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.


2010 – Year of the Climate Change Activist

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.

Continue reading

Vigil for Climate Justice

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

The Human Face of Climate Change – Tim Costello at the Parliament of the World’s Religions

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

Religious leaders call for 350ppm target

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.

Deforestation and UNFCCC REDD – An easy way to replace forests with plantations? Or financial mechanism to save our planet’s forests?

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.

The Human Face of Climate Change – Mary Evelyn Tucker at the Parliament of the World’s Religions

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

Here is part 1 of the presentation at the Parliament of the World’s Religions

Here is part 2

Here is part 3

The Human Face of Climate Change – Martin Frick at the Parliament of the World’s Religions

by Mike Lowe

Martin Frick, Director of the Global Humanitarian Forum (set up by Kofi Annan) came to the Parliament of the World’s Religions because, he said, ‘it is the world’s largest gathering of grass-roots organizations’.  He was the opening presenter on a panel on ‘The Human Face of Climate Change’, speaking alongside Mary Evelyn Tucker from the Religion and Ecology unit at Yale University (and a leading force in the Earth Charter movement) and Australia’s Tim Costello.

Here is Martin speaking about the outcomes he is hoping for from Copenhagen, followed by his presentation at the Parliament of the World’s Religions.  Thanks again to film-maker Ashley Young.

Presentation to the Parliament of the World’s Religions – part 1

Presentation to the Parliament of the World’s Religions – part 2

Presentation to the Parliament of the World’s Religions – part 3

Voices from the Parliament of the World’s Religions – Indonesia’s Muslims and Visier Sanyu from Nagaland

by Mike Lowe

One thing is very clear: – the people who will suffer the most from climate change are the world’s poorest, who have contributed least to the problems.

Professor Dr. M. Din Syamsuddin is President of Muhammadiyah, which at 30 million members is one of the world’s largest Muslim organisations. Protecting Indonesia’s ancient rain-forest will be an important component of any deal to limit global warming.  This is what he has to say to the people meeting in Copenhagen (with thanks again to film-maker Ashley Young)

I am also adding an interview with Visier Sanyu from Nagaland. Visier, who lives in Melbourne, is President of the Naga Overseas Association. The Nagas are an indigenous tribal people who live in North-East India and Western Burma.

Copenhagen Dec 11th – The Day Copenhagen Stood Still

by Tom Duncan

Alliance Of Small Island States (AOSIS), led by Tuvalu, has brought forward an all or nothing, high stakes bid for a new agreement in Copenhagen, that asks big developing country polluters such as China, India, Saudi Arabia, to have binding legal targets. In response, China, India and Saudi Arabia stated that they thought this was a plot to kill the Kyoto Protocol, to distract from the matter at hand. The substantial and tragic matter that Tuvalu brought to attention by it’s strong intervention in the Copenhagen merry go round-cum chessboard – is that island states will disappear if countries like China and India do not agree to new and binding targets, in much the way Annex 1 Countries did, under the Kyoto Protocol.