Tiempo Climate Cyberlibrary
Priorities for an Equitable Future
About the Cyberlibrary
The Tiempo Climate Cyberlibrary was developed by Mick Kelly and Sarah Granich on behalf of the Stockholm Environment Institute and the International Institute for Environment and Development, with sponsorship from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
While every effort is made to ensure that information on this site, and on other sites that are referenced here, is accurate, no liability for loss or damage resulting from use of this information can be accepted.
Serious flooding hit parts of Argentina in November 2004, just as thousands converged in Buenos Aires for the tenth annual conference following the United Nations climate convention. Either God or Mother Nature was dropping a big hint. With the Kyoto Protocol now legally binding, the wider battle lines are also more clearly set.
Firstly, it is clear that none of the painfully negotiated international targets for poverty reduction can be met without stopping dangerous climate change, which, for the most vulnerable, is already here.
Secondly, the huge challenge to alter economic development models around the world so that they become both climate proof and climate friendly is apparent.
The new United Kingdom-based initiative of environment and development groups, coordinated by the new economics foundation and the International Institute for Environment and Development, that produced the Up in Smoke report, will re-examine old approaches and could be a model for others to follow.
Thirdly, after twelve years of trying, diplomatic options for persuading a reluctant United States to take part in the international process have been exhausted. Now it is time to use economic pressure allowed within international law and trade rules.
Then we have to ask the question: what price will developing countries demand to participate in a solution to follow the Kyoto Protocol?
Such a solution must be based on a global framework and the assumption that we now live in a fundamentally carbon constrained world economy. Their reluctance to even have this conversation is fuelled by breathtakingly perverse priorities among the rich countries and real injustice.
The US$0.41 billion annual pledge by rich countries to help all poor countries adapt to climate change is less than one third of what the United States spent on advertizing sports utility vehicles (also known as axles of evil) in 2000, and 178 times less than rich countries spent subsidizing their domestic fossil fuel industries annually in the late 1990s. France spent US$748 million alone adapting its health service after the 2003 heatwave.
Our challenge is to agree the right, per capita, equity-based framework to stop climate change. This must work under a precautionary global emissions cap with tradable emissions permits. The longer the delay, the worse the deal for poor countries.
To ensure that resources are available for adaptation now, a full assessment of likely costs in poor countries is needed. We must remember that this is not aid, but the polluter paying the polluted.
General Electric plans to cut solar installation costs by half
Project 90 by 2030 supports South African school children and managers reduce their carbon footprint through its Club programme
Bath & North East Somerset Council in the United Kingdom has installed smart LED carriageway lighting that automatically adjusts to light and traffic levels
The United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the American Public Gardens Association are mounting an educational exhibit at Longwood Gardens showing the link between temperature and planting zones
The energy-efficient Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers hotel is powered by renewable and sustainable sources, including integrated solar photovoltaics and guest-powered bicycles
El Hierro, one of the Canary Islands, plans to generate 80 per cent of its energy from renewable sources
The green roof on the Remarkables Primary School in New Zealand reduces stormwater runoff, provides insulation and doubles as an outdoor classroom
The Weather Info for All project aims to roll out up to five thousand automatic weather observation stations throughout Africa
SolSource turns its own waste heat into electricity or stores it in thermal fabrics, harnessing the sun's energy for cooking and electricity for low-income families
The Wave House uses vegetation for its architectural and environmental qualities, and especially in terms of thermal insulation
The Mbale compost-processing plant in Uganda produces cheaper fertilizer and reduces greenhouse gas emissions
At Casa Grande, Frito-Lay has reduced energy consumption by nearly a fifth since 2006 by, amongst other things, installing a heat recovery system to preheat cooking oil