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

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    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.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora