Al Gore may have just burnt his bridges with Hollywood. The former Vice President receieved a nice ovation for urging us to turn our attention away from Anna Nicole Smith, OJ Simpson and Paris Hilton, and instead focus on the important climate change meeting in Bali in December.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is now speaking. If my translation is correct ( and fair warning: my French is far from flawless) he seems to have affirmed French support for "25 by 25"--that's a pledge to make 25% of his country's energy supply come from renewable sources by 2025.
As promised, UN Dispatch is coming to you live from the UN. The place is buzzing as heads of state and foreign ministers are starting to gather for the High Level Meeting on Climate Change. The head of one state, Governor Schwarzenegger of California, is poised to speak at General Assembly in a few moments. Today's meeting was convened by Secretary General Ban Ki moon, who is making climate change a signature issue of his. In that, he and Governor Schwarzenegger have something in common. In June, Ban traveled to the San Francisco area where he met Schwarzenegger for a tour of Silicon Valley businesses that are on the cutting edge of the green technology revolution. (Fun fact: Ban also stopped by the home of a ninety year old woman who hosted him when he participated in a foreign exchange student in 1967).Check back to UN Dispatch for frequent updates throughout the day.
In the weeks leading up to the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Event on Climate Change on September 24, UN Dispatch will host a series of commentaries on a range of issues related to energy and climate change -- for example, the challenge of sustainable energy production, combating climate catastrophe through adaptation, or financing climate change mitigation.The first contribution, a post on a seminal energy efficiency report by UNF Climate Change expert Richard Moss is up in the Delegates Lounge to the right. A link to this series is available in the "Features" section on the left.Please stop by regularly, use our Email feature to send posts to your friends and colleagues, and sign up for our weekly updates. And, over the course of the month, if a particular post strikes a chord with you or you have an insight on climate change or energy in general, email us and participate in the discussion.
A United Nations-backed climate change meeting--drawing 1,000 representatives from over 150 governments, business, environmental organizations and research institutions--kicked off in Vienna yesterday, in preparation for a global summit in Bali.
The summit, scheduled to take place from 3 to 14 December in Bali, Indonesia, aims to determine future action on mitigation, adaptation, the global carbon market and financing responses to climate change for the period after the expiry of the Kyoto Protocol – the current global framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions – in 2012.More
Over 1,000 delegates from more than 100 industrialized countries are meeting in Vienna this week to discuss climate change strategies beyond the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. The idea is to bring together Kyoto signatories with holdouts from key industrial states to see how much buy-in there is for broader climate change efforts among the major polluters. Nothing concrete is expected to come from this meeting, but it will test the waters before a major climate change summit in Bali, Indonesia this December. "The coming week will give us an indication of whether the political community...is willing to move beyond well-intentioned platitudes towards real negotiations," says Yvo de Boer, the U.N.'s top climate change official.That's UN code for: "In the next few days, we will know weather or not the non-Kyoto signatory states--namely China and the United States—are serious about emissions reduction."For those interested in the future of our planet, all eyes should be on Vienna this week.
I just came across Steven Levitt's Freakonomics post from Monday suggesting that man-made tornadoes or some other silver bullet will likely be the cure for climate change; we needn't fret. His reasoning:
Technology and human ingenuity have solved just about every problem we’ve faced so far; there is no obvious reason why global warming shouldn’t succumb as well.
Earlier this week, we flagged a World Meteorological Association release noting a correlation between the record number of extreme weather events this year and record breaking global land surface temperatures. Now, the head of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says that climate change could lead to potential food shortages and increase the risk of hunger in developing countries. India, says, FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf, will be particularly hard hit, potentially losing 125 million tons of its rain-fed cereal production, or about 20% of its total cereal production.The New York Times has more.
From the Scientific American:
The world experienced a series of record-breaking weather events in early 2007, from flooding in Asia to heatwaves in Europe and snowfall in South Africa, the United Nations weather agency said on Tuesday.The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said global land surface temperatures in January and April were likely the warmest since records began in 1880, at more than 1 degree Celsius higher than average for those months.There have also been severe monsoon floods across South Asia, abnormally heavy rains in northern Europe, China, Sudan, Mozambique and Uruguay, extreme heatwaves in southeastern Europe and Russia, and unusual snowfall in South Africa and South America this year, the WMO said.Scary stuff. Read more. And click here for access to the full WMO release.