Tag: IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report

Governments missing link in the push for climate action as scientists deliver unequivocal evidence

November 2, 2014 - Copenhagen, Denmark: One month after unprecedented numbers of people took to the streets calling for more climate action as part of the Peoples’ Climate Marches, the world’s peak body of climate scientists has issued its starkest warning yet about the choice facing humanity. 

The people have spoken, businesses demand action, investors want long term certainty and science could not send a clearer signal than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report. 

With the release of the final installment of the report - ending a five year process covering 30,000 pieces of evidence and involving over 2000 scientists - the baton has now been handed to governments who need to scale up the ongoing transition from dirty to clean energy and deliver the new, global climate agreement due in Paris next year. 

Samantha Smith, leader of WWF’s Global Climate & Energy Initiative,  said the world’s best scientists have given us a good, clear measuring stick for what the world needs to do to combat rampant climate change. 

“It’s easy to look at what science requires and be overwhelmed,” Smith said. “But what the IPCC is really telling us is that we have an historic opportunity to secure a clean, just and safer future for the world and the people that live in it.”

The report confirms the experience of many vulnerable communities around the world: impacts of climate change, such as sea level rise, ice melt and ocean acidification, are hitting home much faster than previously thought. 

Though there is a pressing need to boost support to make communities more resilient to these impacts, Harjeet Singh, International Coordinator Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Adaptation for ActionAid International, said the IPCC warns that there are limits to adaptation. 

“This means that in some cases floods, cyclones, sea-level rise and drought will be so extreme that people can no longer cope with them,” Singh said. 

“That is why developing countries have been demanding meaningful ways to support those communities battered by the climate change impacts that they have not even caused.”

To avoid the worst impacts, the IPCC spells out the need to phase out carbon pollution entirely in favour of a scaling up of the transition to clean energy.  The report says switching our investments to renewable energy in the next few decades will be cheaper than paying a rapidly growing bill for  "severe, pervasive, and irreversible impacts.” 

Kaisa Kosonen, Greenpeace climate policy advisor said there had been a huge breakthrough in the affordability and effectiveness of renewable energy as well as technologies for smart energy use since the last IPCC report in 2007. 

“Let’s face it - the science is in and it’s game over for fossil fuels,” Kosonen said. “The IPCC spells out the benefits of scaling up the transition to renewable energy, such as affordability, better public health and more jobs.”

“What started with a decade of coal will be known as the century of renewables -economics and co-benefits are on their side, while the opposite is true for nuclear and carbon capture and storage,” she said.

Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists said early next year, governments must put forward their climate action commitments towards an international agreement to limit climate change due to be signed in Paris, in December 2015. That agreement must signal a collective decision by society to end the fossil fuel age and to embrace the dawning renewable energy era.  

“The world's scientists could not have made it clearer: to avoid truly devastating climate impacts, we must move rapidly to phase out our use of polluting fossil fuels,” Meyer said.

“Political leaders now face a choice: they can either put policies in place to achieve this essential shift, or they can spend the rest of their careers dealing with climate disaster after climate disaster,” he said. 

Contact: Ria Voorhaar, +49 157 317 355 68, rvooorhaar @ climatenetwork.org

Audio available on request

Media Advisory: NGO experts to brief reporters on the Synthesis of the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report

On Saturday, NGO experts will brief media under embargo on the synthesis of the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report which governments have been finalizing in Copenhagen this week. 

Speakers will decode the key findings into plain English, pull out the major themes and outline the implications for politicians as we move towards a comprehensive climate action agreement between all countries, for which this report will be the scientific underpinning.

Date and time: Saturday, November 1, 3pm CET  which is 2pm GMT and 10am EST. 

Please note information from this briefing is embargoed until 11am Copenhagen time time (10:00GMT) on Sunday November 2 when the IPCC report will be formally launched.

Location: 

The Copenhagen Island Hotel Conference Rooms, Kalvebod Brygge 53 DK-1560 København V,  across the road from the IPCC venue, the Tivoli Convention Centre. 

To Join via Webcast:

To join the teleconference, please join online here: www.uberconference.com/climateactionnetwork or dial the relevant telephone number for your country listed below and enter the conference number: 855-534-4477 followed by the # key when requested. A full list of available telephone numbers can be found here:https://www.uberconference.com/international

If your country is not listed, and you cannot join via internet browser, please contact us. 

Contact:

NGOs say new IPCC report shows climate action delivers benefits, not burdens

Berlin, April 13, 2014: Members of Climate Action Network have welcomed the third installment of the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report which lays out the solutions to the climate crisis, giving governments a clear case for urgent action.

Members of Climate Action Network provide the following comments on the launch of the report: 

"The IPCC's working group three report to be released here in Berlin tomorrow confirms it is not too late to act to prevent catastrophic climate change. We can keep average global temperature rise to the 2 degrees threshold agreed by the countries of the world. But effective action will only occur with strong international cooperation. Luckily, leaders like Angela Merkel have an opportunity to show they have received this message from the world’s peak body of climate scientists when they attend the United Nations Secretary General’s Climate Summit in New York in September. As a German, I expect Frau Merkel to lead the Heads of Governments to a breakthrough in international climate politics which delivers a robust climate action plan in Paris in 2015."
Sabine Minninger, Senior Adviser, Climate and Energy Policy, Bread for the World. 
 
"The IPCC is clear that acting on climate change is possible, beneficial and affordable. If we act now, costs will be only a very small fraction of global economies. Those who say it's too hard and too expensive are wrong. But it is very urgent – without immediate action, costs will rise and and impacts will too. The first, critical step is changing investment flows. Any investor who looks at this report will have to reach an obvious conclusion: It's time to pull your money out of dirty fossil fuels and put it into renewable energy and energy efficiency."
Samantha Smith, leader, Global Climate and Energy Initiative, WWF International.

"Science has spoken: climate action is no burden, it’s an opportunity. As renewable energies are growing bigger, better and cheaper every day, the age of dangerous and polluting coal, oil and gas is over. The only rational response to this report is to start the phase out of fossil fuels immediately. It's simple: the more we wait, the more climate change costs us. The sooner we act, the cheaper the transition to a renewables future for all will be. China, more than anyone, has the potential to become a game-changer in global climate action. China’s coal consumption limits and massive investments in renewable energy not only provide hope for Chinese citizens to breath clean air again but could also end the relentless growth of global climate pollution. China must now lead the world to new climate treaty by presenting an ambitious new target with binding emission cuts. If they act, the US and EU will also be embarrassed into the urgent action we need."
Li Shuo, Climate and Energy Policy Officer, Greenpeace China.

Notes:

1) Audio available here - speaking order: Sabine Minninger, Li Shuo, Samantha Smith. 
2) Full speaking notes available on request 
3) The audio, speaking notes and this press release are under embargo until 11am CEST (09.00GMT), Sunday April 13, 2014.
4) NGO experts are available for one-on-one interviews after the report release. 
 
Contact:
Please contact Climate Action Network International’s communications coordinator Ria Voorhaar on +49 (0) 157 317 35568 or rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org

Climate Action Network (CAN) is the world’s largest network of civil society organizations working together to promote government action to address the climate crisis, with more than 900 members in over 100 countries. 
 

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Climate Action Saves Lives... Your Call

Yokohama, March 30 2014 - CAN members and allies including Friends of the Earth GCCA, Greenpeace, Oxfam and WWF, plus Japanese groups Kiko Network and CASA, call for world leaders to take action against climate change. The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was meeting in Yokohama to finalise the second part of its Fifth Assessment Report, Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability.

Copyright ©Greenpeace/Jeremie Souteyrat

World leaders must respond to IPCC's harrowing portrait of a future under extreme climate change

Yokohama, March 30, 2014: Governments have been handed a warning by the world's leading climate scientists that society is vastly underprepared to deal with the increased risks posed by climate change impacts.

The second installment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report, released in Yokohama today, has warned that climate change is already negatively affecting every continent and the oceans. As climate change worsens, it will make people poorer, hungrier, and more ill as they contend with more extreme flooding, heat waves, and droughts. 

Members of Climate Action Network provide the following comments on the launch of the report: 

“The report talks about the economic cost of climate change. But the true cost of climate change cannot be represented just in monetary terms. There can be no cost put to losing a husband, a mother, a son or a daughter; there can be no cost to losing the home where our ancestors settled hundreds of years ago; there can be no cost to losing an ecosystem that sustains our life and the life of the earth we call home. This is the true cost of inaction on climate change.”
Sandeep Chamling Rai, Senior Adaptation Policy Advisor from WWF International.

“This report is clear: the impact of climate change on food is worse than previously estimated. We have already seen significant declines in global yields for staple crops like wheat and maize and food price spikes linked to extreme weather, and the picture is set to get much worse. Without urgent action on both adaptation and emissions reduction, the goal of ensuring everyone has enough to eat may be lost forever. Political leaders should ask themselves whether this will be the generation to let that happen.”
Tim Gore, Head of Policy, Advocacy and Research for the GROW campaign, Oxfam International.

“Asia is the most vulnerable continent to climate change, but it is not just developing countries in the region which are affected. Japan is already experiencing climate change and faces severe risks if action is not taken.  Japan imports about 60% of its food from overseas, thus climate impacts, like poor crops yields in other countries, will boost the price of food here - with inevitable negative consequences on our economy. This is not an issue somewhere far away, but an issue for us here.”
Kimiko Hirata, International Director, Kiko Network. 

"Scientists are warning us, but they are not telling us to give up. The solutions are already here. A growing wave of people, communities, corporations and investors around the world are already making a difference by moving to clean and safe renewable energy and demanding governments to stand with them. There’s a better future than the one we are currently offered and it’s ours if we want to grasp it.”
Kaisa Kosonen, Senior Political Advisor, Greenpeace International.

Notes:

1) Audio of the press conference is available here:
http://climatenetwork.org/media/audio/can-comments-release-ipcc-climate-impacts-report

2) Pictures of the press conference and of CAN members in Yokohama holding a banner calling for world leaders to take action against climate change are available:

BANNER ACTION (pwd = IPCC)
http://archive.jeremie-souteyrat.com/gallery/Banner-Action-IPCC/G0000zTts_fF1maA/C0000x63SsHRpc98

PRESS CONFERENCE (pwd=IPCC)
Embargo until 00:01 GMT March 31st (tonight's midnight GMT)
http://archive.jeremie-souteyrat.com/gallery/Press-conference-IPCC/G0000Rh46RziSGoc/C0000x63SsHRpc98

All Pictures Copyright ©Greenpeace/Jeremie Souteyrat

Farewell to Fossil Fuels

Fossil of the Day, COP19, Warsaw, 14.11.2013

 

It’s not enough to cap emissions or reduce their growth.

To prevent warming of 2°C or more, net emissions need to be brought to zero. This was a key message from the IPCC presentations in yesterday’s expert dialogue on the 2013-2015 review.

The IPCC concentration pathway that keeps below 2°C implies that fossil fuel emissions  must peak before 2020 and get to zero by 2070 (see IPCC WG1 Figure TS.19).  And it would have to be much faster if we don’t want to rely on negative emissions after 2070, or peak and decline doesn’t happen early enough, or we take into account “surprise factors” and feedbacks not included in the models.

On Tuesday, the International Energy Agency released their latest World Energy Outlook, again repeating their message that meeting the 2°C target (with about 50% likelihood) means that two thirds of proven fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground. Furthermore, three quarters of the world’s proven but not yet in production oil reserves will have to remain untapped – leaving no space for Arctic oil.

ECO wonders when countries will truly accept this reality – that we simply need to get rid of fossil fuel altogether, and leave vast majority of the oil, coal and gas we’ve found in the ground.

 

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Next Steps to Enhance the Review

The start of the first periodic review (2013 – 2015) is approaching.  This is intended to be a strong science-based instrument to increase ambition. 

But still there is no decision on which body will conduct the review. Informal groups have ongoing meetings but there has not been much convergence. The most convincing solution would involve a review expert group which would preferably be established here in Doha and assisted by the Secretariat going forward.
 
This group would gather new scientific intelligence from the coming Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC and many other sources including the UNEP gigatonne gap overviews, biannual reports and reports from ICA and IAR.
 
Of course inputs and submissions from Parties are necessary. But ECO is perplexed: why is there no mention of observer participation in the draft decision, through submissions or otherwise? Surely those experiences, data and insights can add measurable value to this crucially important new initiative.
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