China agrees to impose carbon targets by 2016.
The battle against global warming has received a transformational boost after China, the world's biggest producer of carbon dioxide, proposed to set a cap on its greenhouse gas emissions for the first time.
Under the proposal China, which is responsible for a quarter of the world's carbon emissions, would put a ceiling on greenhouse gas emissions from 2016, in a bid to curb what most scientists agree is the main cause of climate change.
It marks a dramatic change in China's approach to climate change that experts say will make countries around the world more likely to agree to stringent cuts to their carbon emissions in a co-ordinated effort to tackle global warming.
Patents and clean energy technologies in Africa
Africa has a huge untapped potential for generating clean energy, including enough hydroelectric power from its seven major river systems to serve the whole continent’s energy needs, as well as great potential for solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy etc. Although major hurdles exist also in the distribution of energy, this paper argues that there is potential for Africa to leapfrog existing fossil fuel energy sources and exploit clean energy from the outset to meet its developing needs. The report focuses on the patent landscape for clean energy technologies (CET) in the continent, as a specific geographical area which could greatly benefit from their use and technology transfer in this area. The study provides facts and evidence to evaluate the actual situation concerning patenting of CET in Africa. It helps to understand how the global and African patent systems can best be used and further developed to support and facilitate the technology transfer of CETs in Africa.Download
Decision support tool: Integrated REDD+ accounting frameworks: nested national approaches
Carbon accounting and incentive allocation frameworks are a central component of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) and in structuring these frameworks, decisions need to be made over how to reach REDD+ objectives in a timely, economically efficient and socially and environmentally sustainable manner. The process of unification or integration of REDD+ projects and subnational efforts into the national system is commonly referred to as 'nesting' or following a 'nested approach'. The strategic importance of the nested approach lies in its utility of coherently integrating various levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting and incentive allocation into the national system while maintaining accounting and environmental integrity. This decision support tool provides overall guidance on establishing national-level REDD+ accounting frameworks within which project or subnational approaches are integrated.Download
Mitigating disasters — a promising start
A ten-year United Nations plan to make the world safer from natural disasters went into effect in 2005. With 2015 nearing, countries are now assessing how well it has worked. The Hyogo Framework for Action spelled out what all countries had to do over the following ten years to make disasters less disastrous. This review finds that signing on to the Hyogo process is one thing, but there is not much evidence of the framework making the world a safer place. Since the advent of the framework some of the most devastating disasters have occurred and disasters have become more frequent, hovering now at around 1000 a year. The paper argues that although the reason for this is not clear, climate change is often blamed. Disasters are also becoming more catastrophic, as population growth makes increasing numbers of people vulnerable to the impact of disasters. The paper concludes that the future of the Hyogo framework is not clear, but it will be on the agenda of upcoming discussions.Download