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
by Mike Lowe
Well, COP 15 is over, and along with the turkey and Christmas pudding we’ve had time to digest what it all means. This is my own take, having read a lot of different views. I have posted this on the IofC global website, along with a report from Jennifer Helgeson of her reflections from Copenhagen.
by Francis and Marcia
Today is a historic day: For many today was designed to signal new hope – the culmination of over two years work and the creation of a legally binding treaty, setting binding mitigation and adaptation targets for the survival of life on earth. Instead, not only have targets failed to be met, but in fact there was no deal – certainly not a binding one, as Obama quite casually confirmed as he announced he would be leaving before any unnecessary signatures. Continue reading
These questions were posed by Huck, a member of the Youth Delegation at Copenhagen. They challenge us to think more concretely about what kind of world we are living in and what kind of world we want to be living in. What are your thoughts? Continue reading
Earlier this evening, I attended a vigil in conjunction with the 24 hour fast. It was beautiful and reverent. A great place to be revitalized in this fast. There are many people here who have never fasted before, but for this cause they have made this choice to stand together. There is also a person who has been fasting since November 6th: 44 days. I spoke with her briefly and she took great courage from us joining her in the small way that we did. Continue reading
by Mike Lowe
Following on from previous posts with the contributions of Martin Frick and Mary Evelyn Tucker at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, here is the third speaker in that session – Tim Costello, CEO of World Vision, Australia. Tim is a very well-known and much loved figure in Australia, a former Baptist pastor and long-term campaigner for social justice issues. He is also the brother of former Australian Deputy Prime Minister, Peter Costello. Again, thanks go to film maker Ashley Young for these videos. Continue reading
by Mike Lowe
Over 4 billion people claim allegiance to religious communities of one form or another, which is why the recent Parliament of the World’s Religions in Melbourne was so important. Here is a statement on climate change which emerged from that gathering, read by Bishop Geoffrey Davies from the Southern African Faith Communities Environmental Institute. It endorses a target of 350ppm and recognizes the principles of climate justice. Special thanks to Tom Duncan and Ashley Young for this film.
By Tom Duncan
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD) – is a new addition to the Kyoto Phase II/ Copenhagen Treaty, that aims to reduce deforestation. The problem is, that large timber companies, illegal loggers, palm oil plantations, aim to replace rainforest and orangutang habitat, with income producing plantations, threatening to undermine the REDD scheme. There is much concern from Indigenous communities that they already have very little control over their forests, and REDD potentially may put control of forests more in Government hands, and corporate plantations, which endanger indigenous communities survival and culture. More information updates after REDD sessions this evening.
Last night I went to the Danish Film Institute where Al Gore spoke and two new environmental films were screened. Al Gore started with a question and answer session. He was OK, if slightly disappointing (luckily I did not go with high expectations). However, his talk was enormously overshadowed by this film http://www.greenthefilm.com/. Please find time to sit down and watch it; it is an amazing, depressing and important film.
The negotiations here in Copenhagen are concerning. They are highly political and focus very heavily on carbon emissions. While accounting for around 15% of the world’s carbon emissions, what the politicians often fail to recognize is that deforestation creates the permanent loss of fragile and complex habitats; once the forests are gone they are gone.
This film not only reminds us that we can all do more, but also highlights the beauty and fragility of our forests. I met the filmmaker – he is a hero and has dedicated his life to this. This film was done on a budget of 10,000Euros – quite an achievement. Please pass it on to others.
by Mike Lowe
Following on from yesterday’s videos of Martin Frick on the Human Face of Climate Change, here is Mary Evelyn Tucker who spoke after him. Mary Evelyn heads up the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale University, and is also a moving force in the Earth Charter Initiative. Again, thanks go to film-maker Ashley Young.
First, here is Mary Evelyn talking about the role of religious communities in the International day of Climate Action organised by 350.org
Here is part 1 of the presentation at the Parliament of the World’s Religions
Here is part 2
Here is part 3