Every five year, since 2005, Final Updates of national Climate Debts are completed in ClimatePositions and 2015-updates¹ are now available in ‘Calculation (Excel)‘. New rankings in six categories, of 159 countries, are available in the menu “Climate Debt”. In the coming months, the climate change performances of selected countries will be analyzed in articles, starting with the United States and China.
The following illustrate Final Update 2015 in two ways: 1) The change of Climate Debt as percentage of the global Climate Debt, annually since 2000, of the 10 largest CO2 emitters, and 2) Key-figures of the United States.
The table below of the 10 largest CO2 emitters (representing 70% of the global emissions in 2015) shows the national shares of the global Climate Debt in 2015 and 2010. China, Russia and Saudi Arabia stand out with extremely harmful developments, while the United States still has by far the largest Climate Debt. See the latest ‘Ranking’ of 159 countries.
‘Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC)‘, or simply Global Carbon Project, has published preliminary¹ national carbon emissions, from Fossil Fuels and cement, in 2015. The total national carbon emissions are converted to per capita carbon dioxide emissions (tons of CO2 Emissions) by multiplying by 3.664 and then divide by Population (sourced ‘World Bank‘).
The table below shows the per capita CO2 Emissions from Fossil Fuels (without bunkers) and cement, in tons, in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 of all 97 countries with Climate Debt in ClimatePositions, after the key indicator update (see the ‘Ranking‘). Updates of 199 countries are available in the menu ‘Calculation (Excel)‘. Note that emissions in 2014 and 2015 are preliminary estimates.
The per capita Ecological Footprint¹ for 186 countries has been released for licensing by ‘Global Footprint Network’ (Public Data Package – Free Download). The total national Footprint without the weighty carbon Footprint² is used as an ‘Indicator’ in ClimatePositions. Now 15 additional small countries have full data and thus calculation of Climate Debt for the first time. The per capita Climate Debt of these countries are listed below. Brunei, Luxembourg and Equatorial Guinea enter top-ten of the worst performing countries among the previous 148 countries (see the ‘Ranking’ by January 2016).
2015-updates of national per capita GDP(ppp-$) from ‘World Bank’ is now available in ‘Calculation (Excel)’. The world’s average per capita GDP(ppp-$) grew from $15,065 in 2014 to $15,470 in 2015 (2.7% growth). In the midst of an unprecedented man-made climate catastrophe and the ‘Sixth mass extinction’ in progress, the human economy keeps growing.
The diagram below shows the development in per capita GDP(ppp-$) 2000-2015 of the world’s five largest emitters of CO2 from Fossil Fuel and cement: China (27.0% of the global emissions), the United States (14.7%), India (7.2%), Russia (4.9%) and Japan (3.4%), in comparison with the world’s average.
Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) is a family of factory-made potent greenhouse gases, used as refrigerants in air conditioning systems in vehicles and buildings, and in aerosol propellants, solvents, fire retardants etc. HFCs were developed as replacements for Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), because these gases deplete the ozone layer. The Kigali Agreement announced mid-October, among more than 170 countries, is an extremely complicated amendment to the ozone-shielding Montreal Protocol from 1987.
HFCs, CFCs and HCFCs are all so called Fluorinated gases, or F-gases, and they are released into the atmosphere through leaks, servicing, disposal of equipment etc. The diagram below from ‘NOAA’ shows the atmospheric content since 1978 of four commonly used F-gases.
The burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) is the major driving force for global warming¹. However, livestock rearing is responsible for around 18% of the anthropological greenhouse gas emissions (CO2 equivalent) and various edible insects are therefore excellent alternatives to meat in the fight against climate change. It is estimated that insects today is part of the diets of 25-30% of the global population and about 1,900 species are being used as human consumption. The following examine the climate- and environmental impact of different species of insects versus beef, pigs and chicken.
Study: Already developed fossil fuel reserves will potentially take us beyond the 2 degree warming limit
A ‘Study (pdf, 60 pages)’ called “The Sky’s Limit” just released by ‘Oil Change International’ finds that already developed reserves¹ of coal, oil and gas, if extracted and burned, will take us beyond the Paris Agreement’s 2°C warming limit (and of cause far beyond the 1.5°C limit). Developed reserves is defined as currently operating fields and mines (projected to run to the end of their probable lifetimes), wells already drilled, pits that are dug, and pipelines, processing facilities, railways and export terminals already constructed. The developed reserves hold roughly 30% of the fossil fuel reserves.
The study finds that the potential CO2 Emissions from these already developed reserves – if extracted and burned – will exceed the 2°C carbon budget calculated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The diagram below is copied from the study.
Research: The emerging mass extinction in the ocean threaten larger animals more compared to past mass extinctions (more bad news)
The research ‘Ecological selectivity of the emerging mass extinction in the oceans‘ (pdf, 4 pages), published in the journal Science, show that “extinction threat in the modern oceans is strongly associated with large body size, whereas past extinction events were either nonselective or preferentially removed smaller-bodied taxa.” Or in other words: The balance between smaller animals and larger animals changes to the disadvantage of larger animals – due to human impact.
‘International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’ has recently published the report ‘Explaining Ocean Warming (pdf, 460 pages)‘ representing the most comprehensive review to date on ocean warming. IUCN is the world’s largest environmental network, harnessing the knowledge and research of around 1,300 organizations and 16,000 experts. The chapters and sections in the report tells in the scientist’s own words the scale and nature of changes being driven by ocean warming, often in association with other stressors such as ocean acidification and oxygen reductions. The following is an adapted summary of the report’s conclusions and recommendations.
Nobody knows how high the costs of global warming will be in the future. However, ‘Studies’ predict a total of $369 trillion by 2200, assuming that humans will have stopped emitting greenhouse gases from burning Fossil Fuels around 2100 and atmospheric CO2 concentrations will have reached 700 ppm. The calculations include accelerating release of methane from melting permafrost (13% of the total costs).
ClimatePositions calculates the ‘Climate Debt’, accumulated since 2000, for 148 countries with full data. The global Climate Debt amounted to $0.8 trillion in 2005, $2.6 trillion in 2010 and around $6.0 trillion in 2015 (preliminary estimate). The diagram below illustrates the accumulated Climate Debts (red dots) “smooth climbing” towards the predicted costs of $369 trillion by 2200 (black dot) … all speculatively of course!
Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines accuses Shell, BP, Chevron, BHP Billiton, Anglo American and 42 other carbon companies of breaching people’s fundamental rights to life, food, water, sanitation, adequate housing and self-determination
According to ‘The Guardian’ the Filipino government body ‘Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines‘ have given the world’s largest oil, coal, cement and mining companies 45 days to respond to a ‘legal complaint (pdf, 65 p)‘ that their greenhouse gas emissions have violated the human rights of millions of people living in the Philippines.
The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights explicitly call on companies to respect human rights, and there are three scenarios in which a company can be hold responsible for adverse impacts on human rights, quote: “(1) it may cause impacts through its own activities; (2) it may contribute to impacts through its own activities, either directly or through some outside entity (government, business, or other); and (3) it may be involved in impacts caused by an entity that is directly linked to its business operations, products, or services.”
This article is sourced from two publications by ‘FAO’: ‘Forest Ecology and Management 2015 (pdf 145 p)’ and ’Global Forest Resources Assessment 2015 (pdf 253 p)’. The latter contains 46 different tables¹ with 234 countries and territories forest development 1990-2015.
Primary Forest is defined as naturally regenerated forest of native species, where there are no clearly visible indications of human activities and the ecological processes are not significantly disturbed. Today, Primary forest accounts for 32% of global Forest Cover and has apparently increased by around 6.8% between 1990 and 2015, however, this increase is largely due to the fact that more countries have submitted data for the statistic. This taken into account, an overall global Primary Forest loss of 2.5%, since 1990, is more likely (and 10.0% loss in the tropics).
[Modified version posted 17 June 2016] ‘Climate Funds Update’ is an independent website providing information on climate finance designed for developing countries to address climate change. The data is based on information received from 25 multilateral, bilateral, regional and national climate funds and the funding is largely up to date by the end of May 2016. A total of $21 billion has currently been funded (money deposited), of which around 95% is country-sourced. The global climate finance has increased by approximately 24% since October 2015 (in seven months). The table below shows the Climate Debt per capita in ClimatePositions, the per capita climate financing (funding) to developing countries and the climate financing as share of the Climate Debt.
The table includes 35 countries with both climate financing and Climate Debt in ClimatePositions (only countries with full data in ClimatePositions are included).
The world’s Nuclear Power generation increased by 1.3% in 2015 compared to 2014 (and 4.0% increase compared to 2012). The table below shows the generation in billion kWh of all Nuclear Power nations and the global generation, since 2010. China increased the generation by 30.2% in 2015 compared to 2014, while the rest of the world the decreased the generation by 0.3%. The global generation level in 2015 is still 7.1% below the 2010-level.
More than 90% of the additional heat trapped in the atmosphere due to human caused greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide from burning of Fossil Fuels, is absorbed by the oceans. In continuation of the previous ‘Article’ the global ocean (air) temperature January-April 2016 was around 1.0ºC higher than the average temperature January-April between 1880 and 1937 (calculated by ClimatePositions) – see the graph. The black line shows the 136-year-trend. Compose your own graph at ‘http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/time-series/global’.
The world’s two largest economies and carbon dioxide emitters, the United States and China, have thwarted the negotiations toward a globally binding climate agreement for decades. Instead, the world is left with “intended nationally defined contributions” and the “aggregate emission pathways consistent with holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above preindustrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C.” This is of cause warm air, so to speak.
Australia covers around 5.7% of planet’s land area and populates 0.3% of its people. The Climate Debt of the 24 million Australian’s amounts to $132 billion, or $5,613 per capita, which ‘Ranks’ Australia 8th among 148 countries – in 2010 the ranking was 6th. Australia is the world’s 5th largest coal producer and the 2nd largest per capita CO2 emitter from coal combustion … and coal is the most efficient climate destroyer. The table below reveals some key figures of the world’s twenty largest coal producers. Subsequently, Australia’s climate change performance is examined in comparison with four other top-five countries on CO2 Emissions from coal combustion (per capita): Kazakhstan (ranked 1), South Africa (3), the United States (4) and Poland (5).
Every second year Yale and Colombia Universities, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, publish an Environmental Performance Index (EPI) with global ranking. The 2016 edition with ‘Ranking of 180 countries‘ is now available – click on individual countries at the sourse to see more details on Biodiversity and Habitat, Forests, Climate and Energy, Fisheries, Agriculture, Water Resources, Water and Sanitation, Health Impacts and Air Quality. Scores are converted to a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 being the worst observed value and 100 the best. The seven best performing countries are ranked in the table (copied from the site).
So far, ‘EIA’ has been the source of national CO2 Emissions in ClimatePositions. EIA include emissions from burning of fossil fuel, including bunker fuels (fuels used for international aviation and maritime transport). Globally, bunker fuels account for about 3% of all fossil fuel CO2 Emissions.
By January 2016, the source of CO2 Emissions used in ClimatePositions switches to ‘Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC)’, or simply Global Carbon Project. CDIAC also include emissions from burning of fossil fuel, but exclude emissions from bunker fuels (fuels used for international aviation and maritime transport), and instead include ‘CO2 Emissions from cement production’. Emissions from cement production (and oxidation) amount to about 5% of all fossil fuel emissions, globally. The total annual national carbon emissions at the source are subsequently converted¹ to per capita CO2 Emissions for the use in ClimatePositions. Note that emissions 2012-2014 are preliminary estimates².
For comparison, the table below shows the national shares of the global Climate Debt, respectively, with CO2 Emission data from 1) Global Carbon Project (CDIAC) and 2) EIA. Countries with increased Climate Debt, relatively, due to the conversion of sources are marked in red. The global Climate Debt will only be slightly affected by the change (the global Climate Debt is 5.7 trillion by Januar 2016).
From today, Global Carbon Project will be used as source of CO2 Emissions in ClimatePositions. New rankings are available in the menu “Climate Debt”. More comments below the table.
The year 2015 was the warmest on Earth since measurements began in 1880. Both global Air Temperature and Ocean Temperature was the warmest on record. See the development in Air Temperature between 1960 and 2015 in the diagram below; the average temperature rise 1880-1937 is set at 0°C and 2015 was 1.64°C warmer.