Displaying 1-15 of 15 key documents
Source: PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency | April 2012
This report analyses pledge on emissions reductions put forward by Parties in the Cancún Agreements, including information emerging since the negotiations took place in 2010.
It focuses on the uncertainties and risks of achieving the goal of limiting the global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius, and provides a detailed overview what the pledges and actions of the 12 countries and regions with the largest emissions could mean for reduction targets.
The report highlights that since the Cancún negotiations, developing countries have published new information about their emission projections which have led to higher than expected emission levels, and have increased the emission gap.
It suggests that a selected set of mitigation options in addition to existing pledges could result in emission reduction which would narrow the gap towards achieving the two degrees Celsius goal. It also concludes that uncertainties in accounting rules and projections could mean that global emissions remain at business-as-usual projections for 2020.
Source: UN University | April 2012
This online book aims to offer insight into development issues related to climate change and indigenous peoples that can be useful in policymaking. It provides an overview of more than 400 relevant projects, case studies and research activities.
Different sections cover climate and environmental changes, including local observations, and the impact of these changes on indigenous communities. The book also outlines mitigation and adaptation strategies — based on traditional knowledge and survival skills — that are being implemented by them.
The authors highlight that climate change effects reported by indigenous people include loss of livelihoods; land degradation; impacts on food security; health issues; and water shortages that can affect agriculture, infrastructure, forestry and energy amongst others areas.
Source: International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development
This policy brief looks at the role of intellectual property rights in developing and accessing technologies for mitigation and adaption to climate change. It provides an overview of intellectual property rights as the main mechanism of encouraging technological innovation for responding to climate change, and describes the issues that prevent constructive discussion in the area. The brief brings together diverse perspectives to propose action, beginning with building trust and exploring potential policy options, challenging countries to go beyond their entrenched positions and thus enable productive climate talks. It concludes with a caution that without reaching a compromise, the impasse will prevent a significant move towards green technologies.
Source: IIED | January 2011
This report aims to inform energy and forestry policymakers in non-OECD counties about biomass energy, which these countries depend on mostly for cooking and heating. It draws on global literature to give an account of the emerging biomass energy boom, the advantages and disadvantages of biomass and how it compares with alternative renewable energy sources. It also provides guidance on developing policies that optimise the positive impact of biomass energy on poverty reduction and the preservation of ecosystem services.
The International Energy Agency predicts that biomass, which currently makes up ten per cent of the world's primary energy supplies, will become increasingly important as a source of energy, rising to 30 per cent by 2050. The report argues that since non-OECD countries are disproportionately dependent on biomass energy (26 per cent), they could capitalise on this trend by acting now to legalise biomass supplies and ensure that it is produced sustainably. This would allow them to create more advanced biomass energy options in the future, such as generating electricity or producing second generation biofuels.
Source: WHO | 2009
This study, jointly carried out by the WHO and the UK Department for International Development, investigates the impacts of climate change on drinking water and sanitation in developing countries and describes the technology available to mitigate these. It presents five major conclusions for policymakers that highlight the need to increase resilience to climate variability and invest in targeted research to fill 'technology gaps'.
Source: Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) | November 2008
This information briefing, published by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), focuses on the implications of different country circumstances for measuring and monitoring forest degradation within activities for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD).
The authors introduce forest degradation as a set of activities that can have different driving forces than deforestation, highlighting the fact that forests can remain degraded for a long time before becoming deforested. Degradation is typically caused by selective logging, fire and fuel wood collection.
The authors discuss monitoring, reporting and verifying (MRV) options for projects aiming to reduce forest degradation, emphasising the need to consider changes in both forest area and average carbon stocks per unit area. Based on a framework for forest transition with varying rates of deforestation and degradation, the relative importance for including degradation within REDD mechanisms for different countries is also outlined.
The briefing concludes that although monitoring and measuring degradation is more complicated than deforestation, developing a flexible MRV framework for including degradation in REDD mechanisms could be important for international equity. In particular, they expect that many African countries could benefit from the inclusion of degradation within REDD frameworks.
Source: Global Canopy Programme | December 2008
This policy brief, published by the Global Canopy Programme, proposes a system called Proactive Investment in Natural Capital (PINC), to reward countries for conserving large areas of tropical forest that act as 'global utilities' providing ecosystem services essential for preserving global food and energy security.
The authors suggest that the system, could complement current proposals for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). They argue that REDD could encourage countries with historically low deforestation rates to destroy their forests. They point out that if REDD successfully brings deforestation rates down — to zero eventually — then in the long-term, countries will not be able to receive payments for reducing deforestation.
The alternative, PINC, would build on existing systems that pay for ecosystem services, such as eco-certification, although scaling-up funding for standing forests is still a challenge, say the authors. To be effective, PINC requires capacity building and improved governance across the world. Land tenure reform will be needed in many countries, as will local participation in decision making and training in forest management. But, if appropriately designed, PINC could provide local communities with co-benefits such as poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation.
Source: WRI | March 2009
This policy paper, published by the World Resources Institute (WRI), suggests a range of sustainable development policies within frameworks for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD).
The authors argue that there can be significant barriers to countries providing guaranteed quantified measures of emissions reductions for use in carbon trading schemes. They propose that a broader range of sustainable development policies and measures, such as building institutional capacity to reduce fires or combat illegal logging, should be included within REDD measures.
The authors recommend that developed countries encourage developing nations to reduce forest degradation, including measures that do not produce tradable carbon credits, and support a range of approaches to measure, report and verify nationally appropriate mitigation actions.
Further work is urgently needed, they say, to develop and refine these approaches, including specifying acceptable metrics, determining how to make different countries' activities comparable, and exploring alternative sources of sustainable funding.
Source: The World Bank | 2008
This 'toolkit', published by the World Bank, provides policy advice on how to integrate climate change adaptation strategies into development programs.
It gives an overview of climate change impacts in developing countries and identifies the main channels through which development programs can cost-effectively adapt to climate change and reduce greenhouse gases. The authors identify individual development policies and suggest ways of incorporating mitigation and adaptation measures. They also provide lists of desirable climate outcomes alongside the specific policies needed, by type and sector, to achieve them.
Source: Pew Center on Global Climate Change | October 2002
The role of developing countries in climate change mitigation has been and continues to be a contentious issue. Developing countries' emissions are predicted to surpass those of industrialised countries within the first half of this century, but no formal commitments to reduce emissions have been made.
This report, prepared for the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, examines six countries — Brazil, China, India, Mexico, South Africa and Turkey — in the context of climate change mitigation. Ongoing efforts in these countries have helped reduce emissions, though not necessarily in the name of mitigating climate change.
The authors find that overall, over the past three decades, these countries have reduced the growth rate of their emissions by 300 million tonnes. The motivations for such efforts include poverty alleviation, economic development, energy security and local environmental protection. This demonstrates that climate change mitigation can and does occur in the context of development that aims to be sustainable.
This report is comprehensive for the countries studied. It is very accessible and likely to be of interest to anyone engaged in the debate about mitigation in the South.
The report is available in pdf format only. An executive summary is availably online here.
Source: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) | May 2002
On 9 May 1992, the world’s governments adopted the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Five years later, on 11 December 1997, governments took a further step forwards and adopted the landmark Kyoto Protocol.
Building on the framework of the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol broke new ground with its legally-binding constraints on greenhouse gas emissions and its innovative "mechanisms" aimed at cutting the cost of curbing emissions. Today, 186 countries (including the European Community) are Parties to the Convention, more than most any other environmental treaty, and the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol is expected soon.
This guide, prepared in the tenth anniversary year of the adoption of the Convention, explains in detail the commitments of both the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, along with the "rulebook" for their implementation.
Source: UNFCCC Secretariat | 1992
This is the full text of the Framework Convention, which was adopted at the United Nations Headquarters, New York on 9 May 1992. The convention was open for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro from 4 to 14 June 1992, and thereafter at the UN Headquarters in New York, from 20 June 1992 to 19 June 1993. By that date the Convention had received 166 signatures. The Convention entered into force on 21 March 1994.
Source: Pew Center on Global Climate Change | December 1999
Several factors influence the costs of greenhouse gas mitigation. This report illustrates the importance of one such factor — international emissions trading — in reducing the costs of carbon control. The authors argue that an international greenhouse gas emissions trading regime will significantly lower global mitigation costs.
Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
The Third Assessment Report of the IPCC's Working Group 1 builds on past assessments and incorporates new results from the past five years of climate change. It descibes the current state of udnerstanding of the cliamte system, and provides estiamtes of its projected future evolution and their uncertainties.
Many hundreds of scientists from around the world participated in the preparation and review of the report, which states that "there is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities".
Source: Royal Institute of International Affairs | February 2002
The Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, published in 2001, is the most comprehensive and authoritative source of information on climate change. Its conclusions confirm and strengthen those of the previous reports: human-induced climate change is a reality and most of the effects will be negative, but a range of mitigation opportunities is available to address the problem.
The Report finds that most of the earth’s warming over the past 50 years can be attributed to human activities, and that its effects are already being felt. Global temperature is expected to increase by 1.4 to 5.8ºC over the next century, a significant increase on the projections of the 1995 Second Assessment Report. This briefing paper summarises the findings of the Third Assessment Report and the debates underpinning them, and discusses the likely outcomes of the Report.