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

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

Building Trust in Unlikely Places

I am very grateful for the opportunity to attend COP17. It is for sure a steep learning curve being here – at times, feelings of being out of place and not sure how to approach people and at first, I was unsure of what my ‘agenda’ was. It is clear that many civil society groups have specific agendas and they know how they want to be represented in the negotiations, i.e. Mediators Without Borders want mediate in the text as an option to resolve disputes. There are so many agendas that I personally feel connected to, yet I am grateful that I am not tied to one agenda.  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