Curbing Climate Change Will Cost $700 Billion a Year

Quelle: Reuters (Alister Doyle) vom 21.01.2013

The world must spend an extra $700 billion a year to curb its addiction to fossil fuels blamed for worsening floods and heat waves and rising sea levels, a study issued by the World Economic Forum (WEF) showed on Monday.

By OSLO (Reuters) - The world must spend an extra $700 billion a year to curb its addiction to fossil fuels blamed for worsening floods and heat waves and rising sea levels, a study issued by the World Economic Forum (WEF) showed on Monday.

As government and business leaders prepare to meet at the forum in Davos, Switzerland this week, the world's nations are divided over who should pay for lowering emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for a growing number of extreme weather events.

Recessions in Western economies since the global financial crisis have slowed carbon emission growth but also left governments with scarcer state funds to channel into green technologies.

The Green Growth Action Alliance, which compiled the study on behalf of the WEF, said the extra spending was needed to promote other forms of energy generation and greater efficiency in sectors including building, industry and transport.

The $700 billion, part of which would promote cleaner energies such as wind, solar or hydro-power, would be on top of about $5 trillion projected to be spent each year on infrastructure under a scenario of business as usual until 2020.

"Shaping a global economy fit for the 21st century is our greatest challenge," former Mexican President Felipe Calderon and chair of the Alliance wrote in the report.

The Alliance is a public and private group tied to the WEF that was launched at a Group of 20 meeting in Mexico last year.

The study said a $36 billion annual rise in global public spending to slow climate change - less than the estimated $50 billion cost of damage by Superstorm Sandy in the United States in October - could unlock far greater private investment.

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U.S. Climate Envoy Lays Out New Principles for Climate Negotiations

Quelle: Circle of Blue vom 15.01.2013

Ambition, differentiation, and flexibility will define the U.S. position leading to a new treaty in 2015.

Today at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, Todd Stern, the lead U.S. negotiator for climate change, laid the groundwork for how he will think about the next round of global climate change negotiations.

A new framework should be based on three principles, Stern argued: ambition, differentiation, and flexibility.

At the 2011 climate conference in Durban, South Africa, the parties agreed to draft a new treaty that would apply to all countries, rather than the two-tiered system under the Kyoto Protocol.

“This was a landmark moment,” Stern said, about the Durban conference. “Now we have to deliver.”

Ambition, Stern said, means breaking with earlier ideas that strict and enforceable limits on greenhouse gas emissions are the only path forward.

The idea of differentiation – that developed countries had to cut emissions, while developing countries were exempted – was a blueprint for the Kyoto Protocol. Stern said this mindset, a product of negotiations more than two decades ago, must be scrapped.

Stern’s third item, flexibility, is related to the first two. It is clear, he argued, that countries must be the ones to set emissions targets, if any agreement is to garner broad support. “Mitigation commitments rooted in national policy planning rather than abstract numbers agreed to in an international negotiating room stand a much better chance of being successfully implemented.”

But how to ensure that countries set ambitious targets? That is the rub, and where negotiators will be tested. Stern suggested that part of the problem lies in how we talk about emissions limits.

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2012 was among 10 warmest years in global record: NASA/NOAA

Quelle: Scientific American vom 15.01.2013

Last year was among the top 10 warmest in the modern global record, two U.S. climate-watching agencies reported on Tuesday, less than a week after 2012 was declared the hottest ever in the contiguous United States.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Last year was among the top 10 warmest in the modern global record, two U.S. climate-watching agencies reported on Tuesday, less than a week after 2012 was declared the hottest ever in the contiguous United States.

The U.S. space agency NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration jointly issued two reports on 2012 world temperatures. NASA ranked last year the ninth-warmest since record-keeping began in 1880, while NOAA found last year was the tenth-warmest.

The difference in the two rankings may be due to NASA's extrapolation of temperatures in areas with no weather stations, particularly near the poles, according to James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York.

The 2012 global surface temperature, including land and water, was 1 degree F (.56 degree C) warmer than the 1951-1980 average. That was enough to increase extreme high temperatures last year, Hansen reported.

Last year was also the 36th consecutive year with a global temperature hotter than the 20th century average, scientists from the two agencies told a media briefing.

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