## European Commission: Global Climate Strategy Needed To Avoid “Potentially Unmanageable Consequences”

##### 02 February 2009

by Jack Rosebro

The European Commission has sent a formal communication[1] to the European Council and European Parliament, laying out the Commission’s recommendations to Council and Parliament on positions that the European Union should take during international climate change negotiations later this year in Copenhagen.

The negotiations, which will be conducted in December under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), are scheduled to produce an international agreement on future climate change reductions to be implemented after the expiry of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012. The Kyoto Protocol committed participating industrialized countries to an average greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 5.2% by 2008-2012, as compared to 1990.

 “The basic physical inertia of the global climate system means that ignoring scientific warnings will lead to unprecedented, costly and potentially unmanageable consequences.”—European Commission

While it is expected that developed countries will be more receptive to an agreement at Copenhagen, emerging economies such as China and India have stated unequivocally that they will not sign an agreement which requires them to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Targets and Actions

The Commission recommends that the EU press developed countries to formally adopt the objective of limiting mean surface warming of the Earth to no more than 2 ºC (3.6 ºF), and to commit to an average greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction of 30% below 1990 levels by 2020 as part of that objective. Reductions could be achieved by domestic actions, as well as emissions credits earned by financing emissions reduction projects in developing countries.

Each developed country’s appropriate share of the 30% reduction would be calculated by:

• GDP per capita, reflecting the ability to pay for domestic actions as well as purchase emission reduction credits from developing countries;

• GHG emissions per unit of GDP, indicating the potential to reduce domestic GHG emissions;

• National trends in GHG emissions between 1990 and 2005, recognizing early actions to reduce emissions;

• National population trends from 1990 to 2005, which would affect the calculation of per-capita emissions.

The 2007 Fourth Assessment Report, produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), estimated that limiting warming to an average of 2 ºC would likely require emission reductions that, if distributed according to emissions per capita, would range from 25-40% by 2020 and 80-95% by 2050 for developed countries. In 2007, the European Union’s environment ministers agreed in principle to commit to a 20% GHG reduction by 2020 (earlier post), with an option to accept further reductions if other developed countries follow suit, and presented plans to do so early last year (earlier post).

The communication also recommends that developing countries limit GHG emissions to between 15 and 30% below baseline, or business-as-usual (BAU) levels, by 2020. However, the mechanism by which to calculate projected baselines is not described. All but the least developed countries would commit to national low carbon development strategies for all sectors by the end of 2011, according to the Commission's proposal.

Aviation and Shipping

Although emissions from international aviation and shipping are not covered by the Kyoto Protocol and are not included in many national emissions reduction frameworks, they have increased much faster in recent years than has been projected. Air travel in the European Union, for example, doubled between 1990 and 2005. A recent report by the International Maritime Organization (earlier post) has estimated that emissions from shipping are about three times as much as previously believed, and are expected to increase by almost a third by 2020.

The European Commission recommends that the IMO as well as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) facilitate the development and adoption of global emissions reduction measures for their respective sectors by the end of 2010. If no agreement can be reached by that time, the Commission recommends that such emissions be counted toward national totals. Last year, the European Council voted to include aviation-based emissions in its emissions trading system (ETS) beginning in 2012 (earlier post).

Fluorinated Gases

The European Commission projects that the accelerated phase-out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) in coming years, as required by the Montreal Protocol, may lead to a rapid increase in hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) emissions, which can be equally effective as greenhouse gases. “Part of the Copenhagen agreement,"” the communication states, “should include an international emission reduction arrangement for HFC emissions” that would encourage industry to develop alternatives with lower global warming potentials (GWP).

Financing Emissions Reductions

Investments to reduce global emissions will need to see year-on-year rises” warns the Commission, which estimates that net additional investment worldwide will need to rise to around €175 billion (US$223 billion) per year by 2020, with the majority of expenditures taking place in developing countries, and particular attention paid to the halting of deforestation. The financing of emissions reductions will be more effective if adaptation is built in to national strategies, particularly for emerging economies. Recommendations include the development of a “front-loading” Global Climate Financing Mechanism (GFCM) that could deliver “substantial funding” for early actions in the most vulnerable developing countries. The GCFM would raise around €1 billion (US$1.27 billion) per year through the issuance of bonds for the period 2010-2014, assuming that EU member states make “appropriate pledges”. After the initial phase of increased funding, the mechanism would start to pay back the funds raised.

Although an early draft[2] of the Commission’s communication had recommended an annual EU commitment of €30 billion (US$38.2 billion) toward greenhouse gas reductions in developing countries, the official communication does not specify the level of EU financial commitment beyond “contributions... at both Community and Member States level.” Environmental and development NGOs criticized the change, arguing that developing countries are unlikely to come to the table until pledges of assistance are quantified.  “Globally, it would be desirable to at least double energy- related research, development, and demonstration by 2012, and increase it to four times its current level by 2020, with a significant shift in emphasis towards low-carbon technologies, especially renewable energy sources.”—European Commission Building A Participatory Carbon Market The European Commission recommends that the European Union push for an international carbon market that would link the EU emissions trading system (ETS) with comparable domestic cap-and-trade systems under development or discussion in the United States, Australia, and other countries, with the international ETS eventually spreading to all OECD countries. Developing countries should also begin to implement domestic trading systems, so that all major emitting countries could participate in the carbon market by 2020. As a first step, the Commission hopes to set up an EU-US working group to share experience on the design of successful carbon markets. The Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), a project-based offset mechanism that allows developing countries to sell credits that represent emission reductions achieved by a specific project, “should be reformed”, according to the communication, “crediting only those projects that deliver real additional reductions and go beyond low cost options.” To this end, the Commission recommends that project-based CDMs be phased out in favor of sectoral carbon market crediting mechanisms that would encourage accelerated adoption of low-carbon technologies. The EU’s own ETS, which is the largest international emissions trading framework in the world, will begin its third trading period after the current trading period expires in 2012. The new trading period will include aviation, energy, transport, and building sectors for the first time. [1] European Commission: Towards a comprehensive climate change agreement in Copenhagen, 28 January 2009 [2] European Commission: Towards a comprehensive climate change agreement in Copenhagen (draft, dated 28 January 2009) ### Comments Disneyland Andrey: Disneyland gives you a choice of fantasy. This is pure thievery. A colossal hoax has initated and perpetrated a googol waste of human capital and earth resources. There is no such thing as consensus in scientific theories. Prove or disprove. Open real scientific discourse and let a little Einstein into the AGW darkness. Humans Bamboozled by the lemmings. (Again) Well Andrey I went back to CO2science to your references supposedly showing the link between solar forcing and past temperature trends. There seemed to be a lot of talk about "this researcher showed this clear relationship", but without subscribing to the journals I was unable to read any of the original papers cited as evidence. I have yet to see a single non-debunked graph showing this supposedly strong relationship between solar forcing and. You'd think if this relationship was so strong you'd be able to find a single graph somewhere. And at the same time the AGW deniers seem to not acknowledge the virtually 100% R squared relationship between past CO2 and temperature proxies. The best they can do is try to argue that the relationship goes "the other way around", that temperatures drive CO2 concentrations. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Co2-temperature-plot.svg If that's the case, and the relationship is simply one-drives-the-other-with-no-feedback then surely the AGW deniers could produce a graph showing how nicely solar variability fits in with the two curves on the above graph. Then we'd have a graph showing three highly correlated curves: (solar output)------>(temperature)------->(CO2 concs) I think there's more political motivation there than actual logic. Regarding CO2science.org, they have recieved$100,000 in funding from Exxon/Mobil

http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/orgfactsheet.php?id=24

You really don't want to go down the money trail Mark BC. The stupefying amount of money dumped into "grants" for researchers to prop up the AGW clan is sick. Much, much more important things to do.

Just a cursory look at James Hansen's PR budget and "makeover" to mold his public image finds $750,000.00. Not mention the Soros and Heinz funds that lubricate his "research." Recently found an uncredentialed "research fellow" in Australia who's accepted$15 million in grants to prove ocean acidification. There's the real doom.

AGws don't really care about environment. They care about getting what you have. And they're willing to lie, cheat and steal to get it.

Mark:

Take a look at graphs here:

http://www.sciencebits.com/CosmicRaysClimate

Quoth a poster with a 1337 pseudo:

There is no such thing as consensus in scientific theories. Prove or disprove.
There is no such thing as proof in scientific theories.  Proof exists only in mathematics.  Scientific theories can either explain the facts or fail to explain the facts; new facts can always move them from the first category to the second, and for many there is not a black-and-white line but degrees and areas of usefulness.

The mere fact that we're talking about a consensus shows how far this issue has shifted from science to PR.  The denialists are holding up a few people with science credentials to "debunk" the mass of evidence showing (a) rapid climate change and (b) human responsibility for it.  This is highly dishonest of them; if science holds up one authoritative person in opposition, the denial industry says "he's just one guy", and if science holds up a vast majority of climate scientists the denial industry says "there's no such thing as consensus, give us proof".  The denial industry has set a standard that is impossible to meet, by design.

And when 200 "authoritative" scientists denied the proofs and predictions of relativity, Einstein replied, "It only takes ONE scientist to 'prove' me wrong."

Mark BC:

"Over the years, as I have learned more about the data and procedures of the IPCC I have found increasing opposition by them to providing explanations, until I have been forced to the conclusion that for significant parts of the work of the IPCC, the data collection and scientific methods employed are unsound. Resistance to all efforts to try and discuss or rectify these problems has convinced me that normal scientific procedures are not only rejected by the IPCC, but that this practice is endemic, and was part of the organisation from the very beginning. I therefore consider that the IPCC is fundamentally corrupt. The only "reform" I could envisage, would be its abolition.

Dr Vincent Gray, a member of the UN IPCC Expert Reviewers Panel since its inception

EP:

You are right and wrong.

It is true that formal proof is existed only in mathematics, natural science relies on experimental verification of theories. That’s said, even the theory verified to the extend of being considered law of nature is not bullet-proof from revisions: what relatively theory and quantum mechanics did to Newton mechanics is common example.

However, DISproof (falsification) of theories in natural science is common thing; usually one empirical counter-example is enough to send theoretics back to drawing boards.

In case of GHG theory of climate, it is based on two major postulates:

1) GHG in atmosphere heat-up the Earth. No one really oppose this postulate, developed from first principles. Debate is circling about quantity of this effect.
2) GHG are primary driver of global climate. If this is true, GHG climate theory could not only explain former climate, but should generate verifiable predictions (it is predictions of future, not explanation of the past, like claim GHG theory charlatans, which verifies the theory).

And second postulate was proven beyond doubt to be false. At first GHG theory claimed that CO2 directly drives climate, as was popularized by Al Gore. Then, after discovery that CO2 concentrations follow the temperature, not lead, mysterious “first push” climate driver was invented, and CO2 was assigned “ to “multiplier” role. Why Earth undergoes not only heating periods, but also tumbles into Ice Ages is totally unexplainable by GHG theory.

GHG theory explained perfectly climate of last 2000 years based on false premise that Earth climate was cold and stable up to Industrial Revolution, as from fraudulent Hockey Stick of Dr. Mann. When it was proved beyond reasonable doubt that climate changed quite substantially (Little Ice Age, Medieval Warm Period, etc.) in this period, GHG apologetes “moved on” and began to generate unverifiable climate model “projections” for 2100 and beyond.

When cooling period of 1940-1975 was brought to their attention (while CO2 concentrations increased steadily over period), still unquantified influence of antropogenic aerosols was invented.

Numerous examples in Earth geological past, when CO2 concentrations and Earth temperatures were widely mismatched, remain unexplainable by GHG theory.

Last shameful example is spin over Antarctica temperatures: GHG theory claimed that cooling Antarctica was perfectly explained by climate models (which is not true, BTW). Then, when new manipulation of Antarctica’s temperature record arrived (surprisingly, by same Dr. Mann), climate modelers immediately claimed (over RC, no less) that it is also perfectly explained by their models.

I do not even want to wade into swamp of failed predictions of GHG theory (warming signature in tropical stratosphere, and alike).

In a nut shell, yes, GHG are most probably influence global climate to some degree. But notion that GHG are main, or even significant driver of climate is already definitively disproved.

Andrey:

what relatively theory and quantum mechanics did to Newton mechanics is common example.

If you think that future scientific discoveries will do the same to todays climate science, then it is good to know that Newtonian physics was in no way falsified by relativity or quantum mechanics. The Space Shuttle is flown entirely on newtonian physics.

mysterious “first push” climate driver was invented

That is not true. The 'first push' was not invented, they are the well known Milankovic cycles, discovered before WW II. These are the drivers of ice ages. The changes in insolation are so subtle that they alone can not cause ice ages. Some feedbacks are necessary. These feedbacks are ice albedo and CO2.

Numerous examples in Earth geological past, when CO2 concentrations and Earth temperatures were widely mismatched, remain unexplainable by GHG theory.

The further back in time you go, the less accurate and complete your information is. It is no requisite to prove all past climate changes to be able to explain the current one. We accept evolution theory, without requiring the scientists to first explain how every animal that ever walked the face of this earth evolved.

GHG theory explained perfectly climate of last 2000 years based on false premise that Earth climate was cold and stable up to Industrial Revolution

Ice ages are a long knonw phenomenon, never denied by any climate scientist. Can you provide some evidence for this?

I do not even want to wade into swamp of failed predictions of GHG theory (warming signature in tropical stratosphere, and alike).

Now that's interesting. All the climate models predicted was stratospheric cooling, not warming. Do you have a reference for that?

"The changes in insolation are so subtle that they alone can not cause ice ages. Some feedbacks are necessary. These feedbacks are ice albedo and CO2."

Like so much of this climate science these are catastrophically oversimplified statements. What of cloud cover? Radiative forcing in short wave IR and visible spectrum? Cosmic ray flux (CRF) for which recent papers find good ice age coincidence? 1.

Obviously Earth's orbit and angle of axis would play a role with respect to solar radiative forcing. And the ocean's warming and subsequent outgassing CO2 only further confirms the minuscule to non-existent role of man-made CO2 which has only existed for a century.

BTW, climate models i.e. computer simulations, predicted the "near future" 20 meter sea level rise that the Goracle regurgitated in his now infamous movie: "An Inconvenient Truth has Consequences"

'This is quite true that the natural fluxes in the carbon cycle are much larger than anthropogenic emissions. But the carbon cycle is just that - a cycle - in this natural process, for roughly the last 10K years until the industrial revolution, every gigatonne of carbon going into the atmosphere was balanced by one coming out. What we have done is to alter only one side of this cycle. We put approximately 6 gigatonnes of carbon into the air that had been buried in the ground for millions of years. It was no longer apart of the carbon cycle. And, unlike nature, we are not taking any out.

Thankfully, nature is actually compensating in part for our emissions, because only about half of the CO2 we are emitting is staying in the air. Nevertheless, since we began burning fossil fuels in earnest over 150 years ago, the atmospheric concentration that was relatively stable for the previous several thousand years has now risen by over 35%. It is the ocean's warming caused by us that is causing the subsequent outgassing CO2 from the oceans so whatever the total amounts going in and out on their own, humans have clearly upset the pre-existing balance and altered significantly an important part of the climate system.

Surely it is not so hard to believe that since we emit billions of tons of CO2 into the air and, lo and behold, there is more CO2 in the air, therefore the CO2 rise is our fault. But if this simple common sense is not enough there is more to the case than that and that case has been well made. (It is worth noting that the investigation of this very issue by the climate science community is a pretty good indication that they are not taking things for granted or just making assumptions, not even the reasonable ones!)

It is true that CO2 has gone up on its own in the past, most notably during the glacial interglacial cycles. During this time CO2 rose and fell by over 100 ppm, ranging between around 180 to 300ppm. But these rises, though they look steep over a 400Kyr timeframe, took 5 to 20Kyrs depending on which glacial cycle you are looking at. By contrast, we have seen an equivalent rise of 100ppm in just 150 years!
http://www.brighton73.freeserve.co.uk/gw/paleo/20000yrfig.htm

But there is still more to the case than the initial common sense argument and the circumstantial evidence above. By analysing the isotopes of the carbon and oxygen atoms making up the atmospheric CO2, in a process similar to carbon dating, scientists can, and have, detected a human "fingerprint" of what is now accumulating in the atmosphere. What they have found, via the isotope signatures can be thought of as "old" carbon, which could only come from fossil fuel deposits, combined with "young" oxygen, as is found in the air all around us. So, present day combustion of fossilized hydrocarbon deposits (natural gas, coal and oil) are most definitely the source of the CO2 that we see accumulating, just as common sense tells us.'

"One finds beneficence based on a fiction a contradiction in purpose." lemar felstigonne - an obscure Greek poet.

It is interesting to note that the oft submitted response to AGW criticism is a retreat into objurgate scale. In this case when we cannot argue on a scale impressive to human experience we switch to "gigatons" in the hope that the specter of a thousand magatons of anything will wither antipathy. It does not.

"It is the ocean's warming caused by us that is causing the subsequent outgassing CO2 from the oceans..."

How exactly have human activities caused the oceans to warm? Human influences on Earth may extend to 30K years at the outside of accepted anthropology. Even recent geologic time demonstrates enormous flux in climate with absolutely ZERO input from human activity!

Truly cosmic forcings, like Milankovic cycles, Cosmic Ray Flux, sunspot activity, planetary axis inclination, etc. realistically play major roles in Earth's climate. To attempt to foist off climate on a stupefyingly tiny burst of CO2 released across a single century is to see only a sapling in a vast cosmological forest.

And to further the cosmological allusion - consider how the brilliance of nature readily compensates for fluxes far greater than AGW. Major catastrophic events such as Vesuvius, Pinatubo, Tunguska, K-T mass extinction, etc. have been quickly balanced (geologically) by Earth's natural recovery mechanisms.

Thus, one hundred years of cooking carbon, regardless of the frightful sounding scale of mega, or giga-tons - actually means next to nothing. And further, the powers demonstrated by mother nature over several billion years have never been daunted by a single species. To suggest that puny man, and his tiny carbon matchstick can singularly disrupt the balance of nature - is to offer far too much credit. Man is but a speck of dust on the whirling dervish of nature. Were he to combust every last ounce of fossil remains on planet Earth - she would shrug and, in Galileo's words, "Still turn."

Anne:

Relatively Theory and Quantum Mechanics did not falsify Newton mechanics. It is still valid, only limited to macro world and small relative speed of motions. That’s what I was trying to say.

“Milankovic cycles … are the drivers of ice ages” Tell it to Al Gore, not me.

“…in Earth geological pas CO2 concentrations and Earth temperatures were widely mismatched”

The key word would be “widely”. Like 20-30 times for CO2. Try to explain this by “less accurate data”.

“ climate of last 2000 years … was cold and stable up to Industrial Revolution”

The key word is “last 2000 years”. Try to explain Little Ice Age, Medieval warm Period, or Holocene Climate Optimum from flat as a table CO2 concentrations of Holocene (Siple Curve).

“…All the climate models predicted was stratospheric cooling”

Yep. The problem is that this stratospheric cooling is nowhere to be found.

Quoth Andrey Levin:

“…All the climate models predicted was stratospheric cooling”

Yep. The problem is that this stratospheric cooling is nowhere to be found.

You mean you can't see it because you've got your hands over your eyes; a trivial search found this post on the contraction of the stratosphere and lowering of the ionosphere due to cooling.  (This proves that warming is not due to increased solar input, which would warm and expand the stratosphere.)

Seriously, Andrey, you should be able to do better than that.

"Global Climate Strategy Needed To Avoid “Potentially Unmanageable Consequences"

Yes, and since the Earth has been on a Global Cooling® trend for the past eight to ten years we'd better get all of our Global Warming® solutions in place SOON otherwise we won't be able to claim that we caused the impending Global Cooling®. Lets simply call all of this Climate Change® so that we'll never be wrong. The Earth is cooling and/or warming and it's our fault. HUGE government spending and programs are needed to "fix" this.

Nobody but the deniers are saying the Earth is cooling.

@ EP:

And a cursory look at the possibility of stratospheric cooling yields this graph showing slight warming from period 12/1978-12/2004:

http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/Stratosphere1278-1204.gif

Or should we NOT count these data?

So the graph clearly shows a start at 0.6°C above the average in 1978, averages well below 0.4°C below the average from 1993-2004, and you think this shows a warming trend?  With that much variation?  Talk about cherry-picked data.

Just goes to show that junkscience.com is full of irony, and the people who cite it have a tin ear for it.

EP:

It is not just cooler stratosphere GHG-dominant climate models are predicting. It is very distinct hot spot in tropical troposphere in addition of cooler stratosphere, so called GHG warming “signature” predicted by all GCMs. Actual satellite and radio zoned measurements do not show anything like this. See, for example, here:

http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3161

It's important to note however, that these are long-term equilibrium results and therefore don't tell you anything about the signal-to-noise ratio for any particular time period or with any particular forcings.
...
it is a demonstration that there is no clear model-data discrepancy in tropical tropospheric trends once you take the systematic uncertainties in data and models seriously. Funnily enough, this is exactly the conclusion reached by a much better paper by P. Thorne and colleagues. Douglass et al's claim to the contrary is simply unsupportable.

EP, I do not nitpicking with you, or with readers of our conversation. From numerous publications and discussions on the subject (however different data and conclusions they present) I got very distinct impression that GHG warming signature in tropical upper troposphere and stratosphere is not confirmed by actual measurements. Such lack of predicted GHG effects of increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration, actually, falsifies underlying mechanics of GHG warming theory. See, for example, here: