Climate change is already responsible for 300,000 deaths a year and is affecting 300m people, according to the first comprehensive study of the human impact of global warming.
It projects that increasingly severe heat waves, floods, storms and forest fires will be responsible for as many as 500,000 deaths a year by 2030, making it the greatest humanitarian challenge the world faces.
Economic losses due to climate change today amount to more than $125bn a year “” more than the all present world aid. The report comes from former UN secretary general Kofi Annan’s thinktank, the Global Humanitarian Forum. By 2030, the report says, climate change could cost $600bn a year….
Civil unrest may also increase because of weather-related events, the report says: “Four billion people are vulnerable now and 500m are now at extreme risk. Weather-related disasters … bring hunger, disease, poverty and lost livelihoods. They pose a threat to social and political stability”.
If emissions are not brought under control, within 25 years, the report states:
“¢ 310m more people will suffer adverse health consequences related to temperature increases
“¢ 20m more people will fall into poverty
“¢ 75m extra people will be displaced by climate change.
Climate change is expected to have the most severe impact on water supplies . “Shortages in future are likely to threaten food production, reduce sanitation, hinder economic development and damage ecosystems. It causes more violent swings between floods and droughts. Hundreds of millions of people are expected to become water stressed by climate change by the 2030. “.
The study says it is impossible to be certain who will be displaced by 2030, but that tens of millions of people “will be driven from their homelands by weather disasters or gradual environmental degradation. The problem is most severe in Africa, Bangladesh, Egypt, coastal zones and forest areas.”
World carbon emissions must start to decline in only six years if humanity is to stand a chance of preventing dangerous global warming, a group of 20 Nobel prize-winning scientists, economists and writers declared today.
The United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen in December must agree to halve greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050 to stop temperatures from increasing by more than 2C (3.6F), the St James’s Palace Nobel Laureate Symposium concluded.
More than 20 Nobel Laureates, including President Obama’s Energy Secretary Steven Chu, gathered at the meeting in London to discuss the threat of global warming.
After three days the St James’s Palace Nobel Laureate Symposium concluded that climate change posed a danger of similar proportions to “the threat posed to civilization by the advent of thermonuclear weapons.”
The Obama administration has turned a once-minor anti-poverty program into an effort to weatherize 1 million houses for energy efficiency, leaving states and nonprofits to battle for pieces of the rush of funds.
Some states say they can use money allocated to them by the federal Weatherization Assistance Program creatively to maximize its impact.
Texas wants to give $94 million of its $327 million directly to cities to start their own programs; Indiana and Missouri are asking nonprofits to compete for the funds; and Wisconsin wants to use some of its money to weatherize low-income apartment buildings and wants to spend $10 million on replacing appliances.
The U.S. Department of Energy has said it is willing to consider nontraditional programs.
The World Bank seeks to play a bigger role in sustainable energy projects around the globe including experimental carbon capture and storage (CCS) research, Vice President Katherine Sierra said on Thursday.
Chinese solar equipment manufacturers have taken a big hit in the economic downturn. But you wouldn’t know it from the way their stock values have been performing lately.
This month, most major Chinese suppliers of polysilicon feedstock and solar photovoltaic equipment have reported their first-quarter earnings, and all are negative. The companies blame their woes on plummeting demand in Europe, tight access to capital caused by the recent credit crunch, and a competitive race for market share that is pushing down the prices of their products.
But Chinese solar companies have been among the strongest performers on the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ in recent weeks, outpacing their U.S., Japanese and European counterparts even before the dismal figures came in. Virtually all Chinese solar stocks spiked in trading yesterday.
Research led by the University of Leicester suggests people today and in future generations should look to the past in order to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.
Climate change is disproportionately affecting the poor and minorities in the United States – a ‘climate gap’ that will grow in coming decades unless policymakers intervene, according to a University of California study.
Humans have been wired by evolution to respond to the most immediate threats, ones they can hear or smell or see “” like the lions approaching our ancestral watering holes in the Serengeti. So in searching for answers as to why society has been so slow to react to one of the greatest threats facing the planet today “” global warming “” this deeply ingrained instinct is a good place to start. Climate change just doesn’t offer those kinds of sensory signals “” at least not yet “” and humans have not felt the need to react, according to researchers.
A major shortcoming of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on climate change was its failure to address the huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions caused by the destruction of the world’s rain forests. A proposal that rich nations be allowed to offset some of their emissions by paying poorer counties to leave their rain forests intact was shot down after European environmental groups objected. They argued that it would allow rich countries to buy their way out of their own obligations. The planet has been paying for that colossal blunder ever since.
Compiled by Max Luken and Carlin Rosengarten