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Day 3 at COP23: Release of the 2017 Adaption Gap Report

Adapting to climate change: Reducing carbon emissions is the part of the climate change discussion that gets most attention. But equally important is the need to adapt to a new reality. Climate change is happening, and the climate will continue to change, even if all emissions were eliminated tomorrow. A new UN assessment released today, the 2017 Adaptation Gap Report, finds that progress needs to be made towards assessing adaptation at the global level to meet the requirements of the Paris Agreement. The Agreement established the global goal on adaptation of enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change, with a view to contributing to sustainable development and ensuring an adequate adaptation response in the context of the temperature goal.

The report explores the opportunities and challenges associated with assessing adaptation progress at the global level and recommends a framework is needed that can capture the big picture, what is changing, and be flexible as methods improve. The full report can be found at:

Fuel the size of a pineapple: There are several pineapples that adorn the ITER exhibit at the COP23 to demonstrate the amount of fuel which would power a huge multi-nation fusion energy project with no emissions and no radiation waste, and which is now underway in southern France. The functioning fusion reactor, working off a pineapple’s worth of fuel, would generate the equivalent of 10,000 tons of coal. The problem is that the 20 billion Euro fusion reactor, now under construction since 2009, will not produce any energy until about 2035.

Sustainable roads—Consider the environmental impacts of a paved road—while people and goods can move easier, the hardened surface prevents water from returning to the ground. That’s one reason why a company, Ding Tai Co., is showing off its roads in Bonn—showing that a paved road can breathe, reduce run-off, and recharge groundwater—purified, and reduce the heat-island effect that makes cities so much hotter than its environs.

Momentum—It seems that wherever you are, people are already looking at the next steps. In the case of climate change, the next step is the One Planet Summit, convened by French President Emmanuel Macron on 12 December. It will be, to the day, the two year anniversary of the adoption of the Paris Agreement, and will bring together world leaders. Next September, California will be hosting a conference for non-party stakeholders, then comes COP24 in Katowice, Poland, followed by the 2019 Summit that will be convened by the UN Secretary-General.

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