Day 2 from COP 24 in Katowice, Poland Water, Sustainable Development, and Reducing Carbon Emissions

COP 24—A&WMA Member Mike DeBusschere provides notes on several sessions including:  Shocks and Stressors: Water's essential role in addressing climate change and disaster risk; From Science to Policy: Achieving Sustainable Development Goals in a 1.5 °C Warmer World; and Inclusive Energy Mix: The only effective way to reduce carbon emissions. 

by Mike DeBusschere, P.E.

DAY 2 – December 4, 2018

Session—Shocks and Stressors: Water's essential role in addressing climate change and disaster risk
Disaster risk reduction and recovery (DRR) efforts are profoundly influenced by climate change, but the DRR and climate communities remain divided. This panel will demonstrate how water can serve as a mechanism to find common ground and take action to confront new threats and reduce long-term risks. Slogan used is “Climate is Water.”
Henk Ovink, Dutch Rijkswaterstaat – Mastering Disaster in a Changing Climate through Resilient Water Management.
  • Author reports on the presentations in Rome, Stockholm, and other conferences discussing urban preventive measures and needs. Mostly that cities feel not enough technical expertise and consistency is currently being implemented.
Dr. Anil Inishra, UNESCO Division of Water Sciences
  • Over 1,000 water-related disasters since 1990
  • Floods account for over 75% of weather-related disaster costs
  • Strong linkage between sustainability and water protection programs has been demonstrated
  • Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA) methodology is being developed by UNESCO , including flood and drought monitoring; two pilot countries have been selected
  • Have published an Andean Glacial Analysis Report
Kenzo Hiroki, Japan – UN High-Level Experts Panel on Water and Disaster
  • Number of reported natural disasters have increased exponentially since 1994
  • 7 billion people have been affected, largest number by flood (2.4 billion) and drought (2.4 billion)
  • Disasters have cost US$2.7 trillion in 20 years, 70% water-related
  • Disaster deaths have risen since 1994 mostly in lower income level populations
  • Heavy rain disaster in Japan 2018 killed 220 people, 2.3 million evaluated, 262,000 water supplies disrupted, unusual meander of jet stream responsible with two high pressure systems to create an atmospheric “funnel”
  • July 2017 unusual climate events were recorded worldwide
  • Climate change effects expected to include temperature change increases all over east Asia; increased daily precipitation from average of 60 days to 100 days, increased flood depths by 23-27% in Southeast Asia, water surge in Bangladesh by 50 m in the delta areas
  • Glaciers to recede, world dryness in many areas predicted along equatorial areas
  • Thinks one answer is to connect water issues with climate change to spur action by governments and people to provide an organizing role
Dr Kaounga Keita, Niger - Platform on Disaster Displacement
  • East Africa rainfall has decreased affecting tropical forest areas and shrining of flood areas from 41,000 km2 to < 10,000 km2 in the last 50 years
  • Mali Wetlands International set up unions and coalitions at local level to synergize with user groups and authorities and to develop a flood protection tool OPIDIN
Kevin Adams, Stockholm Environment Institute – Water Adaptation and Disaster Risk
  • What kind of scientific work is needed to support researchers
  • Working on a common placard to establish a focal point for networks, dialogs, effective design science, knowledge exchange, and strengthen these institutions
  • Creating information linked “hubs” such as for floods and other key terms to resources, organizations and experts, in beta version at present
  • Sweden research collaboration for climate and security launched – key areas are people, biophysical, trade & finance for transboundary and teleconnected pathways
  • Have established an International Center for Excellence to advance issue in sustainability and disasters in Asia; focusing on urban governance, livelihoods, and other topics relevant to Southeast Asia
Pasquali Capizzi, ARUP
  • Working on reconciling stressors/shocks, engineering decision-making, and bringing coherence to policy
  • Low capacity local government makes it harder to address disaster shocks, or tell who can reduce impacts/remediate
  • Working on “climate scaling” to help local government decision making to prevent or mitigate disasters
  • Engineering decision-making climate action plan for a South African city being developed to prevent coastal flooding, with infrastructure advisement (with assistance by Qatar?)
  • Also looking at stress avoidance for island cities, and near Laputa/Kinkasha River Delta
  • Have developed a City Water Resilience Framework (looks to be a complex decision wheel)
Session – From Science to Policy: Achieving Sustainable Development Goals in a 1.5 °C Warmer World. What are the risks/effects on economy, health and environment of 1.5 °C compared to 2.0 °C climate change? How do we finance it and what are the cooperative actions needed?
      Dr DeAlba, Mexico Ambassador to the UN
  • Concern is climate change is overtaking/changing faster than actions to prevent it
  • Working to bring climate change to the highest level of UN priorities
  • Must go beyond limiting to reach 1.5 °C change by 2020, need local governments, youth groups and others in a call for action
  • Balance needs to be struck between mitigation and prevention as soon as possible
  • Also need countries with excess reductions to share with countries underachieving the goals
  • Financing is a requirement over and above the US$100 billion from the World Bank Green Fund, and accessibility to funds and processing times need to be improved
      Thelma Espinosa, Vice Chair IPCC, Brazil
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide link/framework between reaching 1.5 °C and 2.0 °C temperature increase development goals per Chapter 5 of the IPCC report
  • 1.5 °C decreases likelihood of reaching SDGs
  • Several mitigation trajectories provided in the IPCC report with focus on natural resource supply, energy demand, and land effects
  • Some SDGs have synergies amounting to greater than the trade-offs
  • High-synergy SDGs include Health & Life SDG 3, Clean energy SDG 7, Cities and Communities SDG 11, Consumption & Production SDG 12, and Oceans SDG 14
  • Management of trade-offs produced four model pathways having varying seriousness of impacts ranging from Level 1 for reaching 1.5 °C goal by 2100 from carbon dioxide emission reductions from all sectors to Level 4 for reaching 1,5 °C goal by 2100 from energy carbon reduction alone plus atmospheric removal of carbon dioxide
Jean-Pacal Yperseke, UN Eminent Climate Change Scientist, France
  • Key messages from IPCC report include that human influence on climate change is clear, atmospheric carbon dioxide continues to increase, global average surface temperatures are increasing
  • Presented global map showing potential 7-11 °C temperature increase by 2100 in East Asia
  • Risk = Hazard x Vulnerability x Exposure
  • Only 7% of Great Barrier Reef has avoided coral bleaching as of 2016
  • Notable synergies in SDG 15 include energy efficiency and building design, fossil fuel, wood, biomass fuel use, and air pollution and related deaths (7 million deaths per year currently)
Diana Yakov, Co-Lead Author of the IPCC Report, Germany
  • Reaching SDG goals and meeting the 1.5 °C target only matter of political challenge, not a problem of technology, finance, and human factors
  • 0.1 °C temperature rise per decade was historical for last 50 years, this has increased to 0.2 °C per decade
  • A 10-cm sea level rise is produce per 0.5 °C increase, but would affect >10 million coastal inhabitants
  • Maze, rice, and wheat production in South Africa, Central and South America, and Southeast Asia expected to be hit
  • A 0.5 °C rise in temperature would produce a 50% water resource change
Douglas Leys, General Counsel Green Development Fund (GDF), also former General Counsel of the Caribbean Development Bank
  • Climate action is urgent
  • Links to sustainable development are critical
  • Looking at 2.0 °C rise without GCF capital investment funding, which now total over 3 billion
  • Must remove private market risks for marginal projects such as geothermal
  • Mitigation and Adaptation strategic areas have been defined at a 50/50 allocation funding ratio at GDF
  • GDF has provided US$80 million in direct funding so far for SIDs, LDCs and in Africa on 93 projects worth $16.3 billion
Panel Discussion
  • IPCC report does have a pathway without carbon sequestration at power plants
  • GDF is funding a study to convert Pakistan public transit away from fossil fuels
Session--Inclusive Energy Mix: Only effective way to reduce carbon emissions
Discussion on why an inclusive technology mix, consisting of every available low-carbon technology, including nuclear, is the fastest path for achieving a low carbon energy portfolio. The panel will discuss the role of nuclear energy in counteracting climate change. The backdrop of this session is that climate change is the most significant threat to our planet today, and yet just three years after the Paris Agreement, the world is significantly behind in meeting its climate goals. The latest IPCC report on the impacts of global warming reaching 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels sends a clear warning that this increase may be exceeded by 2030-2050. Only by combining renewables with nuclear energy, making up a significant part of the world's future energy mix, we can still deliver on the Paris Agreement commitments.
Valerie Faudon, SFEN, France -- European Nuclear Society (ENS)
  • Membership includes hundreds of nuclear scientist around the world
  • Nuclear is a low-carbon alternative
  • Since 1970, nuclear is second most carbon efficient behind hydropower
  • EU data show most efficient countries for energy carbon shows France is most efficient because of hydro and nuclear mix of generation
  • Unfortunately, trend in rich countries has been to go back to fossil fuels from nuclear (i.e., United States, Germany, and Japan)
Kirsty Gogan – Energy for Humanity, UK
  • Haven't made a dent on carbon emissions worldwide and may be even going the wrong way
  • Carbon intensity from power use in Europe by country presented but not discussed (a map is shown)
  • Heat drives many industrial processes
  • Wide range of costs of nuclear energy production – higher in China, Korea, Japan, UAE, and others are about 30-50% or so than nuclear
  • Nuclear can be competitive with natural gas considering all imbedded supply chain costs
  • Short film showed regarding nuclear energy density
Hal Turton – IAEA International Nuclear Power Agency
  • Energy mixes needed to meet 2050 mitigation goals – around 80% low carbo electricity required
  • Majority of scenarios that meet the goal include nuclear replacement of fossil fuel generation
  • To reach goal of SDG 7 need natural resources, institutional support, infrastructure, stable political and policy environment, and a well-developed strategy with defined goals, plans, and schedules
  • Many countries need capacity building and institutional support for broad sustainable development
  • Map showing countries that have already agreed to improve nuclear power use as part of the mix to achieve SDG 7, around 80% of countries already using nuclear, but not enough to meet overall world SDG 7 goal
Eric Meyer, Generation Atomic Association, USA
  • Time lapse map showing carbon density ranging from 50 - >360 kg/kWh, France, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Austria low, Germany goes up and down. Norway uses major geothermal resources to achieve
  • “In the long history of humanity fossil fuels have served well, but now have us at a tipping point”
Daniel Yi-Chiang Liu – Japan Atomic Industry Forum, Japan
  • Discussion of Fukishima accident
  • 23 units undergoing decommissioning as a result, 13 being re-applied to resume, 9 have been approved to re-open
  • Japanese government strategic energy plan released and includes nuclear as an important part, but more reliance will be on renewable energy
  • Renewable energy is to be developed aggressively and to be an independent energy resource
  • Japan's energy carbon reduction goal is 80%, public opinion is that Japan should rely on renewables to meet the goal
  • Unusual changes in climate events occurring in Japan
Panel Discussion
  • Pro and con NGOs on nuclear should focus on common ground of lowest environmental impact, achieving SDG 7 and use of renewables, time is passing, and carbon emissions are not decreasing as needed
  • Public support in Britain has remained steady at about 40%, but still concerns about construction costs, support rises to 70% if costs are equivalent to present, one nuclear plant has reduced costs to 50% in a new unit compared to the previous new unit cost by good project management and design and sticking to schedules
  • Improved transparency and education would help nuclear sector to achieve public acceptance
  • Capacity for nuclear in developing countries is a very long-term prospect, which technologies are suitable to their infrastructure and load capacity, are there long-term commitments (experts, government stability, electricity market design & regulation and financing), reliability and security risks unknown
  • Small modular nuclear reactor market is expected to grow to meet developing country needs for size, simplicity and costs, several companies are working on this in the United States and Canada, expecting deployment at Idaho National Laboratory, small-sized remote communities (size of about 300 MW or less)