Showing posts with label Climate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Climate. Show all posts

3 April 2020

Climate risk and response: Physical hazards and socioeconomic impactsJanuary 2020 | Report

By Jonathan Woetzel, Dickon Pinner, Hamid Samandari, Hauke Engel, Mekala Krishnan, Brodie Boland, and Carter Powis

After more than 10,000 years of relative stability—the full span of human civilization—the Earth’s climate is changing. As average temperatures rise, climate science finds that acute hazards such as heat waves and floods grow in frequency and severity, and chronic hazards, such as drought and rising sea levels, intensify (Exhibit 1). In this report, we focus on understanding the nature and extent of physical risk from a changing climate over the next one to three decades, exploring physical risk as it is the basis of both transition and liability risks.

1 April 2020

MILITARY RESPONSES TO CLIMATE CHANGE


The military is only just becoming aware of the scale of the social and environmental impacts that climate change will have in the coming decades. Increasing droughts, floods and severe weather events threaten large numbers of the world population.
They lead to mass migration flows, cause resource scarcity and disrupt societies. Climate change is a risk multiplier of an existential nature, affecting every society around the world, generating new conflicts and potentially affecting our global security. This makes climate change an issue for national and international security – and thus the military.

This report illustrates the fact that oftentimes climate change not only acts as a threat multiplier in theatres of military operations, but also has direct implications for military capabilities, as it leads to calls for assistance to civil society in home territories. In some cases, it can even directly affect military capabilities and strength, as extreme weather events place a substantial additional burden on military forces’ overall capacity to act and dilute the value of military assets, as exemplified by the regular flooding of the Norfolk navy bases and the recent wildfires in south-east Australia.

The extent to which the military capabilities of countries are affected by climate change is related to whether, and how, countries respond to and integrate climate change impacts into their defence strategies and policies, and more specifically into risk assessment, early warning, surveillance and operational preparations. It is also related to countries’ general efforts in climate adaptation, disaster preparedness and risk reduction, even though some impacts might be difficult or impossible to prepare for entirely.

26 March 2020

Who Is Really Causing Climate Change?

by Mark New
Source Link

Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change.

If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz

How much climate change is natural? How much is man made?

As someone who has been working on climate change detection and its causes for over 20 years I was both surprised and not surprised that I was asked to write on this topic by The Conversation. For nearly all climate scientists, the case is proven that humans are the overwhelming cause of the long-term changes in the climate that we are observing. And that this case should be closed.

Despite this, climate denialists continue to receive prominence in some media which can lead people into thinking that man-made climate change is still in question. So it’s worth going back over the science to remind ourselves just how much has already been established.

Who Is Really Causing Climate Change?

by Mark New
Source Link

Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change.

If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz

How much climate change is natural? How much is man made?

As someone who has been working on climate change detection and its causes for over 20 years I was both surprised and not surprised that I was asked to write on this topic by The Conversation. For nearly all climate scientists, the case is proven that humans are the overwhelming cause of the long-term changes in the climate that we are observing. And that this case should be closed.

Despite this, climate denialists continue to receive prominence in some media which can lead people into thinking that man-made climate change is still in question. So it’s worth going back over the science to remind ourselves just how much has already been established.

21 March 2020

Climate Change: A National Security Threat Multiplier – Analysis

By Yash Vardhan Singh*
Source Link

Environmental risks arising from climate change are now considered to be powerful threat multipliers. The World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report 2020 identifies five of the top ten global risks as being of an environmental nature, owing to the confluence of climate change and ecological degradation. Recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports point to extensive impacts of climate change despite prevailing mitigation efforts, particularly for countries like India.

Even if one considers the IPCC’s middle ground predictions for temperature and rainfall variations, India will be highly vulnerable to droughts, heat stress, sea level rises, and extreme weather events including cyclones, floods etc. Furthermore, factors such as the enormous population size, socio-economic inequality, extreme poverty, agricultural dependency and high density of population along coastal areas would compound physical threats. What then would the domino effect of climate change on national security be, particularly arising from potential interactions with: a) insurgencies; b) critical infrastructure, especially nuclear installations; and c) public health? As these three domains are relevant to traditional security, infrastructure, and overall human security, they are useful case studies to gain insights on the multifaceted security implications that climate change could pose.
Insurgencies

20 March 2020

How Should the World Respond to the Coming Wave of Climate Migrants?

Stewart M. Patrick 

By 2050, hundreds of millions of people in developing countries will have left their homes as a result of climate change—a mass displacement that will make already-precarious populations more vulnerable and impose heavy burdens on the communities that absorb them. Unfortunately, the world has barely begun to prepare for this impending crisis.

Those displaced by climate change are neither true refugees nor traditional migrants, and thus occupy an ambiguous position under international law. The world needs to agree on how to classify environmental migrants, as well as what their rights are. It also needs to strengthen its capacity to manage these mass migrations, without weakening existing international regimes for refugees and migrants. .

19 March 2020

How Should the World Respond to the Coming Wave of Climate Migrants?

Stewart M. Patrick 

By 2050, hundreds of millions of people in developing countries will have left their homes as a result of climate change—a mass displacement that will make already-precarious populations more vulnerable and impose heavy burdens on the communities that absorb them. Unfortunately, the world has barely begun to prepare for this impending crisis.

Those displaced by climate change are neither true refugees nor traditional migrants, and thus occupy an ambiguous position under international law. The world needs to agree on how to classify environmental migrants, as well as what their rights are. It also needs to strengthen its capacity to manage these mass migrations, without weakening existing international regimes for refugees and migrants.

16 March 2020

Not Just Climate Change: The Other Dangerous Ways Fossil Fuels Hurt Us

by Noel Healy Jennie C. Stephens Stephanie Malin
Source Link

Many Democratic lawmakers aim to pass a Green New Deal, a package of policies that would mobilize vast amounts of money to create new jobs and address inequality while fighting climate change.

Led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey, they are calling for massive investments in renewable energy and other measures over a decade that would greatly reduce or even end the nation’s overwhelming reliance on fossil fuels.

As experts in environmental geography, sociology, and sustainability science and policy, we wholeheartedly support this effort. And, as we explained in a recently published study, climate change is not the only reason to ditch fossil fuels.

13 March 2020

Cheap Oil Is the Fuel That Makes Climate Change So Hard To Stop

by Scott L. Montgomery
Source Link

Burning fossil fuels, the main source of manmade carbon dioxide, is the biggest cause of climate change. In the U.S. and other wealthy countries, oil is the single largest source of these emissions.

The relationship between supply and demand, a fundamental economic concept, holds that when the price of something rises, people use less of it. Similarly, when prices fall, they use more.

And it may seem logical that low oil prices benefit consumers, countries, even the world. When consumers save money on gas, they can spend it elsewhere.

Yet, I argue that climate change makes this view obsolete.

That’s because cheap oil has two big downsides along with its short-term gains. It erodes the advantages of vehicles that get more miles to the gallon, making consumers less apt to do their share to reduce emissions by buying vehicles that use less fuel – or none at all.

Millions Dead? What If There Is No Possible Plan to Stop Climate Change?

by John Quiggin

There is growing evidence that Earth’s systems are heading towards climate “tipping points” beyond which change becomes abrupt and unstoppable. But another tipping point is already being crossed - humanity’s capacity to adapt to a warmer world.

This season’s uncontrollable bushfires overwhelmed the nation. They left 33 people dead, killed an estimated one billion animals and razed more than 10 million hectares – a land area almost the size of England. The millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide the fires spewed into the atmosphere will accelerate climate change further.

Humans are a highly adaptive species. In the initial phases of global warming in the 20th century, we coped with the changes. But at some point, the pace and extent of global warming will outrun the human capacity to adapt. Already in Australia, there are signs we have reached that point.

Yes, Climate Change Could End Up Killing You

by Chelsey Kivland Anne Sosin

Around the world, the health care debate often revolves around access.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization, recently announced: “All roads lead to universal health coverage.” Discussions for how to translate this vision into a road map for action is central to the agenda of the WHO’s executive board meeting this week in Geneva.

Yet focusing on access is not enough. The imperative for access must be paired with a frank acknowledgment that climate change is making communities around the world more vulnerable to ill health. A 2017 commission of The Lancet, a leading health research journal, tracked the effects of climate change on health and found evidence of harms “far worse that previously understood.”

Even as we move to close the access gap, a string of natural disasters in late 2017, including successive hurricanes and widespread forest fires, threaten to widen the vulnerability gap.

As a global health professional (Sosin) and a cultural anthropologist (Kivland), we have witnessed how the global exchange of health technology, expertise and aid has contributed to dramatic gains in the delivery of health care in Haiti and other settings, especially around infectious diseases. Yet climate change threatens to undermine the health gains in vulnerable communities across the globe.

Not Just Climate Change: The Other Dangerous Ways Fossil Fuels Hurt Us

by Noel Healy Jennie C. Stephens Stephanie Malin

The coal, oil and natural gas industries are also major contributors to human rights violations, public health disasters and environmental devastation.

Many Democratic lawmakers aim to pass a Green New Deal, a package of policies that would mobilize vast amounts of money to create new jobs and address inequality while fighting climate change.

Led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey, they are calling for massive investments in renewable energy and other measures over a decade that would greatly reduce or even end the nation’s overwhelming reliance on fossil fuels.
As experts in environmental geography, sociology, and sustainability science and policy, we wholeheartedly support this effort. And, as we explained in a recently published study, climate change is not the only reason to ditch fossil fuels.

The coal, oil and natural gas industries are also major contributors to human rights violations, public health disasters and environmental devastation.

8 March 2020

10 Things You Can Do About Climate Change, According To The Shepherds Of The Paris Agreement

Jeff McMahon
Source Link

Christiana Figueres once credited the Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh with helping her shepherd 192 countries from blaming to collaborating, from paralysis to empowerment in the Paris Agreement.

Now Figueres and her strategic advisor, former Buddhist monk Tom Rivett-Carnac, have penned a book that shepherds climate activism from changing mental states to changing the world.

“Throughout our lives we have found that what we do and how we do it is largely determined by how we think,” Figueres told me via email. “While there is never a guarantee of success at any challenge, the chances of success are predicated on our attitude toward that very challenge....

“It is a lesson we learned as we prepared the Paris Agreement, and is a valuable guide for the urgent challenge we are facing this decade."

Why Amazon CEO Je Bezos's $10 bn to fight climate change may not help

Utkarsh Narain & Rohan Seth

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. (Reuters Photo)Amazon CEO Je Bezos. (Reuters Photo) Amazon CEO Je Bezos recently announced through an Instagram post that he would donate $ 10 billion from his personal wealth to the newly created Bezos Earth Fund to fight climate change. The global initiative will fund scientists, activists and NGOs according to the social media post. However, questions such as when the will the money be disbursed, whether the fund will be a private foundation, a limited liability corporation or a donor-advised fund remain unanswered. In recent years, we are seeing increased instances of giving by mega billionaires. Warren Buet committed a majority of his wealth to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Mark Zuckerberg also pledged 99 per cent of his Facebook shares to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, soon aer the birth of his daughter in 2015. 

Billionaires like Infosys’ Nilekanis and Wipro's Azim Premji have signed the ‘Giving Pledge’, committing the majority of their wealth. Bezos, who hasn’t signed the ‘Giving Pledge’ is the latest to jump onto the strategic philanthropy bandwagon. While the individual grant by Bezos is laudable, fighting the adverse eects of climate change will require ‘collective action from big companies, small companies, nation-states, global organizations, and individuals’, as Bezos’s post acknowledges. Thus, to understand the direction the fund takes, it makes sense to analyse the policies and actions of Amazon with regard to climate change over the years. On September 19, 2019, Amazon signed ‘The Climate Pledge’ and committed to achieving the requirements of the Paris Agreement by 2040, ten years in advance of the 2050 deadline. For the record, Amazon releases 128.9 grams CO2 equivalent (CO2e) per dollar (USD) of Gross Merchandise Sales (GMS). Amazon’s total emissions in the fiscal year 2018, equalled an enormous 44.40 Million Metric Tons (mmt) CO2e, according to the Amazon Sustainability Report 2019. 

7 March 2020

REPORT - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Robert N. Stavins

Climate change is a global commons problem and therefore necessitates cooperation at the highest jurisdictional level — that is, international cooperation among national governments — if it is to be adequately addressed. However, both national and subnational governments can significantly advance efforts to mitigate climate change. Provinces and municipalities around the world have indeed undertaken initiatives — sometimes working together across national boundaries — to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. This includes jurisdictions in the largest-emitting countries — China, the United States, and India — as well as in the European Union.

This volume examines subnational climate-change policy in China — including how Chinese provinces and municipalities work with the central government to implement policy. The volume focuses to a considerable degree on carbon-pricing policy in China, including how China’s subnational (pilot) emissions-trading systems can inform the emerging national carbon-pricing system.

1 March 2020

Solidarity Now

JOSEPH E. STIGLITZ

ROME – The world is facing a multitude of challenges, from climate change and inequality to the crisis of confidence in our political and economic institutions. The capitalist system itself is undergoing yet another existential crisis, and many countries are facing various trials of their own. The United States is in the grips of an opioid crisis, a childhood diabetes crisis, and a political crisis. China, already struggling to maintain growth in the context of a broader trade and technology war with US President Donald Trump’s administration, is beset by a coronavirus epidemic that threatens to become a pandemic. Argentina is confronting another debt crisis, and mass demonstrations are roiling countries worldwide.

Looming in the background is a deeper ethical crisis that is evident pretty much everywhere. Business leaders, myopically focused on the bottom line, have displayed remarkable moral turpitude. The financial sector has been marked by predatory lending, market manipulation, and abusive consumer-credit practices. Automakers have been caught gaming environmental regulations. The food and beverage industry is knowingly contributing to childhood obesity around the world. Pharmaceutical companies are pushing addictive drugs even as they claim otherwise (while eschewing research into desperately needed new antibiotics).

28 February 2020

Will Climate Change Derail the ‘Asian Century’?

By Andreas Unterstaller

There is a glaring disconnect between climate science and the economic and political narrative of a rising Asia, set to dominate the 21st century. Climate projections now point toward global warming far beyond the 1.5 degree Celsius danger line identified by science. If that happens, Asia’s economic hotspots will be badly affected. This could knock the region off its growth trajectory and put an untimely end to the Asian century.

Just a few years ago, no one could be faulted for predicting that the 21st century would be Asia’s. If anything, it seemed like a safe bet. And, yes, by all fundamental measures, economic and political power has shifted eastward. According to the World Economic Forum, Asia’s combined GDP is set to surpass the combined GDP of the rest of the world in purchasing power parity terms this year.

However, there is one thing that has not been factored in: climate change. If you read the literature about the Asian century, you will rarely come across this term. The world now is already 1°C hotter than in pre-industrial times. There is little doubt that the global average temperature will climb further. If far-reaching greenhouse gas reduction measures are taken now, it may be possible to hold the increase below 2°C. However, it is doubtful whether this will be achieved. If you sum up the current emission reduction pledges made under the Paris agreement, warming of 3°C or more by mid-century seems likely.

26 February 2020

Climate Change and Food Security in the Pacific

SABER SALEM

It is irrefutable that the vast Pacific Ocean with its small island nations are in the frontline of the catastrophic climate change which is already threatening food security where the majority of the people depend on the sea for food and on subsistence agriculture. Traditionally, Pacific Island diet consisted of fish, seafood and root crops such as taro, cassava, yams and sweet potatoes and in many rural communities of the region, fish is the only source of animal protein. Now with rising sea-levels, salt water inundation of agricultural land, frequency of cyclones and other climate-change-related-disasters, this livelihood on which 70% of the region’s population depends on is under threat and is one of the causes of chronic hunger and malnutrition in the region (WFP and SPC, 2018). Access to food and availability of food in the market are the two important components of measuring food security (Aliber and Mini, 2010 quoted in Masipa, 2017). Thus, from the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) perspective, food security means “food availability, food access and food use”. According to HSRC, food availability means there is adequate amount of quality food in the market which people can easily access and utilise. Food access “refers to the ability of the nation and its households to acquire sufficient food on a sustainable basis” (Masipa, 2017).

Human Vulnerability to Climate Change

MICHELA BORZONI,

It seems somewhat of a paradox, to suggest catastrophic and irreparable damage to humans and natural systems from global environmental changes need not result in catastrophic and irreparable damage to humans, although catastrophic and irreparable damage to humans arise from even modest changes in natural systems (Heltberg et al., 2009). Minimizing human vulnerability to environmental changes is largely determined by the extent to which groups of humans (societies) can develop and organize themselves, to render themselves susceptible or resilient to changes, which refers to the extent to which societies can manage the impacts from hazardous events or disturbance trends in social, economic and environmental systems (Lahsen et al., 2010; IPCC, 2014 :40). Whilst literature on the impact, adaptation and vulnerability (IAV) to humans from environmental changes has increased two-fold between 2005 and 2010, to 234,823 publications worldwide, the geographical diversity of authorship is limited (IPCC, 2014 :38). Since 1980, only five percent of IAV publications were published in Africa and Latin America, an area which is often said to be “especially exposed and vulnerable” to the impacts of environmental changes (Lahsen et al., 2010). Geographic-specific research on IAV issues allows policymakers to enhance societal measures on resilience, which aim to reduce human vulnerability to environmental changes, however, countries in this region have either

Human Vulnerability to Climate Change

MICHELA BORZONI

It seems somewhat of a paradox, to suggest catastrophic and irreparable damage to humans and natural systems from global environmental changes need not result in catastrophic and irreparable damage to humans, although catastrophic and irreparable damage to humans arise from even modest changes in natural systems (Heltberg et al., 2009). Minimizing human vulnerability to environmental changes is largely determined by the extent to which groups of humans (societies) can develop and organize themselves, to render themselves susceptible or resilient to changes, which refers to the extent to which societies can manage the impacts from hazardous events or disturbance trends in social, economic and environmental systems (Lahsen et al., 2010; IPCC, 2014 :40). Whilst literature on the impact, adaptation and vulnerability (IAV) to humans from environmental changes has increased two-fold between 2005 and 2010, to 234,823 publications worldwide, the geographical diversity of authorship is limited (IPCC, 2014 :38). Since 1980, only five percent of IAV publications were published in Africa and Latin America, an area which is often said to be “especially exposed and vulnerable” to the impacts of environmental changes (Lahsen et al., 2010). Geographic-specific research on IAV issues allows policymakers to enhance societal measures on resilience, which aim to reduce human vulnerability to environmental changes, however, countries in this region have either been less willing or unable to conduct such research comparable to other regions. Environmental vulnerability is commonly defined as the extent to which humans, and the things they value, are exposed to environmental changes, are sensitive to this exposure, and the degree to which they can adapt to these changes, in which, various studies have found vulnerability in Latin America, Africa and parts of Asia are increasing (IPCC, 2014 :39;