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The theme of Biodiversity Day this year is “Mainstreaming biodiversity; sustaining people and their livelihoods”. According to World Bank figures, “natural capital accounts for an estimated 30% of total wealth in low income countries compared to only 2% in OECD countries”.
A stern warning for climate change, and our health - Shipping brings us 90% of world trade and has increased in size by 400% in the last 45 years. Cargo ships, tankers and dry-bulk tankers are an essential element of a globalised world economy, but they are thirsty titans and they won’t settle for diet drinks. There are up to 100,000 working vessels on the ocean and some travel an incredible 2/3 of the distance to the moon in one year.
The initials ‘CCS’ usually stand for Carbon Capture and Storage. However, I was with the team in Paris during COP21 promoting the Cap Global Carbon proposal; the mechanism embodied in Cap Global Carbon is Cap & Share, and it occurred to us that the name ‘Carbon Cap & Share’ has the same initials, CCS. Are these two types of CCS complementary or antagonistic? Are they friends or enemies?
The Paris Agreement is an unprecedented achievement in the fight against climate change. A record number of countries came together, first in the French capital for the COP21 conference in November-December 2015 and then formally to sign the agreement at the UN on 22 April 2016, to ensure that future generations enjoy a stable, healthy and habitable world.
Clearly a revolution in the global economy is needed for a heavy reduction of GHG emissions. You may have heard of Carbon Capture and Storage or CCS. This technology prevents CO2 from fossil fuel combustion from accumulating in the atmosphere.
A dirty, rundown environment has quantifiable costs for the economy and the well-being of societies. For example, the welfare costs of air pollution from road transport alone are estimated to amount to around 1.7 trillion USD in OECD countries, 1.4 trillion USD in China and 0.5 trillion in India.
The consequences of degradation of environmental quality as well as the consequences of environmental policies are typically unevenly distributed. In general, poorer countries and lower income households are more severely affected by environmental degradation and at the same time have less capacity to adapt.
“If He holds back the waters, there is drought; if He lets them loose, they devastate the land”. To be fair, that was in the days before governments played “a key role in developing targeted policy responses to market failures that impede the mitigation and allocation of drought and flood risks”, as the OECD report on Mitigating Droughts and Floods in Agriculture puts it.
Paris is a beautiful city but has an ugly problem with air pollution. Using 2 wheels to get to work, one becomes acutely aware of this insidious addiction to cars, and the “essence” of the problem, DIESEL.