Environment Forum

from Mario Di Simine:

Africans protest COP15, say “process manipulated”

In the most heated protest of these early days at COP15 in Copenhagen, African representatives accused the political leaders of the developed world of hijacking the conference to the detriment of developing nations.

The marchers said the process of the talks had been manipulated by the developed world's political leaders to impose on Africans a deal that won't benefit them.

Augustine Njmanshi, of Christian Aid, said Africans were suffering and would "not die in silence."

He added: "$10 billion is not enough to buy the coffins to bury us with."

from Mario Di Simine:

Youth get in bed together on Lennon anniversary

youth lennonIt was 29 years ago today that a lone gunman assassinated John Lennon and the anniversary was the spur behind  a youth "bed in" at the COP15 conference center.

Socres of young folks from around the world used the day to remember Lennon's famous bed-in protest of the Vietnam War and to put their own spin on it. They pulled on their P.J.s, pulled out their pillows and protest signs and got in "bed" together to perform a rendition of Lennon's iconic Give Peace a Chance, remaking the lyrics to reflect their climate concerns.

An example: "All we are saying, is give youth a chance/All we are saying, is cut greenhouse gas."

from Mario Di Simine:

Fossil of the Day Award: And the winner is…

carsThe UN Conference on Climate Change is a weighty gathering of serious folks looking for a way to cut carbon emissions. It's also a great place to bring some much-needed humor and along the way hammer a few perceived laggers in the fight against global warming.

Enter the Fossil of the Day Awards, a tongue-in-cheek dishonor first presented in 1999 and given to the countries with the worst performances at the previous day's talks during UN climate conferences.

Three awards, compiled by CAN (Climate Action Network), a coalition of more than 450 NGOs, are presented each day with the country scoring the most points over the course of the conference winning the grand prize.

from Mario Di Simine:

Is there a climate conference going on?

Walking through the Copenhagen airport, it's pretty much impossible to miss the signs that illustrate the city's focus is squarely on the climate. Those signs, literally, are everywhere, with advertisements adorning the walls on the walk from the flight ramp through to baggage claim and off into the arrivals area.

Big companies from Siemens to Shell are making sure you know they care.

siemens pic

shell

Those are nice, but to really get a message across the big conglomerates may want to contact the ad guy for Greenpeace and its NGO alliance. The environment group has plastered the airport walls with a campaign "to mobilize civil society and to galvanize public opinion" to help bring about a new climate deal. The ad series features unflattering photos of world leaders like Germany's Angela Merkel (pictured in the ad below), President Obama,  and others beside this quote: "We could have stopped catastrophic climate change" followed by the subtext "We did ... nothing". Whether you agree with the group and the alliance of NGOs participating in the ad, you gotta admit it's pretty striking.

merkel

There was another ad from Accenture that caught my eye as I strolled toward the baggage claim area, although it had nothing to do with the climate conference.  I just like irony:

from The Great Debate UK:

John Reid on climate change and global security

johnreid- John Reid MP, formerly UK Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Defence, is the Chairman of the Institute for Security and Resilience Studies at University College, London. The opinions expressed are his own. -

Barack Obama’s announcement that there will be no all-encompassing protocol agreed at Copenhagen underlines that climate change is perhaps the most complex issue facing the world today.  In part, this is because it involves long-term thinking and modeling which our existing political, financial and economic institutions and governance frameworks are ill-designed and configured to grapple with and resolve.

With uncertainty building over what, if anything, the Copenhagen Summit can still achieve, now is therefore the time to remind ourselves about some of the larger stakes in play next month at what has been billed by some as the most important environmental summit in world history.

from The Great Debate UK:

A freakonomic view of climate change

Ahead of a U.N. summit in Copenhagen next month, scepticism is growing that an agreement will be reached on a global climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol, due to expire in 2012.

The protocol set targets aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which are believed to be responsible for the gradual rise in the Earth's average temperature. Many scientists say that reducing carbon dioxide emissions is key to preventing climate change.

But authors Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner argue in their new book SuperFreakonomics that humanity can take an alternative route to try and save the planet.

Trade lessons for climate negotiators

- John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own –

As hopes for reaching a binding agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions at the Copenhagen summit die, climate negotiators could learn useful lessons on how to structure the negotiations from the multiple rounds of trade talks within the GATT/WTO framework.

Climate negotiations are about limiting carbon dioxide emissions, but the negotiators are also hammering out a complex economic instrument that will define the distribution of production, energy use and income in the next few decades. It is the agreement’s profound economic effects that are making it so hard to reach a final deal.

While the stalled negotiations on the Doha Round might make it seem likely an unlikely role model, the GATT/WTO process has successfully created a legal framework for liberalising world trade through eight successive rounds of increasingly complex negotiations, as well as a dispute settlement system accepted by all major countries.

from The Great Debate UK:

Can emissions be tackled without Copenhagen deal?

Even if a deal is reached among political delegates at the upcoming United Nations Climate Conference in Copenhagen, it is unlikely to set out specific emission targets, says Mike Hulme, author of "Why We Disagree About Climate Change" and a professor at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.

"What we've done with climate change is to attach so many pressing environmental concerns to the climate change agenda that trying to secure a negotiated multilateral agreement between 190 nations is actually beyond the reach of what we can achieve," he argues.

Hulme, who will take part in a debate hosted by the Institute of Economic Affairs in November about carbon emission policies and economic activity before he heads to the Copenhagen conference, discussed his views with Reuters.

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