In the very least: 1) Did not contribute to advancing the COP15 negotiations 2) His presence instilled fear in the local Danes, a semi-socialist people, who reacted with military presence, which contributed to the COP’s failure 3) was simply not the venue to make political speeches.
I get he appeals to the far left. But that is not the topic. The topic is creating a climate treaty for all the Earth’s 194 countries. The reality - the long term effects - is that he contributed (to be clear, he was one of many factors) to the destruction of climate negotiations. He wasted tens of thousands of people’s time. He contributed to ruining, for example, the hopes of many in the developing world who spent their life’s savings just trying to get to the COP (the COP was shut down, and countless delegates, press, students, government representatives, etc., were turned away. Millions wasted.). Again, I get he’s a hero to some, but that is not the issue. In the case of the COP15, he was a destructive force. Cheers! m
Thanks for your note. Yeah, I’m familiar with Tuvalu, a tiny nation in the Pacific just east of Australia and close-by to Fiji. In fact, I was serendipitously in the middle of a Tuvaluan flash-protest at the COP15 in Copenhagen back in 2009. In double-fact, here’s a picture I took of that protest.
Tuvalu is a small island nation that is eroding away by sea-level rise. So, they eventually have to evacuate their homes and land, but the problem is they don’t have anywhere to go. They’d have to emigrate to another country.
Abandoning a nation is a very strange thing if you think about it. Which country should take the people in? Should they be treated as refugees? Who is responsible and, if there is a responsible party, who will enforce penalties? Will they lose their citizenship by default, since their nation has disappeared under the ocean??
What’s most interesting to me (and should blow your mind) is who will clean up their trash and infrastructure before they evacuate? Their trash and sewers, like the secret of the Maldives, are an environmental disaster in waiting.
Shakes Magic 8-Ball “Outlook not so good.” In a devastating policy outlook update, Derek Spence of the IISD, offers perspective on the upcoming COP17, which will be held this December in Durban, South Africa.
Recall that recent climate commitments achieved at the COP15 in Copenhagen, and the COP16 in Cancun were discussed just a few weeks ago at the Bonn Climate Conference held in Germany (a summary of the Bonn conference is here).
Spence writes that countries are more than reluctant to re-up on Kyoto. This is interesting, since many countries have agreed to dedicate billions to various emissions reduction and adaptation projects that were finalized at the previous COP15 and COP16. Are world leaders experiencing a sort of moral hazard, or false sense of security as a result? In other words, since these policies are in place, perhaps leaders do not see the need to re-up on Kyoto. (Note: A summary of the commitments are in the article.)
Still, Spence is clear that his pessimism lies in the suspicion that developed countries are not serious about their emissions reductions commitments:
Prospects for agreement in Durban: Poor.
Can Durban Seal a Comprehensive New Deal?
Even an ambitious second commitment period under Kyoto will not deliver the type of emissions reductions needed to keep the lid on climate change. Some industrialized countries have been vocal in calling for a comprehensive global agreement that includes all major emitters. Only an ambitious treaty covering all key players could possibly limit global temperature rise to 2°C or less.
The concern on the part of developing countries is that such a treaty could blur the lines between the obligations of developed and developing countries. Under Kyoto, developed countries undertook to take the lead in combating climate change. This is a condition the South wants honored, and explains why they continue to press hard for a second commitment period.
Source: IISD Policy Update, “What Can a Deal in Durban Deliver?”
Do it Now Green Urbanist,
Yep, I’m in Denmark. Don’t be too jealous, I’m working my arse off on an urban planning/climate adaptation project.
Thanks for the update about the Danish Supreme Court. Thats some bad news, very controversial. I’m sure Copenhagen residents are super P.O.’d. I read the case back in 2009, and recall that squatters have substantial rights to private land in Denmark. A certain amount of time has to pass before rights are transferred to squatters - 10 years maybe?
The question here, if I recall correctly, was if squatters could gain those same rights to federal land. Apparently not.
I’ve been to Christiania. Here are some pictures. Strange place. I’ve never seen open drug use before. It was quite uncomfortable, tbh. Also, I don’t believe the ban on hard drugs is true nor enforced, - we bumped into some very shady dudes one late night while touring the “bars” there. I remember one booth sold the best cookies I’ve ever had. I’m talking EPIC COOKIES!
Denmark has been trying for decades to re-claim Christiania, so I’m sort of not surprised. My heart is with them, but the law is pretty clear. Also, it’s very bad PR for the government - the land is extremely valuable to private developers - I’m talking billions of dollars of prime water-front real estate in downtown Cope. Anyway:
More than occasionally, I’ll write posts covering what the UN is and does. The United Nations division called the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or just the UNFCCC , is the primary mover for climate programs world wide. The UNFCCC’s goal is to provide climate related solutions for all its members, which includes every country in the world (194 countries). It oversees several environmental programs, including the Kyoto Protocol, Clean Development Mechanism, and the yearly Conference of the Parties. Conference of the Parties are called COPs. The most recent COP was the COP16, held in Cancun, Mexico, before that it was the COP15 in Copenhagen, Denmmark, which I attended with the Vermont Law delegation.
Now, the UNFCCC is managing something called the Adaptation Fund, which I will write a lot about in the future. The Adaptation Fund is basically a pool of millions of dollars (soon to be billions), banked in a special fund parked at the World Bank. The fund operates like a grant fund. As I understand it, the funds will help countries with adaptation projects (as opposed to private entities, such as Coca Cola or BP). Think proactively working to prevent Pakistani and Bangladeshi floods and you get the picture. The funds are not for disaster management, but rather are for impacts that have not occurred but are projected to happen in the future. Interesting fact, the fund is one of the lasting results from the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
Up until the COP16 in Cancun, only one project was approved, in Senegal to prevent coastal erosion in vulnerable areas. On December 17, 2010 the Adaptation Fund Board approved four agencies with the ability to screen and fund projects. This means governments no longer have to go to the Adaptation Fund Board to
In an excellent overview of climate adaptation, The Economist writes that climate changes are inevitable, and communities have to adapt. We all (should) by now have a basic understanding that sea level rise will impact coastlines. But, it is the “imapacts” part that we need to understand better.
The other day, I wrote about what salt water can do to building foundations and piers. This is a real impact from sea level rise. In fact, salt from the Mediterranean Sea is encroaching the Nile river delta, ruining soils that nourish date farms and even eating away the foundations of the ancient pyramids. NPR covered it here. Tides ebb and flow into and out of the mouths of rivers that empty into the sea. The freshwater-saltwater transition zones form either deltas or estuaries (quick summary of difference between delta/estuaries here). These zones of brackish/saltier water are expected to expand into areas where people have built infrastructure, such as the footings for bridges, electricity and fiber optic cables buried under ground, storm water pipes, piers and boat moors, etc. These things were not necessarily built to withstand corrosion from salt. To combat the creeping saline water, Urban planners and hazards planners have to act now by conducting infrastructure assessments to locate high risk vulnerabilities.
The Economist expands on tangible impacts by opening up the discussion of human migration.
Ideally, there would be opportunities to move to cities in other countries, too; the larger the region in which people can travel, the easier it is to absorb migrants from struggling areas. This is one reason why adaptation is easier for large countries or integrated regions. Within the EU, Greeks and Italians will be better placed to move to cooler climes than inhabitants of similarly sized countries elsewhere.
What happens to the people who live in cities that cannot deal with very high sea level rise? Mass migrations are expected to occur, and, the article argues, cities are better prepared to absorb population increases. To demonstrate, Hurricane Katrina should come to mind (to be fair, migrations from sea level rise will be very slow, and not occur so spectacularly from one event. Still, people will migrate from flood prone areas in droves, and cities will need to be prepared to absorb a typically poorer demographic.). Estimates range from 100,000 to 300,000 people permanently fled the NOLA region after Katrina.