Tag Archives: climate governance

The Durban Train: A Ten-Year Delay for the Planet? – by David Belis

June 27, 2013

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Nilgiri Mountain Train

photo credit: Shuba via Flickr cc

In a global context characterized by growing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and higher CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere, there exists strong and increasingly convincing evidence that climate change is already having an impact in nearly all places on the globe and on a wide variety of natural and societal processes. When the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) is finalized in 2014, the negotiations will be recalibrated in light of this new consensual knowledge base. As far as we can judge from the cumulative scientific evidence, attaining the 2°C goal will be highly unlikely unless there is a rapid and fundamental reversal in climate politics at the global level and in national policymaking. In fact, scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are calling for a peak in GHG emissions before 2020 and fast and deep cuts thereafter (IPCC 2007: 67). It is therefore no exaggeration to speak of this decade as the ‘pivotal decade’ in climate politics. A sense of urgency, hard and ambitious political commitments, the conclusion of a global deal, and practices of production and consumption adapted to the challenge are minimal requirements. This is beyond any doubt a daunting challenge and arguably one of a magnitude that humanity has never faced before.

 

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