B4E, the Business for Environment Global Summit, is the world's leading international conference for dialogue and business-driven action for the environment. The summit addresses the most urgent environmental challenges facing the world today. Important topics on the agenda include resource efficiency, renewable energies, new business models and climate policy and strategies. CEOs and senior executives join leaders from government, international agencies, NGOs and media to discuss environmental issues, forge partnerships and explore innovative solutions for a greener future.
Guy has been involved in the energy sector since 1984 working initially in the oil and gas industry as an exploration geologist for Amoco before joining the newly formed PowerGen in 1990. At PowerGen Guy worked initially in the UK core business before transferring to be part of the International expansion of developing conventional power stations in Portugal, Germany and Eastern Europe.
Pete is the Programme Director for Transport at the European Climate Foundation, where he has worked since 2011. Prior to that, he spent 10 years analysing and reporting on politics, business and markets for the international newswire Reuters. Since 2008, he has been living in Brussels, focusing on the European politics of climate and energy. He has published several books and papers on ecology, travel and communications.
Aled has 15 years’ experience in the development of regional sustainability policies and programmes in the UK and Europe. He started his career in local government working on the EU Structural Fund programme for West Wales and the Valleys before moving to the Wales office in Brussels as a policy adviser on regional and environmental policies. He returned to the UK to work for the Regional Development Agency for the West Midlands on its low-carbon development projects.
4 August, 2016: A record number of cities are now measuring and disclosing environmental data on an annual basis in order to manage emissions, build resilience, and protect themselves from the growing impacts of climate change. 533 cities globally representing 621 million citizens reported the actions they’re taking on climate to the non-profit CDP this year, a rise of 70% from 2015.
There has been a nearly four-fold increase in the number of cities in Africa disclosing climate information to CDP, from 12 to 46, since the adoption of the global climate deal by 195 countries in Paris last year. Accra, Kisumu and Mazabuka are among the cities disclosing data for the first time. Many new cities are from the least developed countries in Africa such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Uganda.
With their citizens directly facing climate change-related impacts, including from increased infrastructure damage and rise in water-borne diseases, African cities are seeking greater levels of support in managing climate strategies. Lorna Omuodo (Chief Officer, Green Energy and Climate Change) from the City of Kisumu in Kenya, which disclosed for the first time this year, says: “Climate change poses a serious threat to the wealth and wellbeing of our city. Delaying action will be costly, which is why we are taking steps now to ensure we build resilience in Kisumu. CDP is the best initiative on climate change I have seen in a long time because it is focused on practical actions.”
Increasing awareness of climate risks means more cities are undertaking a greenhouse gas emissions inventory, a basic first step for any organization seeking to understand its climate impact. In 2011, one in ten cities reported undertaking a citywide emissions inventory, now four in ten cities report doing so. More detail on disclosed citywide emissions can be found in CDP’s open data portal.
Patricia Espinosa, the new Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, says: “This is welcome and encouraging news as governments continue to ratify the Paris Climate Change Agreement and work to implement it in full. On NAZCA, the UNFCCC’s online climate action portal, many cities have registered their climate action pledges and are blazing an ambitious trail.
When cities measure their climate footprint and seek a sustainable path to green growth powered by clean energy, they take us all further towards the global transition to low emissions and resilient development. I also commend CDP for its role as a key provider of data to the NAZCA portal. I congratulate cities taking action and encourage everyone to use NAZCA to showcase their climate commitments.”
Other regions are capitalizing on the benefits of disclosure:
Paul Dickinson, executive chairman of CDP, says: “We are thrilled to have so many new cities, in particular from the developing world, share their climate strategies through CDP for the first time. Disclosing environmental information fuels awareness that in turn helps city leaders plan, finance and build low-carbon resilient cities. You cannot manage what you do not measure, and this year city leaders around the world are sending a clear message that they are ready and able to take on the global climate challenge.”
The City of Adelaide is disclosing for the second time in the Asia-Pacific region. Adelaide’s Lord Mayor Martin Haese says, “Strong growth in cities reporting environment data is a clear signal that CDP provides much needed global visibility to those who are preparing for the impacts of climate change and reducing their carbon footprint.
The City of Adelaide works in close partnership with the Government of South Australia and we share a commitment for zero net carbon emissions in Adelaide by 2025. Our signing of the Compact of Mayors and Compact of States and Regions in Paris at COP 21 further cements our shared commitment to limit global temperature increase to well below two degrees Celsius.”
The City of Las Vegas is also disclosing for the fifth time through CDP’s cities program. The City of Las Vegas’ Mayor Carolyn G Goodman says: “The city of Las Vegas is committed to sustainability and has set a goal to be 100 percent powered by renewable energy. We see real value in that conversation being transparent and open. That is why disclosing through CDP was a natural fit for us and why we are excited about hosting a CDP workshop for cities in October.”
Antha Williams, Environment Team Lead at Bloomberg Philanthropies, who support CDP’s cities program, says: “Building off the historic Paris Agreement, it’s promising to see over 500 global cities reporting emissions and climate risks to the CDP platform. By transparently reporting to CDP, cities are measuring progress and staying accountable. This, coupled with the recent launch of the new Global Covenant of Mayors of Climate & Energy co-chaired by Michael R. Bloomberg, will continue to drive demand for transparent and high quality city reporting to better measure where we are and where we should be to move action against climate change.”
The trend of increased transparency is also reflected in the world’s mega-cities, with 90% of C40 cities disclosing in 2016.
This article was originally published on Mongabay and is republished with permission.
According to data released on Wednesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), July 2016 was the hottest July on record.
It followed the hottest June on record and the hottest May on record. In fact, it was the 15th record-breaking month in a row, going all the way back to May 2015, NOAA data shows.
NASA, which uses different measures than NOAA to track global temperatures, has July as just the 10th consecutive hottest month, going back to October 2015 — which also happened to be the first month in NASA’s dataset that was more than 1˚C warmer than the 1950 to 1980 global average.
But July, no matter how you measure it, didn’t just keep the streak alive. Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, reported that it was “absolutely the hottest month since the instrumental records began.”
July 2016 was absolutely the hottest month since the instrumental records began.pic.twitter.com/GQNsvARPDH
— Gavin Schmidt (@ClimateOfGavin) August 15, 2016
NASA estimated that July was 0.84˚C (1.27˚F) warmer than average, and 0.11˚C (0.2˚F) warmer than the previous record-holders for hottest month ever, July 2015 and July 2011 (those two were tied for the hottest month on record until July 2016 came along).
2015 was the hottest year on record so far, but Schmidt added that there is a 99 percent chance of 2016 breaking 2015’s record:
July data are out, and what do you know, still 99% chance of a new annual record in 2016.pic.twitter.com/ndSsbYuedA
— Gavin Schmidt (@ClimateOfGavin) August 15, 2016
Schmidt told Climate Central that he expects July to be the last record-breaking month of 2016, because the residual heat from the exceptionally strong El Niño event that Earth has been experiencing is expected to dissipate now that the El Niño was declared over in June.
Though the El Niño certainly exacerbated global warming, Climate Central explains why it should not be viewed as responsible for Earth’s hot streak: “While El Niño provided a boost to global temperatures this year, the bulk of the heat is what has been trapped by accumulating greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”
All of which is bad news for the aspirational goal of limiting global warming to 1.5˚C (2.7˚F) adopted by the nearly 200 countries that approved the Paris Climate Agreement last December. Global temperatures for the year-to-date have already been hovering close to 1.5˚C above preindustrial levels all year, putting even the hard target of limiting global warming to 2˚C (3.6˚F) in jeopardy.
This map shows how global temperatures deviated from the average in July 2016. Image Credit: NASA.
By Tim Radford
This article was originally published on Climate News Network and is republished with permission.
Warning that humans may already have emitted enough carbon dioxide to undermine the 1.5°C temperature rise threshold agreed by 195 nations last December.
LONDON, 16 August, 2016 − The historic international agreement to limit global warming to a global average rise of 1.5°C may be a case of too little, too late.
In December last year, 195 nations at the Paris climate summit promised a programme of action to contain greenhouse gas emissions and limit climate change. But UK scientists now warn that humans may have already emitted enough carbon dioxide into the planetary atmosphere to take air temperatures over land to above 1.5°C.
And that means nations may have to think again about what constitutes a “safe” global temperature threshold.
Chris Huntingford, climate modeller at the UK’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, and Lina Mercado, senior lecturer in physical geography at theUniversity of Exeter write in the Scientific Reports journal that even supposing humans stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere – and although action has been promised, far more has to be achieved before that could happen – temperatures over land are very likely to go beyond the proposed limit.
This is chiefly because warming lags a decade or two behind the emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and because land temperatures in all climate forecasts turn out to be higher than those over the oceans.
For most of human history, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have stayed below 300 parts per million (ppm). They have now, thanks to more than a century of the combustion of fossil fuels and the destruction of the forests, passed 400 ppm, and global average temperatures are already 1°C above the historic average.
Last year was the warmest ever, the 10 warmest years ever have all happened in this century, and for the first half of 2016 − according to the US space agency NASA − every month has been warmer than any respective month since climate scientists first began keeping systematic records in 1880.
“Even if carbon dioxide was somehow stabilised at current levels, additional warming will occur”
Ominously, and almost certainly thanks to a natural climatic phenomenon called El Niño, the average rise in global temperatures – once again above the long term historic average – for the first six months of 2016 is 1.3°C.
And sea ice cover in the Arctic has for five of the six months been the lowest for each respective month since records began in 1979. March was measured at the second lowest ever.
The nations that met in Paris recognised that even a rise of 2°C could have calamitous consequences for developing nations, and especially for small island states threatened by sea level rise.
There has already been open concern that the economic costs of climate change have been underestimated, and that the goals announced in Paris will anywaynot be enough to contain warming. So the Scientific Reports study is another indicator of potential alarm.
“It would certainly be inappropriate to create any additional fear over climate change. However, what this paper does is re-iterate that the oceans are currently acting as a very strong sink of heat,” Dr Huntingford says.
“Even if carbon dioxide was somehow stabilised at current levels, additional warming will occur as we move towards an equilibrium climate state. Furthermore, data and computer models all indicate enhanced temperatures over land, compared to global mean warming that includes temperatures over the oceans.”
If so, the governments, regional authorities and local communities needed to think about the consequences for agriculture, and the challenge for the world’s cities, which in any case tend to be 3°C to 5°C warmer than the surrounding hinterland.
“Our findings suggest that we are committed to land temperatures in excess of 1.5°C across many regions at present-day levels of greenhouses gases,” Dr Mercado says.
“It is therefore imperative to understand its consequences for our health, infrastructure and ecosystem services upon which we all rely.” – Climate News Network
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