Men and women dressed in suits and armed with phones and papers rush to meetings at the UN Climate Conference in Bonn, largely ignoring two lines of young people holding colorful signs. As they stomp towards each other to symbolically close the "gap" between government pledges and projected emissions, the protesters shout for global leaders to "step up" and cut CO2. "We want leaders to be more ambitious," Hsin-yi Yao from Taiwan told DW, "and really care about the people of their own country and other people on this earth – so to make a step up for more ambitious climate plans." Stronger commitments are needed, says the Care about the Climate group - which is made up of young people from countries as diverse as Uganda, Sweden and the US - because current targets will make it impossible to achieve the Paris objectives. These are to keep the global average temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius, with an aim to limit it to 1.5 degrees, and … [Read more...] about Are international pledges bold enough to stop global warming?
Ways reduce global warming
Men and women dressed in suits and armed with phones and papers rush to meetings at the UN Climate Conference in Bonn, largely ignoring two lines of young people holding colorful signs. As they stomp towards each other to symbolically close the "gap" between government pledges and projected emissions, the protesters shout for global leaders to "step up" and cut CO2. "We want leaders to be more ambitious," Hsin-yi Yao from Taiwan told DW, "and really care about the people of their own country and other people on this earth – so to make a step up for more ambitious climate plans." Stronger commitments are needed, says the Care about the Climate group - which is made up of young people from countries as diverse as Uganda, Sweden and the US - because current targets will make it impossible to achieve the Paris objectives. These are to keep the global average temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius, with an aim to limit it to 1.5 degrees, and … [Read more...] about Will international pledges be enough to stop global warming?
The title of a study published last week in the journal "Nature Climate Change" does not sound optimistic. "Less than 2 degrees Celsius global warming up to 2100 unlikely," it declares. Researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle say that the chance for humans to limit global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2050 is only 5 percent. And it is "unrealistic" to expect that global warming can be kept below 1.5 degrees, concludes Adrian Raftery, the lead author of the study. It is a sobering conclusion, not only in the context of climate change impacts - this has political implications as well. In the Paris Agreement on climate change, 195 countries agreed to limit the global average temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius compared to the preindustrial level - and if possible, to 1.5 degrees. A second study in the same issue of the journal reports that warming of 1.1 degrees Celsius is unavoidable, even if humankind … [Read more...] about Earth on track toward 2 degree global warming, researchers say
"A sandstorm is one of the most dangerous things that can happen to you" says Mustafa, as he wraps his scarf around his face to protect himself from the sand. "Sometimes they last for hours and you can easily get lost in it". Mustafa has to cross the desert each week on a motorbike on his way to the small desert town of Merzouga to look for work. A Berber by origin, Mustafa lives with his family who are pastoral nomads in the Sahara Desert in southeast Morocco, close to the Algerian Border. Their livelihood comes through moving with their herd from one place to another. However, in recent years, droughts and … [Read more...] about What global warming means for Morocco’s nomads
The European Union has always been a leading force at climate change negotiations. As one of the early signatories to the Kyoto Protocol to reduce global warming, the EU has set itself up as an example for other regions of the world to follow. In the past it has lobbied to convince skeptical nations to sign up to the pact. It was instrumental in pressuring Russia to ratify the treaty in November paving the way for it to become legally binding in January 2005. It has also been the most vocal critic of the US opposition to the protocol. In its own backyard, the EU is on track to cut emissions by eight percent between 2008 and 2012, owing largely to significant cuts made by Germany and Great Britain under the bloc’s unique burden sharing agreement. According to Kilaparti Ramakrishna, a climate change expert from the Woods Hole Reasearch Center, although the efforts of the two countries are exemplary, the fact that the burden to reduce emissions rests on just a few countries, lets … [Read more...] about Europe Leads Way in Climate Talks
"Bio-energy - Chances and Limits" is the title of the paper more than 20 scientists have been working on at the German Leopoldina National Academy of Sciences since 2010. But the chemists, biologists, ecologists and climatologists clearly think there are more limits than chances for the meaningful use of renewable resources to produce energy, at least in Germany. "The current proposal by politicians to have bio-energy supply 23 percent, sometimes even 30 percent of our overall energy supply is entirely illusionary," is the sobering conclusion drawn by Bernhard Schink, one of three coordinators of the study and professor of microbial ecology at the University of Konstanz. Germany is now part of what has become known as the "energy revolution," relying heavily on bio-gas, bio-diesel, and bio-ethanol. German cars, for example, use gasoline or diesel containing 5 to 10 percent ethanol. Difficulty balancing calculations There are two basic arguments for the use of bio-energy. The supply … [Read more...] about Is Germany headed the wrong way on biofuel?
Germany's chancellor repeated her call for global solutions to cutting CO2 emissions, encouraging countries to begin looking for a way to move forward efforts to combat climate change. Negotiating a successor to the Kyoto Protocol -- a treaty which sets targets for industrial nations to reduce carbon emissions -- is of crucial importance, Merkel said, speaking before a UN climate conference. "It's not only the dry facts and numbers that call us to negotiate, but also the question of in what future we want to live," she said. "For me, this is not only an economic imperative, but also a moral one." Merkel called for global CO2 emissions, a major man-made factor that contributes to global warming, to be halved by 2050. Carbon trading suggested as a solution Merkel wants the UN to take the lead on combating climate change Merkel suggested that a global carbon-trading scheme, which places a price on industries' carbon-dioxide emissions, should play a "central role" in plans to … [Read more...] about Merkel Speaks of Global Need for Action on Climate Change
The first international ministers conference on climate change since the failed UN summit at Copenhagen in 2009 wrapped up in Bonn, Germany, on Tuesday (04.05.2010). A focus group of some 40 countries was supposed to look for opportunities to take action in the absence of a global agreement. German Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen defended the meeting's outcome, despite a lack of any discernable change in negotiating positions. Reporter: What good can this conference achieve, beyond the exchange of already well-known positions? Norbert Roettgen: For one, we want to develop a concrete project with Ethiopia to aid vulnerable countries in adapting to climate change procedure and developing strategies. We may also develop a project with South Korea to concretely reduce CO2 through trade systems. We are also organizing another concrete project with tropical countries to protect rain forests, since they produce oxygen and act as carbon sinks. … [Read more...] about Germany claims progress in half-way climate talks
"We stand ready to conclude an ambitious, vast and binding global climate deal and we will settle for nothing less," EU Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete told journalists in Brussels. He said the EU would advocate for emissions peaking by 2020, after which they would be reduced by 50 percent compared to greenhouse gas emission levels in 1990. "They should be near zero or below by 2100…It's a fair deal, it will get everyone on board," he told reporters. Canete said the EU's goals were consistent with those of the United Nations, which seeks to keep global warming levels to a maximum of two degrees Celsius over average temperatures before industrialization . Scientists believe this will help avoid severe droughts, floods and rises in sea levels. The last negotiating session before Paris would take place in Bonn, Germany in October, to be followed by the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris from November 30 to December 11 . Possible success in Paris The EU's … [Read more...] about EU states confident of ‘ambitious’ global deal in Paris climate talks
Delegates to the conference have largely agreed on funding to help developing countries cope with an onset of natural disasters and extreme weather events brought about by climate change. But this agreement is being held hostage to disagreement over what happens next. The United States and Saudi Arabia are opposed to an EU proposal to hold seminars to talk about the second commitment period. Now that the Kyoto Protocol has been ratified, countries are required to reduce their CO2 output by an average of 5 percent by 2012, and the question remains what sort of measures are needed past that period. But without the participation of the United States, there is hardly any chance to make great progress. "The first phase of the protocol ends in 2012; after that it is unthinkable to go ahead without the United States, China and India," Italian Environment Minister Altero Matteoli told reporters in Buenos Aires. Matteoli also caused a stir by calling for the treaty's end in 2012 if those … [Read more...] about Planting the Seed to Stop Global Warming