Climate Change, Climate Change Related Facts, Important Organizations Relating to Environment/Climate Change

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Climate Change Related Facts

From 2001 to 2010, global temperatures have averaged 0.46 degrees Celsius above the 1961 - 1990 average and the highest value ever recorded for a 10-year period.

What is RED

  • Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) is a set of steps designed to use market/financial incentives in order to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases from deforestation and forest degradation. Its original objective is to reduce greenhouse gases but it can deliver “co-benefits” such as biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation.
  • REDD + is being criticised by indigenous people and activists because it is designed to give more control over indigenous people՚s forests to state forest departments, miners, companies etc resulting in violation of rights, loss of livelihoods etc.
  • REDD is presented as an “offset” scheme of the carbon markets and thus, will produce carbon credits. Forest degradation accounts for 15 % of greenhouse gas emissions, about the same as transportation sector. Mitigation cannot be achieved without the inclusion of forests in an international regime. Hence, it is expected to play a crucial role in a future successor agreement to Kyoto Protocol.

Cancun climate agreement at a glance

Cutting carbon emissions:

Cutting Carbon Emissions
  • Scores of rich countries made pledges over the last year to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 under the Copenhagen accord but they were not incorporated in the official UN process. Cancun now formally puts those pledges into UN documentation, although they may increase or decrease in future.
  • First time, developing countries also agreed to look at how they can cut emissions in the future — but did not make specific pledges.
  • Crucially however, none of the cuts are legally binding.

Climate aid:

  • A new climate green fund was agreed at Cancun to transfer money from the developed to developing world to tackle impacts of climate change.
  • Poorer countries saw this as a success because they will outnumber rich countries on a supervisory panel for the fund, which is due to be set up in 2011. But no figure was put on how much money will go into it.
  • Separately, ministers repeated their political promise made last year at Copenhagen to raise $ 100bn in climate aid by 2020, starting with $ 30bn by 2012 for “fast track” financing.


  • Formal backing was given for the UN՚s deforestation scheme, REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation) , under which rich countries pay poorer nations not to chop down forests & so lock away carbon emissions.
  • But details on when & exactly what form the scheme will take — particularly whether developed countries will be able to use it to “offset” their emissions rather than make cuts at home — are still vague.

Kyoto protocol:

  • Decisions on the future of the Kyoto protocol, the current international treaty binding rich countries to cut emissions, were effectively deferred until South Africa next year. Whether countries will sign up for a second “commitment period” to cuts beyond 2012 remains to be seen.
  • Decisions on role that the protocol will play in an ultimate future legal document that binds the world՚s countries to emissions cuts — the “holy grail” of the UN negotiations — was delayed.

Technology transfer

  • The idea of transferring knowledge of clean technology between countries was backed at Cancun.
  • A technology executive committee & a climate technology centre & network are to be set up, but there are no details on the money, where they will be based, when or by whom.
  • Countries agreed to principle of having their emissions cuts inspected. Such “monitoring, reporting & verification” will depend on size of the country՚s economy, though who will carry out the inspections was not specified.

COP 17, Durban

An agreement among by more than 190 nations to work towards a future treaty that would require all countries to reduce emissions that contribute to global warming.

To be decided by 2015 and to come into force by 2020 The process for doing so, called the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, would develop a new protocol, another legal instrument or agreed outcome with legal force that will be applicable to all Parties to the UN Climate Convention

COP 17
  • Agreed to launch a work plan to identify options for closing the ′ ambition gap ′ between countries ′ current emissions reduction pledges for 2020 and the goal of keeping global warming below
  • New arrangements for making more transparent the actions taken by both developed and developing countries to address their emissions
  • Also agreed to on the creation of a fund to help poor countries adapt to climate change, and to measures involving the preservation of tropical forests and the development of clean energy technology
  • The deal looks to renew the Kyoto Protocol for several more years. This will be decided
    • The second commitment period will run from 2013 to end of 2017
  • Next summit in Qatar

Important Organisations Relating to Environment/Climate Change

Table of Important Organisations Relating to Environment
NameHQ etcGeneral info
Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)Bogor, IndonesiaHad received the Queen՚s Award for Forestry

View of Different Parties on Climate Change Mitigation

  • Developed countries
  • Developing countries
  • Most vulnerable countries/AOSIS countries
  • Activists/Environmental Groups


  • Activists have offered a serious criticism of market based measures like CDM, emissions trading and REDD as they will affect the developing countries and indigenous people adversely.

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