clean energy investment growth.

Pew found that the global clean energy economy has experienced remarkable growth:

* Globally, clean energy investments have increased 230 percent since 2005.

* Investment by nearly all G-20 members grew by more than 50 percent over the past five years.

* Despite a worldwide recession, global clean energy investments reached $162 billion in 2009.

* G-20 members accounted for more than 90 percent of worldwide clean energy finance and investment.

* More than 250 gigawatts of renewable energy generating capacity have been installed around the world, producing six percent of global energy.

* Global clean energy investments are projected to reach $200 billion in 2010.

http://www.pewtrusts.org/news_room_detail.aspx?id=57972&WT.rss_ev=f&WT.rss_f=The%20Pew%20Charitable%20Trusts%20-%20Newsroom&WT.rss_a=China%20Leads%20G-20%20Members%20in%20Clean%20Energy%20Finance%20and%20Investment&WT.z_contenttype=PressRelease

The Economic Case for Slashing Carbon Emissions

green economy post

Amid a growing call for reducing atmospheric concentrations of CO2 to 350 parts per million, a group of economists maintains that striving to meet that target is a smart investment — and the best insurance policy humanity could buy.

by Frank Ackerman, senior economist with the Stockholm Environment Institute at Tufts University – Yale Environment 360

The climate change news from Washington is cautiously encouraging. No one in power is listening to the climate skeptics any more; the economic stimulus package included real money for clean energy; a bill capping U.S. carbon emissions emerged, battered but still standing, from the House of Representatives, and might even survive the Senate. This, along with stricter emission standards in Europe and a big push for clean energy and efficiency standards in China, provides grounds for hope for genuine progress on emissions reduction.

http://greeneconomypost.com/economic-case-slashing-carbon-emissions-8835.htm

The new world order

nature reports

Global Warring: How Environmental, Economic, and Political Crises Will Redraw the World Map

Cleo Paskal must be cursing the publishing gods. All anyone wants to talk about these days is purloined emails, errors in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the literary pursuits of its chair Rajendra Pachauri. Had Paskal’s first book, Global Warring: How Environmental, Economic, and Political Crises will Redraw the World Map, come out last fall, she’d have timed it perfectly.

Consider this series of events: in September, the US Central Intelligence Agency opened a centre on climate change and national security at its Virginian headquarters. That same month, the United Kingdom’s newly appointed climate and security envoy embarked on a global tour, talking up the threats posed by rising seas, glacial melt, worsening droughts and other warming-related impacts. In November, international senior security experts warned that climate change could become a ‘threat multiplier’ in volatile regions. Overnight, it seemed, the term ‘climate security’ had become a buzzword in foreign policy circles.

global warming cleo paskal

http://www.nature.com/climate/2010/1003/full/climate.2010.18.html

Climate insurance

wasington-post-logo

THE EARTH is warming. A chief cause is the increase in greenhouse gases accumulating in the atmosphere. Humans are at least in part responsible, because the oil, gas and coal that we burn releases these gases. If current trends persist, it’s likely that in coming decades the globe’s climate will change with potentially devastating effects for billions of people.

Contrary to what you may have read lately, there are few reputable scientists who would disagree with anything in that first paragraph. Yet suddenly we’re hearing that climate change is in doubt and that action to combat it is unlikely. What’s going on?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/21/AR2010022102917.html

World’s top firms cause $2.2tn of environmental damage, report estimates

logo guardian

The cost of pollution and other damage to the natural environment caused by the world’s biggest companies would wipe out more than one-third of their profits if they were held financially accountable, a major unpublished study for the United Nations has found.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/18/worlds-top-firms-environmental-damage

Bill Gates on energy: Innovating to zero!

inovating to zero bill gates

At TED2010, Bill Gates unveils his vision for the world’s energy future, describing the need for “miracles” to avoid planetary catastrophe and explaining why he’s backing a dramatically different type of nuclear reactor. The necessary goal? Zero carbon emissions globally by 2050.

ted

Video: http://www.ted.com/talks/bill_gates.html

Beyond the Corn Field: Balancing Fuel, Food and Biodiversity

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The development of alternative fuel will greatly benefit the U.S., say scientists in an Energy Foundation-funded report published February 16 by the Ecological Society of America (ESA), the nation’s largest organization of ecological scientists. However, in order to effectively reap the social and economic benefits of biofuel production, U.S. policies need to address potential effects of land-use choices on our ecosystems.

continue: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100216140152.htm

The Ecological Society of America {ESA}_1266520174051 esa

New ESA Report on Biofuels: Implications for Land Use and Biodiversity

http://www.esa.org/

State of the World 2010: Transforming Cultures

Worldwatch Institute_1263469275963 logo

Washington, D.C.-Without an intentional cultural shift that values sustainability over consumerism, no government pledges or technological advances will be enough to rescue humanity from unacceptably hazardous environmental and climate risks, concludes the Worldwatch Institute in the latest edition of its flagship annual report, State of the World 2010. The book, subtitled Transforming Cultures: From Consumerism to Sustainability, defines “consumerism” as a cultural orientation that leads people to find meaning, contentment, and acceptance primarily through what they consume.

“We’ve seen some encouraging efforts to combat the world’s climate crisis in the past few years,” says project director Erik Assadourian. “But making policy and technology changes while keeping cultures centered on consumerism and growth can only go so far. To thrive long into the future, human societies will need to shift their cultures so that sustainability becomes the norm and excessive consumption becomes taboo.”

http://www.worldwatch.org/node/6359

Clean-Energy Investment in Asia Exceeds Americas for First Year

Jan. 8 (Bloomberg) — Clean-energy investment in Asia rose during the global recession in 2009, surpassing the Americas for the first time as China installed wind turbines and solar panels to replace coal-burning power plants.

Energy systems using the sun, wind and biofuels in the Asia-Pacific region attracted $37.3 billion, up 25 percent from 2008, data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance show. Spending fell by the same rate in North and South America to $32 billion.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601130&sid=aJPwOCrxA0FE

US PEW Center: Climate TechBook

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Greenhouse gas emissions come from diverse sources across the economy. The magnitude of emissions and diversity of sources means that no single technology, policy, or behavioral change will be able to “solve” climate change. Rather, a portfolio of solutions is needed. A wide range of technologies already exist, or are currently under development, to facilitate greenhouse gas emission reductions.

climate techbook The Pew Center on Global Climate Change_1262884027604

Emissions by Sector

This chart shows the percent of greenhouse gas emissions from each of the five key economic sectors in the United States. Greenhouse gas emissions data come from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2007. Click on a sector to learn more about the emissions from that sector, as well as the technologies that can help lower emissions.

Technologies by Sector

Select a technology to learn more about how it works, how it can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and what policy options exist to help promote it. Note that certain technologies can play a key role in more than one sector.

2 Climate TechBook - Pew Center on Global Climate Change- The Pew Center on Global Climate Change_1262884084498

http://www.pewclimate.org/climate-techbook

2009: Energy Emissions Crash

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Greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels dropped off a cliff in recession-hit 2009, plunging by the biggest amount in 40 years.

International Energy Agency (EIA) reported that the global recession had led to an unprecedented fall in energy-related carbon emissions. Slower industrial activity, reduced demand for energy, and the postponement of new power stations all contributed.

So did some government policies. In Europe, governments pledged to reduce emissions by 20 percent by 2020, China’s energy efficiency programs kicked in, and the U.S. established car emissions standards.

But the shelved energy investments are the key. Trillions of dollars worth of infrastructure will be needed in the next few decades. Whether it is spent primarily on fossil fuels or renewables will decide the fate of the climate. The recession was an opportunity for countries to call timeout on energy investments and switch focus from dirty to clean energy.

http://knowledge.allianz.com/en/globalissues/climate_change/top_climate_stories/key_stories_2009_energy_emissions_crash.html?mediacode=rss_feed

Losses From Climate Change Disasters to Rise, Munich Re Says

Few major natural catastrophe losses in 2009 General trend confirmed by large number of weather extremes

Natural catastrophe losses were far lower in 2009 than in 2008 due to the absence on the whole of major catastrophes and a very benign North Atlantic hurricane season. However, the total number of destructive natural hazard events was above the long-term average, 850 being recorded in all. Consequently, despite the lack of really disastrous events, there were substantial economic losses of US$ 50bn and insured losses amounted to US$ 22bn compared with economic losses of US$ 200bn and insured losses of US$ 50bn in the previous year.

http://www.munichre.com/en/press/press_releases/2009/2009_12_29_press_release.aspx

A Copenhagen Prognosis: towards a safe climate future

sei copenhagen prognosis potsdam

SEI, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) launch A Copenhagen Prognosis: towards a safe climate future, a synthesis of the latest science on climate change, environment and development.

The Prognosis presents a concise diagnosis of the state of the bioshpere and observed trends and offers a treatment plan that is consistent with a 2°C warming threshold, equity and economic development. Among it’s key conclusions are that:

– Emerging scientific results suggest that greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions targets currently being tabled are not consistent with the expressed political will to protect humanity against high risks of devastating climate impacts and significant risks of self-amplifying global warming.

– Based on the available carbon budget, and if we are to have a good (75 per cent) chance for warming to stay below 2°C, global GHG emissions would almost certainly need to decline extremely rapidly after 2015, and reach essentially zero by midcentury.

– There is no evidence suggesting it is impossible to rise to this challenge. To the contrary, the growing body of analytical work examining such scenarios at the global and regional level suggest it is not only technically feasible but also economically affordable, even profitable.

http://sei-international.org/index.php/news-and-media/1740-much-tougher-targets-needed-for-a-safe-climate-not-only-economically-affordable-but-even-profitable-say-leading-scientists

World Bank: Carbon Partnership Facility

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With the regulatory period of the Kyoto Protocol ending in 2012, and discussions between the Parties to the UNFCCC on a long-term framework for the post-2012 period not expected to conclude before 2009–2010 at the earliest, there is a period of uncertainty regarding the future international climate regime. Moreover, the short-term, compliance-driven buying interests in the current market do not support large, cleaner investments in energy and infrastructure that have long-term emission reduction potential. The current project-by-project approach under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI) of the Kyoto Protocol incurs high transaction costs and is unlikely to generate the kind of transformation in emission-intensive sectors that large-scale programs can produce. This challenge along with the lack of regulatory framework, has created a limited demand for post–2012 carbon assets.

As a response to these challenges, the new proposed Carbon Partnership Facility is designed to develop emission reductions and support their purchase over long periods after 2012. Its objective and business model are based on the need to prepare large-scale, potentially risky investments with long lead times, which require durable partnerships between buyers and sellers. It is also based on the need to support long-term investments in an uncertain market environment, possibly spanning several market cycles. “Learning by doing” approaches will be an essential aspect of the Carbon Partnership Facility as it moves from individual projects to programmatic approaches, including methodologies needed for such approaches.

http://wbcarbonfinance.org/Router.cfm?Page=CPF&FID=41756&ItemID=41756

Presentation on COP15:

UNFCCC Webcast- On demand_1260359078076

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COP 15, Press Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark, 11 December 2009,  World Bank:

Launch of WB Carbon Partnership Facility

http://www2.cop15.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/cop15/templ/play.php?id_kongressmain=1&theme=unfccc&id_kongresssession=2461

World Bank launches ‘green’ index of businesses in emerging markets

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10 December 2009 – The private sector arm of the World Bank today launched the first ever eco-friendly stock market index that allows investors to track the carbon efficiency of companies doing business in emerging economies.

In partnership with the giant financial services corporation Standard and Poor’s (S&P), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) established the S&P/IFC Investable Emerging Markets Index expecting it to mobilize more than $1 billion for carbon-efficient companies over the next three years.

The pioneering index is meant to encourage carbon-based competition among emerging-market businesses, give carbon-efficient companies access to long-term investors and result in lower carbon emissions in developing countries, as well as reducing the carbon footprint of investors’ portfolios.

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=33214&Cr=climate+change&Cr1=