Climate

A task of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, now under way in Durban, South Africa, is to extend earlier policy decisions that were limited in scope and only partially implemented. These decisions trace back to the U.N. Convention of 1992 and the Kyoto Protocol of 1997, which the U.S. refused to join. The Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period ends in 2012. A fairly general pre-conference mood was captured by a New York Times headline: “Urgent Issues but Low Expectations.”
A year has gone by since the results of the climate change negotiations in Cancun were imposed, with the objection of only Bolivia. It’s time to take stock and see where we are now. In Cancun, the developed countries listed their greenhouse gas emission reduction pledges for the 2012-2020 period. The US and Canada said they would reduce emissions by 3% based on 1990 levels, the European Union between 20% and 30%, Japan 25%, and Russia from 15% to 25%.
The World Bank Out of Climate Finance coalition issued the statement below on December 1 from Durban, South Africa. * * * Today, 163 civil society organisations from 39 countries released a letter exposing an attempt led by the US, Britain and Japan to turn the Green Climate Fund into a “Greedy Corporate Fund” at UN climate talks in South Africa. The Green Climate Fund was created to support people in developing countries — people who are the most affected by the climate crisis but are the least responsible for it.
The Australian Forests and Climate Alliance released the statement below on December 2. * * * “During the Durban Climate Conference all countries, including Australia, must take real action to protect the world's forests and deliver real reductions in carbon pollution,” said Australian Forests and Climate Alliance (AFCA) spokesperson Peter Campbell.
The Occupy movement spread to Durban for the start of COP17 (the 17th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), protesting at the perceived lack of access to the conference centre for members of the public. The Occupy COP17 General Assembly, meeting at a designated spot just outside of the conference centre boundaries, was aimed at providing a forum for those who wanted to find new solutions to the climate change problem and discuss climate justice.
The Mercury, Nov 22 -- There they fell during 2011, one after the other in past-their-prime domino descent. Zine El Abidine Ben Ali from Tunis, Hosni Mubarak from Cairo, Dominique Strauss-Kahn from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Muammar Gaddafi from Tripoli, Georgios Papandreou from Athens, Silvio Berlusconi from Rome, US football guru and sex-crime cover-upper Joe Paterno from Penn State University. Media baron Rupert Murdoch, soccer supremo Sepp Blatter, Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad and Yemeni dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh looking decidedly shaky, too.
Anti-tar sands activists in the United States and Canada have been seeking to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, built to transport oil from the Athabasca tar sands in north-east Alberta, Canada, to refineries in the United States. Mining the Athabasca tar sands is one of the most environmentally destructive practices on the planet. Bill McKibben posted the message below on November 10. It is abridged from www.tarsandsaction.org. * * * Um, we won.
Non-profit climate research group Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) has slammed global engineering company WorleyParsons, saying the firm has suppressed a damning report into the emissions produced by coal seam gas (CSG) mining.
Debate about the Labor-Greens carbon price has dominated Australian politics for the past year. So it is little surprise that the passing of the carbon price laws through parliament on November 8 received widespread media attention. But the media’s coverage overshadowed two shocking new reports on the climate emergency released in the past week.

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