The Importance of the CBRD

Initially, when it was first established in 1992, the Common but Differentiated Responsibilities played a vital role in determining how different countries would address climate change. The principle of the CBRD came from an idea of a ‘common heritage of mankind’, which describes a situation where all people across the world are equally responsible. However, although the principle acknowledges the equal responsibility that each country has in addressing climate change, it also acknowledges the differences that each country has in addressing these problems. Depending on economic and technical capabilities, each country may have different methods they might use to solve environmental issues. This principle is included in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), being first mentioned in the 1992 UNFCCC Treaty. The treaty was ratified by all countries involved in it, and they all acknowledged a shared responsibility in addressing climate change. However, in recent years, the role of the CBRD is evolving. Some have even argued that the CBRD doesn’t have the same level of relevance in contemporary times. Continue reading

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A Cool Look at Energy and Global Warming – Masoud Mostajabi

Gaps remain in our knowledge about climate change, but the clear majority of scientists are currently convinced that the gradual rise of the Earth’s temperature has been especially evident since the late eighteenth century when the invention of power-driven machinery kick-started the Industrial Revolution and so caused an increase in the human-made gases that alter the atmospheres insulating effects. Gas molecules such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) create a greenhouse roof by trapping the heat remitted from the Earth which would otherwise escape into outer space. Since the 1950s, the emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels such as natural gas, oil, and coal in order to produce energy, have climbed steadily and risen fourfold. As of 2005, the energy sector accounted for 75 percent of the worlds atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (with 70 percent of the global emissions from fossil fuel combustion) and 96 percent of the worlds CO2 emissions. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) here in the United States, by 2010, fossil fuel combustion amounted to 79 percent of US GHG and 94 percent of US CO2 emissions with 5 percent of US GHG emissions coming from the methane released by coal mining and oil and gas systems. In addition, according to Michael Jenkins (2007), President and CEO of Forest Trends, deforestation has contributed to climate change as it has accounted for, “17 to 25 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions…second only to energy use”. Continue reading