Forum Posts

kevinmanning6
May 18, 2022
In Courses and Programmes
A Symposium co-hosted by SISSTEM at the University of Aruba, the Islands section of the International Society for Industrial Ecology (ISIE), & the Metabolism of Islands (MoI). Small Island states are characterized by a strong dependency on external resources to meet their basic needs which highly contributes to the vulnerability of these territories. The approaches to increase resource security and self-reliance in small island states need to be carefully redesigned considering context-specific challenges and opportunities. At the same time, in order to achieve sustainability and build system resilience, holistic approaches need to be favored over narrow agendas. Several research collaborations are ongoing to address these challenges, such as the Sustainable Island Solutions through Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (SISSTEM) program at the University of Aruba, and the Metabolism of Islands (MoI) research program. These bring together researchers from a dozen universities that are concerned about sustainable futures for small islands throughout the world. This multidisciplinary symposium aims to bring together emerging scholars to exchange ideas and approaches for a sustainability transformation in smallisland states and to foster interdisciplinary and inter institutional collaboration. Link here: Sustainable Island Futures Symposium Symposium date: Thursday, June 9, 2022 5:00 - 8:00 PST 8:00 - 11:00 EST 9:00 - 12:00 AST 13:00 - 16:00 UTC 14:00 - 17:00 CEST Please find more information on the Symposium in the flyers that are attached and on the GUC - 13 Knowledge Portal. Attendance to the symposium will be free and is limited to participants with academic or institutional affiliations that is related to small island studies. You can register for the symposium at stem@ua.aw or via this form. Organizing Committee: Nigel John, Eric Mijts & Simron Singh
Sustainable Island Futures Symposium 2022 content media
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kevinmanning6
May 18, 2022
In Courses and Programmes
Registration is now open for the University of Waterloo's 2022 summer school! This uniquely designed, three-week virtual event will be delivered from the 30th May to the 17th June, 2022 and will offer participants specially designed talks and discussions by leading water and climate change scholars, insight into the use of interdisciplinary approaches, curated learning materials, improved skills and knowledge, and a certificate of completion. Hosted by the Water Institute and the Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change (IC3), the summer school is aimed at graduate students and practitioners who are passionate about learning more about applying interdisciplinary approaches to water security challenges in urbanizing watersheds under climate change. To learn more about University of Waterloo's 2022 Summer School, the Water Institute and the Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change, click here:
Climate Change And Water Security In Urbanized Watersheds: An Interdisciplinary Perspective content media
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kevinmanning6
May 16, 2022
In News and Views
Supporting Research Applications are now open for the ACU Fellowships. The Fellowships enable university staff at ACU member universities to collaborate with other member universities in different countries across a broad range of disciplines. Applicants can choose to either collaborate in-person or online. Eligibility The Fellowships are intended for academic and professional staff at ACU member universities. In some circumstances Fellowships can be used for collaboration between universities and the private sector – please email acufellowships@acu.ac.uk for more information. What does the grant cover? Each Fellowship is up to GBP 5,000. Fellowship Awards 2022 – 2023 Fellowship More information Accountancy Fellowship Supported by the Worshipful Company of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales Agriculture, Forestry and Food Science Fellowship Supported by George Weston Limited Canada Fellowship 1 Supported by Gordon and Jean Southam Awarded to a staff member from an ACU member university in Canada to partner with an ACU member university outside Canada Canada Fellowship 2 Awarded to a staff member from an ACU member university outside Canada to partner with an ACU member university in Canada. Hong Kong Jockey Club Fellowship 1 Awarded to a staff member from an ACU member university in Hong Kong to partner with an ACU member university outside Hong Kong. Hong Kong Jockey Club Fellowship 2 Awarded to a staff member from an ACU member university in Hong Kong to partner with an ACU member university in Hong Kong. Information Technology and Computer Science Fellowship Supported by the Jacky McAleer Memorial Swansea Fulton Climate Action Fellowships Two Fellowships awarded to staff at ACU member universities outside the UK to partner with a researcher at Swansea University. The Fellowships will be awarded for research which aims to improve understanding of the effects of climate change and develop solutions to mitigate its impact on our planet and society. Fellowships which do not have a specific subject attached are available in the following fields: Education Health and related social sciences Information technology and management STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Sustainable development University development and management How to apply Applicants must first identify and approach a collaborator at a member university in a country other than the one where the applicant is employed. The application form will require all applicants to: Summarise the work you plan to carry out during the Fellowship, and how the collaboration will benefit the project. Explain why you have chosen to collaborate with your partner institution for the project rather than any other. Describe the projected impact of the Fellowship work. Explain how you expect the Fellowship to benefit your own professional development. List the planned outputs of the Fellowship. Submit a time plan of the work, which must cover a minimum of six months between September 2022 and August 2023. List the costs associated with the Fellowship. These can include staff time, consumables, internet access and data, equipment, research data management, travel costs, impact and engagement and open access. Submit a letter or email of support from your head of department at your home institution. Submit a letter or email of support from the collaborator at your partner institution. Starting your application If you already have a MyACU account, you can login. If you do not already have a MyACU account, please ensure that you first register for an account and then follow the instructions in the registration email to log in to the system before accessing the application form. For More Information, please visit the ACU here or if you prefer the URL here: https://www.acu.ac.uk/funding-opportunities/for-university-staff/fellowships/acu-fellowships/
ACU Fellowships content media
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kevinmanning6
May 16, 2022
In News and Views
Universities are key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda. Applications are now open for the Higher Education and the SDGs Challenge Grants to fund collaborative work around the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Open to professional and academic staff at ACU member universities, the grants focus on the following ACU Higher Education and the SDGs Network priority themes: Teaching and learning Research Estates and stewardship Engagement and impact Partnerships From sourcing energy-saving and clean energy options for selected Fijian schools, to supporting women's economic empowerment by addressing the financial literacy and gender-based disparities in access to finance - the grants have been used to fund a diverse range of activities, projects, workshops, and events. Applications could include ideas for: Virtual exchange or collaboration, teaching or professional practice collaboration, sharing and co-development of learning materials, tools, training and approaches to support contingency and continuity of operations planning at Higher Education Institution’s (HEI’s) Virtual fellowships, comparative analyses, research management and uptake capacity building Integrating sustainable development into operations Sharing SDG learning content and materials Developing SDG-focused research strategies Co-creating research for impact, community engagement, and partnerships for the goals What does the grant cover? Four grants of GBP 2,500 are available. Eligibility and application requirements If your university has previously received an ACU Higher Education and the SDGs Challenge Grant, you are not eligible to apply again. Please check our grantees page to see if this applies to your university. Closing date: 17 May at 10:00 UTC For More Information on the SDG Challenge Grants visit: https://www.acu.ac.uk/funding-opportunities/for-university-staff/grants/higher-education-and-the-sdgs-challenge-grants/
Higher Education and the SDGs Challenge Grants content media
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kevinmanning6
May 12, 2022
In News and Views
Equity concerns shouldn’t fall behind as we transition to circularity By Ana Birliga Sutherland (Editor, Circle Economy) The current buzzword of climate talks is overconsumption — and for good reason: we’ve collectively surpassed the 100 billion tonnes mark in fulfilling our wants and needs for goods, both the necessary (housing and food) and the trivial (consumables like fast fashion and disposable items). Just five decades ago, this figure was a third of what it is now — and its inflation isn’t due to population growth. Since 1970 the American population has grown by 60%, disproportionately matched by an increase in consumer spending of 400%: a trend common among nations with an expanding middle class. And we know that these richer nations have historically contributed to the bulk of emissions — the world’s poorest 50% only having contributed 7%. So how can we shift our consumption patterns in a way that puts people front and centre? This article explores how various mechanisms — from taxes and tax breaks to shopping habits — can be balanced with equity concerns to create a more just — and greener — world. Energy isn’t the only culprit: overconsumption has a huge role in our world’s emissions profile We can rally behind clean-energy efforts — and we should, but not without recognising what’s at the heart of the climate catastrophe: over 70% of emissions stem from material use and handling. Our extraction of resources from the earth, which we then use to produce the cars we drive, build the homes that shelter us, run the farms that keep us nourished and make clothing, homewares and other every-day items that we often treat as disposable, has ruined the planet. It’s clear: we need to cut consumption to get climate change under control. As a system that can maximise the value of what we already have, make waste obsolete and relieve pressure on limited resources, the circular economy can transform how we use materials. But it is not a panacea for all our challenges, environmental or otherwise: the integration of social considerations will require thought — and a revision of how we frame our relationship with the world, currently deeply enmeshed with how we extract resources and produce goods. A circular economy that champions the rights of people, as part of the planet Our recent paper, Why we need to rethink the ‘technical’ circular economy, explores just this: a systems-thinking approach to the circular economy that puts people at the centre. This is a circular society. The paper considers how we can create the necessary societal conditions for the roll-out of a circular economy by redefining our relationship with ‘stuff’ and rethinking how we give meaning to prosperity. While it’s clear that a change in the way we consume — as well as produce — goods is needed, talk on the subject can often target those with less responsibility for the crisis, with the danger of making the transition we’re working towards an inequitable one. The circular economy exemplifies the changes in consumption we need to see — but it’s also about exploring how we can put people at the heart of an economic system. It has become increasingly apparent that policy and other actions aimed at environmental sustainability may actually have adverse effects on society. Especially parts of society that the linear economy has failed. Consider this: if all of Europe were to sever its reliance on certain parts of the value chain which are integral to the salaries of some workers in Asia, can the move truly be considered as sustainable? This article considers if there are sustainable modes of consumption that benefits people as much as the planet, and the means we must utilise — or drop — to get there. Environmental taxation isn’t a silver bullet — but does it do more harm than good? A political favourite to influence consumption behaviour: taxation. Sin taxes — those applied to vice products like cigarettes, alcohol and even sugar — are a well-established practice historically. With origins in the 1500s, the tactic took on its more recognisable modern image in a 1791 measure proposed by American statesman Alexander Hamilton: an excise tax on alcohol intended to cut consumption and raise revenue in tandem. And now, as our collective understanding of the environmental impacts of certain products — like meat — grows, calls for taxation have emerged — and they haven’t fallen on deaf ears. In early 2020, the Dutch cabinet considered proposals from the True Animal Protein Price Coalition on fairly pricing meat, while governments in Denmark, Sweden and Germany have been mulling over the issue for some years. The idea has also faced staunch opposition, particularly from farming bodies and industry lobbyists — as well as researchers claiming that such a tax would be ineffective, and importantly, inequitable. The burden to change behaviour would fall on lower-income households — which typically spend a higher fraction of their disposable income on food — while higher-income consumers wouldn’t be swayed by a hike in prices. There’s also the likelihood that those impacted by the tax would reallocate their purchasing to cheaper or more processed cuts of meat, which usually would have been produced with environmental standards far more lax. Is there a way, then, to ensure the measure’s equitability — and to ensure price increases would indeed have the desired effect of redirecting consumption to plant-based proteins? While some commentary has played with varying economic structures — arguing for the benefits of VAT over excise, or even setting a minimum price per unit to minimise regressive effects — the key is understanding that fiscal instruments alone aren’t a magic bullet. We can instead imagine a holistic system that draws on complementary measures, from awareness-raising to eco-labelling, in combination with a tax-subsidy model — where tax revenue would be ‘recycled’ to slash the cost of healthy, plant-based proteins and organic produce for lower-income consumers. The upstream impacts of fiscal measures — such as those on farmers — cannot be forgotten: incentives for farmers to participate in the transition away from meat-heavy diets are as crucial as those for consumers. Our current system of subsidies, targeted at livestock farming in the EU, is broken — ecology is an afterthought and farmers are unable to profit. And the decrease in consumption that could stem from a tax could be counterproductive for the areas that — save for grazing cattle — would be unsuitable for food production. Once again, holistic solutions are needed that go beyond the core question of reducing consumption, also asking: how can we support agriculturalists in the transition? Which areas are better suited to livestock raising, and which areas could be more prudently used for food production or regenerative practices like agroforestry? How can tax revenue be used to jointly support producers in a transition away from animal farming, and consumers in a transition away from animal eating? Here, one of the core tenets of the circular society can be a guide: rebalancing the local and the global. Global supply chains are complex and fragile — the covid-19 pandemic proved their susceptibility to shocks. Nourishing local systems — and favouring them over agricultural multinationals — can build resilience, strengthen communities and provide a slew of environmental benefits, while also delivering the social outcomes a circular economy should prioritise. Marketing narratives and policy incentives may be gatekeeping sustainability for the privileged Taxation may disincentivise unsustainable consumption — but now, certain forms of sustainability can also come with a price. Many environmentally-friendly behaviours — from reusing the jar your condiments came in rather than buying new ones for storage, to eating inexpensive, whole-foods like lentils for protein rather than the newest vegan meat substitute, or ultimately, just buying less — are widely accessible. Yet, manufacturers have cottoned on to consumers’ rising interest in living an environmental lifestyle and are capitalising on the demand, marking up their more ‘sustainable’ products by an average of 85% — with the highest markups occurring in the fashion, beauty and health sectors: well over 200%. The impact? Many consumers are locked out of sustainable living — at least this form of ‘sustainable’ living that still centres on consumption. While it’s easy to argue that it’s more effective to simply purchase less and make the most of what you already have, certain larger-ticket items — from energy efficient windows and appliances to electric cars — have their benefits, especially if there aren’t even better alternatives such as shared appliances or public transport. And yet those with the privilege to afford such items enjoy tax breaks or other financial incentives that do little to include low-income consumers. While this has been largely effective at changing consumer behaviour — a Norwegian tax/incentive policy worked so well that dealers ran out of electric cars to sell — a just transition needs to see more inclusive measures. European research project CONSEED, for example, has proposed low-cost financing for people to make their homes more energy-efficient, for tactics ranging from solar panel installation to insulation to improved boilers and windows. The bottom line: where consumption is necessary — and in most cases, it isn’t — doing so sustainably should be accessible to all. How could this look? Mexican company Vinte provides a good starting point: it has launched a pilot for affordable housing with a low carbon footprint, implementing circular principles ranging from efficient spatial orientation and solar panels to eco-friendly windows with polarised films. These carbon neutral homes could mean a 13% reduction in emissions per inhabitant, while still being affordable. This should be the new normal for all housing projects — not just upscale developments marketed to environmental do-gooders. ‘Trendy environmentalism’ is on the rise and it’s hijacking the second-hand market Certain policy changes supporting environmental outcomes are on the horizon or already in effect — but what about the actions individuals are undertaking to ‘go green’ in their personal lives? Just as many high-income countries are seeing carnivorous diets go out of vogue, fast fashion has entered a similar space of notoriety for its impact on the environment and industry workers alike. Environmental narratives surrounding fashion are straightforward: give clothing a second life by shopping second-hand and avoid buying into the newest trends hitting the racks on a weekly basis. The attraction to shopping second-hand is growing particularly among Gen X consumers, a group that overwhelmingly believes in the responsibility of companies to address environmental and social issues, according to a recent McKinsey report. They also see consumption as an ‘expression of individual identity’ — a catalyst for uniqueness that thrifting one-of-a-kind items can provide. But the movement’s rise hasn’t been met with congratulations across the board: in our linear, profit-hungry world, an increased demand for second-hand clothes has been met, unsurprisingly, with gentrification and jacked-up prices — pushing the poor out of a market they used to dominate. The discourse that middle-class thrift shopping is, in essence, ‘stealing from the poor’ is dependent on scarcity: that there aren’t enough second-hand clothes to go around. However, this isn’t the case; overwhelmingly, the opposite is true: thrift shops are inundated with so many items that only 10 to 20% of what is donated sells, with the rest slated for export to lower-income nations. And this creates problems of its own: the influx of donated clothes from the world’s richer countries harms local markets and artisans, and ultimately, many items end up in landfill regardless. Second-hand shopping isn’t the issue, but rather the way certain thrift shops are run: for a collective enterprise that aims to do good, the focus on profit and quick turnover is still all too clear. For the transition to a socially just circular economy to become a reality, action should be spearheaded by resellers themselves by keeping pricing fair in stores and on apps like Vinted or Poshmark — and consumers should continue to shift away from first-hand shopping guilt-free. And of course: doing more with less, prioritising durable items and repairing rips or tears instead of tossing old clothing in the bin should always be front of mind. The transition to a circular society is just as important as a circular economy — and for both, holistic solutions are key While current attempts to shift consumption patterns for the better are well-intentioned, many miss the mark, failing to give necessary attention to rebound effects. Measures, for the most part, are still rooted in a need to consume — or if they limit consumption, it’s only for lower income groups. The bottom line: there is a way to shift consumption patterns that benefits everyone — that drives economic prosperity, regenerates natural systems and keeps the wellbeing of people front and centre. From the global to the local to the personal, the circular transition should be ushered in by policies and processes that protect and promote a circular society — where no one is left behind. This article was originally published on the Green Forum. Interested in reading more? Find the full paper here.
With a circular economy, we can bin overconsumption and boost equality content media
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kevinmanning6
Apr 06, 2022
In News and Views
UN scientists have unveiled a plan that they believe can limit the root causes of dangerous climate change. A key UN body says in a report that there must be "rapid, deep and immediate" cuts in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Global emissions of CO2 would need to peak within three years to stave off the worst impacts. Even then, the world would also need technology to suck CO2 from the skies by mid-century. After a contentious approval session where scientists and government officials went through the report line by line, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has now published its guidance on what the world can do to avoid an extremely dangerous future. First, the bad news - even if all the policies to cut carbon that governments had put in place by the end of 2020 were fully implemented, the world will still warm by 3.2C this century. This finding has drawn the ire of the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. "Some government and business leaders are saying one thing - but doing another. Simply put, they are lying. And the results will be catastrophic." That sort of temperature rise would see our planet hit by "unprecedented heatwaves, terrifying storms, and widespread water shortages". To avoid that fate, the world must keep the rise in temperatures at or under 1.5C this century, say researchers. The good news is that this latest IPCC summary shows that it can be done, in what Mr Guterres calls a "viable and financially sound manner". But keeping temperatures down will require massive changes to energy production, industry, transport, our consumption patterns and the way we treat nature. To stay under 1.5C, according to the IPCC, means that carbon emissions from everything that we do, buy, use or eat must peak by 2025, and tumble rapidly after that, reaching net-zero by the middle of this century. To put it in context, the amount of CO2 that the world has emitted in the last decade is the same amount that's left to us to stay under this key temperature threshold. "I think the report tells us that we've reached the now-or-never point of limiting warming to 1.5C," said IPCC lead author Heleen De Coninck, who's Professor of Socio-Technical Innovation and Climate Change at Eindhoven University of Technology. Speaking to BBC News she said: "We have to peak our greenhouse gas emissions before 2025 and after that, reduce them very rapidly. "And we will have to do negative emissions or carbon dioxide removal in the second half of the century, shortly after 2050, in order to limit warming to 1.5C." The next few years are critical, say the researchers, because if emissions aren't curbed by 2030, it will make it nigh on impossible to limit warming later this century. Key to that in the short term will be how we generate energy. Luckily, solar panel and wind turbines have never been cheaper, having fallen in cost by around 85% over the past decade. "It's game over for the fossil fuels that are fuelling both wars and climate chaos," said Kaisa Kosonen from Greenpeace, who was an observer at the IPCC approval session. "There's no room for any new fossil fuel developments, and the coal and gas plants we already have need to close early." But diets and lifestyles will also need changing, with huge scope for major carbon savings, according to the authors. "Having the right policies, infrastructure and technology in place to enable changes to our lifestyles and behaviour can result in a 40-70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This offers significant untapped potential," said IPCC Co-chair Priyadarshi Shukla. "The evidence also shows that these lifestyle changes can improve our health and wellbeing." In practice, this means governments doing more to encourage walking and healthy eating, and putting in place the infrastructure for far more electric vehicles. One of the most contentious aspects of the report concerns the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This can be done in a number of different ways, including through planting trees and making changes to farming practices. But the report finds that to keep warming from going over the dangerous 1.5C threshold, we will need more than new forests. Keeping temperatures down will require machines to remove CO2 directly from the atmosphere. This is very contentious as the technology is new and currently very expensive. Some participants in the IPCC process are highly sceptical that these approaches will work. "The idea of quick emissions reductions and large negative emissions technologies are a concern," said Prof Arthur Petersen, from UCL, who was an observer in the approval session. "There are a lot of pipe dreams in this report." Story By Matt McGrath Environment correspondent BBC News
Climate change: IPCC scientists say it's 'now or never' to limit warming content media
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kevinmanning6
Mar 02, 2022
In News and Views
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently released its Sixth Assessment Report entitled Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability The report seeks to assess the current impacts of climate change examining the various ecosystems, biodiversity and human communities at the various regional and international levels. The report also reviews vulnerabilities, capacities and the limitations of both worlds (natural and human) as they work towards adapting to a changing climate. You can review the report here
Climate Change 2022 - IPCC Report content media
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kevinmanning6
Feb 16, 2022
In News and Views
Image and story from Cyprusmedianet.com The Joint Fund for the Sustainable Development Goals announced on Monday an additional investment of 54.5 million dollars for projects in five countries, in order to direct efforts to achieve sustainable development. “The Fund is positioned to bridge the gap between giving and impact investing,” said Hiro Mizuno, UN Special Envoy for Innovative Financing and Sustainable Investments, adding that it also offers “a sustainable investment model leveraging the power of markets to accelerate business, empower communities and provide the path to self-sufficiency.” From health, in a world still battered by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, to youth empowerment and climate change, the investments will respond to the challenges of our time, the Fund said in a press release. “The Fund is in a position to bridge the gap between donations and impact investing,” UN special envoy. Kenya, Madagascar, North Macedonia, Suriname and Zimbabwe were the countries selected among the proposals submitted by more than 100 countries. They are the ones that suffer the greatest impact and are in a position to receive investment. Healthy sexual and reproductive habits Under the leadership of the United Nations Resident Coordinators, the implementation of the investment programs will generate a series of collaborative measures between the United Nations, the government, civil society and private sector investors. Through a development impact bond, investments include a platform that promotes healthy sexual and reproductive habits and HIV prevention in Kenya. Madagascar will use various financial instruments, including a newly created sovereign wealth fund, to finance renewable energy projects and expand access to affordable and sustainable energy. North Macedonia’s newly created Green Financing Facility will help finance a transition to renewable and efficient energy for underserved households and businesses. For its part, Suriname will launch an innovative guarantee mechanism to facilitate access to credit, a business incubator and a farmers’ cooperative to develop a sustainable and resilient value chain for the country’s pineapple industry. Focusing on women’s empowerment and youth engagement, Zimbabwe is launching a renewable energy fund to initiate the development of the country’s renewable energy system and infrastructure. Investments that count This announcement comes less than a year after the Fund launched its first investment of $41 million in four transformation programs in Fiji, Indonesia, Malawi and Uruguay. Also last year, a $17.9 million program in Papua New Guinea was added. With the addition of these five new programs, the Sustainable Development Goals Joint Fund’s catalytic investment portfolio will grow to $114 million. The portfolio is expected to mobilize $5 billion for these goals in the ten countries involved. Investment results Although the catalytic investment portfolio has been in operation for less than a year, it has already achieved significant results. In Indonesia, he offered support for the launch of the first US$584 million sovereign bond for the SDGs in Southeast Asia, and the creation of the Indonesian Impact Fund in collaboration with Mandiri Capital. Fiji’s program has supported sustainable businesses for its vital marine environment, including concessional funding towards a marine conservation business and a pipeline to service organic fertilizer and waste management. Sustainable model The Joint Fund for the Sustainable Development Goals, included in the 2030 Agenda, has also committed to work with partners and donors to mobilize additional resources to finance the successful proposals presented by Barbados, Ghana and Rwanda. Established by the General Assembly, the Joint Fund is a multi-partner trust fund that supports Member States by reducing investment risks that accelerate achievement of the Goals.
The UN Invests 54.5 Million Dollars To Promote Sustainable Development content media
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kevinmanning6
Dec 23, 2021
In Projects
The University of the West Indies (The UWI) and Norway’s University of Bergen (UiB) having formalised their relationship through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. The two institutions are committed to advancing research and action on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals 13 (Climate action) and 14 (Life Below Water). The One Ocean Expedition an initiative undertaken by The University of Bergen (UiB) recently docked at Port Royal, Kingston, Jamaica, partnering with the University of the West Indies. They both lead and invited students to join in a Knowledge Forum in which lecturers of both institutions were able to create an environment to work with and guide students on their various projects. See some photos below: For More Information on the One Ocean Expedition, feel free to visit: One Ocean Expedition
One Ocean Expedition content media
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kevinmanning6
Dec 23, 2021
In News and Views
The UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica —The Caribbean now has its own Global Institute for Climate-Smart and Resilient Development resourced by leading experts from The University of the West Indies (The UWI) and backed by high profile regional and international partner institutions—the likes of the United Nations Development Programme, Open Society Foundations and Barbados-born, Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation. The new Institute was introduced during a virtual launch on Thursday, October 7. This first-of-its-kind for the Caribbean virtual hub consolidates The UWI’s research and teaching on climate change, disaster risk reduction, resilience and sustainable development. The UWI is uniquely positioned to lead this much-needed facility given its collective resources and expertise based on decades of research, validated by its current standing among the top 1.5% of all universities in the world, following recent rankings by the prestigious Times Higher Education ranking agency. Increasing the scientific understanding of the changing climate and its impacts on communities and economies is at the core of the new Institute’s objectives. It will also execute projects that promote more resilient and sustainable development. Renowned scientist from The UWI St Augustine Campus, Professor John Agard, who currently co-chairs the independent group of scientists selected by the United Nations to prepare the 2023 Global Sustainable Development Report, will serve as the Institute’s inaugural Executive Director. Dr Stacy Richards-Kennedy, Pro Vice-Chancellor Global Affairs at The University of the West Indies contextualised the relevance and timing of the launch of the Institute, noting, “At a time when all eyes are on the preparations for COP 26 taking place in Glasgow next month, and the importance of multilateral cooperation, the launch of the Global Climate-Smart Institute is also a manifestation of our region's collective response and of One UWI in action”. Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of the University further emphasized the historic moment as the culmination of decades of forward facing scientific research, training and public advocacy by the region’s leading university. He said, “My colleagues at The University of the West Indies have been whistleblowers on the theme of climate change” and noted that he felt that their work had been largely marginalised over the years. “What we have seen in recent times, however, has been the recognition that The University of the West Indies has provided a pivotal role in shaping global opinion, and providing the evidentiary basis for climate change policy.” He added, “The University of the West Indies is proud to be able to demonstrate once again its continued relevance and commitment, and the establishment of this pioneering institution is merely an indication, and a symbol of the commitment of this university.” Statements of support for the new Institute resonated from within the region and across the globe from prominent partners who have confidently committed funding and technical resources. The Honourable Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda and Chairman of CARICOM; Ms Elizabeth Riley, Executive Director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency; Dr Luis Felipe López-Calva, Assistant Secretary General and Regional Director of the United Nations Development Programme; Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, President of the Open Society Foundations; Ms Justine Lucas, Executive Director of the Clara Lionel Foundation; Professor Ian Jacobs, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of New South Wales on behalf of the International Universities Climate Alliance all expressed their endorsements for the institute and enthusiasm to partner with The UWI.
UWI’S First Global Climate-Smart Institute content media
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kevinmanning6
Nov 18, 2021
In News and Views
L-R: Host of the reception, Norwegian Ambassador to Jamaica, Her Excellency Beate Stirø, Professor at UiB, Kerim Nisancioglu, Pro Vice-Chancellor Global Affairs at The UWI, Dr. Stacy Richards-Kennedy and Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the Honourable, Kamina Johnson-Smith. The UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica. Tuesday, 16 November 2021—The University of the West Indies (The UWI) and Norway’s University of Bergen (UiB) formalised ongoing collaborations with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Saturday, November 13. In this MOU, the two universities committed to advancing research and action on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals 13 (Climate action) and 14 (Life Below Water). The signing ceremony aboard the Norwegian, Statsraad Lehmkuhl training vessel docked at Jamaica’s Port Royal, was among the highlights of a welcome reception hosted by the Norwegian Ambassador, H.E. Beate Stiro, for the crew of One Ocean Expedition. The One Ocean Expedition’s historic 55,000-mile world voyage, which began in August 2021 is organised by the University of Bergen, and recognised as part of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. The floating academy comprises students, teaching and research faculty as well as representatives of scientific and development institutions. Its Jamaica port stop is the fruition of an almost two-year planning event and culmination of conversations between The UWI and UiB within the context of the collaborative framework of the Global University Consortium on SDG-13. The One Ocean Expedition is a demonstration of The UWI’s global partnerships in action. Commenting on the collaboration with the University of Bergen, Pro Vice-Chancellor Global Affairs, at The UWI, Dr. Stacy Richards-Kennedy stated, “The UWI is very proud of its partnership with the University of Bergen. Our strategic alliance, as lead institutions for SDG-13 and SDG-14, is already creating opportunities for increased teaching and research collaborations for faculty and students, new discoveries and research applications in marine science and global advocacy on the challenges faced by Caribbean islands that are on the frontline of the climate crisis”. Signatory on behalf of UiB, Professor Kerim Nisancioglu stated, “By joining forces, the two universities will solidify our joint leadership in climate and ocean science and further strengthen our efforts to fulfil the goals set by the UN Agenda 2030.” Among initiatives on the horizon for the two universities include creating a new multidisciplinary Caribbean research programme on ocean science and climate action; strengthening linkages for North-South and South-South research advocacy and partnerships between Norway, the Caribbean and the South Pacific to advance ocean science, climate action, science diplomacy and the global policy impact agenda. The work programme involves exploring the creation of a network of ocean leaders of the future, through a unique UWI-UiB Graduate Research Trainee Programme for research training, knowledge exchange and practical-based internships with academic, industry or civil society partners in Norway, the Caribbean and the Pacific. The nurturing of the relationship between UWI and UiB began in 2018 through their membership of International Association of Universities, and continues to evolve. The two have jointly hosted High-level Political Forums on Sustainable Development as well as a range of reciprocal faculty seminars. The One Ocean Expedition includes two postgraduate researchers from The UWI Mona Campus—Chauntelle Green from the Department of Life Sciences and Deron Maitland from the Department of Physics. From September-October 2021, they were enrolled in a One Ocean Field Course webinar series, coordinated by the University of Bergen, which also featured faculty experts, Professor Judith Gobin and Dr Michael Burn from The UWI’s St. Augustine and Mona and Campuses respectively, as facilitators. On Tuesday, November 16, the Mona Campus hosts a contingent of 33 participants from the ship for a tour of the Campus’ Port Royal Marine Lab, followed by a Knowledge Exchange Forum hosted by the Faculty of Science and Technology. For more about the One Ocean Expedition, visit the Expedition website https://oneoceanexpedition.com/
The University of the West Indies & University of Bergen sign MOU aboard ‘One Ocean Expedition’ research sailing vessel content media
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kevinmanning6
Nov 18, 2021
In News and Views
image compliments Al Jazeera “It is an important step but is not enough. We must accelerate climate action to keep alive the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees”, said António Guterres in a video statement released at the close of the two-week meeting. The UN chief added that it is time to go “into emergency mode”, ending fossil fuel subsidies, phasing out coal, putting a price on carbon, protecting vulnerable communities, and delivering the $100 billion climate finance commitment. “We did not achieve these goals at this conference. But we have some building blocks for progress,” he said. Mr. Guterres also had a message to young people, indigenous communities, women leaders, and all those leading the charge on climate action. “I know you are disappointed. But the path of progress is not always a straight line. Sometimes there are detours. Sometimes there are ditches. But I know we can get there. We are in the fight of our lives, and this fight must be won. Never give up. Never retreat. Keep pushing forward”. A snapshot of the agreement The outcome document, known as the Glasgow Climate Pact, calls on 197 countries to report their progress towards more climate ambition next year, at COP27, set to take place in Egypt. The outcome also firms up the global agreement to accelerate action on climate this decade. However, COP26 President Alok Sharma struggled to hold back tears following the announcement of a last-minute change to the pact, by China and India, softening language circulated in an earlier draft about “the phase-out of unabated coal power and of inefficient subsidies for fossil fuels”. As adopted on Saturday, that language was revised to “phase down” coal use. Mr. Sharma apologized for “the way the process has unfolded” and added that he understood some delegations would be “deeply disappointed” that the stronger language had not made it into the final agreement. By other terms of the wide-ranging set of decisions, resolutions and statements that make up the outcome of COP26, governments were,among other things, asked to provide tighter deadlines for updating their plans to reduce emissions. On the thorny question of financing from developed countries in support of climate action in developing countries, the text emphasizes the need to mobilize climate finance “from all sources to reach the level needed to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, including significantly increasing support for developing country Parties, beyond $100 billion per year”. 1.5 degrees, but with ‘a weak pulse’ “Negotiations are never easy…this is the nature of consensus and multilateralism”, said Patricia Espinosa, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). She stressed that for every announcement made during the past two weeks, the expectation is that the implementation “plans and the fine print” will follow. “Let us enjoy what we accomplished but also prepare for what is coming,” Ms. Espinosa said, after recognizing the advancements on adaptation, among others. Meanwhile, COP26 President Alok Sharma stated that delegations could say “with credibility” that they have kept 1.5 degrees within reach. “But its pulse is weak. And it will only survive if we keep our promises. If we translate commitments into rapid action. If we deliver on the expectations set out in this Glasgow Climate Pact to increase ambition to 2030 and beyond. And if we close the vast gap that remains, as we must,” he told delegates. He then quoted Prime Minister Mia Mottley, who earlier in the conference had said that for Barbados and other small island states, ‘two degrees is a death sentence.’ With that in mind, Mr. Sharma asked delegates to continue their efforts to get finance flowing and boost adaptation. He concluded by saying that history has been made in Glasgow. “We must now ensure that the next chapter charts the success of the commitments we have solemnly made together in the Glasgow Climate Pact, he declared. The ‘least worst’ outcome Earlier during the conference's final stocktaking plenary, many countries lamented that the package of agreed decisions was not enough. Some called it "disappointing", but overall, said they recognized it was balanced for what could be agreed at this moment in time and given their differences. Countries like Nigeria, Palau, the Philippines, Chile and Turkey all said that although there were imperfections, they broadly supported the text. “It is (an) incremental step forward but not in line with the progress needed. It will be too late for the Maldives. This deal does not bring hope to our hearts,” said the Maldives’ top negotiator in a bittersweet speech. US climate envoy John Kerry said the text “is a powerful statement” and assured delegates that his country will engage constructively in a dialogue on "loss and damage" and adaptation, two of issues that proved most difficult for the negotiators to agree upon. “The text represents the ‘least worst’ outcome,” concluded the top negotiator from New Zealand. Other key COP26 achievements Beyond the political negotiations and the Leaders’ Summit, COP26 brought together about 50,000 participants online and in-person to share innovative ideas, solutions, attend cultural events and build partnerships and coalitions. The conference heard many encouraging announcements. One of the biggest was that leaders from over 120 countries, representing about 90 per cent of the world’s forests, pledged to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030, the date by which the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to curb poverty and secure the planet’s future are supposed to have been achieved. There was also a methane pledge, led by the United States and the European Union, by which more than 100 countries agreed to cut emissions of this greenhouse gas by 2030. Meanwhile, more than 40 countries – including major coal-users such as Poland, Vietnam and Chile – agreed to shift away from coal, one of the biggest generators CO2 emissions. The private sector also showed strong engagement with nearly 500 global financial services firms agreeing to align $130 trillion – some 40 per cent of the world’s financial assets – with the goals set out in the Paris Agreement, including limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Also, in a surprise for many, the United States and China pledged to boost climate cooperation over the next decade. In a joint declaration they said they had agreed to take steps on a range of issues, including methane emissions, transition to clean energy and decarbonization. They also reiterated their commitment to keep the 1.5C goal alive. Regarding green transport, more than 100 national governments, cities, states and major car companies signed the Glasgow Declaration on Zero-Emission Cars and Vans to end the sale of internal combustion engines by 2035 in leading markets, and by 2040 worldwide.  At least 13 nations also committed to end the sale of fossil fuel powered heavy duty vehicles by 2040. Many ‘smaller’ but equally inspiring commitments were made over the past two weeks, including one by 11 countries which created the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance (BOGA). Ireland, France, Denmark, and Costa Rica among others, as well as some subnational governments, launched this first-of-its kind alliance to set an end date for national oil and gas exploration and extraction. A quick refresher on how we got here To keep it simple, COP26 was the latest and one of the most important steps in the decades long, UN-facilitated effort to help stave off what has been called a looming climate emergency. In 1992, the UN organized a major event in Rio de Janeiro called the Earth Summit, in which the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted. In this treaty, nations agreed to "stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere” to prevent dangerous interference from human activity on the climate system. Today, the treaty has 197 signatories. Since 1994, when the treaty entered into force, every year the UN has been bringing together almost every country on earth for global climate summits or “COPs”, which stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’. This year should have been the 27th annual summit, but thanks to COVID-19, we’ve fallen a year behind due to last year’s postponement – hence, COP26. Story from the Climate and Environment Desk at the United Nations
COP 26 Closes with 'compromise' deal on climate content media
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kevinmanning6
Nov 02, 2021
In News and Views
By Ivana Kottasová and Angela Dewan, CNN More than 100 world leaders representing over 85% of the planet's forests committed on Tuesday to ending and reversing deforestation and land degradation by 2030, in the first substantial deal announced at the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow. Among the nations taking part are Canada, Russia, Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, all of which have significant tracts of forest. Brazil in particular has come under criticism for allowing an increase in the deforestation of the Amazon in recent years. The US and China will also be party to the agreement. The deal is consequential to the climate as forests, when they are logged or degrade, emit carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, accounting for around 11% of the world's total CO2 emissions. The deal was formally unveiled on Tuesday by US President Joe Biden, who said leaders need to approach the issue of deforestation" with the same seriousness of purpose as decarbonizing our economies." "The United States is going to lead by example at home," he said at the second day of the conference, citing executive orders signed earlier in his administration that set land aside for conservation. Twelve donor countries have committed £8.75 billion ($12 billion) of public funds to protection and restoration, alongside £5.3 billion ($7.2 billion) of private investment. CEOs from more than dozens of financial institutions, including Aviva, Schroders and Axa, are also committing to ending investment in activities that lead to deforestation. The pledge was first announced by the British government on Monday evening in a statement, and was trumpeted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson as a "landmark agreement to protect and restore the earth's forests." "These great teeming ecosystems -- these cathedrals of nature - are the lungs of our planet," the statement said, referring to remarks Johnson is expected to make Tuesday. "Forests support communities, livelihoods and food supply, and absorb the carbon we pump into the atmosphere. They are essential to our very survival." "With today's unprecedented pledges, we will have a chance to end humanity's long history as nature's conqueror, and instead become its custodian." The agreement will likely provide a morale boost at COP26, which got off to shaky start after the G20 leaders' summit in Rome over the weekend failed to result in an agreement on firm new climate commitments, particularly on when to end the use of coal. It is also a breakthrough after years of negotiations on how to protect forests. There have been several different schemes to try and curb deforestation, including one that awarded credits to people conserving forests that could be traded on markets. These schemes often faced fierce opposition, particularly from Latin America, where indigenous groups and leaders said forests should be fully protected and not commodified. "Indonesia is blessed as the most carbon rich country in the world on vast rainforests, mangroves, oceans and peatlands," Indonesian President Joko Widodo said in a statement. "We are committed to protecting these critical carbon sinks and our natural capital for future generations." Rainforest Foundation Norway welcomed the deal, but said that funding should only be given to countries that showed results. "This is the largest amount of forest funding ever pledged and it comes at a crucial time for the world's rainforests. The new commitments have the potential to speed up necessary action from both governments and companies. We hope this funding will spur the political changes needed," said Rainforest Foundation Norway Secretary General Toerris Jaeger in a statement. "With big money comes big opportunities, but also great responsibilities. There is not time for baby-steps. Funding should therefore only reward real and substantial action taken by rainforest countries and those who respect the rights of Indigenous people and local communities." There are some reasons to be cautious, as several past forest protection schemes have come and gone. In a years-long partnership, Norway agreed to transfer Indonesia $1 billion to reduce its emissions from deforestation, which the Indonesian government used to put a moratorium on new logging permits. That deal fell apart recently when Indonesian officials terminated the agreement, complaining the funds were not being transferred adequately. Norway's International Climate and Forest Initiative said in a statement that it considered the discussions around payments were "constructive and progressing well."
More than 100 countries agree to end and reverse deforestation by 2030 at COP26 content media
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kevinmanning6
Oct 01, 2021
In News and Views
by Nathan Cooper, Lead, Partnerships and Engagement Strategy, Climate Action Platform, World Economic Forum Many have referred to the current decade as the ‘decisive decade’ on climate action. As the world begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the clock continues to tick on climate action. Earlier this year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that temperatures are rising more quickly than expected, and a report released earlier this month demonstrated that countries are still not doing enough to tackle climate change. Last week, world leaders convened for the 76th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, one of the last times before the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), in Glasgow in November. But what do the announcements made this year and during UNGA mean? What key steps need to be taken by COP26 to ensure we are entering this decisive decade in a way that protects our people, planet, and prosperity? Here are four key areas addressed last week at UNGA that are vital for a substantive climate agreement at COP26 in just six weeks. 1. Finance During UNGA last week, US President Biden committed to doubling the US financial contribution to developing countries to $11.4 billion per year. The OECD recently reported that climate finance equaled $79.6 billion in 2019. A successful outcome at COP26 on finance requires countries such as Australia, Canada, Japan, Italy and the UK committing to an additional $2 billion to $4 billion a year to fulfill their fair share of climate finance. This would help instill confidence to agree on key issues such as carbon markets and transparency. The US commitment last week has renewed hope for climate finance going into COP26. What’s needed next: The climate crisis is a global issue and requires a response from all countries across the globe. However, the poorest countries are both least equipped to tackle climate change and most vulnerable to its effects. This is why at COP15 in Copenhagen in 2009, and again at COP21 in Paris in 2015, wealthier nations committed to providing poorer countries with $100 billion in climate finance per year by 2020. An agreement at COP26 will necessitate the trust of groups of countries like the Africa Group, the Climate Vulnerable Forum, Least Developed Countries, and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). For these negotiating blocks, fulfilling these currently unfulfilled promises made in Copenhagen and Paris is a prerequisite for a negotiated agreement in Glasgow. 2. Energy During UNGA last week, China announced that it would end coal fired power plants abroad. This follows similar moves by Japan and South Korea earlier this year, and represents a substantial shift in China’s investment in energy infrastructure abroad. Energy accounts for approximately 65% of total global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Globally, we have taken important steps towards cleaner energy: earlier this year, solar and wind power became cheaper than coal and fossil fuels in most parts of the world. At the UN High Level Dialogue on Energy earlier this month, the largest gathering of world leaders focused solely on energy issues in over 40 years, France, Germany, UK, Chile, and others all committed to stop building new coal plants. However, two-thirds of the world’s electricity production still comes from burning fossil fuels. Burning coal remains the world’s most carbon-intensive energy source. What’s needed next: There is undeniably growing momentum towards cleaner energy. One example, for instance, comes in the form of the COP26 Presidency Energy Transitions Council’s recently launched technical assistance package to help consign coal to history in key developing countries. However, the key question remains for rich countries to provide the financial and technical support required for key regions still reliant on coal such as India, South Africa, and South East Asia to transition to clean energy. This graph shows current government carbon emission reductions targets [or 'Nationally Determined Contributions' (NDCs)] compared to the goals of the Paris Agreement. Targets aim to limit global average temperature rise to well below 2°C above preindustrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. 3. Mobility Transportation accounts for 24% of emissions from fuel combustion and road vehicles account for almost three-quarters of transport CO2 emissions. A transition to zero emission vehicles is therefore essential for countries to deliver the Paris Agreement. Earlier this year, key car markets including the UK and EU committed to all new cars being zero emission by 2035. Similarly, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, GM, and JLR have all committed to manufacturing only zero emission vehicles before 2036. However, some of the largest car markets including the US, China, and India have not made such commitments. What’s needed next: A successful outcome for mobility at COP26 would be for the key car markets such as US, China, and India as well as key automotive manufacturers, to set a phase-out date for all non-zero emission vehicles around 2035, and for this to to complemented by a clear plan on how to achieve it. However, key questions on EV charging infrastructure remain to scale the zero-emission vehicle required to achieve these goals. 4. Heavy Industry and Heavy-Duty Transport Heavy industries like cement, steel, and chemicals, combined with heavy-duty transport such as shipping, aviation, and trucking, together account for 30% of global emissions. In addition, recent estimates have shown that, on current trends, these sectors could account for 16 gigatonnes of emissions by 2050. Decarbonising these sectors requires driving down the so-called green premium -- the additional cost of choosing a clean technology over one that emits a greater amount of greenhouse gases. The Mission Possible Partnership, launched in 2019, has already taken vital steps to decarbonise heavy industry and heavy-duty transport. However, we know that the green premium for clean practices remains too high for these practices to be adopted globally. What’s needed next: Essential for further progress in these sectors are regulatory and economic incentives to drive innovation to help bring down the green premium. A successful outcome by COP26 would demonstrate that future-proof technologies are within reach. This could be achieved by key demand-side companies such as retail, automotive, and construction companies whose supply chains span heavy industry and heavy-duty transport to invest in net zero technologies. Governments can help drive these investments by making carbon emissions cost through reaching an agreement on Article 6 Paris Agreement, which is a key outcome for COP26 negotiators. Looking ahead We know what needs to happen to prevent the worst effects of climate change: achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the very latest, with a robust reduction of emissions this decade. Progress made this year and during UNGA across the key issues of finance, energy, mobility, and heavy industry and heavy-duty transport, have helped set the scene for governments and companies to use COP26 as a crucial inflection point on our collective effort to tackle the climate crisis. Still, leaders of all stripes must act and act urgently to ensure these critical goals can be achieved by the end of this decade of climate action.
From UNGA to COP26: What's needed next for Climate Action content media
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kevinmanning6
Sep 21, 2021
In News and Views
Leaders of the G7 pose for a group photo at the G7 Summit in Cornwall, England. Friday, June 11, 2021. | Patrick Semansky/Pool/AP By Brady Dennis and Steven Mufson September 19, 2021 As world leaders gather at the United Nations this week, they face no shortage of divisive issues: An ongoing global pandemic, economic strife on numerous continents, and conflict and human rights concerns from Afghanistan to Haiti. But with only six weeks left until a crucial global climate summit in Scotland, presidents and prime ministers also face pressure to set aside these diplomatic tensions and act quickly and collectively to slow the warming of the planet — something they have struggled to do in the past. “We have reached a tipping point on the need for climate action,” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres warned Thursday, in one of his latest pleas for unity and urgency. “The disruption to our climate and our planet is already worse than we thought, and it is moving faster than predicted. … We must act now to prevent further irreversible damage.” This week’s U.N. General Assembly marks one of the last high-profile opportunities for countries to publicly commit to more ambitious, concrete action to cut greenhouse gas emissions ahead of November’s climate summit in Glasgow. So far, such promises from some of the world’s biggest economies have failed to materialize, despite a full-court press from the Biden administration, the European Union and other advocates. A U.N. report published Friday warned that while scores of countries have outlined new climate plans this year, if other nations — including China and India — fail to pursue bolder plans, greenhouse gas emissions could actually increase by 16 percent by the end of the decade. That could place the planet on a path to warm by 2.7 degrees Celsius (4.9 Fahrenheit) by the end of the century. The world already has warmed more than 1 degree Celsius compared to preindustrial times, and scientists say that each fraction of additional warming will bring worsening catastrophes, from more frequent flooding to more intense wildfires and heat waves. On Monday, Guterres and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson are scheduled to host a closed-door gathering — part in person, part virtual — of several dozen national leaders, including a mix of the world’s largest and most powerful nations alongside poorer countries hit hardest by climate change. It is the latest effort to nudge large emitters to embrace more aggressive climate action. Such promises are essential if the world is to have any chance of meeting the most ambitious aim of the Paris climate accord: Limiting the increase in global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) compared to preindustrial levels. The gathering is also aimed at getting richer, developed countries to make good on long-unfulfilled promises to provide billions of dollars in financing to help cash-strapped, vulnerable nations adapt to the effects of climate change and build greener economies. The failure to do that has led to animosity and distrust. “They have to send some messages that we can still hang together,” Laurence Tubiana, chief executive of the European Climate Foundation, said of the need for countries to separate trade wars, national security squabbles and other fights from the need to join forces on climate change. “It’s a common threat,” said Tubiana, a key architect of the 2015 Paris agreement. “Climate change ignores power politics. It doesn’t care how many armies you have, how many weapons you have. … We saw in the pandemic when we don’t organize collectively how damaging it is. Climate is just much worse.” The landmark 2015 Paris agreement, supported by nearly every nation in the world, was designed with the expectation that countries would ramp up their voluntary commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions over time. The planned summit in Glasgow, delayed a year by the pandemic, has long been where nations are expected to show up with bolder, tangible commitments five years on from Paris. There are signs that shift is happening, albeit in fits and starts. Scores of countries have already announced more aggressive targets, even if they aren’t yet as aggressive as scientists say is necessary. That includes the United States, which under President Biden has committed to cut emissions at least in half by the end of the decade. The administration has joined forces this year with the European Union and the United Kingdom, home to even more stringent climate targets, to try to compel the world’s largest emitter, China, and other major economies to embrace near-term ambitious goals to put the world on a better trajectory. On Friday, the United States and the European Union also agreed to a “global methane pledge” that would slash emissions of the potent greenhouse gas by nearly a third by 2030 compared to 2020 levels. The United Kingdom and signed onto the initiative, as did Argentina, Mexico, Indonesia and several other nations. The hope is that still more countries will follow. “The window is rapidly closing for major emitters like China to make new commitments that will really matter in bending down global emissions,” Paul Bledsoe, a former Clinton White House climate adviser, now with the Progressive Policy Institute, said in an email. “Despite new pledges by the U.S. and E.U., unless other nations begin to step up well ahead of Glasgow, the entire international community risks being blamed for inadequate action.” Since the Paris agreement, the world has changed in profound ways, both in climate diplomacy and in climate science, where it has become only more clear that humans’ greenhouse gas emissions are feeding intense fires, floods, heat waves and other extreme weather events that are claiming lives and costing fortunes. In 2014, President Barack Obama and Chinese leader Xi Jinping sealed a deal to limit greenhouse gas emissions a full year ahead of the gathering in Paris, making that global accord possible. The run-up to the U.N. summit in Glasgow has proven vastly different. A year ago, there were no advance negotiations, in part because President Donald Trump, who called climate change a hoax and played it down as a threat, made the United States the only nation to formally withdraw from the Paris accord. Also, much of the world was shut down because of the novel coronavirus. “The ability to come together has really been upended by covid,” said Pete Ogden, president of the U.N. Foundation and former senior director for energy at the Domestic Policy Council and National Security Council. The Biden administration, meanwhile, has been trying to make up for lost time. On his first day in office, Biden rejoined the international climate treaty. He dispatched former secretary of state John F. Kerry to crisscross the globe in an effort to forge the most ambitious climate deal possible. He pushed fellow leaders to match their rhetoric with action at a spring White House summit and at the Group of Seven meeting in June. And he is working to get Congress to approve a $3.5 trillion spending package that would include far-reaching climate actions, which is critical for the United States to make progress toward its 2030 emissions target. On Friday, Biden again convened a virtual meeting of major economies to make a pitch for bolder promises. “The time to act is really narrowing,” he told the group. Now, with the success of this fall’s climate summit hanging in the balance, experts see the U.N. assembly this week as one of the last likely venues for needle-moving commitments. “I think it’s important that there be major announcements about taking steps forward,” said David Sandalow, a veteran of the Clinton and Obama administrations and now a fellow at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy. “That needs to include action on the part of the major emitters but also from major institutions, financial groups and others.” This week’s U.N. gathering also provides a rare chance ahead of Glasgow for leaders of rich nations and smaller, poorer nations to address a relationship harmed by broken promises, said Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International. One central promise was that developed nations would provide $100 billion annually to help developing countries build greener economies and deal with climate-fueled catastrophes. It has never been fully funded. “Right now, I don’t think there’s a lot of trust in developing countries that climate change is a collective thing we’re going to solve together, because it isn’t happening on covid,” Morgan said. “Developed countries do need to come forward and build that trust, and we are not there yet.” But that will only come by giving credence to the concerns of those on the front lines of climate change. “The smaller and vulnerable countries, the small islands, Africa — for them it is life and death every day now,” she said. “They are the voice in the room that brings that humanity about what’s at stake and how important it is to have this collaboration. It’s not some faraway issue.” As he has before, Guterres on Thursday implored leaders to act with resolve and set aside other political differences. He noted that the world remains “far from meeting the goals” of the Paris agreement, that the past five years are among the hottest on record and that fossil-fuel emissions are rebounding to pre-pandemic levels. Greenhouse gas concentrations are hitting highs, and extreme weather events have become more common and costlier. “These changes are just the beginning of worse to come,” Guterres warned, again pleading with nations for real commitments, not just speeches. “Nothing less will do,” he added. “We really are out of time.” For more on this story and more, visit: https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/09/19/climate-change-united-nations/
World Leaders face push to act quickly on Climate Change content media
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kevinmanning6
Aug 30, 2021
In Publications and Reports
The Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report addresses the most up-to-date physical understanding of the climate system and climate change, bringing together the latest advances in climate science, and combining multiple lines of evidence from paleoclimate, observations, process understanding, and global and regional climate simulations. This is the first major review to have a specific focus on when the world will pass 1.5 degrees celsius and 2 degrees celsius. The report introduces new carbon budgets for limiting warming to 1.7C, as well as for limiting to each temperature with higher (83%) or lower (17%) probability. The narrower range of future projected warming in the AR6 compared to past IPCC reports – coupled with more historical observations over the past few years – provides a better sense of when these important warming levels may be exceeded. Calculating when the world exceeds a particular temperature threshold is not a straightforward exercise. Carbon Brief gave an analysis of the report, you can read their analysis of Article 6 at the following link: https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-what-the-new-ipcc-report-says-about-when-world-may-pass-1-5c-and-2c The report takes a lot into account when making its analysis and predictions. Give the report a read here: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/#FullReport
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kevinmanning6
Jul 07, 2021
In News and Views
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts Despite a pandemic-related economic slowdown, the climate crisis continues largely unabated. A temporary reduction in human activities resulted in a dip in emissions. However, concentrations of greenhouse gases continued to increase in 2020, reaching new record highs. It was one of the three warmest years on record, with the global average temperature about 1.2°C above the 1850–1900 baseline. The world remains woefully off track in meeting the Paris Agreement target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and reaching net-zero CO2 emissions globally by 2050. In the face of looming catastrophe, climate action is gaining momentum. In June 2020, the Race to Zero campaign was launched to form a coalition of businesses, cities, regions and investors around net-zero carbon emission initiatives, and set out specific near-term tipping points for more than 20 sectors of the global economy. As of December 2020, over two thirds of the world’s GDP was being generated in places with actual or intended “net zero by 2050” targets, covering over half of the world’s population and emissions. For more on this report, click here
SDG 13 - Sustainable Development Report 2021 content media
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kevinmanning6
Jul 07, 2021
In Publications and Reports
The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2021 was launched on Tuesday at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The report shows the significant impact in which the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on the 2030 Agenda, this as the annual High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) officially got underway. Find the Report here
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kevinmanning6
Jul 07, 2021
In News and Views
Key themes in the Cop26 climate summit will be explored on different days, a new timetable for the United Nations conference shows. After kicking off with the World Leaders Summit on November 1 and 2, each day will focus on a different theme, beginning with finance, energy and then youth and public empowerment, throughout the two-week event in Glasgow. Others include discussions on cities of the future, zero-emission transport and protecting nature, to ensuring the inclusion of women, girls and young people is at the centre of climate action, said Cop26. Published on Wednesday, the timetable, called the UK’s Presidency Programme, “will run alongside the formal negotiations which sit at the heart of the UN summit and will focus on closing off the outstanding aspects of the Paris Agreement”, it added. Cop26 President Alok Sharma said: “The Cop26 summit in Glasgow is our best hope of safeguarding the planet for everyone, building a brighter future and keeping the 1.5C target alive. For more on this story by Caitlin Dewar, please visit: https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/19426242.cop26-summit-key-themes-explored-different-days-climate-conference/ Image compliments: Getreading.co.uk
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kevinmanning6
Jun 25, 2021
In News and Views
The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the supreme decision-making body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). After this postponement of the previous iteration of this global meeting, COP 26 is vitally important to reaffirm on the progress made over the past two years. The 26th edition will be organized and presided by the United Kingdom in Partnership with Italy, to be held in Glasgow from 31st October to 12 December 2021. 197 Parties (inclusive of the European Union) that make up the treaty will seek to move towards the implementation of the agreements and obligations for all Parties to fight climate change. For more information on COP 26 - https://ukcop26.org/
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kevinmanning6
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