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

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt 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.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid