Climate Change and Climate Agreements

Climate change affects multiple variables, not only those related to climate and environment, but also related to economy, energy and even security and defence. Indeed, climate change is a universal challenge considering that it involves every country in the world. There is no place in the world without climate change’s consequences. Thus, climate change has become a global threat that might only be resolved by a joint action of every country in the world. In order to face climate change threat several climate international agreements have been done driven by United Nations (UN).

The main agreement, which has been concluded rencently, took place in Paris in December 2015. It had massive participation with 195 countries involved. The main commitment that they achieved is that the increase of global temperature of the Earth remains less than 2ºC above pre-industrial levels. In order to achieve this goal each country must report a mitigation of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions plan to be applied from 2020 and revising goals each 5 years. This mitigation plan to reduce emissions has voluntary character, and the first plans presented last May by the countries in the UN have been shown as insufficient. According to UN Climate Change Department these plans would bring the global temperature to an increase of between 2.9 and 3.4 ºC. After the UN conclusion all participating countries undertake to review their mitigation plans and they will report a new one in 2018.

Apart from the voluntary character of the plans, in Paris Agreement sanctions aren’t taken into account in case of unfulfilment of mitigation plan presented. This fact helped to accomplish, to a large extent, ratification of the Paris Agreement by 120 countries in less than a year. Considering the last important agreement (Kyoto) took seven years to be entry into force and it concerns only developed countries, it is about a historical landmark.

The next step in climate commitment was carried out last November in the Conference of the Parties 22 in Marrakech (COP22). The aim of this Conference was to define the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Specially it tried to set up two main questions. On the one hand how the mechanism of control and accounting of emissions must be, and on the other hand how to finance adaptation policies to climate change. As a result of COP22 some pledges have been taken such as to prepare a Paris’ rulebook by 2018 and thus, improving transparency of action.  However, finance continues to be a difficulty in the negotiations. Developed countries would have to give developing countries the money they need to protect their vulnerable comunities and ecosystems but still there isn’t an agreement with the necessary financing capacity. Other issues have shown up in Marrakech Conference such as the effectiveness of carbon markets as a mechanism to contribute to the mitigation of GHG emissions and support sustainability development, or the role of private sector and local governments to achieve the Paris Agreement goal.

At the same time that this huge progress has taken place, other initiatives in the fight against climate change have been performed encouraged by these international negotiations.

The EU has set emission targets for member states from 2021 to 2030 for transport, buildings, agriculture, land use and forestry sector. In addition, the EU is studying the reform of Emissions Trading System (ETS) in order to shift investment towards greener technologies.

Another interesting initiative is Indian decision regarding electricity capacity, India’s energy minister has announced 60% of electricity capacity from non fossil fuels by 2027, mainly with solar and wind power. Whereas Paris Climate Accord target is 40% by 2030. The main issues to achieve it are the overseas private investment in Indian renewable energy projects, as well as technological advancements that have led to cut the price of solar energy.

On top of that, there are some private initiatives such as Google company, which is starting to consume 100% renewable energy by January of 2017.

In conclusion, there is a strong chance to achieve the Paris Agreement target thanks to the historical commitment of the majority of the governments in the world, including those which emit in large quantities of GHG such as China or USA, and also thanks to private initiatives which push up the process. However, uncertain political moment, with Trump election as denial of climate change, in addition to the first separation process of EU started from Brexit,  might slow down the fight against climate change.

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Eiffel Tower celebrating the ratification of Paris Agreement

 

 

 

 

 

Young People’s burden

In response of the huge challenge of Climate Change and with data in hand, this document gives details of a new initiative to ask U.S.A Court for taking charge of young people’s future:

“Current annual temperature exceeding +1.25°C relative to 1880-1920”

“a lawsuit [Juliana et al vs United States 2016, hereafter J et al vs US 2016] was filed against the United States asking the U.S. District Court, District of Oregon, to require the U.S. government to produce a plan to rapidly reduce emissions.  The suit requests that the plan reduce emissions at the 6%/year rate that Hansen et al (2013) estimated as ther requirement for lowering atmospheric CO2 to a level of 350 ppm.”

“The underlying policy required to spur rapid reduction of fossil fuel emissions is a transparent steadily rising carbon fee that makes fossil fuels include their costs to society”

https://app.box.com/s/t050csk2z20iqk9u14vnllz3i15dh5i0

 

El Coste Real de la Energia

Colaboré hace algún tiempo con el Estudio del Sector Eléctrico Español de 1998 a 2013 del ODG (Observatorio de la Deuda en la globlalización) que finalmente se publicó en Septiembre de 2015. Mi colaboración se trataba de analizar las emisiones de Gases de Efecto Invernadero de la generación de electricidad en ese período, a fin de visualizar el impacto ambiental y traducirlo en impacto económico en función de diferentes cotizaciones de la tonelada de CO2 y, conocer así, el orden de magnitud.

Mi colaboración en este estudio viene motivada por mi creencia en la necesidad de conocer el impacto de las emisiones y buscar y fomentar fuentes de energía limpia, frente a criterios económicos que priman los combustibles fósiles o la energía nuclear propongo incluir en esos criterios económicos los costes que esas energías tiene para el medio ambiente, con lo que los beneficios disminuirían considerablemente. En definitiva, la huella de carbono (junto con la huella hídrica, la huella social, etc.) es una herramienta para visualizar el impacto ambiental y concienciar de la importancia del uso de energías renovables. En un futuro, debería ser una herramienta a tener en cuenta en la toma de decisiones para políticas estatales o empresariales sobre generación de energía (eléctrica o de cualquier tipo), al incluir el coste ambiental es indudable la potenciación de las energías renovables y el fin del uso de los combustibles fósiles.

http://www.odg.cat/sites/default/files/3a_informe_coste_energia_esp_web.pdf

IV Jornada “Otra economía es posible: transición hacia una economía baja en carbono”

En Ponferrada el día 5 de febrero se celebrarán Jornada “hacia una transición energética baja en carbono”, en las que particiaparé como miembro de la PXNME. En este enlace más información:

http://www.nuevomodeloenergetico.org/pgs2/index.php/news/la-px1nme-participa-en-la-iv-jornada-otra-economia-es-posible-ponferrada-5-de-febrero/

Enlace

Nace el registro voluntario de huella de carbono para las empresas en España.

El Real Decreto (RD 163/2014 de 14 de Marzo) sobre huella de carbono de organización: registra las emisiones de GEI y un plan de reducción, compensación y proyectos de absorción. Esta pensado para empresas del sector difuso que quieran comenzar a conocer, controlar y compensar sus emisiones en proyectos nacionales y de forma voluntaria.

http://www.magrama.gob.es/es/cambio-climatico/temas/mitigacion-politicas-y-medidas/Registro-informacion.aspx