Monday, 7 November 2011

Bleak news

The report from the US Dept of Energy, reported on by the Guardian makes chilling reading.  It is reported that emissions jumped by 6% in 2009-2010  (an extra 512 tonnes) with increases in China and the US accounting for half of that jump.  This, apparently, puts levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere beyond the worst case scenario in the IPCC 2007 report, and this situation is only likely to be exacerbated by China's vast coal mine development in the southern Gobi and the Keystone XL pipeline in North America. 

China and the US are in conflict over the Kyoto protocol, which is due to expire next year.  If we do not get a legally binding agreement including the US and China to replace the Kyoto Protocol we will be left with the non-binding statement of good intentions of the Copenhagen Accord.  

The COP17 UN climate talks are to be in Durban later this month.  One can hope that this news spurs the parties to take meaningful action, but I will not be holding my breath. 

We need to start adaptation now, but with the ongoing financial crisis, it seems questionable that the resources will actually be invested, especially by cash strapped or politically vulnerable governments.

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