Climate Agenda1The Climate Change Agenda After Cancún: Part I

By Myles Estey

This is a four-part series. Part I examines the follow-up agreement to the Kyoto Protocol. Part II examines the REDD+ agreement. Part III examines financial assistance. And Part IV examines technology transfers and adaptation.

CANCÚN, Mexico -- Observers and participants at December's climate change summit in Cancún, Mexico, routinely identified a follow-up agreement to the Kyoto Protocol as one area where progress was essential. The odds of reaching one were not promising. With just one year left on the Kyoto treaty, and Japan firm in its stance that it will not permit an extension beyond the 2012 expiration, there was not a lot of room for maneuver to get an agreement on the table at Cancún. 

Read more: The Climate Change Agenda After Cancún



Korean Ecological Youth Group

In the photo: Members of the Korean Ecological Youth group protest against developed countries' emissions of greenhouse gases by walking with a sign saying ''Shut Down Dirty CO2 Market''. Picture taken November 13, 1998. (Credit: Reuters/Rickey Rogers)

(Reuters) - Asia's powerhouse economies are turning cautious on national plans to price emissions and instead pursuing incremental steps that could delay a global carbon offset market.

Pressures from business and uncertainty over the shape of a U.N. climate pact mean the region will be reluctant to impose steep carbon costs while competitors such as the United States struggle to take action on emissions caps.

Asia is opening doors to trade carbon or energy efficiency certificates and promoting investment in renewables at the local level, which analysts say in a positive development though not ideal.

Read more: Analysis: Asia's climate steps could delay global CO2 market



Nuclear Power Plant

In the photo: A coal-fired power plant is seen at an industrial park in Wuhai, in China's northern Inner Mongolia region, December 7,2009. Photograph by: File, Reuters

Shawn Marshall says he's not a catastrophist. The world will still be standing in the next millennium if global carbon emissions continue at their current rate for the next 100 years, says the Canada research chair in climate change, who contributed to a study released Sunday.

"I have a feeling a lot of nature will adapt and evolve to this, it's just we'll lose some stuff on the way," he said.

"I mean, we've seen pretty clearly that coral reefs can't adapt quickly, so we'll lose some of that. We'll lose some of our favourite ski areas, a number of different cities like Venice or Manhattan."

Marshall, a geography professor at the University of Calgary, recently completed work with a team of researchers from an Environment Canada research laboratory at the University of Victoria.

Together, the team performed the first full climate model simulation to make predictions on the effects of climate change 1,000 years from now.

One scenario simulated the outcome of current emission levels continuing until 2100, which then completely stop.

Read more: Another century of emissions will fuel 1,000 years of climate change: Study


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