Tag Archive | "Climate Change"

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BANGLADESH: Community-Based Climate Strategies Are Key

Posted on 19 December 2009 by editor

By Darryl D’Monte

COPENHAGEN, Dec 19 (IPS/TerraViva) – Many countries treat Bangladesh as a country that is so afflicted by calamities that it is incapable of pulling itself out of dire poverty. Yet, it has blazed a trail in drawing up blueprints for community-driven climate adaptation strategies.

Part of this blueprint is to revive traditional farming practices that could withstand extreme weather changes. Continue Reading

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Climate Change: Scientific Fact, Not Political Issue

Posted on 18 December 2009 by editor

Fabricio Vanden Broeck

Fabricio Vanden Broeck

Mario Osava

RIO DE JANEIRO (IPS/TerraViva) – “In a year’s time, the Japanese archipelago will be completely under water.” This official announcement was made following a violent eruption of Mt. Fuji, as a series of devastating earthquakes shook the country, forcing the world to face the challenge of taking in 110 million refuges within a very short time.

After a brutal diplomatic battle, the Japanese government managed to secure frail support from its fellow nations and evacuate 65 million people. Twenty million sank with the islands, many of them voluntarily, out of love for their country or to give younger people a better chance of fleeing. The rest are believed to have died before the islands sank, victims of the quakes, tsunamis and other natural disasters. Continue Reading

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Food Security in Bangladesh in Great Peril from Climate Change

Posted on 18 December 2009 by editor

By Athar Parvaiz

COPENHAGEN (IPS/TerraViva) – Unless the world comes to its aid, Bangladesh says the vulnerability of its agriculture sector to climate change could spell severe consequences for its millions of people, who stand to lose their main source of livelihood.

“As a poverty-stricken and densely populated country, we cannot cope with these challenges unless we have a proper financial and technological support from the developed world,” said Sabir Hassan Chowdhary, one of the delegates from Bangladesh to the Copenhagen climate talks, in an interview with TerraViva. Continue Reading

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Glacial Data Crucial to Combating Climate Change

Posted on 18 December 2009 by editor

By Darryl D’Monte

COPENHAGEN  (IPS/TerraViva) – People living in the Himalayan region are increasingly confronted by rising temperatures and glaciers melting at an unprecedented rate, threatening their very survival. This much the world already knows.

Yet, experts say, there is still no accurate and reliable data on the Himalayan glaciers and many aspects of its ecosystem, which should facilitate determining mitigation measures addressing current and future impacts of climate change on the Himalayas.

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‘What’s Good for Asia Is Good for the World’ – Chinese Official

Posted on 17 December 2009 by editor

Ambassador Yu Qingtai. Credit: Embassy of China in the United States

Ambassador Yu Qingtai. Credit: Embassy of China in the United States

By Rajiv Fernando*

COPENHAGEN (IPS/TerraViva) – China appears to have gained instant celebrity status since the opening days of the United Nations Climate Change Conference here.

The many meetings and press briefings arranged by Chinese officials have been jampacked by all who are excited to see the emerging economic giant of Asia will lead the rest of the developing world during the climate negotiations in the Danish capital. Continue Reading

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Future Energy Scenario Unfavourable to Asia

Posted on 16 December 2009 by editor

Analysis by Darryl D’Monte

COPENHAGEN (IPS/TerraViva) – Much of the discussion in Copenhagen has revolved around targets and deadlines for cutting carbon emissions. But a weekend seminar in the idyllic Danish island of Samsoe, titled “Future Energy,” helped journalists locate the problem in the context of the world’s biggest emitters.

The Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) drew out future scenarios, assuming that all these countries did not exceed 450ppm (parts per million) of carbon dioxide, which is considered the cap to prevent irretrievable climate change. Many developing countries believe 350ppm is a safer option. Continue Reading

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China Reels Under a Barrage of Criticism

Posted on 16 December 2009 by editor

 

Civil society demonstration in Copenhagen. Credit: Ana Libisch/IPS

Civil society demonstration in Copenhagen. Credit: Ana Libisch/IPS

By Antoaneta Bezlova

 

BEIJING (IPS/TerraViva) – China is not happy. This is how one of the Chinese state-sanctioned newspapers summed up Beijing’s feelings about the week spent negotiating on climate change in the Danish capital.

After a very public showdown with the United States in the early days of the global climate talks, China found itself attacked by smaller developing countries for benefiting more than anyone else from carbon credit funding. And as the countdown to the end of negotiations began, Beijing was seen deflecting criticism that it was the stumbling block to reaching a deal. Continue Reading

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CLIMATE CHANGE: Asians Find their Collective Voice

Posted on 16 December 2009 by editor

By Athar Parvaiz

COPENHAGEN  (IPS/TerraViva) – If some Asian states appeared to be disunited in the lead-up to the climate change talks currently underway in Copenhagen, now they are rising in unison to get the developed world to accede to their demands.

Asian countries had shown least cooperation in the past, but climate change seems to have united them,” said Rajesh Mehta, a climate campaigner from India, who works with Action Aid International, a global anti-poverty organisation. Continue Reading

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Q&A: Military Activity Driving Rapid Glacier Melting

Posted on 15 December 2009 by editor

Hydrologist Arshad H. Abbasi says Siachen glacier is melting at an unprecedented rate. Credit: Arshad Abbasi

Hydrologist Arshad H. Abbasi says Siachen glacier is melting at an unprecedented rate. Credit: Arshad Abbasi

By Zofeen Ebrahim

KARACHI (IPS/TerraViva) – For the past several years, water expert Arshad H. Abbasi has been calling attention to the environmental degradation of the Siachen Glacier, one of the Himalayan glaciers and the largest in the world outside of the polar regions.

Situated on the strategic tri-junction of India, China and Pakistan, the glacier is considered a climate regulator and an “ecological source” for South Asia, says Abbasi. Continue Reading

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South Africa’s Empty Promise

Posted on 14 December 2009 by editor

Sisiwe Khanyile from South African group Groundwork. Credit: Servaas van den Bosch/IPS

Sisiwe Khanyile from South African group Groundwork. Credit: Servaas van den Bosch/IPS

By Servaas van den Bosch

COPENHAGUE (IPS/TerraViva) Powerhouse South Africa last week promised a reduction of growth in emissions, making it the momentary star of the negotiations. But the plan is ‘an absolute non-starter’, say environmental groups, as power utility Eskom fires up more fossil plants with five billion dollars of World Bank funding.

In a well-timed move, South Africa, responsible for half of the continent’s greenhouse gas emissions, announced a reduction of CO2 emission growth – down 34 percent from business as usual in 2020 and 42 percent by 2025. The announcement, released the day before the start of the U.N. Climate Change Conference, predicts a decline in emissions in 2035. Continue Reading

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Local Climate Efforts: Too Little, Too Slow, Too Late?

Posted on 14 December 2009 by editor

By Feizal Samath

COLOMBO (IPS/TerraViva) – Some Sri Lankan experts are not pinning their hopes on the ongoing climate talks in Copenhagen, saying greenhouse gas emissions will continue to torment the world as long as western lifestyles remain the same. Continue Reading

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Forestry Conversion and Emission Issues in Indonesia Raise Questions

Posted on 14 December 2009 by editor

By Rajiv Fernando

COPENHAGUE (IPS/TerraViva) A new report has accused developed nations and some environmental non-governmental organisations of distorting understanding of the role of forestry and land conversion in reducing poverty and not failing to acknowledge the developing world’s economic needs.

The report, “Conversion: The Immutable Link between Forestry and Development,” was authored by Alan Oxley, chairman of World Growth, a US-based non-profit NGO established, according to its website, to bring balance to the debate over trade, globalization, and sustainable development. Continue Reading

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REDD: No Clear Targets

Posted on 13 December 2009 by editor

Jungle on Costa Rica's Pacific coast. Credit: Diana Cariboni/IPS

Jungle on Costa Rica's Pacific coast. Credit: Diana Cariboni/IPS

By Servaas van den Bosch

COPENHAGEN (IPS/TerraViva) With five days to go at COP15 the REDD proposal no longer offers tangible targets for halting deforestation. A safeguard on the conversion of natural forest into plantations has been re-inserted though.

Reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) could lower global CO2 output by 15 percent, say scientists. Continue Reading

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Scientists Turn to Inuit for Clues

Posted on 13 December 2009 by editor

Stephen Schneider illustrating some of the latest NASA technology to study climate change effects in the Arctic. Credit: Claudia Ciobanu/IPS

Stephen Schneider illustrating some of the latest NASA technology to study climate change effects in the Arctic. Credit: Claudia Ciobanu/IPS

Claudia Ciobanu

COPENHAGEN (IPS/TerraViva) – The Inuit people who live in and around the Arctic are among the worst victims of global warming, and scientists are now turning to their experience and indigenous knowledge to understand the staggering effects of climate change.

“The Arctic is at the epicentre of climate change. Inuit traditions and subsistence practices have already been assaulted,” stated the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) in a call for action at the 15th Conference of Parties (CoP15) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, underway in the Danish capital.

“Government leaders at CoP15 must take the strongest possible measures to protect our Arctic homeland,” read the call for action from the ICC, which represents approximately 160,000 Inuit living in Greenland, Russia, Canada and the United States.

Not only are political leaders around the world not doing enough to limit global warming, but also the best of mainstream science still cannot properly predict the impact of climate change in the Arctic.

This is one reason why researchers are turning to the experience of the Inuit themselves to read the signs of global warming. ICC researchers and veteran polar explorers like Will Steger, among others, have started interviewing Inuit hunters, fishermen and farmers in an attempt to mix mainstream science with traditional knowledge to better understand nature.

The Inuit, who know the weather and relief patterns and see the alterations brought about by global warming with their own eyes, are also being included in mapping exercises to precisely gain local effects of climate change.

The involvement of the Inuit is crucial also because alterations brought on by climate change increase the chances of intervention in their lifestyle – impossible a decade ago.

Kasper Brandt, an Inuit hunter from Greenland, told researchers from ICC that a barometer used for generations in his family “does not have faith in the weather anymore.”

“The Inuit no longer have the same mobility that they used to, as a consequence of modernisation in their lifestyle, so they are not as flexible to adapt to the changes in weather patterns,” explained Lene Holm, ICC Greenland’s director for environment, here on Saturday.

Temperatures in the extreme North are rising faster than elsewhere around the world, causing ice to melt at an accelerated pace. In turn, this has led to a shortening of the hunting season, with negative impacts on livelihood provision. The air has become more humid in spring, making it more difficult to keep up with the traditional practice of drying fish

Changes in the Arctic region will affect not just the Inuit. Alarm bells are sounding about the melting of the Siberian permafrost, leading to the release of massive quantities of greenhouse gases (GhG) into the atmosphere, further accelerating anthropogenic global warming.

And the melting of the ice sheet in Greenland could raise sea levels by seven meters, explained environmental biologist Stephen Schneider from Stanford University, in Copenhagen on Saturday.

Schneider, also a leading climate change scientist, said current research is insufficient to clearly understand the correlation between global temperature increase and sea level rise, and said he doubted that drastic changes could be prevented.

Using a metaphor, Schneider said that reaching the tipping point at which a seven meter rise in sea level can occur is like going towards the top of a hill after which the bus will uncontrollably go down. “The problem is that while we assume that the bus is driven by a professional driver, it’s actually being driven by some quarrelling teenagers,” Schneider commented. (END/2009)

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