UN’s climate summit 2014 in New York.

Decades of observation, monitoring, and analysis have demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that: the Earth’s climate is changing at an unusual pace compared to natural changes in climate experienced in the past. The results show that the human influences in this period have far outweighed the natural forcings, as well as internal variability of the climate system. Emissions set to rise 2.5% in 2015 say researchers, with China and India driving new CO2 growth.

The recent increased frequency of extreme weather that is predicted for the UK as a result of a warming Arctic should serve as a reminder that we need urgent action to keeping EU seaside communities safe from flooding and to tackle climate change. Coastal areas are particularly at risk from flooding, with the impact of high population densities, erosion and rising sea levels due to climate change increasing the likelihood of high waters.

Emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from human activities, principally the combustion of fossil fuels but also land-use change, are the principal drivers of the recent and ongoing changes in climate.

World leaders at the UN’s climate summit in New York delivered around 16 hours of speeches. President Obama’s speech,  emphasis on the need for US and China to take joint responsibility for climate change as the world’s largest two emitters, was well received.

Climate change is already causing harm in many parts of the world. This harm will continue to grow for some time to come both in developing countries. This has led a growing number of donor countries with a strong modern energy investment tradition and corporate actors to declare their support for such initiatives. However, social and environmental challenges remain.

Jose Manuel Barroso, who representing the EU, said that the bloc will provide €3 billion in grants to support sustainable energy in developing countries, and €14 billion in public climate finance to partners outside the EU. The EU also plans to improve grid connectivity to make best use of renewable energy sources i Northern African, especially solar.

Sweden delivered ambitious pledge at UN’s climate summit.– Sweden, which already has one of the lowest-carbon economies among OECD countries, has ambitious goals for its energy sector. It seeks to achieve a fossil-fuel-independent vehicle fleet by 2030 and no net greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. This reflects support for the growing call of a zero carbon world at the highest political levels.

European Union will aim to cut domestic greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030, and set a renewables target of at least 27 percent and energy savings of 30 percent. Furthermore, the EU is ‘mainstreaming’ climate action into all its policies with the agreed aim to spend 20 percent of its overall 2014-2020 EU budget on climate action.

Energy efficiency will be absolutely essential for achieving the EU’s energy transition towards a low-carbon economy, as it is the only instrument which allows the EU to reach simultaneously its three energy objectives: competitiveness, sustainability and security of supply.

The new 2030 climate and energy framework to be finalised and adopted by October 2014. European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, in his Climate change speech, said that he is confident that EU leaders will seal this deal at their summit in October.


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