Stepping Back & Stepping Up: a personal reflection

COP17 climate talks in Durban ended with mixed reactions and emotions. The deal? To establish a new body, the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, to negotiate a new global agreement for emissions reduction by 2015, to come into effect and be implemented from 2020. So, what does this mean to me? Well, the short answer is a whole lot and nothing at all! Continue reading

Community Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Durban strives to set an example for the COP negotiators

Well, here I am in Johannesburg International airport on a long layover before I return to London.  It is unclear how this last COP negotiation day will proceed.  When I left Copenhagen (COP 15) two years ago at the same point in the negotiations I felt hopeless.  But something happened these past 9 or so days; I saw that a country that still has many developing areas has really taken steps in small scale projects that both engage local communities and take advantage of funding on the international scale. Continue reading

What Change?

Rishab KhannaThe challenges we see in the UNFCCC ( United Nations Climate Change Convention), are not very different from the challenges we see among civil society, or the challenges we, the IofC team, have with living in Maria’s ( Our sweet host in Durban) house.  Wei, Firyal, Jennifer, John Liu and myself are going on a collective journey of collectively creating our living and work space. We have diverse perceptions about life and work, which have been upsetting at times, but create a dynamic lively atmosphere to our life. Continue reading

Save Our Ship COP17: Courage and Hope in a Time of Urgency

Reflecting as a rookie at the Conference of Parties (COP), the end of the first week has evoked many conflicting feelings. There is an overwhelming sense of excitement, motivation and inspiration that has been perverted many times along the way with strong feelings of intimidation, confusion, frustration, and exclusion. Continue reading

Reunion

Rishab KhannaSome times the COP could  be a crazy maze of people, where we could  loose  our way both physically and metaphorically. This is what happened to Hugh Montgomery ( a physician and a professor at University College London, and championing  the health and climate)  and I on the third day of the COP (Conference of Parties), when we were looking for a place to eat and catch up. Just as we were about to discover our path, we found Geoff Lean. Continue reading

Choosing the Pathway to Sustainability

John Liu

John Liu

John D. Liu, Dec. 3, 2011 – Durban –  Studying the Earth’s natural ecosystems helps to explain why we are experiencing financial upheaval, biodiversity loss, desertification, climate change, migration, poverty and disparity.  Far from suggesting the widespread view that carbon disequilibrium alone is the cause of all our problems, the Earth’s systems are exhibiting systemic dysfunction on a planetary scale of which carbon disequilibrium in the atmosphere is a symptom.  The worldwide discussion on climate change and sustainable development has strayed far from natural ecology toward politics and markets.   These attempts often fail to inspire confidence because they are actually a continuation of the business as usual scenario.  Allowing nature to participate in the discussion illuminates a pathway that leads to sustainability.  This vision is far more compelling than recapitalizing those who have created many of the problems we currently face.  Let’s take a moment to look at our problems from an ecological perspective. Continue reading

COP17 Day 2

Hi All,

Day 2 in Durban has come to an end and what an exciting day it has been. The Team managed to catch the official shuttle to the ICC and has finally (albeit through much trial and error) gotten the hang of the transport options around Durban. Including the rather harrowing local “taxi-bus” ride of Day 1 which will not  be repeated in a hurry. But on to the important topics…

Continue reading

What’s COP-ing in Durban?

COP17 kicked off with a humid, busy daze of mixed emotions and expectations. Day1 in a word was, overwhelming.

If you’re as confused as I was about what exactly goes down at these Conference of Parties (COP), OneClimate (www.oneclimate.net) has put together a short, concise and easy to understand video here. Confusion aside, I quickly learned I was but 1 of roughly 16, 000 ants trying to maneuver my way through an uncharted anthill, the International Convention Centre (ICC) Durban to spend the next two weeks delivering my climate change contribution to the mother climate colony…no small task! Nonetheless, we had arrived, spirit in our hearts and hope in our minds and while Day1 mayhem persisted, reassuring bursts of sanity and sunshine popped in along the way. Here are my personal picks for a high-light and low-light of the beginning of the COP17. Continue reading

Background on the Environment and Economic group of Initiatives of Change

This is a video interview with Tom Duncan, Co-Director of the Environment and Economy Group of Initiatives of Change. It was shot during the Caux Forum for Human Security, July 2011.

Tom explains the story of his own background in environmental activism and what drew him to Initiatives of Change. He also talks about the origins of the Environment and Economy working group during the 2009 Caux Forum for Human Security.

Should I trust or should I lead?

Posted by Aurelia Annino, part of IofC Team in Cancun and co-founder of SiKanda, a non-profit organization. http://www.si-kanda.org

My perception of the COP16 conference changed every single day.

I arrived 2 weeks ago at the conference and as my first experience with COP, I didn’t know what to expect from the organization of the conference nor from seeing all of the different governments together.

At the beginning I remember I was impressed with the quantity of youth attending the COP. It looked as if about 70% of the attendees were no older than 35. I was a little concerned, wondering if the COP had sufficient facility space, but at the same time was happy to see how many young people were interested in climate change, society, sustainable development and politics.  This awoke a feeling of hope for this new generation that I had lost some years ago.  It was refreshing seeing youth interested in societal issues, where I had previously observed this generation as more self-absorbed. Continue reading