The United Nations UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is tasked to provide negotiators to the Framework Convention on Climate Change with the latest in climate science -- both current data and future predictions. The IPCC released their latest report in April this year.

While very few of us will ever read the full report (over 1000 pages of detail) the 33-page Summary for Policymakers makes grim enough reading.

Half of all carbon dioxide emitted over the last 260 years occurred just in the last 40 years and seems to be increasing exponentially. Global annual greenhouse emission in year 2000 was about 39 giga-tonne (carbon dioxide equivalent). By 2010 this had increased to about 49 giga-tonne. And its showing no sign of slowing.

At this rate, and given population and economic growth, the current atmospheric concentration of 430 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide equivalent will grow to 450 ppm by 2030 and between 750-1,300 ppm by 2100. At this rate the global mean surface temperature in 2100 will be 3.7 to 4.8 deg C above pre-industrial levels. Most scientists consider a 2 degree rise a disastrous. A 4-degree rise would be catastrophic.

.... unless we can significantly de-link our economies from oil, coal and gas.

And this is no small challenge. It implies that we have 35 years to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions to 40-70% below what they were in 2010 level, and by 2100, they should have reached near zero.

As one of the planet's larger per-capita carbon emitters, South Africa cannot shirk our responsibility. But this is not made any easier by us being locked into another 40 years of coal-fired future with Medupi and Khusile, amongst the largest coal-fired power-stations in the world, just about to come on-stream. And certainly, in this context, talk of fracking as a "game-changer" seems rather hollow.

Climate Change - Resources

This easy-to-read, 4-page "beginners guide" to climate change. Climate Change and Global Warming (2011) by Heidee Swanby & Stephen Law, EMG, will tell you all you need to know.
... Ook in Afrikaans - 'n kort-en-kragtig, maklik om te lees stuk Klimaatverandering en Aardverwarming
NEW! NEW! isiXhosa...  Ukutshintsha kwemozulu kunye nesomiso

Want more? Download these Six Facts about climate change... then move on to A brief guide to Global Warming (2007) by Jessica Wilson & Stephen Law (published by Robinson, London). We have no more copies in stock, but it is available from Amazon and Goodreads in hard copy and e-book format.

EMG is part of the consortium responsible for planning, writing and launching this fantastic resource for anyone involved in community-based adaptation work. Participatory Adaptation Handbook : A practitioner's guide for facilitating people centred adaptation to climate change (3.1MB PDF) , and a set of facilitation cards Experiental Learning for Adaptation  (945KB). Alternatively contact us for a hard-copy (R100) while stocks last.

EMG has worked alongside small-scale rooibos farmers of the Suid-Bokkeveld for many years. Download this summary of our work and approach entitled Adaptation with a human face: Lessons learned from an ongoing adaptation and learning process (2012) by Noel Oettle, EMG (380KB) or contact us for a copy of the full report.

Into history? Download this 2-pager summary of the most important scientific and political milestones in the debate.... The Science and Politics of Climate Change - A summary timeline Stephen Law and Jessica Wilson 

These thoughs on how climate change may impact food security, were first presented to a Public Forum 2010 hosted by AIDC

This report was commissioned by Both ENDS, The Netherlands. The title says it all. The social and environmental consequences of coal mining in South Africa: A case study (2010) Victor Munnik et.al., EMG