Webinar: Accelerating climate action in the EU and Member States through the Fit for 55 package and National Plans

On thursday 14 October, from 10:00 to 11:30 and from13:00 to 14:30, UNIFY project partners are organising a high level event to discuss how the ‘Fit for 55’ package and national plans (such as National Energy and Climate Plans and National Long-Term Strategies) can pave the way for 1.5°C compatible policies in Europe.

This event will also host the launch of Climate Analytics’ recent research on 1.5°C compatible emission reduction pathways for the EU and nine Member States. The report illustrates that the 1.5°C target is still within our reach if we strongly reduce our energy consumption while multiplying the renewable energy capacities during this decade.

Theme of the first panel will be: “Enhancing EU’s climate ambition through the Fit for 55 package”, and the second „Pathways for Member States to turn the Fit for 55 package into Fit for 1.5“.

You can register HERE.

Webinar: A sustainable development pathway for climate action within the UN 2030 Agenda

On Tuesday, 5 October 2021, the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC), Resources for the future (RFF) and Navigate had organized a webinar “A sustainable development pathway for climate action within the UN 2030 Agenda” from 3.00 to 4.00 pm CET.

An integrated modelling framework covering 56 indicators or proxies across all 17 SDGs, show that ambitious climate policies, as well as economic development, education, technological progress and less resource-intensive lifesty are insufficient to reach the targets. Solution is an additional sustainable development package, including international climate finance, progressive redistribution of carbon pricing revenues, sufficient and healthy nutrition and improved access to modern energy, that will enable a more comprehensive sustainable development pathway.

For further information you can visit: https://www.cmcc.it/lectures_conferences/a-sustainable-development-pathway-for-climate-action-within-the-un-2030-agenda

The webinar will be broadcasted via Zoom.

You can register here: https://bit.ly/3lOyVjd

Loss and Damage Awareness Day and upcoming COP26

In the lead up to COP26 (Conference of the Parties), a coalition of groups are working together to host Loss and Damage Awareness Day. The panel will take place on Zoom on Thursday, 23rd September at 3pm BST / 2pm GMT.

Loss and Damage Awareness Day aims to raise awareness about the issue of loss and damage and the need for the biggest polluters to pay for it. Loss and damage caused by climate change is a present reality for people around the world, and it is getting worse every year. Despite being recognised in a key global climate agreement known as the Paris Agreement, there has been no progress on where money to pay for loss and damage should come from.

As part of the event a new short film will be launched featuring climate activists Vanessa Nakate, Prof Saleemul Huq and Harjeet Singh.

Please register for the event at this link: https://actionnetwork.org/events/loss-damage-and-cop26-film-launch-and-panel-event?source=direct_link&

The UK, together with Italy, will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 31 October – 12 November 2021. The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. More than 190 world leaders are expected to arrive in Scotland. Together with tens of thousands of negotiators, government representatives, businesses and citizens for twelve days of talks.

Under the Paris Agreement in 2015, countries committed to bring forward national plans setting out how much they would reduce their emissions – known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). They agreed that every five years they would come back with an updated plan that would reflect their highest possible ambition at that time. This year, delayed by a year due to the pandemic, countries will update their plans for reducing emissions. But, the commitments laid out in Paris did not come close to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, and the window for achieving this is closing. The decade out to 2030 will be crucial. So as momentous as Paris was, countries must go much further to keep the hope of holding temperature rises to 1.5 degrees alive.

Progress made so far:

  • Around 70% of the world’s economy is now committed to reaching net zero emissions, up from 30% when the UK took over as incoming COP Presidency.
  • More than 80 countries have formally updated their NDCs, and all G7 countries have announced new NDC targets that put them on the path to net zero emissions by 2050.
  • Accounting for around half the global economy, all the countries that make up the G7 have updated their 2030 targets to put them on a pathway to net zero by 2050.
  • Solar and wind are now cheaper than new coal and gas power plants in two thirds of countries of the world.
  • Over 20 countries have joined the Adaptation Action Coalition, building on the 2019 Call for Action on Adaptation and Resilience signed by over 120 countries.
  • 1500+ businesses, investors, regions & cities have joined the Race to Resilience all are committed to take action on adaptation to build a resilient future.
  • Over 40 countries and organisations have joined the Risk-Informed Early Action Partnership commiting to make 1 billion people safer from disaster by 2025.

New major IPCC report advises to take prompt climate action to save our people and planet

Prompt climate action needs to be taken according to the new major scientific report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The AR6 WGI Report provides a full and comprehensive assessment of the physical science basis of climate change that builds on the previous assessments and these Special Reports and consider new information and knowledge from the recent scientific literature, including longer observational datasets, new scenarios and model results.

For the first time, the Sixth Assessment Report provides a more detailed regional assessment of climate change, including a focus on useful information that can inform risk assessment, adaptation, and other decision-making, and a new framework that helps translate physical changes in the climate – heat, cold, rain, drought, snow, wind, coastal flooding and more – into what they mean for society and ecosystems.

We are witnessing changes in the climate system, resulting from past, present and future human activities, which will continue long into the future (centuries to millennia) even with strong reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.  Some aspects of the climate system, including the terrestrial biosphere, deep ocean and the cryosphere, respond much more slowly than surface temperatures to changes in greenhouse gas concentrations. As a result, there are already substantial committed changes associated with past greenhouse gas emissions. For example, global mean sea level will continue to rise for thousands of years, even if future CO2 emissions are reduced to net zero and global warming halted, as excess energy due to past emissions continues to propagate into the deep ocean and as glaciers and ice sheets continue to melt.

Climate change is bringing multiple different changes in different regions –  which will all increase with further warming.  These include changes to wetness and dryness, to winds, snow and ice, coastal areas and oceans. For example:

  • Climate change is intensifying the water cycle. This brings more intense rainfall and associated flooding, as well as more intense drought in many regions.
  • Climate change is affecting rainfall patterns. In high latitudes, precipitation is likely to increase, while it is projected to decrease over large parts of the subtropics. Changes to monsoon precipitation are expected, which will vary by region.
  • Coastal areas will see continued sea level rise throughout the 21st century, contributing to more frequent and severe coastal flooding in low-lying areas and coastal erosion. Extreme sea level events that previously occurred once in 100 years could happen every year by the end of this century.
  • Further warming will amplify permafrost thawing, and the loss of seasonal snow cover, melting of glaciers and ice sheets, and loss of summer Arctic sea ice.
  • Changes to the ocean, including warming, more frequent marine heatwaves, ocean acidification, and reduced oxygen levels have been clearly linked to human influence. These changes affect both ocean ecosystems and the people that rely on them, and they will continue throughout at least the rest of this century.
  • For cities, some aspects of climate change may be amplified, including heat (since urban areas are usually warmer than their surroundings), flooding from heavy precipitation events and sea level rise in coastal cities.

The report also shows that human actions still have the potential to determine the future course of climate. The evidence is clear that carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main driver of climate change, even as other greenhouse gases and air pollutants also affect the climate.

Stabilizing the climate will require strong, rapid, and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and reaching net zero CO2 emissions. Limiting other greenhouse gases and air pollutants, especially methane, could have benefits both for health and the climate


Map of European city's potential to mitigate and adapt to climate change

As part of the NATURVATION project, maps were made to show the potential of natural based solutions for mitigation and adaptation to climate change in more than 775 European cities. NATure-based URban innoVATION is a 4-year project, funded by HORIZON 2020 and it involves 14 institutions across Europe. Project’s objctive is contribute to realising the potential of nature-based solutions for responding to urban sustainability challenges by working with communities and stakeholders.

The maps show the quantified potential of natural based solutions, which includes:

  • mitigate heat during a heatwave
  • carbon storage and
  • retain water runoff during a rainfall event.

The maps also quantify the additional benefits of natural solutions for cities like:

  • recreation opportunities,
  • availability of green space to support health and well-being and
  • biodiversity potential.

The maps show that the application of additional green areas and trees to mitigate heat during a heatwaves and increase carbon storage has the greatest potential in Southern Europe, the northern UK, the western Balkans and Turkey, while it is the smallest in Central Europe.

Maps of Zagreb, Osijek, Rijeka, Pula, Zadar and Split, as well as other European cities, can be accessed HERE. At the bottom of the website you can enter the city you want and then you can download a document with maps showing the city’s potential for green spaces, mitigate heat during a heatwaves, carbon storage, retain water runoff during a rainfall event and biodiversity.

Image source: Pixabay

Prije točno pet godina počela je najmiroljubivija revolucija u povijesti

Stjecajem okolnosti, nikad nisam pošteno naučila povijest. Miješaju mi se davno naštrebani mirovi i ugovori, paktovi i sporazumi, Aachen, Versaille, Rapallo, München… Ne znam više ni kojim je od njih počeo neki rat, ni kojim je završio. Ali, jednu stvar jako dobro znam. Nijedan od njih nije donesen jednoglasno podignutim rukama predstavnika 195 zemalja. Ovaj presedan dogodio se na današnji dan prije 5 godina prihvaćanjem Pariškog sporazuma. Bilo je to na 21. Konferenciji stranaka (zapravo država), točno dvadeset godina nakon prve konferencije Okvirne konvencije UN-a o promjeni klime i otprilike 130 godina nakon objave prvih dokaza o tome da bismo spaljivanjem fosilnih goriva mogli promijeniti sastav atmosfere i naškoditi živim bićima na plavom planetu. Taman je toliko godina i trebalo da ga unakazimo do te mjere da to sad jasno vidimo.

Sjećate li se gdje ste bili 12. prosinca 2015. godine? Nije baš neki upečatljiv datum, priznajem. Bilo je hladno, bez snijega naravno, na kopnu magluština, na moru sunce. Meni doduše i nije bilo odveć bitno kakvo je vrijeme jer sam dan provela u redakciji nosa zalijepljenog za ekran čekajući objavu da je Pariški sporazum prihvaćen. I unatoč mojoj savršenoj  sposobnosti da zaboravim važne povijesne ličnosti i izjave, riječi predsjednika Hollanda neću zaboraviti. „Imali smo u Parizu kroz povijest mnogo revolucija. Ova danas je najljepša i najmiroljubivija koju smo ikad proveli – revolucija za klimatske promjene!“

Pariškim sporazumom 195 zemalja svijeta obvezalo se da će se početi ozbiljno baviti klimatskom krizom, da će osjetno smanjiti emisiju stakleničkih plinova i time zadržati porast globalne temperature značajno ispod 2 Celzijeva stupnja, po mogućnosti na 1,5. Neprecizne riječi kao što je značajno i osjetno namjerno su ovdje. Sporazum je, naime, poseban po tome što ni jednu zemlju ne obvezuje da učini nešto što nije u skladu s njezinim mogućnostima i željama.

Na konferenciju u Parizu brojne su zemlje došle s već pripremljenim obećanjima za doprinos zajedničkom cilju, a neke od njih odnose se već na 2020. ili 2021. godinu. Island se, na primjer, obvezao da će smanjiti emisiju CO2 za 30 %, Maršalovi otoci ta čak 40 %. Maldivi su se obvezali na ugljičnu neutralnost, a Peru na prestanak krčenja šuma, a Togo na povećanje šumske površine za 30%. A sve je to tek početak.

U članku 22. sporazuma, dogovoreno je da će potpisivanje započeti, simbolično, na Dan planeta Zemlje sljedeće godine u zgradi Ujedinjenih naroda u New Yorku i da će trajati 365 dana. 175 zemlja, a među njima i Hrvatska, učinilo je to već toga dana, još 19 do kraja 2016. godine, a posljednji Uzbekistan nekoliko dana prije sljedećeg Dana planete Zemlje.

Pariški sporazum, dogovoreno  je, ne može stupiti na snagu sve dok ne bude zadovoljen takozvani „dvostruki prag“ odnosno dok mu se formalno ne pridruži 55 zemalja koje čine 55 % globalnih emisija. To se dogodilo 5. listopada 2016. godine, a Sporazum je službeno stupio na snagu 30 dana kasnije. Prva zemlja koja je ratificirala sporazum je Fiji, 12. veljače 2016., jedna od otočnih zemalja najpogođenijih klimatskim promjenama, suočena s katastrofalnim poplavama, strahovitim tropskim olujama i gubicima ogromnih količina ribe. Hrvatska je u proljeće 2017. donijela Zakon o potvrđivanju Pariškog sporazuma kojega je izglasala 24. svibnja iste godine. Posljednja je to učinila Angola, ljetos.

Za razliku od Kyotskog protokola koji je donesen 18 godina i 1 dan ranije, Pariškom sporazumu pristupila je i Amerika koja je 2015. godine još imala razumnog predsjednika. Zemlja koja ispušta u atmosferu najveće količine stakleničkih plinova po stanovniku, u međuvremenu je najavila napuštanje sporazuma. Formalnom procedurom sporazum je u Sjedinjenim državama ratificiran 3. studenog 2019. godine, no već je tada prošlo dvije godine otkad je onaj riđokosi klaun najavio da Amerika neće imati ništa s tim. Ako se želite dobro nasmijati, potražite njegov govor od 1. lipnja 2017. u kojem je nadrobio toliko gluposti da to jednostavno nema smisla ovdje navoditi. Već sljedećeg dana, 4. studenog 2019. godine američka vlada je formalno istupila iz sporazuma kojega je dan prije ratificirala, a istupanje je stupilo na snagu 4. studenog ove godine. Srećom, u međuvremenu je Amerika izabrala novog predsjednika dovoljno starog da je i sam itekako svjestan klimatskih promjena, dovoljno pametnog da zna da u ovakvim stvarima treba slušati znanstvenike, a ne Facebook-proroke, i dovoljno dalekovidnog da ponovno priključivanje sporazumu najavi već za svoj prvi dan u ovalnom uredu.

Unatoč hladnoći toga dana, 12. prosinca, 2015. godina bila je u Hrvatskoj jedna od pet najtoplijih, a na svijetu najtoplija do tada. Sljedeća je bila još toplija. U međuvremenu je koncentracija CO2 porasla s 404 na 417 ppm jer smo odaslali u atmosferu novih 180 milijardi tona CO2. Krenuo je najveći val migracija u povijesti, Nemo je u odumirućem koraljnom okolišu tropskog Pacifika uspio pronaći Dori, Hrvatska je postala viceprvakom nogometnog svijeta, otplovio je Oliver, Greta je doplovila preko Atlantika u Ujedinjene narode, a David Attenborough napravio je najljepši i najpotresniji film o klimatskim promjenama kojega ste ikad vidjeli. Uz film je izašla je i knjiga koju se nadam nositi na 26. COP koji će se u studenom sljedeće godine održati u Glasgowu. Zamolit ću Sir Davida da mi je potpiše. No to je samo jedan od ciljeva zacrtanih za novu klimatsku konferenciju.

Tekst je napisala DOOR-ovka Dunja Mazzocco Drvar, možete ga pronaći i na portalu RTL.hr.