Presentation on theme: "CASE STUDY Climate Change and Sustainable Development."— Presentation transcript:
CASE STUDY Climate Change and Sustainable Development
EXERCISE Examine the position of your country in the Human Development Index and discuss the changes during the last 2 decades Basic bibliography: Dresner, S. (2008) The Principles of Sustainability. London: Earthscan. UNDP, Human Development Report, 1990-2012. URL, http://hdr.undp.org/en/reports/ http://hdr.undp.org/en/reports/ United Nations (1987) Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future. Official Records of the General Assembly, A/42/427
Climate change is now a scientifically established fact. The exact impact of greenhouse gas emission is not easy to forecast and there is a lot of uncertainty in the science when it comes to predictive capability. But we now know enough to recognize that there are large risks, potentially catastrophic ones, including the melting of ice-sheets on Greenland and the West Antarctic (which would place many countries under water) and changes in the course of the Gulf Stream that would bring about drastic climatic changes.
The early warning signs are already visible. Today, we are witnessing at first hand what could be the onset of major human development reversal in our lifetime. Across developing countries, millions of the world’s poorest people are already being forced to cope with the impacts of climate change. These impacts do not register as apocalyptic events in the full glare of world media attention. They go unnoticed in financial markets and in the measurement of world GDP. But increased exposure to drought, to more intense storms, to floods and environmental stress is holding back the efforts of the world’s poor to build a better life for themselves and their children.
Stocks of greenhouse gases that trap heat in the atmosphere are accumulating at an unprecedented rate. Current concentrations have reached 380 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2eq) compared to about 280 ppm a century ago. Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 are on a sharply rising trend. They are increasing at around 1.9 ppm each year. Global average temperature is increasing by about 0.2 degrees C per decade and has gone up by about 0.8 degrees C since late 19 th century.
Behind the numbers and the measurement is a simple overwhelming fact. We are recklessly mismanaging our ecological interdependence. In effect, our generation is running up an unsustainable ecological debt that future generations will inherit. Even if we stabilize emissions at current levels CLIMATE CHANGE IS UNAVOIDABLE
The IPCC has developed a family of six scenarios identifying plausible emissions pathways for the 21st century. These scenarios are differentiated by assumptions about population change, economic growth, energy use patterns and mitigation. None of the IPCC scenarios point to a future below the 2°C threshold for dangerous climate change.
Estimated temperature rise at the end of 21 ου century Scenario Relative to 1850-1899 average temperature ( 0 C) Concentrations CO 2 –eq. in 2100 Β12,3 (1,6-3,4)600 ppm Α1Τ2,9 (1,9-4,3)700 ppm Β22,9 (1,9-4,3)800 ppm Α1Β3,3 (2,2-4,9)850 ppm Α23,9 (2,5-5,9)1250 ppm Α1FI4,5 (2,9-6,9)1550 ppm
WE CANNOT CONTINUE IN THE SAME PATH. WE HAVE TO CHANGE OUR PATTERNS OF CONSUMPTION AND OUR IDEAS ABOUT WHAT CONSTITUTES DEVELOPMENT
UNFORTUNATELY WE ARE MOVING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION
Three distinctive features of the problem. The first feature is the combined force of inertia and cumulative outcomes of climate change. Once emitted, carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases stay in the atmosphere for a long time. Urgency is the second feature of the climate change challenge—and a corollary of inertia. The third important dimension of the climate change challenge is its global scale. The Earth’s atmosphere does not differentiate greenhouse gases by country of origin. One tonne of greenhouse gases from China carries the same weight as one tonne of greenhouse gases from the United States—and one country’s emissions are another country’s climate change problem. It follows that no one country can win the battle against climate change acting alone. Collective action is not an option but an imperative.
The most difficult policy challenges will relate to distribution. While there is potential catastrophic risk for everyone, the short and medium-term distribution of the costs and benefits will be far from uniform. The distributional challenge is made particularly difficult because those who have largely caused the problem— the rich countries—are not going to be those who suffer the most in the short term. It is the poorest who did not and still are not contributing significantly to greenhouse gas emissions that are the most vulnerable. In between, many middle income countries are becoming significant emitters in aggregate terms—but they do not have the carbon debt to the world that the rich countries have accumulated and they are still low emitters in per capita terms. We must find an ethically and politically acceptable path that allows us to start—to move forward even if there remains much disagreement on the long term sharing of the burdens and benefits. We should not allow distributional disagreements to block the way forward just as we cannot afford to wait for full certainty on the exact path climate change is likely to take before we start acting.
Countries with the highest emissions of CO2 in 2008 (in thousand metric tonnes) 200820001990 China 1 1.922.687928.868658.554 USA1.547.4601.565.9251.326.725 India479.039323.647188.344 Russia435.126393.729----- Japan357.534343.695319.704 Germany210.480225.605276.425 Canada153.659146.556122.739 Britain148.818149.578156.481 South Korea142.230122.07165.901 Iran133.96192.51261.954 Italy125.015122.079115.925 Mexico124.450104.704104.907 South Africa120.520100.53790.963 Saudi Arabia119.37481.19758.646 Brazil110.83390.02856.966 France103.845100.126108.576 Indonesia99.64867.06841.032 Australia96.16889.74479.943 Spain94.46880.72262.497 Poland90.07282.13994.876 1 Hong Kong is not included
While governments may recognize the realities of global warming, political action continues to fall far short of the minimum needed to resolve the climate change problem. The gap between scientific evidence and political response remains large. The deeper problem is that the world lacks a clear, credible and long-term multilateral framework that charts a course for avoiding dangerous climate change—a course that spans the divide between political cycles and carbon cycles.
Therefore, the role of citizens is crucial. Only political pressure/cost can force governments to move more decisively. Climate change is a threat that comes with an opportunity. Above all, it provides an opportunity for the world to come together in forging a collective response to a crisis that threatens to halt progress.
The Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite statistic used to rank countries by level of Human Development The HDI combines three dimensions: Life expectancy at birth, as an index of population health and longevityLife expectancy Knowledge and education, as measured by the adult literacy rate (with two-thirds weighting) and the combined primary, secondary, and tertiary gross enrollment ratio (with one-third weighting).literacy gross enrollment ratio Standard of living, as indicated by the natural logarithm of gross domestic product per capita at purchasing power parity.Standard of livingnatural logarithmgross domestic productper capita
Four essential components in the new paradigm: Equity in opportunities Social, economic and environmental sustainability Productivity Empowerment
A holistic and human-centered approach People are the real wealth of a nation. The basic objective ofdevelopment is to create an enabling environment for people to enjoy long, healthy and creative lives. This may appear to be a simple truth. But it is often forgotten in the immediate concern with the accumulation of commodities and financial wealth.
BASIC BIBLIOGRAPRHY IPCC (2007) Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report. URL, http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/publications_ipcc_fourth_ assessment_report_synthesis_report.htm http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/publications_ipcc_fourth_ assessment_report_synthesis_report.htm Strange, T. and Bayley, A. (2008) Sustainable Development. Linking Economy, Society, Environment. Paris: OECD UNDP (2011) Human Development Report 2011. Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. New York: UNDP United Nations (1987) Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future. Official Records of the General Assembly, A/42/427