Page created by Hazel Gibbs
                        Climate Change
  HK                    and Financial Risk

Supported by:

Authors: Sam Hilton | Jean-Marc Champagne

                              Sam Hilton is a Senior Research Analyst
                              for Environmental Finance at WWF-Hong
                              Kong. He was previously an equity research
                              analyst at Keefe Bruyette & Woods and Fox-
                              Pitt, Kelton (acquired by Macquarie) in Hong
                              Kong, where he covered banks, brokers, and
                              exchanges across the Asia-Pacific region.

                              Jean-Marc Champagne is the Head of
                              Environmental Finance at WWF-Hong
                              Kong. He previously worked in equity capital
                              markets, equity research sales, and equity
                              derivative sales for Merrill Lynch in New York
                              City, BNP Paribas, and Jefferies in Hong Kong
                              over a span of 17 years.

Design: Choyo Kwok

Special thanks: Douglas Anderson, Gavin Edwards, Joanne Lee,
Ben Ridley, Tom Swain, Saul Symonds, Kitty Tam and Prashant
Vaze for providing valuable advice on this report.

Publisher: WWF-Hong Kong

© 2018 WWF-Hong Kong. All rights reserved.

WWF is one of the world’s most respected conservation
organizations, with a network active in more than 100 countries.
WWF’s mission is to build a future in which humans live in
harmony with nature, by:
● conserving the world’s biological diversity
● ensuring that the use of renewable natural
  resources is sustainable
● promoting the reduction of pollution and
  wasteful consumption.
WWF-Hong Kong has been working since 1981. In support of
our global mission, WWF-Hong Kong’s vision is to transform
Hong Kong into Asia’s most sustainable city where nature is
conserved, carbon pollution is reduced, and consumption is

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        © Snehal Jeevan Pailkar /
environmentally responsible.

Cover*: © 2017 CONOR ASHLEIGH
*A young boy stands on top of a partially submerged seawall in Bairiki, South Tarawa, Kiribati. Kiribati
is a small Pacific nation comprised of 32 low-lying coral atolls and one raised coral island and is one
of the places most vulnerable to climate change in the world.
                                                                                                            Marine Drive, as the name suggests, sits directly along the coastline of Mumbai, India. Nearly 20 million
                                                                                                           residents of Greater Mumbai will be at risk from rising sea levels by 2050 as rapid urbanization increases
                                                                                                                                                                      exposure and vulnerability to climate extremes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                     Climate Primer                                                  01
06                                                30                                          98                                                                      CONTENTS
                                                    INTRODUCTION                                      POLICY                                      FINANCE
                                                                                                      32   The Paris Agreement                    102   Public Finance

                                                                                                      32   – History: UN Framework and Kyoto      106   Public Finance Players
                                                                                                      34   What the Paris Agreement Seeks to Do   106   – Multilateral Development Banks
                                                                                                      36   Policy Types                           112   – Official Development Assistance
                                                                                                      36   – Pricing Carbon                       115   – China’s International
                                                                                                      38   – Regulatory Standards, Incentives,          Development Finance Activities
                                                                                                           and/or Prohibitions                    116   – Climate-Focused Multilateral Funds
                                                                                                      41   Policy Overview by Geography                 – UNFCCC-related & Climate Investment Funds
                                                    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY                                 42   – United States                        121   Private Finance
                                                    07   Climate Change in a Nutshell for Investors   42   – European Union-28                    124   TCFD: Policy and Voluntary Action Driving
                                                    07   The Policy Response to Climate Change        43   – China                                      Climate Integration
                                                    08   Approaches to Addressing Climate Change      43   – India                                138   Private Finance Players – Potential Climate
                                                    08   Climate Finance                              44   – Indonesia                                  Integration Actions
                                                                                                      44   – Japan                                139   – Asset Owners, Asset Managers, and Climate

                                                                                                      45   – South Korea                                Change Integration
                                                                                                      45   – Other Asia-Pacific                   141   – Insurers
                                                                                                      48   Implications for Investors             142   – Influencers

                                                         What is Happening and Why?
                                                         How is the Climate Changing?
                                                         What is Causing Climate Change?
                                                                                                      50                                          146
                                                    22   What Does the Near-Future Look Like?         TECHNOLOGY                                  CONCLUSION
                                                    25   What are the Impacts of Climate Change?
                                                    27   How Has Climate Change Manifested in Asia?
                                                                                                      52   Mitigation
                                                                                                                                                  Implications for Investors
                                                                                                      56   Energy
                                                    27   Why Act Now and What Can be Done?            56   Renewable Power

                                                    27   Why Should We Care?                          58   – Hydropower
                                                                                                      60   – Wind
                                                                                                      63   – Solar
                                                                                                      66   – Biomass/Geothermal/Marine
                                                                                                      70   Carbon Capture & Storage
                                                                                                      71   Nuclear Power
                                                                                                      71   Fossil Fuel Power                      ANNEXES AND REFERENCES
                                                                                                      74   Energy Storage
                                                                                                                                                  148 Annex A: Observed and Projected Impact
                                                                                                      77   – Pumped Hydro Storage
                                                                                                                                                      of Climate Change in Asia-Pacific
                                                                                                      78   – Batteries
                                                                                                                                                  162 Annex B: Resource List
                                                                                                      82   – Compressed Air Energy Storage
                                                                                                                                                  163 References
                                                                                                      82   – Flywheel Energy Storage
                                                                                                      83   – Hydrogen Energy Storage
                                                                                                      85   Smart Grid Technologies
                                                                                                      88   New Infrastructure
     © Markus Gann /

                                                                                                      88   – District Energy
                                                                                                      89   – Urban Rail
                                                                                                      91   – Electrical Charging
                                                                                                      95   Adaptation
                                                                                                      97   Implications for Investors
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Although it’s not predicted that the massive Antarctic ice sheets are likely to melt completely,
                                                                                                                                                                                                      even small-scale melting would raise global sea levels, and cause flooding around the world.

02                                      Climate Primer                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Climate Primer     03
“Every company, investor, and bank that screens             “Once climate change becomes a clear and present
                                                                     new and existing investments for climate risk is            danger to financial stability it may already be too
                                                                     simply being pragmatic.”                                    late to stabilise the atmosphere at two degrees.”

                                                                                                                JIM YONG KIM                                                                 MARK CARNEY
                                                                                                   President of the World Bank                             Governor of the Bank of England

                                                                     “Fighting climate change isn't just an obligation we        “Get your bosses to go greener and lean on their
                                                                     owe to future generations. It's also an opportunity         portfolio companies to be greener - then you’ll be
                                                                     to improve public health - and drive economic               able to look your grandchildren in the eye.”
                                                                     growth - in the here and now.”
                                                                                                        MICHAEL BLOOMBERG                                                       JEREMY GRANTHAM
                                                                                    Founder, CEO, and Owner of Bloomberg L.P.,      Co-Founder and Chief Investment Strategist of Grantham,
                                                                                                Former Mayor of New York City                                         Mayo, & Van Otterloo
     © Edmund Lowe Photography /

                                                                                                                                                               The Pakerisan River flows through the rain forest and tropical jungle on the island of Bali, Indonesia.
                                                                                                                                                                    Forests, especially tropical forests, play an important role in climate change. Trees store carbon
                                                                                                                                                                 through photosynthesis, so deforestation contributes to carbon emissions. Tropical forests contain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       about 25% of the world’s carbon.

04                                                  Climate Primer                                                                                                                                                                                     Climate Primer     05
INTRODUCTION                                                                                                                                                                               EXECUTIVE
                                          CLIMATE CHANGE PRESENTS AN EXISTENTIAL THREAT                                                                                      Climate Change in a                       over timescales stretching from years      known as Nationally Determined
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       to centuries, such as sea level rise or    Contributions (NDCs). Other key goals
                                                                                                                                                                             Nutshell for Investors
                                          TO MODERN CIVILISATION. HOWEVER, BECAUSE ITS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       changing weather patterns.                 include: increasing the emphasis on
                                                                                                                                                                             The science of climate change                                                        adaptation, defined as the steps taken
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       In addition to the physical risks          to lessen the impact of climate change

                                          EFFECTS MANIFEST OVER GENERATIONAL TIMESCALES,
                                                                                                                                                                             is complex, but the story is not          involved, investors also face risks from
                                                                                                                                                                             complicated:                                                                         on human and natural systems; and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       the policy response to climate change.     mobilizing USD100 billion per year in

                                          THE PRESENT GENERATION HAS LIMITED INCENTIVE TO                                                                                    1 The Earth’s atmosphere naturally        These include policy and regulatory        mitigation and adaptation support by
                                                                                                                                                                               traps a certain amount of               risk, reputational risk and liability or   2025, with a higher funding target to

                                          ADDRESS THE THREAT.
                                                                                                                                                                               solar radiation as heat via the         litigation risk.                           be established after that.
                                                                                                                                                                               greenhouse effect.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There are two primary policy paths
                                                                                                                                                                             2 Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the primary     The Policy Response to                     to encouraging emissions reductions:
                                                                                                                                                                               gas involved in the greenhouse
                                          In the financial sector, institutional investors are becoming more                                                                                                           Climate Change                             market-based approaches and
                                                                                                                                                                               effect, due in part to its extremely                                               regulatory approaches. Market-based
                                          aware of the risks presented by climate change, and more willing                                                                     long life in the atmosphere. Other      The global policy response to              approaches are generally broader, and
                                          to take action. However, this awareness differs by geography,                                                                        gases also play a role.                 climate change began in 1992 with          involve pricing carbon in some way,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       the signing of the United Nations          while regulatory approaches tend to
                                          with relatively lower engagement with the issues in the Asia-                                                                      3 By burning fossil fuels, humans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Framework Convention on Climate            be more sector-specific. Governments
                                                                                                                                                                               have significantly increased the
                                          Pacific region.                                                                                                                      amount of carbon dioxide in the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Change (UNFCCC). It called for             are using both approaches in their
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       “the stabilisation of greenhouse gas       efforts to address climate change.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       concentrations in the atmosphere at
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  For investors, policy or regulatory
                                          This document is intended to provide an introduction to the                                                                        4 The higher levels of carbon dioxide     a level that would prevent dangerous
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  action may result in direct or indirect
                                                                                                                                                                               have trapped more heat, raising         anthropogenic interference with the
                                          basics of climate change for the institutional investor community,                                                                   average global land and ocean           climate system.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  effects on their portfolio holdings.
                                          with a focus on Asia-Pacific and the energy sector. It provides an                                                                   surface temperatures.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The global policy response to climate
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       The Paris Agreement is an agreement        change in large part boils down to
                                          overview of the science of climate change, an articulation of the                                                                  The increased temperatures have           within the UNFCCC which came into          significant changes in the energy
                                          global policy response, a survey of technological approaches to                                                                    numerous consequences that are            force in November 2016. It deals with      sector, particularly with respect to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       the mitigation of GHG emissions,           electricity/heat generation. As existing
                                          the problem, and an outline of the various financial entities and                                                                  already detectable. These include
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       the adaptation to the impacts of           policy commitments are insufficient
                                                                                                                                                                             rising sea levels, changing weather
                                          resources involved in addressing the issue.                                                                                        patterns, reduced polar ice coverage
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       climate change, and the financing          to get the world on the path to the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       of these activities. The parties to        2oC target, let alone the 1.5oC target,
                                                                                                                                                                             and melting glaciers, higher frequency
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       the Agreement are in the process of        high-carbon energy assets are likely
                                                                                                                                                                             and/or intensity of extreme weather       negotiating the detailed rules required    primary targets for further regulatory
                                                                                                                                                                             events, loss of crucial ecosystems, and   to implement it. Although the United       activity. Relevant policies for the
                                                                                                                                                                             increased oceanic acidity.                States has formally notified the UN        energy and other sectors include
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       of its intent to withdraw from the         carbon taxes, emissions caps, and
                                                                                                                                                                             All of these climate-related physical
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Agreement, this will become effective      higher efficiency standards. Investors
                                                                                                                                                                             effects have risk implications for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       no earlier than November 4, 2020.          may also be exposed to litigation
                                                                                                                                                                             investors. Depending on their location,                                              risk for failing to account for these
                                                                                                                                                                             their portfolio investments may face      The primary goal of the Agreement
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  regulatory or policy risks, should their
                                                                                                                                                                             higher levels of acute physical risk –    is to limit “the increase in the global
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  holdings be affected materially.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       average temperature to well below
                                                                                                                                                                             these are mainly event-driven risks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       2°C above pre-industrial levels,”          Finally, investment managers and
                                                                                                                                                                             from extreme weather events such as
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       with a stretch target temperature          asset owners face an increasing
                                                                                                                                                                             typhoons, floods, or drought-related      increase limit of 1.5°C above those        exposure to climate-related
     © Kathleen Ricker

                                                                                                                                                                             fires and may also affect their own       levels. Each party to the Agreement        reputational risk. This may initially be
                                                                                                                                                                             operations. In addition, investors with   is required to develop, communicate,       closely linked with related litigation,
                                                                        The population of the Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) is increasing in Antarctica. However, in
                                                                        areas where climate change effects are more established, Adélie populations have fallen by more      longer-duration assets may be exposed     and pursue their own targets and           but as climate change impacts become
                                                                                  than 65% in the past 25 years. The biggest threat to them right now is climate change.
                                                                                                                                                                             to chronic physical risk. These unfold    plans for mitigating climate change,       more evident, and more attached

06                       Climate Primer                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Climate Primer   07
to human stories of lost livelihoods        These include renewables, thermal         Key areas for investment to support        the annual average of the previous two      Until that happens, in most cases,         The various influencers in the
     or negative health outcomes, the            power (from fossil fuels or otherwise)    this transition include energy             years (CPI 2017).                           indirect investment via equity or debt     financial ecosystem play important
     reputational risk to the parties involved   with or without carbon capture and        storage, smart grids, demand-                                                          securities is the primary channel          supporting roles with respect to the
                                                                                                                                      Public finance is a crucial player
     in generating these impacts increases.      storage (CCS), and nuclear power.         side management, monitoring and                                                        through which most institutional           investment processes of asset owners
                                                                                                                                      in addressing climate change, in
                                                                                           sensors. Such integration will also                                                    investors will be able to apply their      and managers. This support ultimately
                                                 Renewable power is one of only two                                                   particular by getting the private
                                                                                           require adjustments to or a redesign                                                                                              comes down to the provision of
     Approaches to Addressing                    energy sources that does not release      of the regulatory regime under which
                                                                                                                                      sector to focus a portion of its far-
                                                                                                                                                                                  capital to address climate change.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             information and recommendations
     Climate Change                              greenhouse gases as part of the           electricity is delivered. Investment in
                                                                                                                                      larger resource base on the problem.        Climate issues have become more
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             with respect to specific issues
                                                 electricity generation process and                                                   In combination with the appropriate         mainstream in the world of private
                                                                                           appropriate infrastructure and energy                                                                                             institutional investors face or
     Responding to climate change                unlike nuclear, does not have a long-                                                policies and regulatory environment,        finance, and generally fall into the ESG
                                                                                           efficiency also has the potential to                                                                                              decisions they need to make. Because
     ultimately takes the form of adaptation     term waste disposal issue. In addition,                                              public finance can help stimulate           category (environmental, social, and
                                                                                           mitigate energy-related emissions.                                                                                                of this influence, it is critical that asset
     and mitigation. Adaptation is the           unlike CCS, several renewable power                                                  and direct flows of private capital by      governance) in industry parlance. A
                                                                                           In particular, district energy, light                                                                                             owners and managers engage with
     process of dealing with climate change      technologies are already demonstrating                                               demonstrating feasibility, creating         2017 survey by HSBC found that 68%
                                                                                           rail, and electrical charging networks                                                                                            these parties on climate change issues.
     impacts that are already happening          economic viability and do not require                                                markets, fostering innovation, and          of global investors plan to increase
                                                                                           have significant potential to facilitate
     or are expected to occur. Mitigation        the safe storage of gigatonnes of CO2                                                reducing risk. In addition, public          their investment into climate-related
                                                                                           emissions reductions, both directly
     efforts seek to reduce or stabilise the     underground every year. As such, the                                                 finance also provides critical support      or low carbon themes (Knight 2017).
                                                                                           and indirectly.
     concentrations of greenhouse gases          rapid increase in renewable energy                                                   for delivering those public goods –         European and US investors were the
     in the atmosphere. Mitigating and           is one of the primary contributors to                                                such as many adaptation projects –          leaders in this regard, with investors
     adapting to climate change will require     reducing emissions from electricity
                                                                                           Adaptation                                 that the private sector is unwilling or     in Asia, and especially the Middle
     investments in human capabilities,          generation. Renewable resources           In the context of climate change,          unable to provide. (Amerasinghe, et         East, lagging.
     communities, systems, and, most             include hydropower, wind energy, solar    adaptation is defined as action taken      al. 2017)
                                                                                                                                                                                  For asset owners and asset managers,
     importantly, technology. This presents      energy, geothermal heat, ocean energy     or investments made to anticipate          Public climate finance players              the quality and availability of relevant
     opportunities for investors.                (tides, waves, currents and marine        and prevent or reduce the negative         include multilateral development            information is one of the key barriers
     Across the landscape of mitigation and      thermal energy) and biomass.              effects of climate change on human         banks, official development                 to incorporating climate issues in
     adaptation investment, the mitigation       Renewables comprised an estimated         and natural systems. These effects         assistance agencies, other official         their investment processes. In part
     space offers a wider range of                                                         generally fall under the category of       sources of funding, and a variety of        to address this deficiency, on June
                                                 24% of electricity generation in 2016.
     investment opportunities and vehicles                                                 physical risk discussed in the Science     multilateral and bilateral climate          29, 2017, the Financial Stability
                                                 In Asia-Pacific, China is the largest
     that are compatible with the current                                                  chapter and affect areas such as           investment funds. All of these players      Board’s Task Force on Climate-
                                                 player by far, with approximately
     investment processes of asset owners                                                  agriculture, forestry and fisheries,       are involved in some combination            related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)
                                                 two-thirds of renewable electricity
     and managers. This is especially                                                      water supply, human health, coastal        of mitigation, adaptation, or the           issued its final report, providing
                                                 generation capacity. While the bulk
     the case for those investors whose                                                    zones, and infrastructure.                 building of capacity at the national        recommendations on climate-
                                                 of installed renewable electricity
     mandates focus on secondary market          generation capacity is hydropower,        This spectrum of affected sectors          or subnational level to improve a           related financial disclosures that are
     instruments such as listed equities.        capacity growth is being driven by        overlaps significantly with                given country’s ability to develop and      applicable to organisations across
     Asset owners and managers who are           solar photovoltaic and wind energy.       development assistance. As a               implement climate projects.                 sectors and jurisdictions. If adopted
     able to provide direct investment or                                                  result, much of the investment into                                                    widely, the recommendations will
                                                 Investment flows into renewable                                                      The private finance ecosystem can
     debt finance in particular are less                                                   adaptation is driven by the public                                                     normalise and improve the standards
                                                 energy have been strong for over a                                                   play both direct and indirect roles with
     limited in their investment options,                                                  sector, including governments,                                                         of corporate climate risk disclosures,
                                                 decade, with total new investment                                                    respect to addressing climate change.
     as across both the mitigation and                                                     official development assistance,                                                       allowing investors to better assess
                                                 in 2016 of USD242bn representing                                                     The private sector is the predominant
     adaptation spaces, market rate debt                                                   and multilateral institutions. This                                                    their own climate-related portfolio
                                                 a compound annual growth rate of                                                     source of direct investment in
     via project or corporate finance is the                                               implies that most potential adaptation                                                 risk and provide this information to
                                                 15% since 2004. Exit prospects for                                                   mitigation, led by project developers,
     primary form of project funding.                                                      investments will have some form of                                                     their clients and beneficiaries. The
                                                 investors are also well-established,                                                 with non-bank private financial
                                                                                           public finance linkage, whether in the                                                 disclosing organisations themselves
                                                 with aggregate M&A transactions                                                      intermediaries currently playing a
     Mitigation                                  reaching USD110bn in 2016, up 10
                                                                                           form of a public-private partnership       smaller role.
                                                                                                                                                                                  will also benefit from the process,
                                                                                           or via instruments such as green                                                       gaining a better understanding of the
     The energy sector is the primary focus      times from 2004. Most exits (by dollar    bonds or project bonds. It also implies    This smaller direct role is a function of   real financial implications of climate-
     of mitigation efforts, as it comprises      value) are via project acquisition /      that pure-play exposure to adaptation      the structure of the financial system,      related risks and their potential
     almost 70% of global emissions of           refinancing or through corporate          investments via listed equities is         which tends to focus on more mature         impacts on business models, strategy
     greenhouse gases (CAIT 2015). Other         M&A, although public markets and          uncommon; rather, such exposure is         sectors with relatively high minimum        and cash flows.
     key areas include energy efficiency         private equity buyouts also play a        embedded in the companies that may         funding needs. This does not match up
                                                 role. (Frankfurt School-UNEP Centre/                                                                                             Asset owners as well as asset managers
     and land use / afforestation. In                                                      be involved.                               well with the comparative newness of
                                                 BNEF 2017)                                                                                                                       need to integrate the assessment
     Asia-Pacific, the energy sector’s                                                                                                the various technologies and business
                                                                                                                                                                                  of climate change issues into their
     emissions share of 70% is similar to                                                                                             models involved in delivering climate
                                                 The prominent role expected of                                                                                                   operations and investment processes.
     the global level, and is driven largely
                                                 renewable power generation as
                                                                                           Climate Finance                            investment, nor with the limited scale
                                                                                                                                                                                  Ideally, this would be driven from
     by the largest emitters, China and                                                                                               of many projects.
                                                 part of the transition to low-carbon      Climate finance flows originate                                                        the top – with the board level
     India. Within the energy sector,
                                                 generation requires additional            ultimately from public or private          This mismatch is precisely why public       establishing the asset owner’s climate-
     the electricity / heat generation
                                                 investments in supporting                 sources. On the public side are            financial institutions are involved:        related beliefs, policies and targets,
     sub-sectors comprise the largest
                                                 technologies. This is due to the          governments and various public             to accelerate the development of the        and communicating them down the
     component, at almost 30% of global
                                                 variability and intermittency of          financial intermediaries, while the        climate mitigation and adaptation           organisation. For asset managers,
     emissions. This prominence makes
                                                 certain renewables (known as variable     private side includes corporates,          investment space such that perceived        the need for such integration is
     them the natural primary target for
                                                 renewable energy, or VRE) – in many       households, project developers, and        risk of these projects is lowered to        partially about client service – asset
     emissions reduction efforts.
                                                 cases, the grid and/or the regulatory     private financial intermediaries. In       the point that those institutional          owners with climate processes will
     The technologies involved in mitigating     regime have to adapt to integrate         2015-16, climate finance flows from        investors – asset owners as well as         likely have a preference for engaging
     emissions from electricity generation       their power in a cost-effective and       public and private sources averaged        asset managers – capable of providing       asset managers with complementary
     range from speculative to fully mature.     sustainable manner.                       USD410bn per year, 12% more than           direct finance are able to get involved.    capabilities.

08   Climate Primer                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Climate Primer   09

                                           Even if CO2 emissions cease
                                           immediately, the world
                                           will continue warming for
                                           several decades, due to the
                                           delay in climatic effects.

                                                                                                                                                                        © Vlad61 /
                                                         The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s richest ocean environments, home to more than 1,500 species
                                                           of fish, six of the world’s seven species of threatened marine turtles, and more than 30 species of marine
 © Global Warming Images / WWF                          mammals. Rising temperatures from climate change are driving mass coral bleaching and also turning green
                                                                                                        turtle (Chelonia mydas) populations almost completely female.

10   Climate Primer                                                                                                                       Climate Primer        11



                                                                                                                                                                        1880    1890    1900     1910     1920        1930      1940         1950    1960   1970   1980   1990    2000   2010

                                                                                                                                                                 Figure 3: Global Land Surface Temperature Relative
                                                                                                                                                                 to 20th Century Average (oC)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        On land, in each of the past three
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        decades, global surface temperatures
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        grew progressively warmer, and those

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        30 years were hotter than any other
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        similar period over the past 800
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        years (IPCC 2014). Indeed, 16 of the

     AND WHY?                                                                                           How is the Climate Changing?                             0.5
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        17 hottest years on record came after
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2001 (NASA 2017).
     Climate is the typical weather that occurs in a given location at a                                The evidence is clear that the world is warming.
     given time of year. Climate change is an alteration in these usual                                 Time-series metrics tracking indicators such as
     weather patterns, such as a shift in when temperatures begin to                                    temperature, sea ice, precipitation, and sea level all
     rise after winter or when the rainy season starts. Because of the                                  show a warming trend that is accelerating, leading
     natural variability in the weather, climate change is measured                                     to climate change. It is also clear that human                  1880    1890    1900     1910     1920        1930      1940         1950    1960   1970   1980   1990    2000   2010
     in time scales of multiple decades or longer. At the global level,                                 influence, particularly the ever-increasing emission
     climate change can manifest in multiple ways, such as a change                                     of greenhouse gases (GHGs), is the primary driver
     in the Earth’s temperature, or changes in the location, timing, or                                 of this process.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Source: NOAA (2017a)

     intensity of rainfall.

                                                                                                                                                                 Figure 4: Trends in Annual Precipitation Over Land, 1901-2010

     Figure 1: Global Land & Ocean Surface Temperature Relative                                                        Temperature
     to 20th Century Mean (oC)
                                                                                                                       The Earth’s average surface
                                                                                                                                                                 OBSERVED CHANGE IN ANNUAL PRECIPITATION OVER LAND
     1.2                                                                                                               temperature (land and ocean) has
                                                                                                                       increased approximately 1.1oC since                1901– 2010
                                                                                                                       the late 1800s. This is about 10 times
     0.8                                                                                                               faster than post-ice age warming
     0.6                                                                                                               episodes over the past million years,
                                                                                                                       when the planet’s temperature
     1.0                                                                                                               increased 4-7oC over approximately
     0.8                                                                                                               5,000 years (NASA 2017).                                                                                                                                                         Precipitation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Observed precipitation over land has
      0.4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               increased by approximately 1-3mm
      0.2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               per decade (on a globally averaged
     -0.6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               basis) since 1901, with higher
            1880   1890   1900   1910   1920   1930   1940   1950   1960   1970   1980   1990    2000     2010                                                                                                                                                                                          increases seen since 1951. Although
     -0.2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               confidence in this observation at the
     -0.4                                                                                       Source: NOAA (2017a)                                                                                                                                                                                    global level is not strong due to data
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        availability issues, trends are clearer
     -0.6                                                                                                                                                                 1951– 2010                                                                                                                    at some regional and latitudinal levels.
            1880   1890   1900   1910   1920   1930   1940   1950   1960   1970   1980   1990    2000     2010
     1.0                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In particular, precipitation in the mid-
     Figure 2: Global Ocean Surface Temperature Relative                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere
      0.8 20th Century Mean ( C)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        has increased over the past century,
     0.6                                                                                                               Ocean warming is the predominant                                                                                                                                                 while tropical precipitation has
     1.0                                                                                                               way in which increased energy in the                                                                                                                                             increased over the past decade.
                                                                                                                       climate system is absorbed. From                                                                                                                                                 (IPCC 2013)
     0.2                                                                                                               1971-2010, over 90% of the increased
     0.0                                                                                                               energy was stored this way, with only
                                                                                                                       about 1% in the atmosphere. This
     -0.2                                                                                                              warming is strongest near the ocean
     -0.4                                                                                                              surface, with the upper 75m increasing
                                                                                                                       in temperature by 0.11oC per decade
     -0.6                                                                                                              since 1971. (IPCC 2014)
            1880   1890   1900   1910   1920   1930   1940   1950   1960   1970   1980   1990    2000     2010

                                                                                                                                                                         -100     -50      -25      -10          -5          -2.5        0          2.5     5      10      25       50     100

            1880   1890   1900   1910   1920   1930   1940   1950   1960   1970   1980   1990    2000     2010                                                                                                        (mm yr per decade)

                                                                                                Source: NOAA (2017a)                                                                                                                                                      Source: IPCC (2013)
12   Climate Primer                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Climate Primer   13
Figure 5: Global Mean Sea Level                                                                                                                                                                             Sea Level Rise
                                                                                                                                         Change Since 1880
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     From 1901-2010, the global mean
                                                                                                                                         250                                                                                                                                                                                                         sea level rose 1.7mm per year (0.19m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Global Mean Sea Level Change                                  total), and the rate of increase over the
                                                                                                                                         200                                                                                                                                                                                                         past 150 years is higher than the mean

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 What is Causing Climate Change?
                                                                   250                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               rate seen over the past 2000 years.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Global Mean Sea Level Change                                            This rate is continuing to increase:

                                                                   200                                                                   100                                                                                                                                                                                                         from 1993-2010, the rate of increase
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     was 3.2mm/year. (IPCC 2014)
                                                                   150                                                                    50
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Sea level rise is driven by the melting     The Greenhouse Effect                                                             The greenhouse effect as applied to the climate

                                                                   100                                                                     0                                                                                                                                                                                                         of land-based ice and by thermal                                                                                              works in a similar way. When solar radiation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     expansion (water expands as it              A physical greenhouse is an enclosed space where the walls and                    reaches the Earth, some of the energy is reflected
                                                                    50                                                                    -50                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    roof are made of glass. It warms the enclosed space by allowing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     warms). Between the 1970s and the                                                                                             by the Earth and atmosphere, and some is absorbed
                                                                     0                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               early 2000s, the contributions of           sunlight to enter and by trapping the heat generated. The                         by the ground, clouds, and greenhouse gases. This
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     these two factors to sea level rise         warmer temperature in the greenhouse causes the ground and                        absorbed energy is re-emitted in all directions as
                                                                                                                                                1880             1900             1920                  1940                                                        1960                      1980              2000                2010
                                                                    -50                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              was approximately equal. However,           plants inside to release more water vapor, which in turn absorbs                  infrared radiation, warming the Earth’s surface and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     the rate of melting of land-based ice       additional heat, warming the greenhouse further.                                  lower atmosphere. (IPCC 2013)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Note: Tidal gauge data from 1880-2013.
                                                                   -100                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              has continued to increase and over
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Source: Church & White (2011) via CSIRO
                                                                                                                            1880                       1900             1920                1940                                    1960                                           1980                2000              2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     the past decade the contribution of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     melting to sea level rise is now almost     Figure 7: The Greenhouse Effect
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     double that of thermal expansion.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     (NOAA 2017b)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Some of the infrared radiation passes
                                                                                                                                                6: Ocean Dissolved Carbon Dioxide Levels
                                                                                                                                                                                          and Acidity,                                                                                                                                               Ocean Acidification                                                                                                                               through the atmosphere but most is
                                                                                                                                         Selected Locations, 1983-2015 Bermuda                                                                                                                                                             Bermuda
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       absorbed and re-emitted in all directions
                                                                                                                                          450                                                                                                                                 8.15
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     The ocean is one of the primary sinks                                        SOLAR RADIATION POWERS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    THE CLIMATE SYSTEM.                                                by greenhouse gas molecules and clouds.
                                                                    500                                                                   400                                                                                                8.20                             8.10                                                                   for the additional carbon dioxide
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       The effect of this is to warm the Earth’s
                                                                                                                                                                                      Bermuda                                                                                                                                   Bermuda              released into the atmosphere. As
                                                                    450                                                                   350                                                                                                8.15                             8.05                                                                                                                                                                                                                     surface and the lower atmosphere.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     increased CO2 has dissolved into the
                                                                    400                                                                   300                                                                                                8.10                             8.00                                                                   ocean, it has become more acidic –
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     since the beginning of the industrial
                                                                    350                                                                   250                                                                                                8.05                             7.95                                                                   era, the pH of ocean surface water has          Some solar radiation is
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 reflected by the Earth and the
                                                                      DISSOLVED CARBON DIOXIDE (PARTIAL PRESSURE IN MICRO-ATMOSPHERES)

                                                                                                                                                1980          1990       2000            2010             2020                                                                       1980            1990         2000            2010           2020dropped by 0.1 which translates into
                                                                    300                                                                                                                                                                      8.00
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     a 26% increase in acidity, as pH is                  atmosphere.
                                                                    250                                                                   500                                                                                                7.95                             8.20                                                                   measured on a logarithmic scale.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Canary Islands                                                                                                                          Canary Islands

                                                                                                                        1980                       1990          2000          2010           2020                                                                  1980                  1990          2000           2010           2020
                                                                                                                                          450                                                                                                                           8.15
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               PH (LOWER PH = MORE ACIDIC)

                                                                    500                                                                   400                                                                                                8.20                             8.10
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Extreme Climate Events
                                                                                                                                                                                 Canary Islands                                                                                                                          Canary Islands
                                                                    450                                                                   350                                                                                                8.15                             8.05                                                                  Observed extreme climate events have
                                                                                                                                                                                                               PH (LOWER PH = MORE ACIDIC)

                                                                                                                                          300                                                                                                                                 8.00
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    increased since 1950. For temperature
                                                                    400                                                                                                                                                                      8.10
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    events, these generally comprise less
                                                                    350                                                                   250                                                                                                8.05                             7.95                                                                  frequent cold temperature episodes,
                                                                                                                                                1980          1990       2000            2010             2020                                                                       1980            1990         2000            2010          2020and more frequent hot temperature
                                                                    300                                                                                                                                                                      8.00
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    episodes. In addition, the frequency
                                                                    250                                                                   500                                                                                                7.95                             8.20                                                                  of heat waves has increased across                                                                                                  Infrared radiation is emitted
                                                                                                                        1980                       1990          2000          2010           2020
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1980                  1990          2000           2010           2020
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Hawaii much of Europe, Asia, and Australia.                                                                                                    from the Earth’s surface.
                                                                                                                                          450                                                                                                                           8.15                                                                        In terms of precipitation, heavy
                                                                                                                                          400                                                                                                8.20                             8.10
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    precipitation events have increased
                                                                                                                                                                                         Hawaii                                                                                                                                  Hawaii             in frequency and intensity in North
                                                                    450                                                                   350                                                                                                8.15                             8.05                                                                  America and Europe, as has North
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Atlantic tropical cyclone activity (since
                                                                    400                                                                   300                                                                                                8.10                             8.00
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1970). (IPCC 2014)                                                                                        About half the solar radiation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           is absorbed by the Earth’s surface
                                                                    350                                                                   250                                                                                                8.05
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     and warms it.
                                                                                                                                                1980          1990       2000            2010             2020                                                                       1980            1990         2000            2010           2020
                                                                    300                                                                                                                                                                      8.00
                                                                                                                                                                         YEAR                                                                                                                                     YEAR
                                                                    250                                                                                                                                                                      7.95
                                                                                                                        1980                       1990          2000          2010           2020                                                                  1980                  1990          2000           2010           2020

                                                                                                                                                                 YEAR                                                                                                                                   YEAR

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Source: U.S. EPA (2016)

                                                                    14                                                                   Climate Primer                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Source: IPCC (2007)
Historically, this has been a natural phenomenon – without                                                                                                                                                        Greenhouse Gases
     the warming role played by these gases, the Earth would be a
     much colder planet, and it is possible that life would not have                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The largest contributor to warming is carbon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Climate change happens when there is a shift in the energy
     evolved without the warmer temperatures resulting from the heat                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          dioxide, followed by methane (CH4), Nitrous oxide
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       balance of the climate system. Human activity since the
     trapped by the gases. Conversely, the example of Venus shows                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             (N20), and the various synthetic F-gases (fluorinated
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       industrial revolution has resulted in a dramatic increase in the
     the temperature effect of a high concentration of atmospheric                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            gases such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and their
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. These
     greenhouse gases (see Figure 8).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         relations). Aerosols contribute a modest net cooling
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       gases increase the amount of energy, and thus heat, contained in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       the climate system. The contribution to warming by the various                                                                                         effect, although with high uncertainty. Water vapour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       gases is quantified through a process known as radiative forcing.                                                                                      is the most abundant greenhouse gas. However, due
     Figure 8: Planetary comparison of atmospheric CO2 and                                                                                                                                                             This is measured in watts per square meter (W/m2) and is the                                                                                           to its short duration in the atmosphere (days, rather
     average temperature                                                                                                                                                                                               difference between sunlight absorbed by the Earth and the                                                                                              than years), it acts via feedback, rather than as a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       energy radiated back into space. A positive figure for radiative                                                                                       forcing agent, amplifying the temperature effects of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       forcing will lead to net surface warming (increased energy in the                                                                                      the other greenhouse gases – NASA suggests that

                                        Venus                                                                                                                                                                          climate system), while a negative figure leads to net cooling of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       the Earth’s surface.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              water vapour may double the warming effect of CO2
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              alone (NASA 2008).
                                        Thick atmosphere
                                        Mainly (96.5%) comprised of CO2
                                        Average temperature +420oC                       Mars
                                                                                         Thin atmosphere
                                                                                         Almost all CO2 in ground 95.3%                                                                                                Figure 9: Global Atmospheric Concentrations of                                                                                                                              Carbon Dioxide
                                                                                         Average temperature -50oC                                                                                                     Carbon Dioxide Over Time
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   CO2 is a warming gas and currently
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         800,000 BCE to 2015 CE                                                               1950 to 2015 CE                                      comprises approximately 410 parts
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       450                                                                                                                                                                         per million (ppm), or 0.041%, of the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       400                                                                                                                                                                         Earth’s atmosphere by volume. In

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   addition to the natural processes of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       350                                                                                                                                                                         the carbon cycle, where it circulates

                                                                                                                                                                               CARBON DIOXIDE CONCENTRATION (PPM)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   among the atmosphere, the oceans,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     800,000 BCE to 2015 CE                                                                 1950 to 2015 CE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     450                                                                                                                                                                           soil, plants and animals, CO2 is
                      Mercury                                                                                                                                                                                          250
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   released into the atmosphere through
                      Thin atmosphere                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              human activities such as burning fossil
                      Below 1% CO2                                                                                                                                                                                   350
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   fuels, cement production and flaring,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   as well as through changes in land

                                                                                                                                                      CARBON DIOXIDE CONCENTRATION (PPM)
                      Average temperature +179oC
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     300                                                                                                                                                                           use such as deforestation, particularly
                                                               Earth                                                                                                                                                   100
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   through burning. Deforestation has
                                                               Thick atmosphere                                                                                                                                          50                                                                                                                                                                        also reduced the capacity of natural
                                                               CO2 comprises 0.041%                                                                                                                                  200                                                                                                                                                                           carbon sinks to remove carbon dioxide
                                                               Average temperature 15oC                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            from the atmosphere.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     150 -800,000            -600,000          -400,000          -200,000             0      1950      1960         1970       1980          1990      2000      2010       2020
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Year (negative values = BCE)                                                                      Year                                         For at least 800,000 years prior to the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Industrial Revolution, atmospheric
                                                                          Source: WWF presentation: “Climate Finance - Investing for Life on Earth”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      50                                                                                                                                            Source: U.S. EPA (2016)        concentrations of CO2 fluctuated
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Land-Use Change          Fossil Fuel Combustion
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   between about 200-250 ppm, with a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       0 45                                                                                                                    2,500                                               few spikes up to a maximum of 300
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -800,000  Annual-400,000
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               -600,000          and Cumulative -200,000 Global
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           0    Anthropogenic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1950             CO21990
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   1960 1970 1980      Emissions,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2000 2010                                                                       2020
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           40                                                                                                                                                                      ppm. Since the Industrial Revolution,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       GtCO2, 1870-2016

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Year (negative values = BCE)                                Year
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               35                                                                                                              2,000                                               the CO2 level has passed 400 ppm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   and is rising at an accelerating rate:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Land-Use Change          Fossil Fuel Combustion                                                                  while the average rate of increase in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       45 25                                                                                                                2,500                                                  the 1980s and 1990s was 1.5 ppm per

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   year, it was 2.2 ppm per year during
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       40 20                                                                                                                   1,000                                               the 10 years to 2017. In 2016, the CO2
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       35 15                                                                                                                2,000

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   concentration increased by 2.9 ppm,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       30 10                                                                                                                    500                                                second only to the increase in 2015

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1,500                                                  (NOAA 2017c).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       25 5

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       20 0                                                                                                                          0

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1870     1890         1910        1930           1950           1970        1990          2010          1,000             1870 - 1970     1870 - 2016

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       10                                                                                                                     500
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        800,000 BCE to 2015 CE                                                               1950 to 2015 CE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           0                                                                                                                     0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               1870        1890         1910        1930           1950       1970           1990          2010                          1870 - 1970        1870 - 2016

                                                                                                                                                               METHANE CONCENTRATION (PPB)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Source: Quéré, et al. (2017)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    800,000 BCE to 2015 CE                                                                 1950 to 2015 CE

16   Climate Primer                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Climate Primer   17
                                                                                                                                                           N (PPB)


                                         10                                                                                                       500
                                       Figure  11: Global Atmospheric Concentrations of                                                                0
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Methane (CH4)                                                             Figure 13: Global Atmospheric Concentrations of                                                                                                                                        Fluorocarbons (F-gases)
                                        0 1870
                                       Methane     1890 Time
                                                  Over    1910 1930   1950 1970   1990                                              2010                       1870 - 1970   1870 - 2016                                                                                    F-Gases Over Time
                                           -800,000    -600,000         -400,000           -200,000             0   1950     1960      1970     1980          1990    2000     2010        2020
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Methane currently comprises                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The various F-gases (and other
                                                              Year (negative values = BCE)                                                            Year
                                                                800,000 BCE to 2015 CE                                                         1950 to 2015 CE                                    approximately 1,840 parts per                                                                            Ozone-depleting substances                                                                           Other halogenated gases                          halocarbons) do not exist in nature;
                                       2,000                                                                                                                                                      billion (ppb), or 0.00018%, of the                                                                                                                                                                                                                             their concentration in the atmosphere
                                                                                              Land-Use Change       Fossil Fuel Combustion                                                        Earth’s atmosphere by volume. With                                                          CFC-12                                                                                                                                                             all stems from human activity. These
                                           45                                                                                                   2,500                                             an atmospheric lifetime of about a                                                                                                            HCFC-22                                                                                                          include refrigeration, industrial
                                       1,50040                                                                                                                                                    decade, it is much shorter-lived in                                                                                                                                                                                                                            processes such as aluminium
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            100                                                                                                       PFC-14
                                                                                                                                                                                                  the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            production and semiconductor

                                           35                                                                                                   2,000                                                                                                                                      Methyl chloroform
                                                                                                                                                                                                  However, methane traps heat more                                                                                                                        HCFC-141b                                                          HFC-134a                            manufacturing, and the transmission

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     CONCENTRATION (PPT)
                                           30                                                                                                                                                     effectively; on a 100-year time scale,                                                                                                                                                                                                                         and distribution of electricity. While
                                       1,000                                                                                                    1,500                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  HFC-125
                                                                                                                                                                                                  it contributes 28 times the radiative                                      10                                                                                                                                                                                  their atmospheric concentrations
                                                                                                                                                                                                  forcing effect as an equivalent                                                                                                                                                                            Sulfur
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 are extremely low, measured in parts
                                                                                                                                                1,000                                             amount CO2. In addition to natural                                                                                                              Halon-1211
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          PFC-116                per trillion, their lifespan in the
                                        50015                                                                                                                                                     sources such as wetlands, the gas is                                                                                                                                                                                                                           atmosphere can be extremely long,
                                           10                                                                                                                                                     released into the atmosphere through                                                                                                                                                                         PFC-116                                           ranging from 300 years to 50,000
                                                                                                                                                                                                  human activities such as energy use,                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nitrogen               years. Depending on the gas, they
                                              5                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          trifluoride
                                                                                                                                                                                                  agriculture and livestock, and biological                                                                                                                                                                                                                      contribute between 10,000-20,000
                                           00                                                                                                          0                                          waste decomposition. Human activities                                      0.1                                                                                                                                                                                 times the radiative forcing effect as an
                                              1870      -600,000 1910-400,0001930 -200,000
                                                       1890                                  1950           0
                                                                                                          1970      19501990 1960 2010
                                                                                                                                     1970       1980       1990      2000 1870
                                                                                                                                                             1870 - 1970   2010- 20162020
                                                                                                                                                                                                  account for approximately 70% of                                                 1975           1985                    1995                         2005              2015 1975              1985               1995             2005             2015        equivalent amount CO2 on a 100-year
                                                                Year (negative values = BCE)                                                           Year
                                                                                                                                                                                                  methane emissions.                                                                                                                                                       Year                                                                                  time scale, and many are only removed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 from the environment through
                                                                  800,000 BCE to 2015 CE                                                       1950 to 2015 CE Source: U.S. EPA (2016)            During pre-industrial times,                                                                                                                                                                                                Source: U.S. EPA (2016)
                                       2,000                      800,000 BCE to 2015 CE                                                        1950 to 2015 CE                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  interaction with sunlight in the upper
                                                                                                                                                                                                  atmospheric concentrations of CH4
                                         350                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ozone-depleting substances                                                             reaches
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Other halogenated gasesof the atmosphere.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  fluctuated between about 400-
                                                                                                                                                                                                  600 ppb, with a few spikes up to a                                                                                                    1,000                                       NOx
                                         300                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        CARBON CFC-12NMVOCs
                                       1,500                                                                                                                                                      maximum of 700-800 ppm. Since the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Aerosols                           NITROUS                             MONOXIDE       +0.10
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                (DIRECT)       AEROSOLS
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Industrial Revolution, the CH4 level                                                                  HALO-   OXIDE                                +0.23                                     HCFC-22

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -0.27        (CLOUDS)

                                        250                                                                                                                                                                                                   3.00                                                     CARBONS  +0.17
                                                                                                                                                                                                  has passed 1,800 ppb and is rising                                         Aerosols    are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    METHANE            particles  (liquid
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           or solid)100                                                           fuels. Aerosols can   -0.55 have either        a     TOTAL
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        +0.18                                                                                                   LAND USEPFC-14

                                                                                                                                                                                                  at an accelerating rate: following                                         small enough    to remain suspended                                                                                                                      HUMAN
                                         200                                                                                                                                                                                                  2.50                                  +0.97                   Methyl chloroform                                                     warming or cooling effect      ALBEDOon the         FORCING                        HFC-134a
                                       1,000                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     HCFC-141b                   THE SUN*
                                                                                                                                                                                                  a brief plateau in the early 2000s,                                        in the air. Natural examples include                                                                 climate, depending          on -0.15
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  whether the +2.29

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  CONCENTRATION (PPT)
                                        150                                                                                                                                                       methane concentrations increased            2.00                           volcanic aerosols, desert dust (wind-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           CARBON                                                                                                 suspended particles reflect or absorb                                                         HFC-125

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           DIOXIDE                    10
                                                                                                                                                                                                  by an average of 5.7 ppb per year                                          blown), and fog, while human-                                                                        incoming sunlight. On aggregate,      HFC-23

                                                                                                                                                                                                  from 2007-2013 and since then has           1.50                         +1.68
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             generated aerosols include smoke                                                                                                                          Sulfur
                                        100                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       aerosols exert a net cooling effect, hexafluoride
                                                                                                                                                                                                  accelerated to an average of 10.1 ppb                                      from burning tropical forests, as well                                                                       Halon-1211
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  countering     an estimated 30% of the                                                            PFC-116
                                                                                                                                                                                                  per year through 2016 (NOAA 2017c).         1.00                           as black soot and sulphate1 aerosols
                                         50                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       warming effect from the primary
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             resulting from the burning of fossil                                                                 greenhouse gases since 1750.                          PFC-116
                                           0                                                                                                                                                                                                  0.50                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nitrogen
                                         0-800,000                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 trifluoride
                                                   12: Global
                                                       -600,000 Atmospheric
                                                                                                        1950 of
                                                                                                        1950 1960
                                                                                                                                                1980 1990
                                                                                                                                                 1980 1990
                                                                                                                                                                                        2020      Nitrous Oxide (N2O)
                                       Nitrous Oxide Over               Time
                                                                Year (negative values = BCE)                                                         Year                                                                                     0.00                                                                                        0.1
                                                              Year (negative values = BCE)                                                           Year                                                                                                                                                                                       1975              1985             1995             2005                 2015 1975               1985        1995          2005                  2015
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nitrous oxide currently comprises
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2                                                        Year
                                                                  800,000 BCE to 2015 CE                                                        1950 to 2015 CE                                   approximately 327 ppb, or 0.00003%,                                       Figure 14: Radiative Forcing (W/m ) In 2011 Relative
                                        350                                                                                                                                                       of the Earth’s atmosphere by volume.                                      To 1750 By Emitted Compounds
                                                                                                                                                                                                  It persists in the atmosphere for over                                     60
                                        300                                                                                                                                                       a century and contributes over 250
                                                                                                                                                                                                  times the radiative forcing effect as                                      50                                                                                                                                                    NOx F-Gas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3.50                                                                                    CARBON                                      AEROSOLS

                                        250                                                                                                                                                       an equivalent amount CO2 on a 100-                                                                                                                                                                              NMVOCs          GASESN2O ex-LUCF
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     NITROUS     MONOXIDE                                      (DIRECT)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   +0.10          -0.15 CH4 ex-LUCF       AEROSOLS
                                                                                                                                                                                                  year time scale. Approximately 40% of                                      40                                                                                        HALO-          OXIDE        +0.23                                         -0.27    (CLOUDS)
                                        200                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               3.00                                                        CARBONS
                                                                                                                                                                                                  emissions come from human sources,                                                                                                                                                  +0.17                                             LUCF (Gross)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        METHANE        +0.18                                                                               -0.55                                     TOTAL
                                                                                                                                                                                                  primarily agriculture, transportation                                      30                                                                                                                                                           CO2 ex-LUCF                LAND USE                       HUMAN
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2.50                                            +0.97                                                                                                       ALBEDO
                                        150                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        THE SUN*         FORCING
                                                                                                                                                                                                  and industrial processes, while the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -0.15
                                                                                                                                                                                                  remaining 60% stems from the                                               20                                                                                                                                                                                                      +0.05              +2.29
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2.00                          CARBON
                                        100                                                                                                                                                       nitrogen cycle, mainly from bacteria.                                                                                                 DIOXIDE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             10                           1.50                          +1.68
                                         50                                                                                                                                                       From 800,000 years ago until the
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Industrial Revolution, atmospheric                                          0                           1.00
                                           0                                                                                                                                                      concentrations of N2O were centred at                                             1990                   1995                                        2000                   2005                      2010
                                            -800,000   -600,000         -400,000        -200,000            0       1950     1960       1970    1980          1990    2000     2010        2020   about 250 ppb ±50 ppb. Since then, the                                                                  0.50
                                                              Year (negative values = BCE)                                                             Year                                       N2O level has approached 330 ppb and
                                                                                                                                                                                                  is rising at an accelerating rate: in the                                                               0.00
                                                                                                                                                                  Source: U.S. EPA (2016)         10 years to 2015, the rate of increase
                                                                                                                                                                                                  was 0.90 ppb per year, as compared
                                                                                                                                                                                                  to 0.78 ppb per year for the 10 years                                                                                                                                       Note: Simplified version of Figure SPM.5 from IPCC WG1 AR5. In particular, uncertainty ranges have been omitted. The total
                                                                                                                                                                                                  to 2005, and 0.67 ppb per year for the                                                                                                                                      anthropogenic radiative forcing for 2011 relative to 1750 is 2.3 W/m2 (uncertainty range 1.1 to 3.3 W/m2). This corresponds to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          60                                                  a CO2-equivalent concentration of 430 ppm (uncertainty range 340 to 520 ppm). *The sun is a natural change
                                                                                                                                                                                                  previous 10 years. (US EPA 2016)                                                                                                                                                                                                           Source: IPCC (2013). Figure concept from Shrink That Footprint

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          50                                                                                                                                    F-Gas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                N2O ex-LUCF
18                                     Climate Primer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          40                                                                                                                                    CH4 ex-LUCF
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Climate Primer   19
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LUCF (Gross)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          30                                                                                                                                    CO2 ex-LUCF
2.00             CARBON
1.50             +1.68



0.00                                                                                                                                    Recent Greenhouse Gas
                 Figure 15: Total Annual Anthropogenic GHG Emissions                                                                    Emissions Trends
                 by Gases 1990-2014
                                                                                                                                        From 1970-2014, annual human-
                   60                                                                                                                   derived GHG emissions continued
                                                                                                                                        to increase, with the size of the
                   50                                                                                               F-Gas               increase growing between 2000 and
                                                                                                                    N2O ex-LUCF         2014. In this latter period, emissions
                   40                                                                                               CH4 ex-LUCF         (measured in gigatons of CO2-
                                                                                                                    LUCF (Gross)        equivalent amounts, or GtCO2e) grew

                   30                                                                                               CO2 ex-LUCF         by 0.8 GtCO2e (2.0%) per year, as
                                                                                                                                        compared with 0.4 GtCO2e (1.3%)
                   20                                                                                                                   per year for the previous 30 years.
                                                                                                                                        This occurred despite an increasing
                   10                                                                                                                   number of climate change mitigation
                                                                                                                                        policies. Anthropogenic GHG
                    0                                                                                                                   emissions in 2014 were 52 GtCO2e,
                         1990        1995               2000              2005              2010
                                                                                                                                        and the total amount released from
                                            Note: LUCF = Land Use Change & Forestry. Presented on gross basis, i.e., excludes LUCF      2000-2014 was the highest in human
                                                     removals of GHGs. F-Gas = fluorinated gases covered under the Kyoto Protocol.      history. (IPCC 2014)
                                                                                                 Source: CAIT (2015); FAO (2014)

                 Greenhouse Gas Emissions

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      © Jixin YU /
                 The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate                                       66% probability of limiting the global temperature increase in
                 Change (IPCC) condenses its modelling of future                              2100 to 1oC above the 1986-2005 reference period (and 2oC above
                 greenhouse gas emissions and atmospheric GHG                                 pre-industrial temperatures).
                 concentrations, air pollutant emissions, and land                                                                                                                                                                                                                           A power plant in Inner Mongolia, China. Sub-critical coal-fired power plants are found across Asia-Pacific
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              and release greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide, contributing to the rise in global temperatures.
                 use, and the resulting impact on the climate into                            RCP8.5 is the highest GHG emissions scenario and is associated
                 4 scenarios. These are known as “Representative                              with a temperature increase of 3.7oC by 2100. While there is
                 Concentration Pathways,” and are referred to as                              no explicit “business-as-usual” scenario, the IPCC notes that
                 RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP6.0 and RCP8.5, in increasing                             “scenarios without additional efforts to constrain emissions” fall
                 order of emissions, with the numbers referring to                            between RCP6.0 and RCP8.5.                                                                                            Figure 16: GHG emissions forecasts of
                 the level of radiative forcing in watts/m2.                                                                                                                                                        the four primary IPCC scenarios
                                                                                              The key implication of this range of scenarios is that either drastic
                 The first scenario, RCP2.6, is the most aggressive in                        action is taken on GHG emissions, or dangerous climate change                                                        (a)           CO2 emissions                               (b)           CH4 emissions
                 terms of limiting emissions and removing significant                         prevails. Both outcomes have implications for the financial sector,
                 amounts of carbon from the atmosphere. It reflects                           which are discussed later in this and subsequent chapters.                                                          200                                                       1000
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Historical       WGIII scenarios categorized by 2100
                 the future emissions profile required for at least a                                                                                                                                                                                                        800                                                                 emissions        CO2-eq concentration (ppm), 5 to 95%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  100                                                                                                                        RCP scenarios


                 Table 1: Projected change in global mean surface temperature and global mean                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     RCP8.5
                 sea level for the mid- and late 21st century, relative to 1850-1900                                                                                                                                                                                         400                                                                  RCP4.5
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    0                                                                                                                                                  480−530
                                                                                                           2046-2065                                         2081-2100                                                                                                       200
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Full range of the WGIII AR5
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       scenario database in 2100
                                                                            Scenario                  Mean        Likely range                          Mean        Likely range                                  -100                                                        0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         1950   2000             2050   2100                       1950   2000             2050          2100
                                                                            RCP2.6                      1.6                   1.0 to 2.2                  1.6                 0.9 to 2.3                                               YEAR                                                      YEAR
                             Global Mean Surface
                                                                            RCP4.5                     2.0                     1.5 to 2.6                 2.4                 1.7 to 3.2                                                                                                                                                                      CO2-eq concentration (ppm)
                           Temperature Change (oC)                                                                                                                                                                 (c)           N2O emissions                               (d)           SO2 emissions                               (e)
                           relative to pre-industrial                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              250                500         750 1000           1500
                                                                            RCP6.0                      1.9                   1.4 to 2.4                  2.8                 2.0 to 3.7                           30                                                        150
                                     period                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             RCP8.5
                                                                            RCP8.5                      2.6                   2.0 to 3.2                  4.3                 3.2 to 5.4                                                                                                                                                RCP6.0                                            Other Anthropogenic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   20                                                        100                                                        RCP4.5                                            CO2 CH4 N2O
                                                                            Scenario                  Mean                   Likely range               Mean                 Likely range

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        RCP2.6                                            Halocarbons
                                                                            RCP2.6                     0.41                 0.34 to 0.49                 0.57               0.43 to 0.72                           10                                                        50                                                         WGIII
                                  Global Mean                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           scenarios
                              Sea Level Rise (m)                            RCP4.5                     0.43                 0.36 to 0.50                 0.64               0.49 to 0.80                                                                                                                                                5 to 95%
                           relative to pre-industrial                       RCP6.0                    0.42                  0.35 to 0.49                 0.65               0.50 to 0.80
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    0                                                         0
                                     period                                                                                                                                                                              1950   2000             2050   2100                       1950   2000             2050          2100            -2           0           2         4           6       8           10
                                                                            RCP8.5                     0.47                 0.39 to 0.55                0.80                0.62 to 0.99                                               YEAR                                                      YEAR                                             Radiative forcing in 2100 relative to 1750 (W/m2)

                                                                         Note: Adds 0.61oC to surface temperatures and 0.17m to mean sea level to compare with pre-industrial figures (1850-1900).
                                                                                                                                                                             Source: IPCC (2014)                                                                                                                                                                                        Source: IPCC (2014)

       20        Climate Primer                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Climate Primer      21
2000                       2050                 2100                         1950                2000              2050                 2100
             YEAR                                                                                         YEAR

                                                                                                                                                                                   CO2-eq concentration (ppm)
   N2O emissions                                                      (d)                          SO2 emissions                                       (e)
                                                                                                                                                                  250                           500               750 1000        1500
                                                                                                                                                        RCP6.0                                                         Other Anthropogenic
                                                                      100                                                                               RCP4.5                                                         CO2 CH4 N2O

                                                                                                                                                        RCP2.6                                                         Halocarbons
                                                                       50                                                                               WGIII
                                                                                                                                                        5 to 95%
                                                                                                                                                                 Mean over

                  What Does the Near Future
                                                                        0                                                                                        2081–2100
2000                       2050                 2100                         1950                2000              2050                 2100             -2           0           2         4           6       8                        10

                  Look Like?
             YEAR                                                                                         YEAR                                                    Radiative forcing in 2100 relative to 1750 (W/m2)


                  Figure 17: Projected Global Average Ocean Surface Temperature                                                                                                                               Temperature Scenarios                                         Figure 19: Projected Global Mean Sea Level                                                                         Sea Level Rise

                  Change Relative to 1986-2005                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Rise Relative to 1986-2005

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ocean warming is projected to                                                                                                                                                    All forecast scenarios have the global

                                                                                                                                                                                                              continue, particularly at the surface in                                                                                                              Mean over                  average sea level rising faster than
            3.00                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1.0
                                                                                                                                                                                                              the tropics. At lower depths, the most                                                                                                                2081–2100                  the observed rate of 2mm/year from
                    2000                        2020                        2040
                                                                                                   2060                   2080                  2100                                                          warming is expected in the Southern                                                                                                                                              1971-2010, with the highest-emission
                                                                                    RCP6.0                                                                                                                    Ocean. Ocean warming will also lead                    0.8                                                                                                                       RCP8.5 scenario expecting 8-16 mm
            2.0                                                                     RCP4.5
                                                                                                                                                                                                              to continued reductions in sea ice                                                                                                                                               per year for the final two decades of
                                                                                    historical                                                                                                                cover in the Arctic Ocean. Indeed,                     0.6                                                                                                                       the 21st century. This translates into
                                                                                                                                                                                                              the highest emission scenario expects                                                                                                                                            an average total sea level rise in 2100


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1.0                                                                                            Mean over
                                                                                                                                                                 Mean over                                    that ocean to be nearly ice-free in                    0.4                                                                                            2081–2100                  of 0.4-0.63 m, relative to the final two

                                                                                                                                                                 2081–2100                                    September by mid-century.                                                                                                                                                        decades of the 20th century.
            0.0                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      0.8

                                                                                                                                                                                                              On land, the surface warming trend                     0.2

                                                                                                                                                                                                              is expected to continue for at least
                                                                                                                                                                                                              the rest of this century. Across the
(pH unit)

              8.0                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      0
                                                                                                                                                                                                              four main warming scenarios put


                    1980                               2000                                      2020                            2040                                2060                                                                                                    2000                2020          2040           2060          2080    2100
                                                                                                                                                                                                              forth by the IPCC, likely warming                      0.4

                                                                                                 YEAR                                                                                                                                                                                                                  YEAR
                                                                                                                                                                                                              ranges from 0.3oC to 4.8oC, relative


                                                                                                                                                                                                              to 1986-2005 average temperatures.


                                                                                                                                                       Source: IPCC (2013)                                                                                                                                                                                 Source: IPCC (2013)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              All the scenarios expect at least 1oC of

                                                                                                                                                                                                              warming by mid-century.
             7.6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mean over
                    1950                                     2000                                         2050                                 2100                                    Mean over                                                                             2000                2020          2040           2060          2080    2100            2081–2100
                  Figure 18:  Projected Global Average
                          RCP8.5                   YEAR Surface Temperature                                                                                                            2081–2100 Precipitation                                                       8.2Figure20: Projected Global MeanYEAR                                                                                    Ocean Acidification
                  Change Relative
                          RCP2.6    to 1986-2005                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ocean Surface pH
            4.0                                                                                                                                                                                               The forecast scenarios show a high                                                                                                                                               The ocean pH is projected to decrease

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         (pH unit)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              degree of variability in expected future                                                                                                                                         further, by 0.06-0.32 by 2100,

                                                                                                                                                                 Mean over                                                                                                                                                                                          Mean over
             6.0                                                                                                                                                                                              precipitation trends with respect to                                                                                                                                             depending on the emissions scenario.


            2.0                   RCP8.5                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2081–2100

                                                                                                                                                                                                              region and latitude. For example, in                                                                                                                                             This corresponds to an increase in

                                  RCP2.6                                                                                                                                                                                                                             7.8
                                  historical                                                                                                                                                                  the RCP8.5 scenario, high latitudes                                                                                                                                              acidity of 15-109%.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              and the Pacific tropics are expected to


                                                                                                                                                                                                              see increases in precipitation, while

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Extreme Climate Events

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         (pH unit)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              climate change will make dry regions



                                                                                                                                                                                                              drier and wet regions wetter in the                            1950                       2000                         2050          2100

                                                                                                                                                                                                              mid-latitudes. All of the scenarios                                                                                                                                              The observed trends – fewer

                    1950                                               2000                                         2050                                              2100

                                                                                                                                                                                                              expect more intense monsoon                                                                                                                                                      cold events, more hot events,

             0.0                                                                                 YEAR
                                                                                                                                                                                                              precipitation and expand the areas                                                                                                                                               more frequent and intense heavy


                                                                                                                                                                                                              affected by monsoon systems, as well                                                                                                                                             precipitation events – are all expected
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     7.6                                                                                            Mean over
            -2.0                                                                                                                                                                                              as higher-intensity El Niño events.                    6.0                                                                                                                       to continue and potentially accelerate
                                                                                                                                                                                                              (IPCC 2014)                                                    1950   RCP8.5              2000                         2050          2100             2081–2100                  through the balance of the 21st
                    1950                                     2000                                         2050                                 2100                                                                                                                                 RCP2.6                            YEAR                                                                     century.
                                                                                     YEAR                                                                                                                                                                                           historical

                                                                                                                                                       Source: IPCC (2013)                                                                                                                                                                                 Source: IPCC (2013)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     2.0                                                                                            Mean over

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    RCP8.5                                                                          2081–2100




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             1950                       2000                         2050          2100

     22           Climate Primer                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     0.0                                                                                                                                                   Climate Primer   23

What are the Impacts of Climate Change?
                                                                                                                                          The observed changes to the climate increase the risk of a variety of potentially
                                                                                                                                          detrimental effects on a wide variety of physical, biological, and human systems
                                                                                                                                          and environments. Some of these risks and effects are global, while others
                                                                                                                                          are regional or local, and many are interlinked. Some risks and effects may be
                                                                                                                                          mitigated, while others may build to a point of no return if current trends persist
                                                                                                                                          for an extended period. One example of this is the thawing of permafrost in arctic

     Changes in water
                                                                                                                                          regions – once it is gone, it may take many centuries to be re-established even if
                                                                                                                                          the world stops warming. Due to the complexity, interconnectedness and feedback
                                                                                                                                          loops involved in these systems, this section is intended to give an extremely
                                                                                                                                          broad overview of the kinds of risks and effects involved, rather than a detailed

     “1.4 BILLIONis a direct
                                                                                                                                          catalogue of impacts.

     availability                                                                                                                         Climatic Effects                            may have a direct impact on food
                                                                                                                                                                                      production and industry. Extreme

                                                                                                                                          Changes in water availability is a direct   weather events can disrupt transport,

     effect of  both rising
                                                                                                                                          effect of both rising temperatures and      logistics, and even infrastructure
                                                                                                                                          changing precipitation patterns. In         for extended periods, disrupting
                                                                                                                                          cold regions, warmer temperatures           livelihoods and potentially fostering

                                                                                                                                          have led to the shrinkage of many           disease outbreaks. Heat waves can lead
                                                                                                                                          glaciers, potentially compounded            to increased mortality of vulnerable

     temperatures    and
                                                                                                                                          by shifting precipitation patterns          populations, and also contribute to
                                                                                                                                          to reduce the snowfall required to          worsening fire seasons by drying out

                                                                                                                                          replenish them. This can lead to less       forests. Rising surface temperatures
                                                                                                                                          glacial runoff in spring, affecting         may negatively impact agricultural
                                                                                                                                          natural systems downstream including        yields, worsening food security.

     changing   precipitation
                                                                                                                                          local ecosystems, microclimates and
                                                                                                                                                                                      In the ocean, marine warming, as

                                                                                                                                          groundwater reservoirs. This may
                                                                                                                                                                                      with surface warming, has led in some
                                                                                                                                          change the ability of the affected
                                                                                                                                                                                      cases to the shifting of ranges for fish
                                                                                                                                          landscapes to support terrestrial
                                                                                                                                                                                      and seafood stocks, with potentially
                                                                                                                                          species, leading to shifts in their

                                                                                                                                                                                      adverse effects on the fishing industry
                                                                                                                                          ranges or even to extinction.
                                                                                                                                                                                      as well as aquaculture. Globally, 40%
                                                                                                                                          In warmer regions, increasing               of the world’s population lives in
                                                                                                                                          temperatures may also lead to shifting      coastal zones (i.e., within 100km of
                                                                                                                                          ranges of animals and plants, to the        the coastline, as defined by the UN),
                                                                                                                                          extent they are able to do so. Summer       making a large fraction of humanity
                                                                                                                                          heat has become more intense, which,        vulnerable to sea level rise. Rising seas
                                                                                                                                          depending on locality, may lead to a        present increased risk of damage to
                                                                                                                                          higher incidence of drought, a longer       infrastructure, property and lives via
                                                                                                                                          fire season, increased monsoon              flooding, particularly in combination
                                                                                                                                          precipitation, flooding, and more           with events such as storm surges.
                                                                                                                                          frequent and more intense extreme
                                                                                                                                                                                      Resource stress, particularly
                                                                                                                                          weather events such as tropical
                                                                                                                                                                                      regarding food and suitable land, has
     Workers toiling in the fields in Shanxi Province, northern China. China is in the middle of its worst drought on record, with over   cyclones. All of these effects have
                                                                                                                                                                                      the potential to lead to conflict, with
     100 of its major cities facing serious water shortages. One of the main consequences of this is that many areas which previously     consequences for local ecosystems.
     produced much of China’s food are seeing crop yields falling, potentially putting China’s long-term food security at risk.                                                       concomitant risk of loss of life as well
     © Global Warming Images / WWF                                                                                                                                                    as further disruption to livelihoods
                                                                                                                                          Human-Related Effects                       and communities.

                                                                                                                                          These natural system effects also have
                                                                                                                                          significant potential to disrupt human
                                                                                                                                          systems. For example, the changes
                                                                                                                                          in water availability described above

24   Climate Primer                                                                                                                                                                                               Climate Primer   25
How has Climate Change Manifested in Asia?
                                                                                                                 While climate change is a global phenomenon, it also manifests regionally and
                                                                                                                 locally. All of the climate effects described above are also being observed in
                                                                                                                 Asia, at the continental, regional and country levels. Temperatures are rising,
                                                                                                                 precipitation patterns are changing, the sea level is rising, and extreme weather

     Archipelagic nations
                                                                                                                 events are increasing in frequency and intensity, among other effects. For Asia
                                                                                                                 this can be seen on a country-by-country basis in Annex A.
                                                                                                                 Given the diversity of geographies, topographies, and climates among the various
                                                                                                                 countries in Asia, the specific climate-related risks faced by the different countries

     such as Indonesia or the
                                                                                                                 vary significantly. For example, archipelagic nations such as Indonesia or the
                                                                                                                 Philippines are clearly much more exposed to the risks of rising sea levels than are
                                                                                                                 landlocked countries like Mongolia or Laos.

                                                                                                                 WHY ACT NOW
     Philippines are much
                                                                                                                                                              equally important priorities. The
                                                                                                                                                              policy response is discussed further in

                                                                                                                 AND WHAT CAN BE
                                                                                                                                                              the next chapter.
                                                                                                                                                              Regarding the latter option, although

                                                                                                                                                              development efforts are ongoing

     more exposed to the risks
                                                                                                                                                              (see the Technology chapter), no
                                                                                                                                                              technologies currently exist with
                                                                                                                 Changes to the climate occur slowly,         the scale required at an acceptable
                                                                                                                 in human terms, and often with a             economic or environmental cost

     of rising sea levels than
                                                                                                                 delay. Even if CO2 emissions cease           to remove sufficient CO2 from the
                                                                                                                 immediately, the world will continue         atmosphere to make a difference to the
                                                                                                                 warming for several decades, due to          climate system. The only potentially
                                                                                                                 the delay in climatic effects impacting      viable option at present with sufficient
                                                                                                                 on the climate and the decadal time          scale is to use reforestation and

     are landlocked countries
                                                                                                                 scales required for natural systems to       afforestation to improve the capacity
                                                                                                                 re-absorb CO2. Responding to climate         of natural carbon sinks while also
                                                                                                                 change ultimately takes the form of          severely curtailing deforestation.
                                                                                                                 adaptation or mitigation. Adaptation
                                                                                                                                                              As even this will take multiple decades
                                                                                                                 is the process of dealing with climate

     like Mongolia or Laos.
                                                                                                                                                              to show results, notwithstanding the
                                                                                                                 change impacts that are already
                                                                                                                                                              amount of land required, curtailing
                                                                                                                 happening or are expected to occur.
                                                                                                                                                              greenhouse gas emissions is a critical
                                                                                                                 Mitigation efforts seek to reduce
                                                                                                                                                              component of the effort to stabilise
                                                                                                                 or stabilise the concentrations of
                                                                                                                                                              the Earth’s climate. The longer it
                                                                                                                 greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
                                                                                                                                                              takes the world to reach and pass peak
                                                                                                                 There are only two ways to lower             emissions, the larger the problem
                                                                                                                 the concentration of atmospheric             becomes, and the more dependent it
                                                                                                                 carbon dioxide: reduce the rate of           becomes on inventing or developing
                                                                                                                 emissions (mitigation), and increase         the necessary technology.
                                                                                                                 the rate at which it is removed from

                                                                                                                                                              WHY SHOULD WE
     Roxas Boulevard, in Manila, Philippines. Manila is a low-lying coastal city which is highly vulnerable to   the atmosphere (sequestration). The
     rising sea levels, floods, and other impacts of climate change.                                             former option has been the primary

     © AAR Studio /                                                                             focus of policy commitments under
                                                                                                                 the UN Framework on Climate
                                                                                                                 Change, signed in 1992, which has
                                                                                                                 articulated a goal of limiting the rise
                                                                                                                 in the Earth’s temperature to 2oC            Risk Implications
                                                                                                                 above pre-industrial temperatures by
                                                                                                                 2100 (consistent with RCP2.6). But           From a financial perspective, climate
                                                                                                                 the Paris Agreement, signed in 2015,         change presents a number of different
                                                                                                                 included adaptation to climate change        types of risks that some investors
                                                                                                                 and appropriate financial flows as           are only beginning to take under

26   Climate Primer                                                                                                                                                                         Climate Primer   27
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