Climate Change | Centre for Science and Environment

Climate Change


EU to certify buildings for energy efficiency from 2006

As per a new directive, the eu will certify buildings for energy efficiency from 2006 onwards. The European Climate Change Programme, established in 2000 to meet Kyoto Protocol targets, has identified the construction sector as providing the largest potential for carbon dioxide emission reduction.

Buildings already account for up to 40 per cent of the eu's energy consumption. And southern European countries are buying more air-conditioning units, further disturbing the energy balance.

Back to Square One: Climate talks remain deadlocked at Bangkok

Cancun euphoria fails to yield, power struggle stalls progress, US snub UNFCCC and its efforts to work out a legally binding emissions treaty

Delhi, April 8: US has staged a major U-Turn in the UNFCCC climate change meeting currently underway at Bangkok, leading to a virtual stalemate in the negations which even the euphoria and collective frenzy over Cancun Agreements last year could not resurrect.

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Cancun euphoria fails to yield, power struggle stalls progress, US snub UNFCCC and its efforts to work out a legally binding emissions treaty

Bangkok starts on a despondent note

“Gap” in mitigation targets and period leaves UN hapless

Delhi: The Climate talks in Bangkok have started on a rather despondent note with the UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres reflecting serious despair in her statements about the future of GHG emission mitigation across the globe. Not only did she accept a possible gap between Kyoto Protocol and any future mitigation mechanism (either an extension of Kyoto or a new mechanism), she sounded weary about the voluntary mitigation targets that countries had put forth at the Cancun climate talks last year December.

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“Gap” in mitigation targets and period leaves UN hapless

Connected events and difficult future

Two major events happening at two ends of the world—Japan’s natural disaster and nuclear fallout and unrest in Libya and other countries of the region—have one thing in common. Energy. The fallout from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, hit by earthquake and then the tsunami, has not yet been contained. As I write this, news is breaking about possible contamination of the seawater surrounding the damaged installation. Fears are it could lead to groundwater contamination and radioactive toxins in the food and fish. Last week there was a scare when Tokyo’s water was reported to have iodine 131 in excess of safe limits. Nobody really knows how badly the core of the reactor is damaged. Nobody’s clear how Fukushima’s problems will be buried.

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Fatal disconnect

The World Economic Forum—the gathering of power glitterati each year in Davos—has assessed the top risks the world faces in 2011. According to this analysis, climate change is the highest-ranking risk the world will face in the coming years, when its likelihood and impact are combined. What’s even more important is the interconnections between climate change and the other top risks: economic disparity (ranked 3), extreme weather events (ranked 5), extreme energy price volatility (ranked 6), geopolitical conflict (ranked 7), flooding and water security (9 and 10). The world—even according to the richest men—is in deep and desperate trouble.

How to approach environmentalism

By: Sunita Narain

2010 was a loud year for the environment. High profile projects—from Vedanta to Posco and Navi Mumbai airport to Lavasa—hit the headlines for non-compliance with environmental regulations.

While 2009 was the 25th anniversary of the Bhopal gas tragedy, it was only last year that we were all outraged by the disaster. The realisation of how every institution—the judiciary, parliament and government— had miserably failed to provide justice to the victims shocked us deeply.

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