Tag: environment & climate

A New Climate for Peace

Source: G7
“Taking Action on Climate and Fragility Risks”

An independent report commissioned by members of the G7, identifies seven compound climate-fragility risks that pose serious threats to the stability of states and societies in the decades ahead. Based on a thorough assessment of existing policies on climate change adaptation, development cooperation and humanitarian aid, and peacebuilding, the report recommends that the G7 take concrete action, both as individual members and jointly, to tackle climate-fragility risks and increase the resilience of states and societies to them.

Risk Analysis: Compound Climate-Fragility Risks

Climate change is a global threat to security in the 21st century. It will stress the world’s economic, social, and political systems. Where institutions and governments are unable to manage the stress or absorb the shocks of a changing climate, the risks to the stability of states and societies will increase.

Divesting fossil fuels

Oslo has joined the dozens of cities pledging to divest their holdings in the fossil fuel industry

“Two years ago, the online advocacy group 350.org launched a campaign to persuade investors to move their money away from the fossil fuel industry. By 2014, according to a study by the University of Oxford, it was the fastest growing divestment movement in history – and last month, Oslo became the first capital city to pledge to divest from coal, the most polluting of fossil fuels.”

Source: CityMetric

Public Perceptions of Climate Change

Public Perceptions of Climate Change as a Human Health Risk

Surveys of the United States, Canada and Malta

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

“We used data from nationally representative surveys conducted in the United States, Canada and Malta between 2008 and 2009 to answer three questions: Does the public believe that climate change poses human health risks, and if so, are they seen as current or future risks? Whose health does the public think will be harmed? In what specific ways does the public believe climate change will harm human health? When asked directly about the potential impacts of climate change on health and well-being, a majority of people in all three nations said that it poses significant risks; moreover, about one third of Americans, one half of Canadians, and two-thirds of Maltese said that people are already being harmed.” Read more >

The Sixth Extinction?

Here an article from the old box, but still up to date, from the hand of  for The New Yorker. Subtitle: There have been five great die-offs in history. This time, the cataclysm is us.

“The town of El Valle de Antón, in central Panama, sits in the middle of a volcanic crater formed about a million years ago. The crater is almost four miles across, but when the weather is clear you can see the jagged hills that surround the town, like the walls of a ruined tower…

Of the many species that have existed on earth—estimates run as high as fifty billion—more than ninety-nine per cent have disappeared. In the light of this, it is sometimes joked that all of life today amounts to little more than a rounding error.

and

Once a mass extinction occurs, it takes millions of years for life to recover, and when it does it generally has a new cast of characters…”

Read more >

 

The Guardian: Keep it in the ground

18 April 2105, The Guardian

This newspaper launched a campaign focused on moving away from a global economy run on fossil fuels.

Alan Rusbridger: “The argument for a campaign to divest from the world’s most polluting companies is becoming an overwhelming one, on both moral and financial grounds.”

As Archbishop Desmond Tutu puts it: “People of conscience need to break their ties with corporations financing the injustice of climate change”. Read more >

Scientist warns: ‘it will still take years to heal’

The Guardian

The lessons of a landmark moment in climate research have not been learned.

It is popularly viewed as one of the greatest environmental success stories of modern times. Exactly 30 years ago, UK scientists announced they had discovered a hole in the ozone layer in the atmosphere above Antarctica.

The hole threatened to spread, allowing increased levels of cancer-causing radiation from the sun to reach the ground. Within a few years of the discovery it was agreed to set up the Montreal Protocol, which banned the manmade chemicals responsible for depleting ozone in the upper atmosphere. Read more >

Malta failing in climate change preparation

November 9, 2008, Times of Malta

Malta has failed to prepare a plan on its climate change impact, vulnerability and adaptation – unlike other Mediterranean countries that “have prepared quite extensive climate change assessments”, according to the European Environmental Agency.

In a report entitled ‘Impacts of Europe’s changing climate’, the EEA states that the Mediterranean is one of the regions most vulnerable to climate change.

The report is based on 40 key indicators and stresses the consequences of observed and projected changes, including an increased risk of floods and droughts, losses of biodiversity, threats to human health and damage to economic sectors such as energy, transport, forestry, agriculture, and tourism. Read more >

El clima está cambiando

Es momento de actuar

El cambio climático avanza a una velocidad e intensidad más alta de lo previsto. A partir de 1990 se han registrado los 10 años con temperaturas más altas. Esto está provocando el aumento progresivo de la temperatura, la aparición de fenómenos meteorológicos extremos e imprevisibles y la radicalización del clima en ciertas zonas.

Nuestro objetivo es que para 2050 las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero, que contribuyen a elevar la temperatura, se hayan reducido alrededor del 80% con relación a los niveles de 1990. Leer más >

Volume loss from Antarctic ice shelves is accelerating

Source: Science

“The floating ice shelves surrounding the Antarctic Ice Sheet restrain the grounded ice-sheet flow. Thinning of an ice shelf reduces this effect, leading to an increase in ice discharge to the ocean. Using eighteen years of continuous satellite radar altimeter observations we have computed decadal-scale changes in ice-shelf thickness around the Antarctic continent. Overall, average ice-shelf volume change accelerated from negligible loss at 25 ± 64 km3 per year for 1994-2003 to rapid loss of 310 ± 74 km3 per year for 2003-2012. West Antarctic losses increased by 70% in the last decade, and earlier volume gain by East Antarctic ice shelves ceased. In the Amundsen and Bellingshausen regions, some ice shelves have lost up to 18% of their thickness in less than two decades.” Read more (paid) >

The ice sheets sitting over Antarctica’s land hold the equivalent of 60 metres of sea level. The key question is why there seem to be an overall underestimation of this aspect of climate change. After all 6o meter is a lot and will ‘drown’ eventually all cities directly situated near the sea, if Antartica continues to melt. Most of the larger cities are in fact. Most countries wil disappear. A political sense of urgency seems to be diverse, fragmented and not focused.  This report of Science is noteworthy.

If public risk management is focused on safeguarding public values, and is a metaphor for good public governance, then we think climate change is a major issue for citizens, society, businesses, the natural environment and of course for politics and government. It is time to join forces.

We also recommend Major Antarctic ice survey reveals dramatic melting by NewScientist.

LG tanker to be investigated

EC to investigate whether LG tanker poses risk

The petition questioning the anchoring of the LG tanker at Marsaxlokk has been accepted by the European Parliament and is currently being investigated, MEP Roberta Metsola announced this evening.

The project may run contrary to the provisions of the Seveso Directive, and that the impact on people’s lives, the environment, businesses, fishermen and their boats has not been properly taken into consideration by the government.

Source: Malta Independent

The Seveso Directive  is about prevention, preparedness and response and focused on protecting the environment, health and our economy.

Major industrial accidents involving dangerous chemicals pose a significant threat to humans and the environment. Furthermore such accidents cause huge economic losses and disrupt sustainable growth. However, the use of large amounts of dangerous chemicals is unavoidable in some industry sectors which are vital for a modern industrialised society. To minimise the associated risks, measures are necessary to prevent major accidents and to ensure appropriate preparedness and response should such accidents nevertheless happen. The Seveso Directive is well integrated with other EU policies, thus avoiding double regulation or other administrative burden.This includes following related policy areas:

Climate and insurance

John Scott, CRO Zurich

“When you read what’s written about climate change in the insurance industry, it generally falls into a couple of categories,” Scott says. “It is either broad and high-level, with papers written about the potential future impacts of climate change, or it is focused on adaptation, typically taking an underwriting view around minimising the impact of flooding on property risks.”

Source: Strategic Risk

The rising sea and value management

The Environment Agency in the United Kingdom analysed and concluded that the next 20 years coastlines will erode due to climate change and sea level rising and that the protection of properties is considered to be too high and that £1 billion  worth of properties will disappear as a result. Valuable properties are at stake and need a proper approach.

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