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Review of the physical basis of climate change, climate change evidence and drivers, policy options/responses and implementation

of these at International, European Union and Regional levels. Introduction: Physical Basis of Climate Change: http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_ALL_FINAL.pdf Evidence and Drivers: International agreements and treaties: First step taken to control emissions of GHGs; setting up of UNFCC in 1992, entered into force March21st 1994. International treaty. Near universal membership, 195 countries ratified the convention, are called the Parties to the Convention. Was adopted at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 along with three others (UN Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention to Combat Desertification). Provided a framework for negotiating specific international treaties(protocols). Was not considered legally binding as it set no binding limits on the emission of GHGs from individual countries and contains no enforcement mechanisms. Parties to the convention have since met annually from 1995 at the COPs (Conference of Parties) to evaluate the progress of climate change. Ultimate goal of the UNFCC was to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions. Puts the onus on developed countries to lead the way. The idea is that, as they are the source of most past and current greenhouse gas emissions, industrialized countries are expected to do the most to cut emissions on home ground. They are called Annex I countries and belong to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). They include 12 countries with "economies in transition" from Central and Eastern Europe. Annex I countries were expected by the year 2000 to reduce emissions to 1990 levels. Many of them have taken strong action to do so, and some have already succeeded. Directs new funds to climate change activities in developing countries. Keeps tabs on the problem and what's being done about it. KYOTO PROTOCOL- The UNFCC only encouraged and did not enforce reductions in global emissions. So on December 1977 the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan and brought into effect in 2005-2012. Was ratified by all major industrialised countries(37+EU) expect the united states. Set legally binding targets and timelines for reducing emissions. Target for the first commitment period, 2008-2012, was for all the Annex 1 countries to collectively reduce their emissions by 4.2% relative to the base year, 1990. During the second period, 2013-2020, by 18%. Others include- The Durban conference, which decided upon on the introduction of a new global framework to be adopted in 2015 and come into effect in 2020. Till then, recent UN climate conferences have made commitments on emissions and financing- Copenhagen, Cancun, Doha, Durban, and Warsaw conferences. *(Montreal Protocol was developed to reduce the production and emission of ozone depleting substances. Agreed upon on September 1987, put into effect on January 1989http://ozone.unep.org/new_site/en/montreal_protocol.php) http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/solutions/reduce-emissions/unfccc-treatynegotiations.html http://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/mechanisms/emissions_trading/items/2731.php http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/international/negotiations/progress/index_en.htm http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/1992%20IPCC%20Supplement/IPCC_1990_and_1992_Assessments/ English/ipcc_90_92_assessments_far_overview.pdf

European Union policy and legislation: Started with the launching of the ECCP in 2000. (Maximum rise in global temperature not to rise above 2degC, stated by EU Commission in 1995?) Immediate goal was to develop a strategy to implement the Kyoto Protocol-cut emissions by 8% relative to the levels of 1990 by 2012(the first European climate change program. Climate and energy package adopted in 2007 is a set of binding regulations set to ensure the EU meets its targets for 2020. Three key objectives, 20% reduction in GHGs emissions from 1990 levels, Raising the share of EU energy consumption produced from renewable sources to 20%, A 20% improvement in the EUs energy efficiency. Package comprises of 4 pieces of complimentary legislation to ensure targets are met by 2020-Reform of the EUETS (to be detailed), National targets for non EUETS emissions, National renewable energy targets, Carbon capture and storage. Package does not address the energy efficiency target directly; this is done instead through the 2011 Energy efficiency Plan and Energy efficiency Directive. http://www.theccc.org.uk/tackling-climate-change/the-legal-landscape/european-unionlegislation/# http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/environment/tackling_climate_change/en0025_en.htm http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/package/index_en.htm http://ec.europa.eu/clima/about-us/climate-law/index_en.htm

National(UK) Policy and legislation: UK signed up for the Kyoto Protocol in 1995. Climate Change Act was passed in 2008. Targets set included- 1) Reduction of emissions from the UK by 80% in 2050 from 1990 levels. 2)Carbon budgets, a cap on the emission of GHGs in the UK over a five year period, 3)The Committee on Climate Change, advises Government on emissions targets and reports back to parliament on progress made, 4)A National Adaptation Plan, requires government to assess risks for the UK from climate change and prepares a strategy to address them. http://www.theccc.org.uk/tackling-climate-change/the-legal-landscape/global-action-on-climatechange/ http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2008/27/contents http://www.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/publications/Policy/docs/PP_climate-change-policy-uk.pdf http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmselect/cmenvaud/355/355.pdf Regional Examples: NI emissions account for 3.5% of UKs total greenhouse gas(including international aviation and shipping). Relatively high shares of agricultural, transport and residential emissions compared to the UK average (3%). The Northern Irelands Executives 2007 Programme for Government set a target to reduce emissions by 25% in 2025 relative to 1990 levels but was not accompanied by a strategy to implement the reduction. In May 2010 the Environment Minister put together a group of officials from across the Executive to examine the performance to date and come up with an action plan to meet the 2025 targets. The 2008 UK Climate change act also extends to the NI but does not specify particular targets or budgets. Under the 2008 Climate Change Act, Section 60 (Part 4), relevant Northern Ireland Government Departments are required by law to lay adaptation programmes before the Northern Ireland Assembly, providing a review every five years. The Northern Ireland Departments collectively bear responsibility in meeting the 2025 target In February 2011 the Executive approved a Northern Ireland Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Action Plan delivered by a CrossDepartmental Working Group Chaired by the Environment Minister.

The Minister of the Environment proposed the introduction of a Northern Ireland Climate Change Bill that will include challenging targets for greenhouse gas reductions. The UK Committee on Climate Changes report, The Appropriateness of a Northern Ireland Climate Change Act, was published in November 2011 and sets out the benefits of legislation within Northern Ireland. http://www.climatenorthernireland.org.uk/faqs/policy-drivers.php http://archive.theccc.org.uk/aws2/Northern%20Ireland%20-%20Annex%20%20advice%20on%20CC%20Act.pdf All government Departments bear a collective responsibility in achieving the Northern Ireland Executives Programme for Government target to continue to work towards a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by at least 35% on 1990 levels by 2025; set out in a Public Sector Agreement. In 2011, the Executive approved the Northern Ireland Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Action Plan which was delivered by the Cross Departmental Working Group (CDWG) which is under the auspices of the Department of Environment. The Action Plan highlights the steps currently being taken and recommends the areas where commitments need to be stepped up to 2025. In a report by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), commissioned by the Environment Minister Mr Alex Attwood, it was advised that Northern Ireland could benefit from the development of legislative targets to help deliver emission reductions. According to Cross Departmental Working Groups First Annual Report (2012), the Minister has proposed the development of policy proposals for a Bill, and that subject to Executive approval, the introduction of a Climate Change Bill could be expected in the 2013/14 Assembly session. http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/Documents/RaISe/Publications/2013/environment/13513.pdf

Reflection: Conclusion: