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Extreme weather driving countries to adapt to climate change
According to a survey conducted by the European Environment Agency, adapting to climate change has now reached the political agenda in most European countries. The stimulus for adaptation has been driven by extreme weather events and EU policies. Climate change adaptation was found to be on the political agenda of three quarters of the 30 European countries surveyed.
The report can be found from this link: www.eea.europa.eu/publications/national-adaptation-policy-processes.
IPCC warns that fossil fuels should be phased out by 2100
On 2nd November the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its Synthesis Report that distils and integrates the findings of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report produced by over 800 scientists and released over the past 13 months - the most comprehensive assessment of climate change ever undertaken. The headline message was that "Fossil Fuels should be phased out by 2100" and that most of the world's electricity can, and must, be produced from low-carbon sources by 2050.
In launching the report, R. K. Pachauri, Chair of the IPCC, said "To keep a good chance of staying below 2 deg C, and at manageable costs, our emissions should drop by 40 to 70 percent globally between 2010 and 2050, falling to zero or below by 2100."
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said " Science has spoken, there is no ambiguity in the message. Leaders must act. Time is not on our side. There is a myth that climate action will cost heavily, but inaction will cost much more."
Professor Myles Allen of Oxford University, a member of the IPCC main writing team for the report, said "We can't afford to burn all the fossil fuels we have without dealing with the waste product which is CO2 and without dumping it in the atmosphere. If we can't develop carbon capture we will have to stop using fossil fuels if we want to stop dangerous climate change."
The report and other related reports can be found on the IPPC website at www.ipcc.ch.
Wildlife populations have declined by half in 40 years
The main statistic from the 2014 Living Planet Report report is the global Living Planet Index (LPI) which shows a 52% decline between 1970 and 2010. This means that animal populations are roughly half the size they were 40 years ago. The 2014 Living Planet Report is the tenth edition of WWF's flagship publication which uses the LPI to track changes in wildlife populations. The biennial report, produced in collaboration with the Zoological Society of London and the Global Footprint Network, uses the global LPI as a measure of the health of over 10,000 populations of more than 3,000 species.
This startling statistic reminds us that the growth in human population and resource use worldwide is destroying the very fabric upon which we survive. Some thought-provoking quotes from Sir David Attenborough in recent years that we ignore at our peril:-
"The future of life on earth depends on our ability to take action. Many individuals are doing what they can, but real success can only come if there's a change in our societies and our economics and in our politics. I've been lucky in my lifetime to see some of the greatest spectacles that the natural world has to offer. Surely we have a responsibility to leave for future generations a planet that is healthy, inhabitable by all species."
"Instead of controlling the environment for the benefit of the population, perhaps we should control the population to ensure the survival of our environment."
"Either we limit our population growth, or the natural world will do it for us. And the natural world is doing it for us right now."
External link to: 2014 Living Planet Report
Do we have the intelligence and foresight to do anything other than accrue more "wealth" whilst destroying the planet?
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1. Management of oursouthwest. From 1999 - 2010 this website was originally managed by Phil Harding whilst a Senior Policy Adviser (climate change, resource efficiency and sustainable development) at the Government Office for the South West (GOSW) in Bristol (UK). GOSW closed in 2011 but this site continues to be managed by Phil Harding on a freelance not-for-profit basis.
2. Archived material. For ease of reference, some of the key pages and papers that were on this website up until 2011/12 are listed on the About OSW page. The British Library holds archived copies of the some of the original content of the www.oursouthwest.com website in its early (and now dated) format from 2008 to 2013 on its website at www.webarchive.org.uk/ukwa/target/9175112/source/alpha.
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