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In an unprecedented about face,  the world's 49 least developed countries (LDCs) have agreed to binding cuts in their greenhouse gas emissions in a symbolic effort to fast track the UNFCCC negotiating process and keep total global emissions significantly below 2 degrees. (Least developed countries agree to cut greenhouse gas emissions, The Guardian.)

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 ,2005
At 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)

In other climate news, Blue Carbon Initiative yesterday launched  "Mitigating Climate Change Through Coastal Ecosystem Management," a comprehensive look at the vital role tidal marshes, seagrasses and mangroves play in storing carbon. The soil in seagrass meadows, for example, can hold up to 95% of the total amount of blue carbon in that environment.

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.


From The International Center for Climate Governance, Climate and the Arts

8 Tips From Scientists On Covering Polar Bears

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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"Green Diary Rescue" is Back!

After a hiatus of over 1 1/2 years, Meteor Blades has revived his excellent series.  As MB explained, this weekly diary is a "round-up with excerpts and links... of the hard work so many Kossacks put into bringing matters of environmental concern to the community... I'll be starting out with some commentary of my own on an issue related to the environment, a word I take in its broadest meaning."

"Green Diary Rescue" will be posted every Saturday at 1:00 pm Pacific Time on the Daily Kos front page.  Be sure to recommend and comment in the diary.  

Originally posted to boatsie on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:58 AM PDT.

Also republished by Climate Change SOS.

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Comment Preferences

  •  will come back later to read ! thanks ! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boatsie, citisven, cotterperson

    and just found this ARK EXXON MAYFLOWER site link on fb, for those who are interested.

    https://www.facebook.com/...

    There is no Article II power which says the Executive can violate the Constitution.--@Hugh * Addington's Perpwalk: TRAILHEAD of Accountability for Bush-2 Crimes.

    by greenbird on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:06:11 AM PDT

  •  wow, that's really big news (5+ / 0-)

    it shows that these countries really know what's at stake, and even though it's not fair to them they know that insisting on fairness won't help them because we're all sinking together on this ship and this is not like a traditional negotiation where you can just keep stalling indefinitely (at least if you're negotiating from a place of giving a shit).

    It'll be interesting to see if this will actually move the big long-standing polluters to make meaningful concessions, or if their "we won't do anything unless you do" position was just a convenient excuse to do nothing. Either way, it's just sad and sickening to see how oblivious and in willful denial western nations, especially the U.S., are about their historic role in frying the planet.

    Ecology is the new Economy

    by citisven on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:40:23 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for diary boatsie, wish you would write (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citisven, cotterperson, PeterHug, SolarMom

    more often.  Although with this news i'm uncharacteristically pessimistic. I can't see the US making a grand bargain on climate until it's more politically feasible here.

    Macca's Meatless Monday

    by VL Baker on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 12:30:01 PM PDT

  •  Best Climate Practices, btw (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, SolarMom, citisven

    a fascinating project by the International Center for Climate Governance  (ICCG) similar in concept to the Climate CoLab which Beach Babe came in lst place last year ... but this on the scale of regions, countries as participants.  Fascinating material

    complete overview of what we are doing in concrete for facing climate change while posing an accent on the wide range of possibilities that, if implemented by politics, economics, institutions, enterprises and researchers, could easily make the difference.

    A best practice can be defined as a "technique, a methodology or a procedure that, through experience and research, has been proven to reliably lead to a desired result and that is used as a benchmark". In the context of climate changes, the result a best practice should aim to achieve is an affective progress towards the mitigation and adaptation to climate changes affects.

    The observatory is an interactive platform that collects, in dedicated desks, a selection of best climate practices that deserve attention for their originality, implementation potential and replicability at local, regional, national and global level.

    The initiative seeks to involve researchers, organisations, enterprises, policy makers and public at large, that are all welcome to share their experiences by submitting relevant good practices, in the effort to foster the dialogue among stakeholders.

  •  is this really relevant? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boatsie

    I'm not sure I understand the importance of this.

    I'm guessing that all 49 of these LDCs added together don't have the carbon output of New Jersey, so does it really matter if they pledge to cut emissions?

    Is it because they're setting an example? Is there any reason to think major emitters will give a fig about their example?

    I do appreciate the diary, though, especially some of the links...

    •  There was an obviously too subtle snideness (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SolarMom

      in the title ... the poorest and those who have the least to sacrifice are sacrificing first ... just assumed the intent was obvious.

      •  LDCs may have come to see that renewable (0+ / 0-)
        ... the poorest and those who have the least to sacrifice are sacrificing first ....
        energy isn't much of a "sacrifice".   The difference in cost between renewable and "conventional" electricity is tiny and and increasingly in favor of renewables.  Rather than wasting money and time building fossil fuel burning power plants that will be superceeded by cheaper renewables long before the fossil fuel plants are worn out, why not go with renewables to start with?  Photovoltaic (PV) power is now equal in cost to "conventional" power in sunny Italy and sunnier India.  And PV is the more expensive of the two most common renewables!  In 2012 China installed more wind power than coal power.  

        The fossil fuel barons of developed countries have long used LDCs as an excuse to not have renewable energy.  Now that excuse has been removed.  

        Renewable energy brings national global security.     

        by Calamity Jean on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 03:37:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  these countries might not be owned by the 1% (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boatsie, WarrenS, Calamity Jean

    the oligarchy makes money on finance, energy and wars

    they also make money on resources like owning the water rights of a country

    if the 1% wanted world wide effort on climate change, it would happen overnight

    since they run the major countries in the world

    wouldn't want to get a loss in the $36 trillion that they hold over seas

  •  A hopeful sign (0+ / 0-)

    Distributed renewable power is now competitive in less developed nations.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 04:56:31 PM PDT

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