Tag Archives | Climate Change

Climate Talks Undermined by Feeble New Zealand Target

COP15The New Zealand Government’s announcement today that it will only tackle climate change if a shopping list of conditions are met is a clear example of the developed world’s lack of leadership on climate, Greenpeace warned today.

New Zealand said it will cut emissions by 10-20% by 2020, however this is entirely dependent on whether other countries take action and on how many loopholes New Zealand can negotiate for itself at the UN Copenhagen Climate Summit.  

This makes New Zealand one of the few developed countries in the world to refuse to take unilateral action. Even its tiny Pacific Island neighbour, Tuvalu, on the climate front line, is taking unilateral action. Continue Reading →

WHO Says Health Sector Can Lead the Fight Against Climate Change

WHOThe health sector can play a leadership role in reducing the magnitude and consequences of global warming by reducing its climate footprint. These efforts, some of which are already underway, can greatly reduce the serious health threats posed by global warming and set an example for other sectors. That is the message of a discussion paper just issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Health Care Without Harm.

“By reducing its climate footprint and moving toward carbon neutrality, the health sector can demonstrate the path forward in this age of global warming, thereby playing a leadership role in advocating for a healthy and sustainable future,” commented Maria Neira, Director of WHO’s Department of Public Health and Environment. Continue Reading →

Waxman Bill Climate Change Legislation Fails to Impose Necessary Reductions

Waxman BillIn response to the climate and energy legislation released today by the Energy and Commerce Committee, Greenpeace USA Executive Director Phil Radford issued the following statement: “Despite the best efforts of Chairman Waxman, this bill has been seriously undermined by the lobbying of industries more concerned with profits than the plight of our planet.

“While science clearly tells us that only dramatic action can prevent global warming and its catastrophic impacts, this bill has fallen prey to political infighting and industry pressure. We cannot support this bill in itscurrent state. We call on President Obama and leaders in Congress to get back to work and produce a bill, based on science, which presents a clear road map for significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions,transforms our economy with clean, renewable energy technology, generates new green jobs and shows real leadership internationally.” Continue Reading →

Fire Is an Important and Under-Appreciated Part of Climate Change

BushfireFire must be accounted for as an integral part of climate change, according to 22 authors of an article published in the April 24 issue of the journal Science. The authors determined that intentional deforestation fires alone contribute up to one-fifth of the human-caused increase in emissions of carbon dioxide, a heat-trapping gas that increases global temperature.

The work is the culmination of a meeting supported by the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP) and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), both based at the University of California, Santa Barbara and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The authors call on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to fully integrate fire into their assessments of global climate change, and consider fire-climate feedbacks, which have been largely absent in global models. Continue Reading →

U.S. Failing to Support the Research Needed to Prepare for Climate Change

Climate Change

Climate change will seriously impact public health, but the United States is failing to support the research needed to prepare for it, according to a report published in the peer-reviewed journal published by the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

“The lack of attention from the Federal government on the health risks of climate change to U.S. populations is needlessly putting multitudes at risk,” warns the report, “U.S. Funding is Insufficient to Address the Human Health Impacts of and Public Health Responses to Climate Variability and Change,” published in Environmental Health Perspectives. Continue Reading →

Report Warns Businesses about Growing Water Scarcity Impacts from Climate Change

Water Scarcity

Global climate change is exacerbating water scarcity problems around the world, yet few businesses and investors are paying attention to this growing financial threat, according to a report issued today by Ceres and the Pacific Institute. Water is crucial for the global economy — driving every industry from agriculture to electric power to silicon chip manufacturing. Beverage, apparel and tourism also rely on supplies of clean, potable water to survive and grow.

Decreasing water availability, declining water quality and growing water demand are creating immense challenges to businesses and investors who have historically taken clean, reliable and inexpensive water for granted. These trends are causing decreases in companies’ water allotments for manufacturing, shifts towards full-cost water pricing, more stringent water quality regulations and increased public scrutiny of corporate water practices. Continue Reading →