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#COP21: $1 Billion Dollars Mobilised To Protect The Vulnerable From Extreme Climate

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Major international partnerships under the Lima to Paris Action Agenda are mobilizing large-scale financing to protect people who the most vulnerable from climate impacts, reflecting the fact that building a climate resilient world is essential to secure hard-won development gains and ensure that future investment is not lost to climate change.

Announcements were made today under the Lima-Paris Action Agenda in the second part of the “Resilience Focus” event, dedicated to building more resilient societies and economies for people who are vulnerable to climate change impacts.

Extreme climate already impacts hundreds of millions of people every year, undermining or destroying their livelihoods, their homes and their environment. The Rockefeller Foundation estimates that over the last 30 years, $1 out of every $3 spent on development has been lost as a result of such recurring crises, a total loss of $3.8 trillion worldwide. In contrast, resilient societies and economies suffer less and recover more quickly from such natural disasters.

The initiatives in the Resilience Focus cover the full spread of peoples needs as they face increasing climate impacts, underling the fact that building effective resilience cannot be achieved in a disconnected fashion. For example, giving people early warning of extreme climate events may save their lives, but there is no additional economic benefit if they cannot get insurance in the first place.

The initiatives include:

Early warning systems for over 50 least developed countries and small island states

A coalition has been launched to develop early warning systems for more than 50 least developed countries and small island developing states by 2020. The Climate Risks and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) initiative is to mobilize US$ 100 million over that period to fill gaps in existing bilateral and multilateral cooperation programs. A trust fund hosted by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery will support this objective. Annick Girardin, French Minister of State for Development and Francophony said: “Prevention is always the less expensive solution. CREWS is about saving lives”.

Providing access to insurance to 400 million vulnerable people in 5 years

The G7 InsuResilience Initiative is to work with existing regional risk management and insurance pools, such as the African Risk Capacity and the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), to provide access to insurance services for 400 million people over the next five years in the most vulnerable countries.

With an initial commitment of 150 million Euros from Germany, the G7 InsuResilience is committing finance to set up the initiative and to start the first phase of implementation. The initiative will also support the development of early warning systems in the most vulnerable countries. Additional resources will be announced during Action Day.

Increase resilience for local communities in the Sahara and Sahel

The Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel Initiative is a major African-led initiative with the bold ambition to restore the productivity and vitality of the Sahel region, whilst ‘growing solutions’ to the Continent’s most urgent development challenges. The initiative seeks to improve climate resilience for local communities in the region, and to increase food security for 20 million people faced with starvation in the Sahel.
As announced yesterday, the World Bank will allocate investments amounting to USD 2.2 billion for the Great Green Wall and Lake Chad.

US$ 150 million partnership looks to mobilize more funding for Africa and Asia

The Global Resilience Partnership (GRP) is increasing its ability to invest in innovative resilience measures in the next five years by mobilizing additional funding, inviting others to join the partnership. With an initial commitment of US$ 150 million, the GRP’s goal is to build resilience in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, and South and Southeast Asia, prioritizing cross-sector collaboration and innovation that enables vulnerable communities to better manage and adapt to climate change. The additional funds will allow GRP to expand coverage to other vulnerable hotspots.

EU mobilizes €125 million for countries affected by ‘El Niño’

The European Union announced today a contribution of €125 million to finance emergency actions in countries affected by the extreme weather phenomenon ‘El Niño’ in Africa, the Caribbean, Central and South America. The support will contribute to the joint effort of bringing life-saving emergency assistance and increasing resilience in the affected countries. It will combine humanitarian and development assistance to address immediate needs of nutrition, water and sanitation, health and shelter. It will provide support to health structures, provision of food and safe drinking water, supplementary food for pregnant women and children. It will also help build resilience in the most exposed countries by enhancing disaster preparedness, early response mechanisms, and supporting long-term development solutions.

UN initiative strengthens ability to anticipate, absorb and “reshape” climate impacts

A new initiative has been launched to build climate resilience in the world’s most vulnerable countries by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and 13 members within the UN system. The “A2R” (anticipate, absorb, reshape) initiative is to strengthen the ability of countries to anticipate hazards, absorb shocks, and reshape development to reduce climate risks.

The new initiative is to address the needs of the nearly 634 million people, or one tenth of the global population, who live in risk-prone coastal areas just a few meters above existing sea levels, as well as those living in areas at risk from droughts and floods. It brings together private sector organizations, governments, UN agencies, research institutions and other stakeholders to scale up transformative solutions. It focuses on Small Island Developing States, Least Developed Countries, and African countries. “It is time to move from risk to resilience”, said UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon.

“The initiative is a multi-stakeholder partnership that focuses on accelerating climate resilience before 2020 for the most vulnerable by strengthening three elements: First, the capacity to better anticipate and act on climate hazards through early warning and early action; second, the capacity to absorb shocks by increasing insurance and social protection coverage; third, the capacity to adapt development to reduce risks at the national and international levels,” he said.

The LPAA initiatives addressing RESILIENCE Vulnerability & People are, as for today:

– Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI)

– Climate Risks and Early Warning Systems – CREWS

– G7 Insurance Resilience Initiative

– Food Security Climate Resilience Facility

– Rural Resilience Facility R4

– Global Resilience Partnership

– A2R Anticipate Absorb Reshape

Energy

Is Wood Burning Sustainable For Your Home?

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sustainable wood burning ideas

Wood is a classic heat source, whether we think about people gathered around a campfire or wood stoves in old cabins, but is it a sustainable source of heat in modern society? The answer is an ambivalent one. In certain settings, wood heat is an ideal solution, but for the majority of homes, it isn’t especially suitable. So what’s the tipping point?

Wood heat is ideal for small homes on large properties, for individuals who can gather their own wood, and who have modern wood burning ovens. A green approach to wood heat is one of biofuel on the smallest of scales.

Is Biofuel Green?

One of the reasons that wood heat is a source of so much divide in the eco-friendly community is that it’s a renewable resource and renewable has become synonymous with green. What wood heat isn’t, though, is clean or healthy. It lets off a significant amount of carbon and particulates, and trees certainly don’t grow as quickly as it’s consumed for heat.

Of course, wood is a much less harmful source of heat than coal, but for scientists interested in developing green energy sources, it makes more sense to focus on solar and wind power. Why, then, would they invest in improved wood burning technology?

Homegrown Technology

Solar and wind technology are good large-scale energy solutions, but when it comes to small-space heating, wood has its own advantages. First, wood heat is in keeping with the DIY spirit of homesteaders and tiny house enthusiasts. These individuals are more likely to be driven to gather their own wood and live in small spaces that can be effectively heated as such.

Wood heat is also very effective on an individual scale because it requires very little infrastructure. Modern wood stoves made of steel rather than cast iron are built to EPA specifications, and the only additional necessary tools include a quality axe, somewhere to store the wood, and an appropriate covering to keep it dry. And all the wood can come from your own land.

Wood heat is also ideal for people living off the grid or in cold areas prone to frequent power outages, as it’s constantly reliable. Even if the power goes out, you know that you’ll be able to turn up the heat. That’s important if you live somewhere like Maine where the winters can get exceedingly cold. People have even successfully heated a 40’x34’ home with a single stove.

Benefits Of Biomass

The ultimate question regarding wood heat is whether any energy source that’s dangerous on the large scale is acceptable on a smaller one. For now, the best answer is that with a growing population and limited progress towards “pure” green energy, wood should remain a viable option, specifically because it’s used on a limited scale. Biomass heat is even included in the UK’s Renewable Heat Initiative and minor modifications can make it even more sustainable.

Wood stoves, when embraced in conjunction with pellet stoves, geothermal heating, and masonry heaters, all more efficient forms of sustainable heat, should be part of a modern energy strategy. Ultimately, we’re headed in the direction of diversified energy – all of it cleaner – and wood has a place in the big picture, serving small homes and off-the-grid structures, while solar, wind, and other large-scale initiatives fuel our cities.

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Environment

New Climate Change Report Emphasizes Urgent Need for Airline Emission Regulations

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In less than two months, the United States has grappled with some of the worst natural disasters in its history. Hurricanes battered the south central United States. Fires destroyed homes throughout Northern California. Puerto Rico experienced some of the worst storms ever. A massive windstorm caused more damage to the northeastern United States then any other storm on record before winter even struck.

These recent incidents have spurred discussion on the dangers of climate change. A recent report from the University of London has shed some light on the discussion. The new report suggests that new regulations are needed, including stricter EPA regulations on Airlines.

Review of the new report

The new report was published in the British medical Journal, Lancet. The report concluded that climate change is a “threat multiplier” for a variety of social problems, including diseases and natural disasters. While numerous studies have processed the risk that climate change plays with creating natural disasters, University of London report is among the first to explore the relationship between climate change and disease.

The authors warned that the problems are becoming irreversible. They will continue to get worse if risk factors are not adequately addressed.

The most concerning part of the report is that these problems are having the most serious impact on the most vulnerable communities in the world. Countries that depend on agriculture and other issues will suffer the most if climate change escalates.

“The answer is, most of our indicators are headed in the wrong direction,”said Nick Watts, a fellow at University College London’s Institute for Global Health and executive director of the Lancet Countdown, one of the lead researchers of the paper. “Broadly, the world has not responded to climate change, and that lack of response has put lives at risk. … The impacts we’re experiencing today are already pretty bad. The things we’re talking about in the future are potentially catastrophic.”

Airline industry discovers climate change is a two-way Street

The airline industry is coping with the problems of climate change, while also coming to terms with the fact that it has helped accelerate the problem. Earlier this year, American Airlines was forced to cancel four dozen flights near Phoenix. Cancellations were called due to excessive temperatures. The air was over 120 degrees, which is too hot for some smaller jet planes to get off the ground.

One anonymous airline executive privately admitted that their business model has facilitated climate change. They warned that the problem may become twice as bad in the next few years if proper safeguards aren’t implemented. Representatives from Goindigo have echoed these concerns.

The EPA has stated that airplanes account for 11% of all emissions. They are expected to increase over 50% within the next 30 years. This could have serious repurcussions if newer, greener airplane models don’t become the new standard in the very near future.

This is driving discussion about the need for new policies.The EPA has been discussing the need for new airline regulations for nearly two years. An EPA ruling made in July 2016 set the tone for new regulations, which could be introduced in the next year.

The new policies may be delayed, due to the new president’s position on climate change. He hired an EPA chief that has sued the organization about a dozen times. However, the Trump Administration may not be able to oppose climate change indefinitely, because a growing number of people are pressing for reforms. Even younger conservatives primarily believe climate change is a threat and are demanding answers. This may force the EPA to follow through on its plans to introduce new solutions.

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