With the today published Climate Risk Index 2011 in Cancun, Germanwatch has, for the sixth time, examined which countries are particularly affected by weather extremes. "In 2009, surprisingly, countries such as Chinese Taipei, Saudi Arabia and Australia were also among the ten most affected countries," said Sven Harmeling, author of the CRI at Germanwatch.
Up to the climate summit in Copenhagen, international climate policy followed the strategy to achieve a "big bang" in the form of an international climate agreement covering the commitment period until 2020. At least for the time being, the window of opportunity for such an approach has closed after the moderate results of Copenhagen and the recent political developments in the US.
Five years before the rallying-point, World leader and country representatives meet in New York on the Millenium Development Goals Summit from 20-22nd September.
September 2010, the German government presented the draft of its energy concept. It is marked by striking contradictions. In view of the large energy utilities’ financially strengthened role and the shift of competition rules into their direction, it is doubtful whether the concept can be successful.
The fifth Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI)  – a worldwide national ranking of climate performance - was published today by Germanwatch and Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, Europe's leading network for climate and energy issues. The annual report ranks countries based on which ones show the strongest climate protection performance relative to one another, comparing 57 industrialised countries and emerging economies . This year’s index showed Brazil to be the biggest mover, knocking the usually strongest player Sweden farther down the scale.
Climate change threatens to make the already difficult situation of food security in the world even worse. The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - based on the evaluation of many scientific studies - has made a critical assessment of the possible impacts of climate change on agriculture, livestock and fishing, particularly in the countries of the tropics and sub-tropics.
The Germanwatch Climate Expedition is targeting students from the age of ten years on all over Germany. More and more teachers, trainers, social groups and religious groups are asking for presentations for internal or external climate education events.
The spectacular worldwide receding of mountain glaciers is one of the most reliable evidences of the changing global climate since mid 19th century. Mountain glaciers therefore, are seen as key indicators for climate changes and act as a sort of "global thermometer" (Haeberli et al. 1998b, IPCC 2001, OcCC 2002). And although the global temperature rise of about 0.6°C in the last hundred years might seem negligible at first sight its impacts are tremendous. Alone the Alp glaciers have lost around one third of their surface area and half of their volume by the 1970s. Likewise, since the 1980s 10-20% of the estimated 130 km3 of ice reserves have been lost (Maisch/ Haeberli 2003).
Hot summers, floods, and winters without snow – during the last decade extreme weather events have given rise to worldwide concerns. One can hardly fail to notice that these extreme events indicate potential impacts of climate change in the future. Other consequences, however, which are at least as serious, emerge only gradually. One example are rising sea levels which threaten huge areas and coastal settlements and have serious effects particularly on people in developing countries.
Brief information about the climate impacts of aviation.