Archive for Papua New Guinea
www.bbc.co.uk 6th December 2010
The latest round of talks at the UN Climate summit in Cancun has centred around the 1 gigaton of CO2 emitted by the shipping industry. Shipping emissions are currently exempt from national carbon accounts leading to uncertainty about how they can be reduced. The Carbon War Room, which was co-founded by Sir Richard Branson, has proposed a solution, which has so far the backing of Papua New Guinea alone. The idea dictates that ships be charged different fees for docking depending on how much greenhouse gas they admit. To help the process along, the Carbon War Room has published an online tool grading 60,000 vessels on their emissions, complied mostly from data of the International Maritime Organisation. The effects of the tool are two fold. Not only will companies be allowed to see the emissions of their carrier ships, thereby being able to choose a less polluting ship, but also governments will be able to use it if they decide to introduce the carbon tariffs at ports. The Carbon War Room, a non-profit organisation created to encourage business to take a leading role in the fight against climate change, has claimed that the shipping industry could reduce its emissions by 30% by improving efficiency alone.
Sources: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment 14th May 2007
People often underestimate the importance of the world’s forest in cooling our planet down. However, with an area of trees comparable to the combined size of England, Wales, and Scotland being felled annually (c. 50 million acres) causing 2 billion tons of CO2 to enter the atmosphere, deforestation is the second largest contributor to climate change after the energy sector. Only 14% of CO2 emissions are caused by the transport industry (3% attributable to aviation) compared to the 25% of destroying the world’s rainforests. Scaled down, the statistics mean that a day’s deforestation is equivalent to 8 million people flying from the UK to New York. To halt such heavy emissions is simple: halt deforestation in Brazil, the Congo, Indonesia and elsewhere. The figures were highlighted by the Global Canopy Program, a Oxford-based alliance of leading scientific scientists.
With Developed Countries focusing more on improved technology to combat their own carbon emissions there is little incentive for Developing Countries to stop deforestation. Papua New Guinea, for example, one of the world’s poorest nations, stated in 2006 that it cannot stop cutting down its forests unless it is given financial incentive not to. Furthermore, international demand for intensive agriculture, logging, and ranching has created a greater demand for land. Up to now conservation cannot stand up to commerce. With 50% of the world’s species living in rainforests that only take up 7% of the world’s landmass, any further loss would be devastating. They forests also generate a bulk of the world’s rainfall and act as a cooling mechanism for the atmosphere. Developed nations have just not woken up to their plight yet.