This represents a total shift in the official policy of the LDC negotiating bloc, which until now has held firm to its position that the developed industrialized countries need to lead the way in cutting carbon emissions.
"I think the LDCs are now for low carbon pathways for all," LDC Lead Negotiator Quamral Chowdury yesterday told the Guardian. "They are even ready to go first in helping to cut back global greenhouse gas emissions, though they are the ones least responsible for increasing those emissions."
Together, the 25 countries with the largest GHG emissions account for approximately 83 percent of global emissions ... If the European Union (EU) is treated as a single entity, it and the four other largest emitters—the United States, China, Russia, and India—contribute approximately 61 percent of global emissions. Navigating the Numbers World Resource Institute ,2005At the conclusion of last years UNFCCC talks at Doha, negotiators agreed to extend the Kyoto protocol emission limits for eight years and to include the concept of 'loss and damages' as an agenda item for COP19 later this year.
Under this principle, developed nations will be called upon to contribute to a fund to compensate developing countries for the damages and losses they have experienced due to the impacts of climate change caused by wealthier nation's emissions, even as they remain recalcitrant in signing on to binding cuts in GHGs. (For background on climate finance issues, The Guardian today published What is climate finance and where will it come from?
This development comes as Ohio State scientists reported Thursday that 1600-year old ice formations in the Peruvian Andes have melted in a mere 25 years (In Sign of Warming, 1,600 Years of Ice in Andes Melted in 25 Years, New York Times, April 5, 2013), and Rutger's climate scientist Jennifer Francis detailed how rapid warming in the Arctic is altering the physics of the jet stream, resulting in 'stuck' weather patterns similar to the never ending winter currently impacting the eastern United States.
"What's been happening is this big trough parked over Eastern US, and also over western Europe," says Francis of the current conditions. "And in both cases, because the jet stream has been in a very wavy pattern, these troughs have been very slow to move, basically parked most of the time in the same spot." (Is a "Game of Thrones" Winter Coming?, Mother Jones)
IOC-UNESCO, Conservation International (CI) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) launched the initiative to coordinate the international 'blue carbon community' and foster collaboration and sharing of recent information.
Several current projects are highlighted, including Increasing Resilience to Sea Level Rise in Coastal Maryland. The Deal Island project has been funded by NERRS Science Collaborative to engage numerous stakeholders to study the impact of sea level rise on the region's marshland and communities and design and implement remedial restoration and conservation practices. Deal Island is designed as a model of collaborative leaning in ecosystem science.
Other climate change snippets below the fold.
University of Alberta scientist Dr. Ian Stirling called a "new element" of media -- "the deliberately misleading, and sometimes downright dishonest, treatment of the science around polar bears when it relates to climate warming." In conversations with Media Matters, Stirling and other leading polar bear scientists outlined eight tips for media outlets seeking to accurately cover the plight of the polar bears.World Ocean Radio 215: Soft Edges
"There are slowly emerging examples of soft edge response, exacerbated now by the undeniable rise in sea level in many places, the consequent frequent flooding, and the unmitigated and very expensive consequence of ever-increasing incident of more powerful storms like Superstorm Sandy in the United States. How can we turn these new circumstances to advantage?"
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