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Moratorium on schemes to reduce global warming clashes with reports urging more research.

A last-ditch remedy for an ailing planet, or a reckless scheme that could be a greater threat to life on Earth than the problem it aims to solve? Opinions are sharply divided on geoengineering — potential massive interventions in the global climate system, intended to forestall the worst effects of climate change.

Last week, participants in the international Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) made their views clear at a meeting in Nagoya, Japan. They included in their agreement to protect biodiversity a moratorium on geo engineering "until there is an adequate scientific basis on which to justify such activities and appropriate consideration of the associated risks". The moratorium, expected to be in force by 2012, isn't legally binding, and given the preliminary nature of studies in the area it is unlikely to affect researchers in the near future. But some scientists fear that the CBD's stance will sow confusion and delay at a time when governments and research groups are exploring how geo engineering might feasibly be undertaken if global warming accelerates disastrously.

Read more: Geoengineering faces ban

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Major cities around the world have agreed to report their carbon emissions data and share the information with other cities to tackle climate change on a global scale.

Forty member cities of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and 19 affiliate members will report data to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), allowing members to manage risks, further reduce carbon and adopt strategies that safeguard the future of cities.

Read more: Global cities commit to reporting carbon emissions reductions

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The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has launched a new website highlighting agriculture practices that reduce farmers' vulnerability to climate impacts and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, sequester carbon, and improve farm yields and household incomes.

The FAO will update the website to present case studies and lessons learned globally. The website highlights: activities in Cameroon to develop and distribute improved crop varieties; agroforestry practices in Mozambique that result in carbon payments; biodigesters in Viet Nam that transform farm waste into biogas for cooking and lighting, as well as fertilizing fields; and improved water management in rice fields conserving water and reducing emissions in the Philippines. The press release highlights the challenges that rice farmers face in dealing with the adverse impacts of climate change, underscoring the potential for improved water management and seed varieties, more diversification of crops, and crop insurance. [Climate Smart Agriculture Website]

 

Source: Climate L | 04 November 2010

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