The COP24 climate change summit in Katowice, has got the entire world talking & so it should do. Climate change as we are all aware, is a real & tangible thing which we are all responsible for. Thus far during the summit we have heard from Sir David Attenborough & his stark warning about the “collapse of civilisation” We have heard from the 15 year old Greta Thunberg, rightfully challenging global leaders about her future & challenging why she should study for a future which may not be there for her & generations to come. We have also heard from former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger who reinforced the notion, that just because Donald Trump had reneged on the Paris Agreement, the US as a nation have not.
It has been an emotive start to COP24 with profound messages from all around the world. However, do we recognise what is already being done to combat climate change? do we revel in the hundreds of thousands of strategies, groups & individuals already making a huge impact on climate change?
Dolphin N2 actively keep their finger on the pulse of global climate activities & what strategies are already being rolled out in support of the effects of climate change. Dolphin N2 is also mindful of where some misguided information is causing friction amongst world’s leaders. However, one generic quote does give food for thought: “Misguided & blinkered individuals come and go, political pendulums swing, but the whole clock moves in the direction of enlightenment.”
With this in mind, Dolphin N2 have reviewed a snapshot of some of the global activities actively supporting climate change & where some countries will need to be more mindful of their political & global climate change choices going forward.
Although Donald Trump has reneged on the Paris Agreement, has been quoted as saying that climate change was a “Hoax” & most recently when presented with a report from his own scientists warning that unchecked global warming would wreak havoc on the US economy, he was quoted as saying “I don’t believe it.”; not all US citizens follow or agree with his climate change vision.
Washington D.C City Council have voted unanimously in a preliminary vote to require 100% of all electricity in the DC district, to be generated from renewable sources by 2032.
‘The “Clean Energy DC Omnibus Act of 2018” will have a final vote in December.
The policy would also include electric car incentives, create new efficiency standards and expand carbon fees on natural gas and certain oils. That carbon revenue would then be used to fund a “Green Bank” for developing clean energy for those who would otherwise struggle to afford it. ‘(1)
California has already made moves towards a 100% carbon free energy supply with legislators demanding a shift to clean & renewable energy by 2045. Former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger paved the way when he wrote to lawmakers asking them to back the legislation & urged them to be “undeterred by those who wish to stop our progress and move backwards”.(2)
The Rwandan Government are keenly aware of the effects of climate change on their country. FONERWA, the Rwandan environmental fund, has been created to support innovative & visionary projects throughout Africa, which are striving for a carbon neutral future. The ‘Green Fund’ programme ‘invests in the best public and private projects that have the potential for transformative change and that align with Rwanda’s commitment to building a strong green economy. The Green Fund also provides expert technical assistance to ensure the success of its investments.’ (3)
Thus far the ‘Green Fund’ has instigated some of the following changes:
- 137,562 Green jobs created
- 19,556.2 Area (ha) of landsecured against erosion
- 39,461.10 Area (ha) forest and agro forest coverage
- 58,090.61 Families connected to off-grid clean energy
- 21,040.59 Hectares of watersheds and water bodies restored (3)
On Monday 26th November 2018, the Rwandan Government launched their Nationally Determined Contribution Partnership Plan which is intended to guide the country’s commitments to the Paris Agreement. Environment Minister Vincent Biruta reiterated the need for fast-tracking climate mitigation & adaption, to ensure that Rwanda delivers on it’s commitment to the Paris Agreement.
The Amazon rain forest covers 5.5 million km², covering much of northwestern Brazil and extending into Colombia, Peru and other South American countries. The largest rain forest in the world, it is home to hundreds of thousands of species of animals & birds & makes up 10% of all of Earth’s biodiversity. 40,000 different plant species live in the Amazon Rain Forest, 3,000 freshwater fish species & over 370 reptile species. There are nearly 400 billion trees across 16,000 species in the rainforest. However, the forest has been a victim of deforestation & the problem has become so large, that it can be seen from space!
With the new President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro now taking up office, environmental groups & other world leaders are concerned for his vision of the environmental commitments Brazil will undertake. In the lead up to the election Bolsonaro promised to open indigenous territories to mining, relax environmental law enforcement & licensing, ban international NGOs, such as Greenpeace & WWF & generate a strong collaboration with the beef lobby.
These promises fly in the face of the Paris Agreement, with Jair Bolsonaro pledging to follow in Donald Trump’s footsteps, to renege on the Paris Agreement. Furthermore, Bolsonaro has publicly blamed the global overpopulation of the planet as the reasons for climate change & that controlling the population of the earth was the only was to combat climate change.
‘Brazil’s current environment minister Edson Duarte said: “Instead of spreading the message that he will fight deforestation and organised crime, he says he will attack the ministry of environment, Ibama and ICMBio [Brazil’s federal environment agencies]. It’s the same as saying that he will withdraw the police from the streets.” ‘ (4)
These three countries are merely a snapshot of the differing approaches being taken to tackle climate change. They have not been chosen for any other reason than they explore some of the extremes, both positive & negative, which we are experiencing in our global battle to reduce emissions & the planetary temperature. However, what is abundantly clear is this, we cannot avoid as Sir David Attenborough said “ the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.” if we do not globally take action.
The emissions technologies across the planet tackling climate change & emissions are abundant & are making changes to our planet ever single day. Japan, for example, holds 12 of the 20 top global patents related to renewable energy. ‘By country, Japan boasts the highest number of patents in the world in the field of renewable energy, particularly solar technology.’ (5)
The Dolphin N2 CryoPower engine is being developed beyond it’s initial automotive application & is now part of the developmental renewable energy mix being spearheaded by the United Kingdom. Brazil is the largest producers of sustainable sugarcane ethanol & it’s usage as a motor fuel. The USA firm Cummins have since 2006 seen a saving of $40 to $50 million annually in energy costs. Cummins are not alone. ‘According to a recent report by the Alliance for Industrial Efficiency, “Committed to Savings: Major U.S. Manufacturers Set Public Goals for Energy Efficiency,” the vast majority of major U.S. manufacturers are making public commitments to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. A full 79% of the nation’s top 160 manufacturers have either set energy savings or GHG reduction goals or both.’ (6)
Globally, companies are acting on what is being disseminated through Governments & media. Governments are re-acting & independent organisations are taking things into their own hands to make a difference & not a moment too soon. We have seen the effects of human excess coming for a long time & now we have a global commitment to ensuring that Planet Earth can be sustainable for our future generations.
Written by Katy-Jane Mason on behalf of Dolphin N2.