Adonis Diaries

Before Copenhagen: Climate Change

Posted on: July 3, 2010

What did we know on Climate Change before Copenhagen? 

Note: Article is re-edited           

Before 1992, six nations accounted for over 80% of the total accumulated 6 gases related to environment global temperature increase such as CO2, fluor, and especially methane. These countries are USA (27%), Europe’s major States (23%), China (10%), Russia (9.25%), Germany (5.5%), and Japan (5%).  In 2005, the same countries emit more than 70% of the gases.  They are: China (19.5%), USA (18.5%), The EU (13.5%), Russia (5.25%), India (5%) and Japan 3.5%).

            Only three countries have managed to reduce their CO2 “equivalent emissions” since the Kyoto agreement reference of 1992.  They are: Russia by 40%, Germany and England by almost 20% each.  The major themes in the coming conference are eight:

            First, the long-term objective for the year 2050 is to staying below 2 degrees increase in global temperature. This is not acceptable: it means that the world community has already condemned 30% of animal and vegetable species to go extinct, 30% of sea-shore swamps will disappear, and a qualitative jump in desertification and rate of inundations; potable water will become scarce resource.

For that purpose, the most industrialized States should reduce by 80% the equivalent CO2 emissions.  The overall reduction is to be 50% with the contribution of the developing countries in going green. To that effect, the target of not exceeding 450 particles of CO2 concentration is not acceptable. Currently we have a concentration of 390 particles and the temperature had increased by 0.8 degrees in the last three decades:  We are already witnessing the melting of the Arctic Pole. 

            The target for CO2 should be to drop to at least 350 particles. The main reason is the emission of methane (a gas worse by 20 times the effect of CO2) that the hard frozen ground are emitting and which kept this nasty gas trapped underground before this melting phase.

            Second, the medium term objective is a reduction of CO2 equivalent to 30% in reference to the year 1990.  The actual engagement is 13%.  The US administrations are not ready for even that modest reduction of 13%.

            Third, an engagement to adopting industrial processes with low CO2 emissions.

            Fourth, reducing deforestation by 50% and replanting new trees.  Brazil has already started policies of saving the Amazon forest areas from further plantations.

            Fifth, pumping $3 billions a year into the poorest States to encourage them switching to alternative cleaner energy resources.

            Sixth, pumping additional $ 2 billions a year for innovative green technologies.

            Seventh, allocating $ 10 billions, each year, till 2012 to finance green alternatives.

            Eight, developing an alternative program that will substitute the “Carbon market” due to terminate in 2012.

            According to the Bangkok Post the US President Obama and China Hu Jintao have agreed to lower expectation in Copenhagen. Most probably, the reference for lowering gas emission will be of 2005 instead of 1992, a move that will encourage accepting raising the CO2 concentration beyond the 400 particles. All indicates that the US is going to the Copenhagen conference empty-handed in home legislations.  Many leaders are encouraging President Obama to raise the standard unilaterally as a sign of personal commitment and set the psychology of the US people in motion. Everything might restart from scratch.

            The Kyoto agreement had for purpose to encouraging the heaviest state polluters to invest in the poorer States with less polluting technologies to stabilize the overall concentration of gases.  The idea was to deter the emerging economies from emulating the same industrial processes that the developed countries have previously used and thus, saving future deterioration of the environment.

A tax of 2% on the heaviest industrial polluters was to generate $1.6 billion by 2012.  Nothing was done so far and the US administrations refused to sign the Kyoto agreement on the basis that climatic changes are mostly a myth.

            The hardest hit States are located in Africa (the western and eastern states), Afghanistan, Bangladesh (17% of its land will be submerged).  The next worst hit states are Mexico, Pakistan, Iraq, India, the western states in Latin America, and many States in South East Asia. The actual facts and trends are changing priorities for the worst hit states; for example, Mexico, Argentina, Australia, North of China, and India are witnessing the lowest rain precipitations in decades for two consecutive years.

1 Response to "Before Copenhagen: Climate Change"

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adonis49

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