EU, UN Set Aside New Global Budgets for Climate Change Mitigation

Climate_Change_legislation_Tacloban_Typhoon_Haiyan_TrocaireThere is nothing like the memory of a devastating typhoon to change global mindset. Countries attending the United Nations COP19 convention (otherwise known as the UN Convention on Climate Change) in Warsaw, Poland and the European Union’s budgetary talks this last week were successful in hammering out several agreements that could have a far-reaching effect on mitigating climate change.

That isn’t to say that all UN member countries played nice together this weekend, or that issues that have been on the table for the last seven years were speedily addressed. But at the end of the weekend, many of the initiatives that were up for negotiation last year were finally being hammered out.

Some of the positive outcomes of this last week of head-knocking included:


After seven years of negotiations, COP19 member countries finalized the text for the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation  that would allow tropical countries to receive compensation for protecting their biodiversity. The guidelines however are specific: Applicant countries must demonstrate what steps they are taking, and meet transparency standards that are meant to ensure compliance. This means that countries like Indonesia, which has permitted large tracks of forestland to be converted to palm plantations, would have a financial incentive to preserve its forests.

Warsaw International Mechanism for loss and damage due to climate change

It took more than two days of negotiations at COP19, but an agreement was finally reached to provide increased assistance to countries impacted by climate change. The true hero in this accomplishment, however, was the diplomat from the Philippines, Yeb Sano, who maintained a two-week hunger strike to protest the lack of global inaction in the area of climate change. His plea for change is said to have stirred listeners to tears and eventually helped to break the stalemate in the room.

Commitment vs. readiness

The U.S. and the U.K. wanted to see a defined timetable in which all countries committed to climate change initiatives in the next two years. However, China volleyed with the objection that developed countries should be held to commitments, but developing countries should only be “encouraged” to meet changes.

The final wording resulted in a call for those nations “who are ready” to make “contributions, without prejudice to the legal nature” to join in the fight against climate change.

Climate_Change_progress_Typhoon_Haiyan_Liam_Kennedy_MCSNEuropean Union budget

The surprise of the month may have been the EU’s new budget, which dedicates 20 percent of its finances to climate change. That is above and beyond what the 28 member states individually commit.

The anticipated $244 bn (€180 bn) funding will earmark more money for major programs such as:

  • Food security
  • Renewable and low carbon energy
  • Additional climate change initiatives in member countries such as a new supergrid that would transport green power across the EU

BioCarbon fund: New forests initiative to address climate change

The U.S., U.K. and Norway have joined together to create a new BioCarbon Fund for Sustainable Forest Landscapes that will work in alignment with the REDD+ program. It is supported by approximately $25 million from the U.S., $120 million from the U.K. and up to $135 million from Norway. Other donors are considering joining as well. Managed by the World Bank, the funds will be used to promote sustainable changes in agriculture, better land planning policies and encourage and reward successful reductions in carbon emissions from the land sector. The first designation of funds will go to Ethiopia to help develop sustainable farming practices and improve living conditions for residents through the use of more sustainable cooking facilities. Four to six new programs will receive funding in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Image of survivors searching for belongings by Trocaire
Image of typhoon father and daughter after typhoon by Liam Kennedy, MCSN

Jan Lee

Jan Lee is a former news editor and award-winning editorial writer whose non-fiction and fiction have been published in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the U.K. and Australia. Her articles and posts can be found on TriplePundit, JustMeans, and her blog, The Multicultural Jew, as well as other publications. She currently splits her residence between the city of Vancouver, British Columbia and the rural farmlands of Idaho.

2 responses

  1. What is the water & weather legacy that you are leaving to your grandchildren? Droughts decimate our farm lands! Ancient aquifers are drained; ancient underground lakes are sucked dry by industry and agriculture! All over the world people fight over, even dirty, water! Thousands of innocent children die every day of thirst and disease, because they don’t have enough clean water!

    A recent article in the prestigious journal Science links increased domestic and international violence to high heat and failing rains! Military experts see many new regional water wars brewing!

    Storms grow more lethal each year, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, dust storms and derecho’s are deadlier with each coming season. Meanwhile governments around the world are building massive water projects on shaky grounds, which scientists feel contribute to the recent giant waves that killed 500,000 a few years ago, and caused thousands of tons of radioactive waste to be washed out to sea in Japan.

    Experts argue about the cause of climate change, but only fools argue that climate changes are not real!

    Fresh water is increasingly precious, due to both climate change, and un-sustainable practices by industry, cities, and farmers. Industries like chemical processing and power generation are the largest users of fresh water around the world. Even our economic models, which continue to draw people into mega-cities, which overwhelm natural regional carrying capacities, are distorting weather patterns that took millions of years to evolve. {Just imagine the effects on the planet if all 7 billion of us lived in one giant city?}

    Fortunately we have almost unlimited water in the oceans, and we can use this resource to combat, reverse and manage climate change. Today many resource rich countries are using seawater to bring fertility to traditional deserts.

    We too can use water from the gulf and the oceans to bring needed rainfall here in your region. My company GSE [Gravitational Systems Engineering, Inc. USA] has developed industrial cooling tower technologies that can turn brackish water into fresh rain.

    What can us as citizens do? Leave fresh water for food and drink. First, we must pass laws to force or coerce industrial users like chemical plants and power generators to convert their cooling systems to use seawater. These changes would add less than a penny to the cost of a gallon of gas, or a kilowatt –hour of electricity.

    Second, we can then use this same industrial cooling tower technology to push vast quantities of desalinated seawater via rain farms into the atmosphere to generate rain clouds. Seawater can be pumped into drought stricken areas using some of the thousands of miles of abandoned pipelines that already exist throughout the world.

    What will this cost? First we need the support of national and regional government agencies, and universities to plan an INDRA project for your area. Then we estimate that with a ten year plan, we can bring life giving rain to thousands of drought stricken communities across the world. Finally consider this; what we call weather is the result of energy [primarily heat] imbalances across the globe, and water is the vehicle for the storage and transport of energy. By distributing water more evenly across the planet (and thereby energy) both the power and incidence of storms can be reduced. INDRA projects , within 20-30 years, will both enhance our ability to generate rainfall and also allow us to manage the weather itself. To prevent hurricanes and tornadoes, and since rain is the most cost effective method to distribute clean water, vast water projects, like 3-Gorges, will be unnecessary.

    Projected costs for the system are less than the costs of new highways or wind turbines, at about $1 million USD per device.

    What can you do to ensure that your grandchildren will have a bountiful country to thrive in? Write or call your regional and national representatives and ask them to support research on an INDRA project for your community. You can also support the project directly with your prayers, donations, or by purchasing our publications.

    You can do something to make this world the best it can be!

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Gare Henderson,

    Director of R&D

    Gravitational Systems Engineering, Inc.

    Gravitational Systems Engineering, Inc.

    INDRA project (Interior Natural Desert Reclamation and Afforestation)

    INDRA Project Website

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    Free 36″ x 24″ INDRA Project Poster (GIF)

    Free 36″ x 24″ INDRA Project Poster (JPG)

    Keys: Climate Change, Global Warming, Weather Control, Rain Farms

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