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The 21 st Century climate challenge “One generation plants a tree; the next generation gets the shade.” Chinese Proverb “The countries most vulnerable.

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Presentation on theme: "The 21 st Century climate challenge “One generation plants a tree; the next generation gets the shade.” Chinese Proverb “The countries most vulnerable."— Presentation transcript:


2 The 21 st Century climate challenge “One generation plants a tree; the next generation gets the shade.” Chinese Proverb “The countries most vulnerable are least able to protect themselves. They also contribute least to the global emissions of greenhouse gases. Without action they will pay a high price for the actions of others.” Kofi Annan

3 The 21st Century climate challenge Three distinctive characteristics: –It is cumulative –The effects are irreversible –Large time lags – today’s emissions are tomorrow’s problems –It is global

4 The world has less than a decade to avoid dangerous climate change that could bring unprecedented human development reversals Climate change is a threat to humanity as a whole. But it is the poor, who face the most immediate and most severe human costs The Human Development Report 2007/2008 calls for a ‘twin track’ approach that combines stringent mitigation to limit 21st Century warming to less than 2 degree centigrade, with strengthened international cooperation on adaptation The forthcoming conference of the parties in Bali is a unique opportunity to put the interests of the world’s poor and future generations at the heart of climate change negotiations

5 Rising CO 2 emissions are pushing up stocks & increasing temperatures In the past 100 years the earth has warmed 0.7 0 C

6 Some people walk more lightly than others The UK (population 60 million) emits more CO 2 than Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan and Vietnam (total population 472 million) The state of Texas (population 23 million) has a deeper footprint than the whole sub-Saharan Africa (720 million people) The 19 million people living in New York have a deeper footprint than the 766 million people living in the 50 least developed countries The distribution of current emissions points to an inverse relationship between climate change vulnerability and responsibility

7 How many planets? If every person living in the developing world would have the same carbon footprint than an average person in the US or Canada, we would need the equivalent to nine planets to absorb the CO 2

8 Charting a course away from climate change The sustainable emissions pathway is as follows –The world – cuts of 50 percent by 2050 with a peak by 2020 –Developed countries – cuts of 80 percent by 2050 –Developing countries – cuts of 20 percent by 2050 with respect to 1990

9 Disaster risk is skewed towards developing countries 1 in 19 people are affected in developing countries The corresponding number is 1 in 1,500 in OECD countries A risk differential of 79

10 Low human development traps The potential human costs of climate change have been understated Climate related risks force people into downward spirals of disadvantage that undermine future opportunities In Ethiopia, children exposed to a drought in early childhood are 36 percent more likely to be malnourished five years later – a figure that translates into 2 million additional cases of child malnutrition Indian women born during a drought or a flood in the 1970s were 19 percent less likely to ever attend primary school

11 Five human development tipping points  Reduced agricultural productivity  Heightened water insecurity  Increased exposure to extreme weather events  Collapse of ecosystems  Increased health risks

12 Climate change will hurt developing country agriculture

13 Heightened water insecurity – glacial melting Glacial melting posses threats to more than 40 percent of the world’s population. In the arid cost of Peru, 80 percent of fresh water originates from glacial melt. The flow of the Indus, could decline as much as 70 percent In Central Asia, losses of glacial melt into Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers could restrict water for irrigation and hydroelectric power

14 Extreme weather events The number of additional people experiencing coastal flooding could range from 134 to 332 million for a 3 o - 4 o increase in temperature. Tropical storms could raise the figure to 371 million by the end of the 21 st century Possible consequences of one meter rise in sea level –In Lower Egypt, 6 million people displaced and 4,500 kms 2 of farmland flooded –In Vietnam, 22 million people displaced –In Bangladesh, 18 percent of land area could be inundated affecting 11 percent of the population –In the Maldives, more than 80 percent of land area is less than 1 meter above sea level

15 Avoiding climate change: strategies for mitigation

16 Problems setting emission reduction targets Insufficient ambition Insufficient urgency Inaccurate indicators Inadequate sectoral coverage Inconsistent base years Targets are de-linked from policies

17 Pricing carbon emissions Market failure: Polluters do not suffer the worse consequences of their own pollution Immediate challenge: to push the price of carbon to a level consistent with the sustainable emissions pathway Ways to do it: taxation and cap- and-trade and trade

18 Where should the price of carbon be set? How should the price be generated? –Under carbon taxation emitters are required to pay for each tone of CO 2 they produce –Under cap-and-trade, the government sets an overall emissions cap and issues tradable allowances to allow business the “right to emit” Taxation versus cap-and-trade

19 The relative merits of taxation and cap-and-trade Administration Price predictability Revenue mobilization

20 Adapting to the inevitable: national action and international cooperation “If you are neutral in a situation of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Archbishop Desmond Tutu “An injustice committed against anyone is a threat to everyone.” Montesquieu

21 By mid-2007, actual multilateral financing delivered UNFCCC p US$ 26 millions This is equivalent to one week spending in floods defences in the UK Amounts are not the only problem. Timing and fulfillment of pledges present further limitations Towards adaptation apartheid? Developed country investments dwarf adaptation funds

22 Investing in adaptation up to 2015 Additional financing needs for climate proofing infrastructure and building resilience are estimated to be at least 86 billion by 2015 - Climate proofing infrastructure - Social protection - Strengthening disaster response

23 The challenges for international cooperation Act on the G8 commitments and provide additional financing for adaptation Increase financing and regulatory support for the development of breakthrough technologies Enhance and provide incentives for technology transfers Create a Climate Change Mitigation Facility (CCMF) to mobilize US$25-50 billion needed annually to support low-carbon transitions in LDCs Strengthen the capacity of developing countries to assess climate change risks Integrate adaptation into national planning and poverty reduction strategies “Climate-proof” all development interventions Streamline the current structure of dedicated multilateral funds Shift the focus of support from projects to program- based financing

24 Greece’s Role Greece accounts for 0.3% of Global emissions An average of 8.8 tons of CO 2 per person These emissions levels are below those of high income OECD countries Greece has signed and ratified the Kyoto protocol and is bound to reduce its green house gas emissions by 25% by 2012

25 The UN values the important contribution that Greece can give to address the issues related to climate change

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