Further calls for dramatic reductions in carbon emissions in the news

Climate report calls for 2008 commitment to target
The Age, 21st February 2008

Greens leader Bob Brown has described a report that urges action on global warming as “spot on” but says he is worried the Federal Government will back away from adopting its recommendations.

Economist Ross Garnaut’s interim report on climate change, released today after being commissioned by Kevin Rudd and his colleagues while in opposition last year, has recommended Australia commit to a 2020 greenhouse target this year.

So far the Rudd Government has only adopted a long-term goal of cutting greenhouse emissions by 60% by 2050, but Professor Garnaut’s report says action needs to be taken immediately because recent scientific data indicates the global climate is changing faster than expected. (Read More)

Adaptation ‘key to climate deal
BBC News, 20th February 2008

The UK’s former top diplomat has called for a massive increase in the amount of money available to help developing countries to adapt to climate change.Lord Jay was speaking in Brazil, ahead of a two-day meeting of lawmakers from 13 key countries. The Global Legislators’ Organisation for a Balanced Environment conference will discuss the shape of a long-term deal to tackle global warming.

The discussions will not determine policy but they may influence it. The aim is to show what kind of future agreement would have enough support to be politically viable.

The Globe meeting brings together 100 leading politicians from the group of eight richest economies (G8) and five key developing countries: Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa.On the table is a document drawn up by the former head of the UK Foreign Office, Lord Jay, sketching out the key principles of a global deal on climate change which the world’s leaders have pledged to negotiate by 2009, the timetable agreed at December’s UN climate meeting in Bali. (Read more)

Coral reefs as CO2 sinks?

An interesting article that has appeared in the news recently suggests that countries in the Asia Pacific region have proposed to utilise their coral reefs as carbon sinks under the new climate change protocol being developed in Bali.

Indonesian Fisheries and Marine Affairs Minister, Freddy Numberi, who opened the six countries’ senior official meeting to discuss the action plan to conserve the coral area, said that the area, which is dubbed as the Amazon of the Seas because it contains 53 percent of the world’s coral reef and over 3,000 fish species, was the earth’s epicenter of marine life and diversity.

“We have made efforts to conserve it during the past five years, so we want the world to appreciate it. One of the ways is to include it into the Kyoto Protocol framework so that it can be turned into a carbon sink, and later trade it for carbon credit,” Freddy told reporters. (Read more)

On the topic of coral reef sequestration of carbon, Dr Thomas Goreau from the Global Coral Reef Allience (a delegate at the United Nations conference in Bali) has the following to say:

Not only is the entire claim that coral reefs are a CO2 sink completely incorrect, they are in fact a source of CO2 to the atmosphere even while they remove carbon from the ocean. This has been understood by carbonate chemists for a very long time but we keep having to deal with this popular error over
and over again.

Continue reading