Frustrated climate campaigners have claimed that the world is on course for an unsustainable four-degree rise in temperatures, as two weeks of negotiations in Lima for a climate change agreement headed for an unsatisfying conclusion – with delegates having to extend stays to try and reach some (any) sort of conclusion. And it started so well – on the back of news of the USA and China’s historic deal to curb greenhouse gas emissions there was hope in the air. No more: “We are on a path to three or four degrees with this outcome,” said Tasneem Essop, international climate strategist for WWF. She said the final draft text, a five-page document put forward for approval on Saturday, offered little assurance of cutting emissions fast enough and deeply enough to curb warming. “We are really unhappy about the weakening of the text. This gives us no level of comfort that we will be able to close the emissions gap to get emissions to peak before 2020,” she said. Saleemul Huq, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Environment and Development, put it even more succinctly: “It sucks. It is taking us backwards.” The talks at Lima had been charged with producing the blueprint for a climate change agreement due to be finalised in Paris at the end of next year. “Let me be frank. There are parts of this text that make me very uncomfortable and parts that are very thin,” said Tony deBrum, foreign minister of the Marshall Islands. By the time the final draft text appeared, it had been stripped of language that would have required the emissions cuts offered by countries to keep warming below the two-degree target with developing countries such as India refusing to be tied to a global agreement to protect their economies. More here http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/dec/13/world-climate-disaster-lima-talks-fail.
Lima also made its mark with a fairly large carbon footprint of its own. Hundreds of delegates from 190 nations flew to Peru (with many flying on to take part in holidays and social activities) which was a fairly bad start – but then news emerged that the entire conference complex – which was meant to be powered with hydro-electricity, was almost entirely powered by diesel generators : 7,000 KkW from diesel and just 640kW from hydro-electric power. Local transport was in 300 ancient diesel buses, as there was no local train station – and 121 electric and hybrid cars donated by Japan didn’t arrive in time for the conference. Just 40 delegates braved the free bicycles provided due to the dangers on Lima’s roads.
Global warming, pollution, over fishing, poaching and and habitat destruction mean that the world is facing the sixth ‘great extinction’ with 41% of amphibians, 26% of mammals and 13% of birds set to disappear . Many species are already on the brink including the Sumatran elephant, Amur leopard and mountain gorilla – but more and more species including bonobos, blue fin tuna and loggerhead turtles are set to soon disappear. The previous five ‘great extinctions’ were caused by geological or astronomical events such an asteroid colliding with the earth (which wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago).
Here is a link to some very gruesome and brutal images, but they have to be shown because of their important message – they raise awareness of the often unseen casualties of deforestation around the world. Creative and art director Ganesh Prasad Acharya, together with copywriter Kaushik Katty Roy, created these social ads for Sanctuary Asia, one of the first and greatest environmental news magazines in India. The slogan on these ads is this – “When the wood go, wildlife goes” drives home the point made by these macabre images – when you cut down habitats, you might as well kill the animals that live there as well. Rainforests contain as much as 80% of the world’s biodiversity, so their rapid destruction in South America and Asia is a serious problem.
In the UK three energy companies, SSE, Scottish Power and GDF have been fined a total of £4.6 million for failing to meet targets to insulate low income homes after more than 2,000 missed out on insulation and more efficient boilers – and cuts to their bills – in 2012-2013.
SeaWorld has seen a dramatic collapse in it’s share price as consumers begin to realise that far from being a place where they can witness the marvels of marine life, the company’s 11 marine themed amusement parks in the USA are a place of unbearable torture and solitude for some of the larger mammals such as orcas. The film Blackfish has plagued the company which has now seen its chief executive, Jim Atchinson, ousted, revenues down 7%, attendances down 4.7% and the share price down 44%.
The Bush Theatre have achieved a 3 star Creative Industry Green rating. Julies Bicycle say “Their outstanding commitment and hard work to reduce their environmental impact has resulted in a whopping jump from 1 to 3 stars in just one year! We are delighted to award them with the highest possible rating for their amazing ongoing efforts.” Bush Theatre reduced their energy emissions per performance by a massive 15.5% since last year, through installing a more efficient boiler. Emissions from water use was reduced by 32.1% and waste emissions per performance has decreased by 47.8%. Bush Theatre gets a special nod for embedding environmental sustainability into the operations of the company on all levels, alongside their exceptional engagement with suppliers and communication with their team and audience.
And finally …. Tommy Hilfiger has launched a jacket with solar panels. The $599.00 jacket is certainly not cheap – and is available in men’s and women’s styles and weighs four pounds. The removable solar panels charge a battery that connects to a cord in the pocket, which you can use to charge your portable devices. Hmmmmmmm!