News / Science & Technology

UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disasteri
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
Rosanne Skirble
April 14, 2014 8:58 PM
A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster
Rosanne Skirble
The world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change, a new United Nations report warns. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin.

The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent release what to do about it.
Co-Chairmen of the IPCC Working Group III Ramon Pichs Madruga and Ottmar Edenhofer pose with Rejendra K. Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC prior to a press conference in Berlin, Germany, April 13, 2014.Co-Chairmen of the IPCC Working Group III Ramon Pichs Madruga and Ottmar Edenhofer pose with Rejendra K. Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC prior to a press conference in Berlin, Germany, April 13, 2014.
x
Co-Chairmen of the IPCC Working Group III Ramon Pichs Madruga and Ottmar Edenhofer pose with Rejendra K. Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC prior to a press conference in Berlin, Germany, April 13, 2014.
Co-Chairmen of the IPCC Working Group III Ramon Pichs Madruga and Ottmar Edenhofer pose with Rejendra K. Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC prior to a press conference in Berlin, Germany, April 13, 2014.

Solution: One project at a time

The solution to the climate problem could start with this: a massive solar project in California’s Mohave Desert. It began operation in February and will provide enough power for 140,000 homes, says NRG Energy President David Crane.

“Our generation of leadership can get the ball rolling in fighting against climate change so that the next generation, the people who are in their 20s and 30s today can finish the job, then we will have done the best that we can do to get this going,” he said.
      
That kind of action must be taken on a global scale, and soon, says Rajendra Pachauri, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change chairman.

“If we really want to bring about a limitation of temperature increase to no more than two degrees Celsius then this is the message that comes out very clearly from this report,” he said.
 
Emissions must be cut by 40-70 percent

The report says global greenhouse gas emissions must be cut by 40 to 70 percent by mid-century, compared with 2010, to avoid devastating effects from severe weather in a warmer world. But solutions are within reach, says Nathaniel Koehane, who leads international efforts to address climate change for the Environmental Defense Fund

“There are a handful of things - around energy efficiency, renewable energy, reducing deforestation - a handful of things that the world could do and we could help the world turn the corner by 2020 and get on track to reduce emissions enough to keep the climate safe,” he said.

 
Greenpeace activists protest in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, April 13, 2014.Greenpeace activists protest in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, April 13, 2014.
x
Greenpeace activists protest in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, April 13, 2014.
Greenpeace activists protest in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, April 13, 2014.
Renewable energy sources like solar, wind and hydropower account for 8.5 percent of the world energy output, and 20 percent if nuclear is added to the mix. However, Koehane says a gulf exists between international efforts and what needs to be done to make the switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy.

“When you look at the stats in the report you see that coal is growing faster than other sources," he said. "So we need to reverse that trend and we do need to rapidly ramp up the sources of renewable power, the share of renewable power.”

Window of opportunity to act

The report finds that the longer the delay in controlling emissions, the greater the cost to public health and the environment. Koehane says voters must tell their governments that climate change matters.

“We need to get on top of it," he said. "But optimism comes from knowing that if we do get that political will and if we can push in that direction, that we have the technologies to get started. We just need everybody to pitch in.”

The report says a window of opportunity remains for the world community to act.  U.N. negotiators are working on a new international agreement to curb global emissions to replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change, which expired in 2012.

You May Like

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Felix Alicea-Gonzalez from: US
April 16, 2014 10:47 AM
UN, and raising level of awareness, will not impact those who continue endangering our planet. UN as a tool at the service of those who already produced increments in climate change, will not advance the agenda of at least getting closer to the goal, by 2050. Thinking that by pushing political leaders..., will eventually help, is very naive.
What examples do we have, to sustain that people's movements forced the "money power" to conduct businesses less profitably, to benefit humanity?
Unless armed forces backing people's laws are implemented, "business as usual" will prevail, disgracefully.

by: mememine69 from: toronto
April 15, 2014 12:20 AM
Only science can have certainty, not a mob of determined "believers" that are only serving to divide the environmental movement at the cost of productive and meaningful stewardship.
32 years of 95% certainty is anything you want it to be, except; “settled science”, “certainty”, “believable” or “sustainable” and unless science ends this costly debate soon by finally having certainty, any chance at climate action is impossible and dooms us all to a CO2 crisis for billions of innocent children.
Get ahead of the curve;
*Occupywallstreet now does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded and corporate run carbon trading stock markets ruled by politicians.
*Canada killed Y2Kyoto with a freely elected climate change denying prime minister and nobody cared, especially the millions of scientists warning us of unstoppable warming (a comet hit).

by: John St.Clair from: USA
April 14, 2014 8:08 PM
I have experimented with negative energy generators and found that negative energy cools objects down.
It might be possible to deploy them in order to keep the Earth's temperature in a comfortable range.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs