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

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

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

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

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

Jai Ram in Mayan land

Guest post by Rishab Khanna from the Indian Youth Climate Action Network, and part of the IofC team in Cancun

Sitting here in the Space shuttle of the Cancun Messe, far away from the negotiations in the Moon Palace, I wanted to share my first impressions of my interaction with the Indian Environment Minster Jai Ram Ramesh.

Well here I am just started to type in some words, and being attacked by a giant butterfly :). Jai Ram did not waste any time in getting to the point, he said that in the last 15 months, India’s strategy with regards to climate change has been a function of three factors:

a) Indian Economic Interest
b) Domestic Environment agenda
c) Global diplomacy, repositioning India for the UN security council

Continue reading

COP-16 Turtles and hopes

 

It has been already a week since the COP-16 started. Many people, including myself have been struggling to commute between the different venues that make it difficult to network.

A couple of days ago I attended the Agriculture and Rural Development day held at the resort area of Cancun. During one of the long breaks of the conference I put on my tennis shoes and decided to go for a run on the beach that is fully covered by five-star hotels and tourist infrastructure. Continue reading