IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate

Prepared by more than 100 authors from 36 countries and referencing more than 7,000 scientific publications, today was published by the IPCC their last report for 2019 called "Special report on the ocean and the cryosphere in a changing climate". It explains the benefits to keep the global temperature as low as possible. This not only in favor of the different ecosystems but also for life in general, due to the importance of the oceans and the cryosphere on the climate. With the new data it seeks to increase our resilience and to face future challenges in a better way, explaining the risks and challenges that changes in climate present to life on earth. Options are also presented in the face of changes that are already unavoidable, exposing the dependence on available resources and the capacity of people and communities to adapt.

Ko Barrett, Vice President of the IPCC said: “The world’s ocean and cryosphere have been ‘taking the heat’ from climate change for decades, and consequences for nature and humanity are sweeping and severe”, “The rapid changes to the ocean and the frozen parts of our planet are forcing people from coastal cities to remote Arctic communities to fundamentally alter their ways of life”, “By understanding the causes of these changes and the resulting impacts, and by evaluating options that are available, we can strengthen our ability to adapt”, “The Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate provides the knowledge that facilitates these kinds of decisions.”

This report is a fundamental contribution to be taken into account by designers and decision makers, as it should be noted that according to the United Nations around 10% of the world's population lives less than 10 meters above sea level, while around 40% lives less than 100km off the coast. Likewise, around 12% of the world's population lives near the mountains which also provide around 40% of irrigation on land and between 80% and 100% of river currents. Therefore, it can be said that around 52% of the world's population is directly affected by changes in the oceans and cryosphere, and the remaining 48% is indirectly affected, making this a report of extreme importance since changes in these zones affect all life on earth.

Water for Society: Including All

Last week in Stokholm 4000 participants from 138 countries and one third under 35, attended the official events of World Water Week 2019. Professor Johan Rockström turned to young participants saying "You are the only ones who can truly speak on behalf of the future". The event organized by SIWI left an open message that companies, institutions and governments should start applying the solutions that already exist and include everyone in the process.

New information shows that 1/4 of world population across 17 countries lives under extreme water stress and that by 2024 half of the world population will share the same problem, according to WRI experts. The World Resources Institute is very respected thus the urgency arises to find solutions to water scarcity.

"We strongly believe that water is key to future prosperity and that together, we can achieve a water-wise world.” SIWI’s Executive Director Torgny Holmgren said on his opening speech. "Many in our societies are not aware of the vital role that water plays in realizing prosperity, eradicating poverty and tackling the climate crisis. Together, we can change that perception and unlock the potential of water-related solutions”

Water Governance explains: "Increasing water scarcity is one of the globe’s greatest challenges. As local demand for water rises above supply in many regions, the effective governance of available water resources will be key to achieving water security, fairly allocating water resources and settling related disputes. Cooperation on internationally shared water resources is also critical, especially in water-scarce regions where the upstream and downstream impacts of consumption and pollution are magnified".

Water Week is the annual focal point on water issues, and as the UN World Water Development Report 2019 states, the focus continues on ensuring that ‘no one is left behind’ on the path towards sustainable development. This way we can overcome exclusion and inequality, as access to safe water and sanitation for all is essential for eradicating poverty and to build peaceful and prosperous societies.

Prices for wind turbines production hit a low record: and they're still one of the cleanest source of energy

Last June was welcomed by the UK's interest in leading the run towards the Net-Zero emissions target by 2050, becoming the first country in the European Union to sign an amendment to their country’s Climate Change Act, in order to reach the ambitious target. As this commitment sets in, the world's largest marine wind turbine has been put to test in Blyth, a port in the northernmost part of England. According to the official website of GE Renewable Energy -the manufacturer-, the turbine epically called Haliade-X will be capable of generating enough clean power for up to 16 000 European households! If everything goes as expected, the Haliade-X 12 MW would become the first biggest offshore wind turbine in the world, generating approximately 67 GWh annually, with a size of seven American football fields. In a wind farm configuration, this type of wind turbines would allow to cover up to 1 million European households.

UK’s initiative comes after the prospect for a decade of unprecedented growth in eolic energy, according to the Wind Energy Technologies Office of the United States. The top trends in offshore wind energy technologies show a reduction in their auction prices, not only in the USA but also on Denmark and the UK, closely followed by Germany and the Netherlands. Whilst more countries are being added to the prospect, wind blades have also been manufactured in much bigger sizes, allowing one turbine to capture an average 5.5 MW in 2017, according to the 2018 annual report from the aforementioned US Office. As the customized floating structures for the turbines have become better developed, and the distance from the shore also met room to an increase, the technology needed for the installation offshore has reached deeper ocean levels, with floating structures added to the new designs, and from this year on, much powerful turbines of 12 MW are just starting their way to be tested.

A note from the Berkely Lab also pointed at the lower cost of electricity coming from the wind: this kind of energy just hit a record low on 2019 with a tendency below solar energy. Its prices went from 7 cents per kWh in 2009, to almost 2 cents this year. The levelized price -that is a metric that allows different technologies to be compared- put wind energy not only below solar energies, but below *gas fuel*.

As wind energy has become an important solution to the generation of renewable energy, Scandinavia also took a leap with the largest offshore wind farm of their region officially opened a few days ago, on August, 23th. The farm consists of 49 turbines, standing 187 meters tall: that's about twice the height of the Statue of Liberty, or the Big Ben! The farm also will be capable of generating 407 megawatts (MW), allowing it to cover the electricity consumption of approximately 425,000 Danish homes.

The case for Latin America is irregular though: whilst Chile, Brazil and Argentina recently showed plans to invest in eolic farms, the eolic future in Mexico is not yet very clear, and conflicting in some reports which show that while there is interest to keep the growing rate of the established sector, there has also been an awaiting period from the goverment to continue the auctions for private investment. At present, the expectation is to grow from 800 to 1200 MW by the end of 2019, and on the bright news an eolic farm was just opened last June, aiming to provide electricity for up to 120,000 households. Meanwhile the country has opted for a cogenerating model, including natural gas plus a not yet very well defined plan to develop eolic parks in alliance with Iberdrola the spanish firm. Brazil on the other hand, has also shown interest from investors such as Iberdrola as well as Siemens Gamesa and Voltalia, the last one with a focus on solar panels. In the case of Chile, the local authority of Bío Bío, showed a clear aim in turning the region as the leader of the country by increasing their generating capacity up to 500 MW from this date to 2021.

While the above might represent an occidental background, let us turn the observatory towards Asia: China, on the other hand, revealed plans to meet up to 50% of their energy requirements via renewable energies in their 13th Energy Technology Innovation Five-Year Plan, by 2030. The country is also leading the world in wind energy, showing 197 GW of total facilities installed along the country, compared to the US, with around 89 GW, according to the World Wide Wind Energy Association. Regarding their energetic potential as a country, using this type of technology, it's been said that either their land and ocean are very well suited for wind generators: estimations point that about 2 380 GW could be harvested by 2050. Overall this could show that China is now a leading world example for other nations seeking to develop their energetic industry.

Meanwhile India, a country known for its refusal to change completely towards renewable energies, and which favours coal fueled electricity, has seen a small interest in wind energy. The country has actually shown to be capable of reaching 4th place in the World Wind Association report for 2018, on Overall Wind Capacity installed but it seems to be facing financial difficulties supporting projects, as recent auctions met only 2 bids in auctions. Despite expectations, pollution on the major Indian cities continue, and by the time this post was written, it seems improbable that India will set a wind based energetic strategy without challenge, favouring instead coal, as well as solar panel installations.

Overall, a bright panorama for the more industrialized countries is settled: levelized prices for wind turbines have been lowered during the last few years, yet it still seems difficult to replicate in less advantaged countries, such as those criticized sometimes for letting their development be based on fossil fuels, despite some of their efforts. Nevertheless, China, has risen as the leader in renewable wind energy worldwide, even when its industry shows technical differences compared to, for example, that of the US. While this is a better prospect than ten years ago, countries will need to accelerate the pace to mitigate climate crisis, but the fact is that an oriented business vision prevails. As youth, we face apparent challenges, would it be possible to find multilateral supportive and fair dynamics between 'techno-privileged' and less technologically advantaged countries?

Hunger Strike: The climate and food vulnerability index

Food insecurity is a reality that millions have to live with. The official state of the world, by 2018 indicated that 821 Million, that is 1 in 9, is malnourished. Malnutrition and food insecurity are increasing in almost all regions of Africa and South America, while in Asia the number has remained stable. Worldwide, by 2016 there were 804 million, so the trend indicates that efforts on this subject needs to be redoubled.

Poverty and food insecurity are two elements that have always been linked, however nowadays there is a relevant factor that is climate change. It is not only estimated that by 2030 another 120 million will enter the state of poverty in the world, but we risk a scenario where the rich will pay to escape temperatures, hunger and conflict while the poorest, who are the least responsible for climate change, can't do anything to defend themselves affirms United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

In this context there is a new report on vulnerability to food insecurity by countries, again confirming that the most vulnerable persons do not have resources to combat the situation and therefore many might become climate migrants. The report also gives us three solutions and recommendations: 1, react to climate change quickly - emission reductions are necessary in all countries but the responsibility belong to the richest; 2- The most vulnerable countries require support to recover their food production capacity; 3- Early emergency alerts and weather information.

IPCC Report 2019 Climate Change and Land

IPCC has approved and published the report "Climate Change and Land: a special report by the IPCC on climate change". This shows that a better way to manage land resources can contribute to curbing climate change, but it's not the only solution that needs to be implemented.

"The climate crisis is reducing earth's ability to support humanity" states the IPCC.

1,2ºC: July 2019 confirmed as warmest month ever

The European Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) explains the fact that the measurements they have indicate that July 2019 was the hottest month on record. Independent analysis by NASA and NOAA will be public in the coming weeks.

"Putting it in context, in July the temperature was close to 1.2ºC compared to pre-industrial levels, according to the methodology defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change" explains the C3S.

Independent of the fact that most likely this new temperature record will be beaten again in the near future, what's most relevant is the temperature pattern: the last 5 months have also been the hottest compared to previous years, so everything indicates that 2019 will be again the hottest year ever recorded. The last 5 years have also been the hottest ever recorded says the New York Times.

During the same month in the Netherlands, local television broadcasted day and night images of winter landscapes, trying to help people to forget about the heat wave that hit Europe in July. From Greenland it was confirmed that the result of the massive melt that occurred in the Arctic, delivered 197 billion tons of water to the Atlantic Ocean according to the Washington Post.

G-20 and Carbon Neutrality 2050

Chilean President Sebastián Piñera took the lead during the G20 summit intervening for climate change. He pointed out: "We have two options: one, is simply to wait and continue to doubt that the current road leads to a disaster, as the United Nations experts have said over and over again in their six reports that they have already published; the second way is to take action now.” He continued "in Chile we decided to take action. Chile has committed to being a carbon neutral country before 2050, and for that we are applying public policies so that it is not only rhetoric, but also reality". "We have just made an agreement with several countries - France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom- to commit ourselves into action for carbon neutrality before the year 2050.”

The effort of the President of Chile, host country of COP25, reinforces the need and urgency of unity that needs to exist during COP25 to reach an agreement on the controversial Article 6.

SBI 50 - June 17-27 2019

The "intersessions" meeting takes place every mid-year in Germany, between the COPs that take place at the end of the year, in order to remedy the differences that for reasons of time could not be agreed in the previous COP. "Youth should not be ignored," Patricia Espinosa said while opening the session. Some countries, including those most affected by climate change, carried out a campaign during the conference ensuring that science is not negotiable. All the differences that remained unsolved at this conference will be addressed at COP 25 to be held in Chile.

At the end of the meeting, article 6 of the Paris agreement remains unfinished. This article refers to the rules for the voluntary exchange of mitigation results, such as emission reductions. This article will replace the famous CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) of the Kyoto protocol signed in 1997. The CDM states that richer countries can achieve some of their climate goals through the payment of carbon credits. Article 6 conflict arised after the European Union denounced that only 2% of the projects under CDM have the potential to reduce carbon emissions.

IPBES 2019 Report

The new IPBES report has been published. This report is the definitive synthesis of the state of nature, ecosystems and the contribution of nature towards people by 2019. Three years and US$2.4 millions later, a key report arrives. It has been widely expected, informally known as "the IPCC of Biodiversity". It includes more than 15,000 scientific references and the work of more than 400 highly renowned scientists from 50 different countries.

Its importance resides in the fact that this report explains where humanity is at this moment in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals, the AICHI Biodiversity Goals and the Paris agreement. It is a mandatory reference for all designers and decision makers.

COP 25 launched

"The time has come for action", said Chilean President Sebastián Piñera while officially launching COP 25, which will take place between December 2 and 13 in Santiago, Chile.

At the ceremony held in the Chilean government palace, the president said "It will be a great opportunity for the country and the whole world to become truly aware that time is running out and that every day, the goals become more urgent and require more ambition and more enforceability. For that reason, the time has come for action.”

"For COP 25, Chile is promoting progress in the protection of the oceans, Antarctica, electromobility, renewable energies, the circular economy and the protection of forests, ecosystems and biodiversity" indicates the official information from the Presidency. "On the occasion it was announced that the Bicentennial Park of Cerrillos will host the summit and Gonzalo Muñoz Abogabir, founder of the TriCiclos recycling company, was presented as Champion of COP 25, in charge of advising the Presidency of COP and work in a coordinated manner with the United Nations. In addition, the ambassadors of COP 25 were also presented: public figures in charge of raising awareness of the issues that the summit will address."

You can find out more about COP25 on their official website www.cop25.cl.

Africa Climate Week

The week for the action on climate in Africa, a decisive continent for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, took place in Accra, Ghana between March 18 and 22.

Members of the political and private sector met demonstrating to the international community that the will and commitment by agents of change to reach and increase climate action are maintained and everything humanly possible will be done to achieve them.

The event focused on strengthening the commitment of all those involved in key sectors for Africa, including energy, agriculture and human congregations. In addition, the role of future coal markets to achieve reinforced climate action towards the objective of sustainable development was also discussed.

Global Climate Strike for Future 15-03-2019

Around 1.4 million students were absent from their normal activities and went to protest in more than 2000 cities worldwide, marking an historic milestone. The Guardian points out "You think we should be in school? Today the march for the climate is the greatest lesson of all" or how it could be read on the banners: "Why study if the future does not exist.", "Denial is not politics", "I want to live on a healthy and happy planet", "There's no planet B" among many others. This happens as the increasing exposure by the world media about Greta Thunberg strike and the "IPCC - Global Warming 1.5" report that indicates an imminent environmental collapse.

Students, mainly European and Australian, say that the official scientific information corroborated by the United Nations indicates that if in 12 years certain goals have not been met, the world will face an irreversible environmental catastrophe. By that time many of them will still be students. It is claimed that for the objectives to be met by 2030 there is an immediate urgency to pass drastic laws and curb the financing and safeguarding of polluting industries. There is also the urgency of still inventing the technology with which the temperature will be hypothetically maintained below 1.5 degrees.

Greta Thunberg, leader of the world student movement is ordering everyone to panic and act as we would if our house was on fire: with immediate urgency. The Nobel Peace Prize candidate says that "We will not accept this injustice. We demand justice for all past and future victims of the climate crisis, so we stand up", "We will change the destiny of humanity whether they like it or not ", "We demand that decision makers take responsibility and resolve the crisis", "Humanity is currently causing the sixth mass extinction of species and the global climate system is on the verge of facing a catastrophic crisis."

1st World Summit on "Leaving No One Behind"

The first global meeting in search of solutions to the problem of "Leaving no one behind" concluded successfully, welcoming a 2019 where regardless of who you are or where you are, water is a human right, according to UN Water.

The theme of the meeting was to find solutions to human rights on access to water and sanitation, focusing mainly on countries that are behind in terms of development.

The Summit convened various leaders and financiers in search of projects that address the challenges faced by people who remain in the least developed countries (LDCs). These projects, together with tangible results, will be presented as viable solutions soon.

Learn more about the meeting on the official website by its organizers: https://www.waterlex.org/summit

World Economic Forum Davos 2019

Between January 22 and 25 was held the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

"Of all the risks, the environmental one is where the world is clearly walking asleep towards a catastrophe" was the initial phrase of the risk commission of the WEF 2019. The study highlights that there are five environmental and climatic issues that should urgently matter to designers and decision makers: extreme weather events, contingency in case of not achieving environmental mitigation or failure to adapt to new weather conditions, natural disasters, loss of biodiversity and man-made disasters.

"The result of climate inaction is becoming increasingly clear. The accelerated pace of biodiversity loss is of particular concern", "It is imperative to find collective solutions to collective problems."

The World Economic forum invites You to take action and learn about climate change through their website's archive of articles located at https://www.weforum.org/agenda/archive/climate-change

COP 24 - Katowice, Polonia

More than 23,000 people attended COP24 which took place between December 3 and 14 in Katowice, Poland. The conference began with more than 3,000 points of divergence and after two weeks the parties were able to review them all, correcting many and postponing others for 2019. Also, "The Katowice Rulebook" document was generated indicating the steps to follow with their commitments and obligations.

The meeting also convened about 65,000 people who marched through the streets of Brussels demanding greater ambition, speed in decision-making and rapid implementation of solutions to face the environmental collapse that the IPCC 2018 report ensures is imminent, after which the United Nations affirmed that "we have 12 years to stop an environmental catastrophe".

As disagreement continues, the manual with the rules that countries will have to follow 2020 onwards to comply with the Paris agreement, is overdue for another year, at least until COP 25 to be carried out in Chile in December 2019.

COY 14 - Katowice, Polonia

Between November 29th and December 1st, COY14 was held in Katowice, Poland.

From the beginning, youth has been involved in the "COPs" or Conference of the Parties organized by the "UNFCCC" (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) also known as "United Nations Climate Change".

In Montreal 2005, for the first time the youths met formally to make their concerns heard, forming the first "Conference of Youth" or COY. In Copenhagen 2009 during COP15 the UNFCCC secretariat and the member states of the convention officially recognized the youth as an independent observer entity known as YOUNGO (statute reconfirmed in 2011), to formally represent the voice of the children and the youth of planet earth in the processes carried out by the UNFCCC. Annually, the Conference of Youth, or COY, is held in the same country and prior to the Conference of the Parties.

COY is an international gathering of young people intrigued by the environmental future and climate emergency that scientists claim will affect the planet in the short term, and since its creation it has involved thousands of young people from all sectors, societies and countries of the world .

Since the historic COY11 - COP21 in Paris where the famous "Paris Agreement" was signed and the "Global Goals" were officially established, COY has taken an increasingly important role, because young people are the most affected by the changes in the climate that scientists predict.

IPCC Report - Global Warming of 1.5ºC

The special report "Global Warming 1.5ºC" has been published by the IPCC. Commissioned by the United Nations during COP21 in Paris, 2015, it's "Summary for Policymakers (SPM)" presents the key points that should be taken into consideration.

The report addresses the impacts of a global warming of 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels and it's relationship with greenhouse gas emissions. This in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change while supporting sustainable development and efforts for eradicating poverty.

World's leading scientists say that humanity has 12 years to prevent an environmental collapse. They also claim that immediate action is necessary to curb the effects of global warming. The report has generated several reactions in different countries of the world, because it points out the impacts that can still be avoided by limiting the temperature rise above 1.5ºC compared to the pre-industrial era.

The report ensures that for fulfilling the objectives of the Paris agreement, solutions must be implemented within a certain period, but nonetheless most of the proposed ones in the agreement, do not exist. When considering technologies that do not yet exist, immediate and unprecedented real measures must be taken because the problems associated with rising temperatures increase day by day and some of the problems that the next generation will face are already irreversible.

"Global Warming of 1.5°C" is the first of a series of special reports that the IPCC will produce in the "Sixth Evaluation Cycle". During 2019 they will publish the "Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate" and "Climate Change and Land", seeking to provide more background in the search for solutions that address the imminent environmental collapse.

Sponsors & Main Partners