Notes on the Global Climate Action Summit, Day 2

Notes on the Global Climate Action Summit, Day 2

The YouTube video is at https://youtu.be/en9cDvXWPtw

This is a long set of notes, but the video is seven hours long.

High-Level Thematic Dialogues

The Ocean-Climate Challenge

Julie Packard, Executive Director of Monterey Aquarium

Gov. Jay Inslee of the State of Washington:

Aha moments: ocean acidification from CO2 in atmosphere; ocean temperatures had shut down fishing in the north Pacific coast at times. Alliance for ocean acidification is reducing acidity by growing kelp, sequestering carbon, and experimenting with adapting shellfish. The solution is clean energy jobs, which are growing twice as fast as the US economy is.

Nakoa from Hawaii and Polynesia: Our lives depend on the health of the ocean.

Lehua Kamalu, Captain of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, which made a 23 day and 2800 mile canoe voyage to the summit, with a crew of 12. They needed clean water, and enough food, for good health. Connect people to the ocean around them. Film “Our Ocean Planet”. Oceans provide food, oxygen, and fresh water. The oceans store 90% of the sun’s climate change heat, and 25% of the new carbon dioxide. But now they are heating and acidifying . Coral bleaching. Fish in decline. Islands drowning. Turn to renewable energy. Expand ocean habitats that protect shores. Fish sustainably. Marine protection areas. Sigourney Weaver narrated the film.

Secretary of State John Kerry. Climate is an Ocean Issue:

Every challenge we face is solvable. We are not anywhere near where we have to be. We worked on the Paris Agreement, and it took decades of negotiation. Now, we have a president with no knowledge and who is lying about the economic burden, and withdrew us from the Paris Agreement. That was one of the greatest single acts of irresponsibility of any president at any time. Now 38 states, governors and mayors have renewable standards. This covers 80% of the US population.

380 billion dollars went into renewables last year, more than into fossil fuels. The danger is, this is not going to limit global warming to 2 degrees centigrade. 200 GW of coal plants are coming on line, and 450 GW of coal is planned, worldwide.

For the UN climate fund, $10 billion pledged, only $3 billion paid. $1 billion from the US. Trump has declared that no more will be paid. We should not be building one more coal plant. The oceans are vulnerable and we are killing them. Problems are plastics, runoff, pollution, illegal fishing, etc., and one third of fish stocks are endangered. The President doesn’t understand what an ecosystem is . We could lose the Gulf Stream with temperature changing. The President doesn’t believe in facts. We need to translate these known facts into political action. We need a massive political Republican defeat to get the message across. We have to vote based on certain political issues. We need $100 billion for the UN Clean Climate fund. 50% of Oxygen comes from the ocean. The American People have not pulled out of the Paris Agreement. Pacific islands have droughts and the highest sea level rise.

Prime minister Frank Bainimarami of Fiji: The ocean is everything for people living in island states.

There is a current interest in oceans, but what can we do about it?
Mangroves and sea grass can store carbon. Called Blue Carbon.

Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Oregon State University:

Marine Protected Areas are essential for the ocean.  We only protect 4% of the ocean. Only 2% of that is highly protected.  People are working to protect 10% by 2020.  But we need to protect 20% by 2030. Oceans provide protein for 3 billion people. Improving fisheries could offset some climate change. SeaBOS, Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship initiative combines the 10 largest seafood companies working together. http://stockholmresilience.org. We need Ocean Climate Action!
http://oceanclimateaction.org

Summit Program breaks were covered by Step Up World interviews by Raj. They also have a Facebook page.

Mayors: Step up ambitions.

Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille:  We reduced water usage by 55% in two years. Went to teach children in schools. They teach their families when to save water.

Alec Baldwin, actor and advocate for forests and indigenous peoples:

Need to protect forests to get to Paris goals. Associate to Jane Goodall. Use deforested land.  He doesn’t eat red meat. Educate people. He once became a vegetarian to date his first wife. UN Development Program. Plant as many trees as possible. We have handed our children a big bill to pay.

Solar Impulse pilot Bertrand Picard, which circled the earth with only solar power: Clean energy can do things that most people think are impossible.

The Master of Ceremonies is Jennifer Granholm former Gov. Of Michigan, and a Senior Research Fellow at the Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute, among many other roles.

Dr. Mae Jamison, the first black astronaut:

The issue is whether or not we will be here, the earth will always be here. Space is important to monitor climate change. But we have to watch out for “the apathy of humans”, said by Helen Keller. We are earthlings, made up of elements from the stars. We share this planet. We have to be connected across space and time, and think about the world as a whole. (This reminds me of John F. Kennedy: we do this not because it is easy, but because it is hard.)

Al Gore:

We thank Jerry Brown, and Nancy McFadden, his late chief of staff. And Mike Bloomberg. 80% of our energy is from fossil fuels. Today we have two major storms at once. Storms produce more rain because of a disruption in the jet stream. We are using the sky as an open sewer. Our CO2 provides heat equivalent to 400,000 atomic bombs every day of trapped energy. More than 90% goes into the oceans. This gives us rain bombs. Drying the land and droughts, as in the Korean drought, the largest fire in California history, and 129 million trees dead in California. We have climate refugees, and 3,000 deaths in Puerto Rico. This is utter insanity, and we have to take action. Tropical diseases are moving North.

We can change, with the sun and wind cheapness. We have to make batteries and electrical vehicles better. California has led the way. Will we change? Will we do our duties for the future and those alive today. Remember that the poor are the victims. All 195 nations are committed. A new president could give 30 days notice, and then we are back in the Paris Agreement. Businesses, investors, cities and counties are leading the way. Political will is itself a renewable resource. We have the resources.

MC Jennifer Granholm:

Now people who are forging a path to solve the problem and aiming at carbon neutrality by mid century.

Eric Garcetti Mayor of Los Angeles.

Los Angeles has a $1 trillion economy, third among cities in the world. 407 cities in US and 47 states? have taken the Paris Pledge. 1/4 of the world GDP have signed on. In the transportation sector, LA is No. 1 in traffic, stuck in gridlock. We are building 15 new transit lines. This includes affordable housing along stations in order to not displace people. We are backing electric vehicles and ZEV businesses. We are on the way to 25,000 chargers. Collaboration Is essential. Only zero emission buses will be bought after 2025. 80,000 ZEV buses will be built for all. With prices this low, you cannot say no to them. The City reduced pollution last year by 11%. “Our reach must always exceed our grasp”, Robert Browning wrote: “What else is heaven for”?

Transportation Sector Emissions.

Pasquale Romano, President and CEO of Chargepoint electric vehicle charging company. 2.5 million charging places will be installed by 2025. 20 million EVs will exist by 2025.

Mayor James Brainard, City of Carmel, Indiana: Republican Presidents founded the EPA, the Clean Water Act, and the Montreal protocol. Conservatives should take science seriously.

1240 Mayors have signed the Climate Protection Agreement. Great Countries obey their international agreements. And leave their planet in better conditions.

We Are Still In http://wearestillin.com the Paris Agreement until a day after the 2020 Presidential election.

Tom Steyer, Founder and President of NextGen America at http://nextgenamerica.org . Youth voting is 3 times more than in the past.

Matt Petersen, President and CEO, LA Cleantech innovator. They ran a California Climate Cup competition. Solstice Energy Solutions, from people at Stanford University was the winner. Their website is at:  http://Solstice.io

Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy will donate services to NGOs and entrepreneurs. This is in honor of the late Nancy McFadden, assistant to Gov. Brown, who organized this summit.

92% of the world now breathes polluted air. http://Aclima.io

They showed a Forests video by Alec Baldwin and Jane Goodall. They pushed deforestation free products. We must elect leaders who make climate change a priority. Protecting forests can make 1/3 of the climate solution.

Eric Solheim, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme
Forests are the forgotten solution, 30% of emissions to store carbon, but only spend 3% on it. Brazil has fixed 80% of its problem of deforestation.

Jane Goodall: In the rainforest, every little species has its roll in the ecosystem. Protect the rainforest. They provide clean air, water, and soil. Saving the forest is the forgotten solution, 1/3 of the solution. Monitor big corporations, and put public pressure on them to source their products. Each individual makes an impact every day. Ask whether what we have eaten or bought has destroyed forests. That will change companies. Eating meat is destroying the environment, and wasting water. There will be a 10 billion population by 2050 to feed. Brazil stopped deforestation and its agriculture increased. Indonesia still has deforestation, but all companies promised not to do it. The government must enforce the rules. Deforestation is going on in the US now. Also in Africa. We are losing one acre every second.

Dave Matthews: Bridge the gap for young people who are desperate to find a solution. Listen to the indigenous people because they know how to live where they are. The 2 degree C limit will involve $4.1 Trillion. Mitigation and adaptation for poor countries was promised $100 Billion a year.

Kate Walford: Climate philanthropists have 29 donors. They will give $4 billions over the next 5 years. A down payment. We will pursue equal opportunity for children, and quality of life.

Mayor Bill de Blazio of New York City:

New York City was hit by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, with 44 dead and $19 billion in damage. Today, the Carolinas, and California is burning. We will divest NYC assets from fossil fuels. We are forming a coalition of cities with London for divestment. We will act when nations fail to do so, including our own. We will put 2% of pension assets, or $4 billion, in climate solutions. We need $1 trillion a year for 30 years to solve the problem. If every US city invested 2%, that would be $200 billion a year. Fighting against cynics, NYC is divesting from the old, investing in the new. We must leave fossil fuels stranded in the ground.

Peter Jensen is the Chief Executive of the PKA Danish pension fund. Climate Action 100 Plus investors will get 10% to support the low carbon transition. http://climateaction100.org

California Governor Jerry Brown:

We’ve got the call. It’s time for action. Science is under attack. We are going to launch our own satellite to find where the pollution and methane is. Never have so many people gotten together with so much energy, and optimism, and will.

(Editor’s note: there are undoubtedly errors in my hearing and noting the talks, and in transcribing my notes.)

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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