Article list for December, 2009

31 December 2009: Some progress in 2009 – though not nearly enough

The lack of substantial progress at Copenhagen, though not unexpected, has left many people close to despondency on climate change. There is now a serious danger that they will lose interest. More worrying is the danger that the media will lose interest, leading to politicians doing likewise.

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29 December 2009: Geoengineering – plan A+

In the words of Nobel-prize winning chemist Paul Crutzen, we live in a new geological era – the anthropocene. He chose this name because, since the industrial revolution, the human influence on climate has been so great that we are already engineering the climate, albeit not deliberately.

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Geoengineering is the term given to proposals to try to control the climate through technologies, some of them new and bizarre, and unlikely to happen or to work if they did, some of them are new ways of applying old approaches and some of them new but likely to work.

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24 December 2009: G20 better forum for climate than UNFCCC

The lessons of Copenhagen are many and most of them make pretty grim reading. One that should be accepted is that the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), under which every decision must be taken unanimously by 193 countries, is an impossible forum in which to make sufficient progress.

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Ukraine – climate and energy statistics


This document sets out some of the important climate change statistics concerning energy use in the Ukraine.

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21 December 2009: Was Copenhagen worth it?

Yes, just. The Copenhagen Accord is vague and, having been negotiated by a small number of countries led by the US, China, India, Brazil and South Africa, was only “noted” by the Conference, not formally adopted. Some progress was made on finance and some on forest protection – though not nearly enough on either. None was made on targets.

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Christmas appeal – the Economical Environmentalist

Carbon Calculator

While world leaders are in Copenhagen grappling with global greenhouse gas emissions, most of us have more prosaic issues to sort out this week – what to get friends and family for Christmas, how to do something for charity and, perhaps stirred by Copenhagen, how to do something to help reduce global emissions.

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17 December 2009: Focus on forests and finance

During the last two days of the Copenhagen Summit, world leaders should focus less on targets and more on forest protection and finance. Deforestation accounts for almost a fifth of annual global greenhouse gas emissions, ruins the lives of those who live in them and destroys wildlife.

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Offsetting: What is it and is it desirable?


Much has been talked about ‘carbon offsetting’ in recent years and it is now a well known expression. But what is it and is it desirable?

Well, it is easy to define in three distinct ways, but whether it is a good idea depends on what is actually meant.

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Philippines – climate and energy statistics


This document sets out some of the important climate change statistics concerning energy use in the Philippines.

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