Tag Archive | "COP15"

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Act Now to Save The Planet

Posted on 11 December 2009 by editor

Danish children planting trees. Credit: Ana Libisch/IPS

Danish children planting trees. Credit: Ana Libisch/IPS

By Mohan Munasinghe*

COPENHAGUE (IPS/TerraViva) The climate is changing faster than forecast only two years ago: 2,700 experts at the IARU Climate Congress in March 2009 warned that the IPCC predictions made in 2007 are already out of date, for example 3 degrees C global temperature rise by 2100. The latest information indicates more severe warming exceeding 4-5 C.

Rising temperatures are already penalising the poor most, who ironically contributed least to the problem. Global warming is impacting global food and water supplies, raising sea levels, melting ice sheets and increasing the number and intensity of severe weather events. Continue Reading

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COP15 Is a “False Solutions Fair”

Posted on 09 December 2009 by editor

 

Miriam Nobre. Credit: Daniela Estrada/IPS.

Miriam Nobre. Credit: Daniela Estrada/IPS.

Daniela Estrada interviews Brazilian feminist MIRIAM NOBRE

 

COPENHAGEN (IPS/TerraViva) – The climate change conference looks like a “big solutions fair,” where everyone avoids discussing the root problem, which is the need to change the model of development, Miriam Nobre, coordinator of the secretariat of the World March of Women, told IPS.

Nobre, a Brazilian agricultural engineer and feminist, arrived in Copenhagen Tuesday to take part in Klimaforum09, the civil society summit held in parallel to the Fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which opened Monday and will run until Dec. 18.

The World March of Women, headed by Nobre, is an international women’s rights movement created in 2000, which is currently active in 71 countries.

The movement’s first campaign was aimed at combating poverty and violence against women, and for 2010 it’s planning its third international action, targeting four objectives: achieving economic independence for women; ending violence against women; promoting peace and demilitarisation; and preserving and developing the common good and public services.

Before sitting down to talk with TerraViva, Nobre participated in a coordination meeting with representatives of other movements and NGOs in the colourful Klimaforum, where hundreds of talks, displays, exhibits, documentary screenings, and musical and theatre shows are programmed.

TERRAVIVA: What proposals or demands are you bringing to Copenhagen?

MN: We’ve come to Copenhagen in coordination with Vía Campesina and Friends of the Earth to denounce the false solutions that are put forward for climate change, including monoculture, agrofuel production, and the privatisation of nature, through, for example, carbon credits.

We’re also meeting with other organisations, such as Jubilee South, that work on the issue of climate debt.

Our presence here also has to do with a sense of urgency. There’s a feeling that something has to be done now, but that the urgency can’t lead us to be strong-armed into accepting a bad agreement that ignores class, country and gender inequalities in the issue of climate change.

TV: What activities will you participate in?

MN: We have a workshop called “Feminists Struggling Against Climate Change and Privatisation of the Environment”, where we’ll examine the state of negotiations, because women are major political actors in this issue.

We will also look at the links and conflicts between the environmentalist and women’s movements and at how women are experiencing the effects of climate change and the forms of resistance and alternatives they’re building.

We will also be holding another activity with the Global Forest Coalition, on the subject of food and energy sovereignty as real solutions to climate change.

TV: Why are women key political actors in climate change negotiations?

MN: There’s a whole host of experiences that women farmers and fisherwomen can contribute, because they haven’t abandoned their traditional ways of producing food, so they offer a true alternative to our fossil-fuel- and oil-dependent societies.

And there’s also the connection we say exists between the fragmentation and commodification of women’s bodies and the fragmentation and commodification of territories themselves.

TV: How do you see the global negotiations at Copenhagen so far?

MN: My first impression was that many have come with the idea of selling their solutions – agrofuels, carbon credits, etc.

I got the feeling that it’s a large fair with everyone hawking their solutions, without really touching on the problem, which is the urgent need for profound changes in the system. We need to change the model, to change the way we organise production and consumption.

It’s like everyone just wants to go on avoiding what we really have to discuss, which is what needs to be done.
(END/2009)

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Banco Mundial defiende mercado de carbono

Posted on 08 December 2009 by editor

Martina Bosi presenta el informe del Banco Mundial. Crédito: Raúl Pierri/IPS

Martina Bosi presenta el informe del Banco Mundial. Crédito: Raúl Pierri/IPS

Por Raúl Pierri

COPENHAGUE (IPS/TerraViva) El Banco Mundial defendió orgulloso el martes en Copenhague el mercado mundial de carbono y su “contribución” a los esfuerzos contra el cambio climático, a pesar de las críticas de la sociedad civil. Continue Reading

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COP15: “Please Help the World”

Posted on 07 December 2009 by editor

Bhutan delegates. Credit: Servaas van den Bosch.

Bhutan delegates. Credit: Servaas van den Bosch.

By Servaas van den Bosch

COPENHAGEN (IPS/TerraViva) – On a video screen a child watches a climate change report and dreams of a wasteland shaken by earthquakes, battered by cyclones and overrun with storm surges. She wakes up screaming and begs the delegates to “please help the world”

With this cry of desperation still resonating in the ears of 1500 or so negotiators, the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) kicked off in Copenhagen on Monday morning. Organisers pressed the countries present to reach a deal, despite tempered expectations in the run up to the UNFCCC conference. Continue Reading

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CHINA: One Green Leap Forward, Two Steps Backward

Posted on 07 December 2009 by editor

By Antoaneta Bezlova

BEIJING  (IPS/TerraViva)  With low carbon seen as the new buzzword for government promotion and backed by Beijing as the new economic growth engine, China is poised for a green leap forward. But the political overtones of the drive and the zeal of local governments jumping on the low carbon bandwagon have raised concerns that the new green campaign may result in overcapacity, worsening China’s frictions with its trade partners. Continue Reading

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CHINA/INDIA: ‘Business as Usual’ for Carbon Emission Targets

Posted on 04 December 2009 by editor

Analysis by Darryl D’Monte *

MUMBAI, India (IPS/TerraViva) – China, the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, has stolen a march over the rest of Asia in unilaterally declaring its carbon intensity cuts a day after President Barack Obama did late last month for the U.S.

The U.S. has proposed a 17 percent cut below 2005 levels by 2020 -less than one-seventh of what the European Union has committed. India, the fifth largest emitter, was forced to fall in line, so as not to be seen as recalcitrant.

Both China and India have toed the U.S. line in citing their voluntary reductions from 2005 levels, whereas the Kyoto Protocol regime has stipulated emission cuts from 1990. This puts China’s offer of reducing its carbon intensity by 40 to 45 percent by 2020 and India’s 20 to 25 percent in a different perspective.

Since emissions have been rising in these two giant economies between 1990 and 2005, the reductions are not so ambitious and do not deviate that much from business as usual.

China has also taken the lead in cobbling together a new BASIC coalition—consisting of Brazil, South Africa, India and China. The four have listed their “non-negotiable” demands: no legally binding cuts, unsupported mitigation actions, international monitoring of unsupported mitigation actions and use of climate as a trade barrier. They threaten to walk out of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen if industrialised countries browbeat them.

Reportedly, China’s Premier Wen Jiabao summoned India’s Environment Minister, Jairam Ramesh, who was in Beijing in late November, to an unscheduled meeting and told him that China planned to lead the developing world in presenting a united front against the West. He was literally given a night to read the BASIC draft and sign on the dotted line.

This is a far cry from the precursor to Copenhagen, the U.N. Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, when India represented G77 developing countries (now increased to 130). India’s Environment Minister at the time, Kamal Nath, baited the U.S., led by President George Bush, Sr. The White House was so incensed that it admonished then Indian Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, who had to tone down his rhetoric at the summit.

India has tied itself in knots on its stand on climate. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agreed to abide by the two degrees Celsius cap on rise in global temperatures at the Group of Eight wealthiest nations meetings in Italy in July.

Indian negotiators criticised him for compromising India’s future growth prospects. Subsequently, Ramesh wrote a letter to the Prime Minister, leaked to the media, suggesting India offer voluntary cuts in emissions and subject these to international verification. This triggered a political furore in India, prompting him to retract his letter. China, by contrast, is consistent in its policy.

“India is a leader of the developing world,” says Sunita Narain, director of the Centre for Science and Environment in New Delhi. “It should campaign for the voice of the marginalised and victims of climate change.”

She adds: “India should avoid sitting at the high table with polluters (rich countries). Therefore, we have to put pressure on the North to take effective emission cuts. That will be a real leadership role.”

On Dec. 3, when India announced its policy, Qin Gang, the spokesperson of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reiterated that China and India were developing countries and victims of climate change. China understood the Indian situation on climate change and would support India’s adaptation and mitigation plan that was based on its own national situation and capacity.

However, there are vast differences between the two countries. Between 1990 and 2005, per capita energy use increased by half in China – three times more than in India. Jairam himself has referred to China’s carbon intensity – the amount of carbon emitted per 1,000 U.S. dollars of GDP – 2.8 tonnes as against India’s one tonne.

As Huo Weiya of the independent online publication ´Chinadialogue´in Beijing observes: “Three decades of economic growth have given the Chinese citizenry ample material desires; a lifestyle has by now taken root that hopes to keep up with the rich, particularly to keep up with the Americans.”

Some Chinese and Indian experts are uneasy about their countries unilaterally offering carbon intensity cuts. Qi Jianguo, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, believes that the targets would put “great pressure” on China’s development.

Before India announced its policy, Sunita Narain, who is also a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change, warned: “There needs to be a proper deliberative process if India needs a carbon or energy intensity number. That has still not been done. It must not make a laughing stock of itself by announcing new numbers every day; it should stick to its own 20 percent by 2020 domestic commitment.”

She alleged that India’s changing position reflected U.S. interests, not its own. “It is clearly at the behest of the U.S. president. It will derail the multilateral negotiations,” she said.

* Darryl D’Monte, President of the International Federation of Environmental Journalists.

(END/2009)

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