chapter  5
14 Pages

International maritime transport under the UNFCCC process

ByIULIAN FLORIN VLADU AND BERND HACKMANN

Scientifi c results on climate change 1 provide evidence that the global climate system is changing and that these changes can be attributed to human activity (IPCC, 2007, WG I). 2 An increasing concentration of GHG in the atmosphere, 3 due to a growing use of fossil fuels and a continuous degradation of natural sinks, such as forests, warms the lower atmosphere and the Earth’s surface continuously (WMO, 2010). Observations of the Earth’s atmosphere and surface indicate long-term changes ranging from global to regional scale. There is high confi dence, based on scientifi c

evidence, that global warming is strongly affecting terrestrial biological systems, marine and freshwater biological systems, global hydrological systems, and aspects of extreme weather including droughts, heavy precipitation, heatwaves and the intensity of tropical cyclones (IPCC, 2007, WG II). Projections on global warming indicate that, even at current rates of GHG emissions, the Earth’s atmosphere and surface will continuously warm up and it seems likely that the adverse impacts on the global environmental systems and also on the global society and its economic system will increase (IPCC, 2007, WG I). 4

Climate change is a trans-boundary and inter-generational environmental problem which is complex, uncertain and dynamic due to its global scope, longterm perspective and the large number of interacting and inter-relating factors. Global warming already adversely affects, and will increasingly affect, the environmental, social and vital economic interests of all states (IPCC, 2007). For example, in order to limit the global mean temperature increases to 2-2.4°C above preindustrial levels, which is necessary to avoid signifi cant impacts on ecosystems and water resources and on food production, studies and scientifi c evidence suggest that global emissions need to peak by 2015 at the latest and decline by some 50-85 per cent compared to year 2000 emissions by 2050 (IPCC, 2007).