UN Report Measures Significant Progress Ahead of Paris Climate Talks
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) released its official analysis of the 146 climate action offers (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions or INDCs) on Oct. 30.
Like recent independent analyses of the INDCs, the UNFCCC report shows that these offers represent a substantial step forward in the effort to combat climate change and further accelerate the transformation of the global energy system already underway.
The report indicates that the submitted INDCs—from countries representing more than 86 percent of global emissions—will not be enough to avoid the worst impacts of warming alone, but they provide a significant foundation to build on. Commenting on the report’s findings, the Executive Secretary of UNFCCC Christiana Figueres said, “Fully implemented these plans together make a significant dent in the growth of greenhouse gas emissions: as a floor they provide a foundation upon which ever higher ambition can be built.”
Recognizing the need for building on current commitments, French President Francois Hollande and Chinese President Xi Jinping struck a bilateral agreement in support of including a regular re-visitation and update of INDCs in the Paris agreement text. In their statement, the leaders made it clear that they are jointly working to ensure that the Paris agreement includes a mechanism to ratchet up ambition for a swift, strong move towards a global renewable energy economy.
One of the key findings from the UNFCCC report is that the INDCs countries have submitted will bring global average emissions by up to 8 percent in 2025 and as much as 9 percent by 2030. Climate Action Tracker (CAT) completed a similar analysis earlier this month, finding that the submitted INDCs will likely reduce projected warming in 2100 by 0.9°C (limiting warming to 2.7°C) above pre-industrial temperatures compared to a business-as-usual track.
Major emitters like India and China have put forth substantial offers, with encouragement from the U.S. Their INDCs put the countries on track to install twice the current global capacity of wind and solar in the next 15 years. Collectively INDCs and other country actions to combat climate change, are transforming the global energy sector, permitting cheaper, steeper and deeper pollution reductions in the future.
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Migratory beekeeping involves trucking millions of bees across the U.S. to pollinate different crops, including avocados and almonds. Timothy Paule II / Pexels / CC0<p>According to <a href="https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/israeli-kitchen/beekeeping-how-to-keep-bees" target="_blank">From the Grapevine</a>, American avocados also fully depend on bees' pollination to produce fruit, so farmers have turned to migratory beekeeping as well to fill the void left by wild populations.</p><p>U.S. farmers have become reliant upon the practice, but migratory beekeeping has been called exploitative and harmful to bees. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/10/health/avocado-almond-vegan-partner/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a> reported that commercial beekeeping may injure or kill bees and that transporting them to pollinate crops appears to negatively affect their health and lifespan. Because the honeybees are forced to gather pollen and nectar from a single, monoculture crop — the one they've been brought in to pollinate — they are deprived of their normal diet, which is more diverse and nourishing as it's comprised of a variety of pollens and nectars, Scientific American reported.</p><p>Scientific American added how getting shuttled from crop to crop and field to field across the country boomerangs the bees between feast and famine, especially once the blooms they were brought in to fertilize end.</p><p>Plus, the artificial mass influx of bees guarantees spreading viruses, mites and fungi between the insects as they collide in midair and crawl over each other in their hives, Scientific American reported. According to CNN, some researchers argue that this explains why so many bees die each winter, and even why entire hives suddenly die off in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.</p>
Avocado and almond crops depend on bees for proper pollination. FRANK MERIÑO / Pexels / CC0<p>Salazar and other Columbian beekeepers described "scooping up piles of dead bees" year after year since the avocado and citrus booms began, according to Phys.org. Many have opted to salvage what partial colonies survive and move away from agricultural areas.</p><p>The future of pollinators and the crops they help create is uncertain. According to the United Nations, nearly half of insect pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction, Phys.org reported. Their decline already has cascading consequences for the economy and beyond. Roughly 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops around the world depend on bees and other pollinators for free fertilization services worth billions of dollars, Phys.org noted. Losing wild and native bees could <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wild-bees-crop-shortage-2646849232.html" target="_self">trigger food security issues</a>.</p><p>Salazar, the beekeeper, warned Phys.org, "The bee is a bioindicator. If bees are dying, what other insects beneficial to the environment... are dying?"</p>
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