How important is climate science anyway?

[vc_row type=”in_container” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/3″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]We are onto the second day of the Bonn climate negotiations and things are starting to kick off. Germany is offering pleasant warm weather that distracts you after lunch, while delegates are trying to fix what they did not agree on at the last COP in Poland.

The session started in good tone with the usual calls for action, broad statements and agenda revisions. For the freaks amongst you: we also learned that this is the first session since 2005 that we only have 2 bodies in an SB. Nerd comment.

How important is climate science anyway?

The major issue we saw, which required some informal consultations, was a specific item that is being discussed under the science and technology body of these negotiations, called SBSTA. Countries were worried about the same thing they were last year: the latest IPCC report that gathers the science on 1.5.

Last year Saudi Arabia, the United States, Russia and Kuwait created the axis of evil to water down any discussions related to the latest climate science, by proposing to weaken drastically the language. This lead to a disagreement between countries, and the whole discussion was postponed to June 2019, where we are today.

For this June session, countries have decided that this is the last time they discuss this issue. Even if there is not a consensus how to consider the latest climate science, the issue will be closed.

If you want to learn more about this, Daniela just wrote an article that explains it.


Broader news

In Bonn yesterday, a packed room of negotiators heard from Ipbes (the IPCC for biodiversity) ahead of their assessment of reaching the 1.5 degree target and what it means for biodiversity. Not surprisingly, there was a lot of discussion around Bio-energy and Aforestation measures, to which Ipbes presenters showed serious concern.

“We’re currently planning aforestation targets that are equivalent in size to all of the cumulative crop-land around the world”…”but if we plant forests in high-carbon sinks like savanas and grasslands, we actually reduce our collective ability to absorb carbon”. Their assessment has already been released here.

“We thought it would be bad, but it’s a total disaster,” Richard George, head of forests at Greenpeace U.K., told Mongabay. You can see here very good coverage in Mongabay and the full report.

Marine systems are also pretty much screwed – You might know about how overfishing is destroying fish stocks, time to add hot water – with about a billion fish under threat from heating oceans. The study, published in PNAS, also is accompanied by a podcast they produced this week on inequality and climate change, that might be worth a listen.
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