Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • In Doha, Lead U.S. Negotiator Plays Down Expectations of Climate Action in Obama’s Second Term

    Todd_stern

    President Obama’s re-election to a second term has fueled hopes across the world of a concerted U.S. effort to address global warming. But so far even the devastation of Superstorm Sandy does not appear to have shifted the Obama administration’s stance opposing binding emission targets. On Monday, U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern took questions for the first time from reporters at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Doha. Stern indicated no change in the role of the United States in global climate negotiations and refused to criticize the record per capita emissions of Qatar, the host of this year’s conference. [includes rush transcript]

  • Former Irish President Mary Robinson: Climate Change the Biggest Human Rights Issue of Our Time

    Mary-robinson

    We’re joined at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Doha by Mary Robinson, the first female president of Ireland and former U.N. high commissioner for human rights. Today Robinson heads the Mary Robinson Foundation–Climate Justice. She is a member of the Elders and the Club of Madrid and the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama. "I believe that this is the biggest human rights issue of the 21st century, and I believe that it’s a way of addressing issues of development and issues of tackling poverty," Robinson says. "It means that we have to take into account the injustice of the fact that it’s the fossil fuel growth in the United States, Europe and other developed parts of the world, which has contributed to undermining development of very poor people, undermining their livelihoods. ... We can actually change the quality of life for both rich and poor countries in a way that doesn’t undermine happiness and good livelihoods." [includes rush transcript]

  • As Typhoon Bopha Wreaks Havoc, Philippine Negotiator Urges Wealthy Nations to Address Global Warming

    Typhoon_yeb_sano

    A deadly typhoon in the Philippines has killed at least 40 people and displaced thousands of others. Typhoon Bopha is the most southerly typhoon ever recorded in the western Pacific and the strongest to hit the Philippines this year. We’re joined from the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Qatar by Naderev "Yeb" Saño, the lead negotiator for the Philippines delegation in Doha and the commissioner of the Philippines Climate Change Commission. He says Typhoon Bopha and Hurricane Sandy, which recently devastated the U.S. East Coast, "are clear examples that we need to call for urgency and that climate change is really happening." [includes rush transcript]

  • Carbon Tsunami: World Bank Study Warns of Lethal Global Temperature Rise Even If Emissions Pledges Are Met

    Drought

    A shocking new report commissioned by the World Bank is warning temperatures could rise by 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, causing devastating food shortages, rising sea levels, cyclones and drought — even if countries meet their current pledges to reduce emissions. If these promises are not met, the increase could happen even sooner. Meanwhile, scientists say it is still not too late to minimize the devastating impact of climate change. A separate report by the Climate Action Tracker says global warming could be kept below 2 degrees. "This is an imminent risk that will affect every living person on the planet if we push the ecosystems of the world into a major extinction crisis," says Bill Hare, a leading physicist and environmental scientist who helped produce both of these latest reports. Hare is CEO and managing director of Climate Analytics and the lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2007 reports, "Mitigation of Climate Change" and "The Synthesis Report." Hare calls for a carbon tax — putting a small price on emissions — to reduce the benefit of burning fossil fuels and enable funding of new technologies to reduce the disastrous release of greenhouse gases. [includes rush transcript]

  • Study: Wealthy Nations’ Fossil Fuel Subsidies 5 Times Greater Than Climate Aid to Countries in Need

    Oil_production

    A new report by Oil Change International has found wealthy nations are spending five times more money on fossil fuel subsidies than climate aid. In 2011, rich nations spent $58 billion on subsidies and just $11 billion for climate adaptation and mitigation in developing countries. According to the study, the United States spent $13 billion on fossil fuel subsidies in 2011 and just $2.5 billion in climate aid. We’re joined by David Turnbull, campaigns director of Oil Change International. [includes rush transcript]