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Climate Change
What’s happening?
“Climate change is the greatest
challenge of our time”
Mary Robinson, Honorary President Oxfam
The Science
Atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases
and global average temperatures
The Urgency
gas emissions
are rising
faster than
even worst
Who’s responsible?
• Historic responsibility
for climate change
lies with richer
– USA: 24 tonnes per
– Ireland 17 tonnes
per person
Who is suffering already?
Who’s suffering already?
Who is suffering already?
• Those living in poverty
• Least responsible for the problem
• Least able to cope
• Melting glaciers and ice-caps
• Rising sea levels
• Heavier rains
• More frequent droughts
Climate change in not just an
environmental issue….
• It is a human rights issue
• It is a development issue
• It is a justice issue
Climate Change Facts
• 250 MILLION PEOPLE are now affected by
natural disasters each year - up from an average
of 174 million two decades ago
• 150,000 PEOPLE DIE A YEAR due to climate
GO HUNGRY because of climate change
• 185 MILLION PEOPLE in Sub-Saharan Africa
could die due to disease directly attributable to
climate change
Frequency of Droughts in Uganda
Viable coffee land in Uganda
What’s being done about it?
• Kyoto Protocol
• National Actions
– e.g. UK Climate Act
– Irish Climate Bill?
Who was there?
What was it about?
What went wrong?
What must come next?
Who was there?
• Approx 190 governments
• 119 world leaders inc. Obama, Wen
Jiabao etc
• Technocrats
• UN agencies
• Civil society – trade unions,
environmental, development NGOs
• Business
From Ireland
Minister for the Environment
Minister for Energy
Department of Env, Finance, Ag, DFA,
Irish Aid, EPA.
• Politicians
• NGOs
• Media
What was it about
• How to tackle climate change after 2012
– What limit on climate change
– What greenhouse gas emissions cuts
– What finance to deal with climate change
• Should have been a Fair, Adequate, and
Binding deal.
What went wrong in Copenhagen?
• A lot to do
• Problems with
process, lack of
transparency and
breakdown of trust
• Flood of texts and
based on
• Chaos and near
collapse in High
Level segment
The Copenhagen Accord
• Totally inadequate to
protect the lives and
livelihoods of poor
people vulnerable to
climate change
• Product of an
untransparent &
distrusted process
• A snapshot of current global political will. Key is relationship
to Bali Action Plan mandate.
Copenhagen outcomes
• Pledges of emissions cuts by rich
countries – but the same ones they’d
made before
• Fast Start Financing - $30bn over 3 years
• Long Term Financing - $100bn p.a. from
• Agreement to continue negotiating
• Aim of 2 degrees Celsius
• Uncertainty over future deal.
– Legally binding outcome?
– Replacement of UNFCCC by alternative fora (G20?)
• Mitigation pledges made by 31 Jan likely to
mean 4°C global warming
– Locks-in low ambition
– Locks-in bottom-up approach
Expected mitigation pledges show minimum
4Gt gap to <2ºC trajectory (450ppm)
Low end of pledged ranges
High end of pledged ranges
Ireland at Copenhagen
• Represented through EU
• Little to add
• Fast start financing €100m over 3 years
Where now?
• Return to UN
• UN intercessional in June
• COP Mexico Nov/Dec ’10
• Build political will and process to succeed
Campaigning on Climate Change