The IPCC COP 18 Climate Change Conference has started in Qatar. There are three major issues that must be addressed, the first is renewal of the Kyoto Protocol, the second is the issues between the developed and the developing world, and the third is climate finance. The American Government will not endorse the Kyoto Agreement.
The UN Environment Program’s Emissions Gap Report 2012, released Nov. 21, indicates that there is a massive gulf between what governments have pledged in terms of GHG emissions and what they are actually doing. To stave off a temperature increase of more than 2°C, nations have pledged to reduce their emissions a total of 44 gigatonnes by 2020.
At the end of this year, the Kyoto Protocol is set to expire, but talks in Doha, Qatar that began on Monday, November 26th and run through December 7th, aim to extend the protocol up until 2020. The Kyoto Protocol, whose main focus was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 5.2% of 1990 levels between the years 2008-2012, have largely been seen as a failure.
Ever since the 2009 Copenhagen climate talks, downplaying expectations ahead of a UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP) has become somewhat of a ritual in the media and even among experts – as if everyone had sworn off being optimistic about international climate action altogether.
It seems that every year, the annual summit on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) grows in importance. This year’s 18th Conference of the Parties (COP18) being held later this month in Doha, Qatar, could be deemed momentous.
The reelection of President Obama has already sent a message that is impacting the coal industry and it is likely that investors will be more wary of natural gas pending a review. Well ahead of more stringent regulations on the coal industry investors are already seeing the writing on the wall and divesting from this dirty source of energy.
Environmentalism has been around for decades, but in 2012, despite a highly polarized electorate and a lack of formal discussion on climate change, environmentalists have emerged as a political force to be reckoned with.
After months of retrograde discussion of energy policy on the campaign trail, the United States woke up on Wednesday to a surprisingly happy conclusion: U.S. voters have rejected candidate Romney’s fossil fuels-only approach to energy policy and embraced the new course set by President Obama in his first term.