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
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
The 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
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
Some 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
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
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
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…
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
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.