Should help students understand the UNFCCC and negotiations at the COPs.
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of 21st century diplomacy and international governance. Given the many different stakeholders and communities who have roles to play, it is a contemporary challenge with regard to its demand on interdisciplinary knowledge, skills and languages, and the personal capacities needed to combine these so as to make diplomatic sense and success. Competing interests, political tensions, and challenges of the world today, such as the economic recession and competing development priorities, mean that negotiation deadlocks are rife and ways to overcome them are becoming more and more challenging to find.
The outcome of the 18th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 8th Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties (CMP7) to the Kyoto Protocol in Durban, has shown the world that despite challenging circumstances, multilateral fora can still foresee traction with regard to making meaningful progress on the international climate change agenda.
Politics and an oversimplified understanding of demographic dynamics have long kept population issues out of serious discussions in the framework of climate negotiations. Within adaptation actions, however, this is beginning to change, and this volume is intended to provide a framework for taking that change forward, towards better, more evidence-based adaptation.
It provides key concepts linking demography and adaptation, data foundations and techniques for analyzing climate vulnerability, as well as case studies where these concepts and analyses illuminate who is vulnerable and how to help build their resilience.
Not sure how long the resources will be online, so get them while they last!
The conference will provide a forum for Arab politicians, policy makers, planners, academia and development experts to discuss issues and challenges facing the region with regard to disaster risk reduction. This session is being co-organized by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) and the League of Arab States (LAS).
Based in Serbia, the new adaptation organization will act as a regional Centre in South East Europe focusing on cooperation in the areas of: applied research; water management; development and promotion of adaptation strategies; capacity development; and research for application, education, and training in the field of climate change impact on water resources management and the adaptation to such impacts.
The dangers posed by air pollution are far larger than previously thought, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) has announced, as it renewed its call for rapid global action in reducing what it described as one of “the greatest hazards to human health.”
The warning came at the latest meeting of the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), held in Paris, France, over the weekend, where health advocates were told that indoor air pollution had become the leading risk factor for “burden of disease” in South Asia while it was ranked second in Eastern, Central and Western Sub-Saharan Africa and third in Southeast Asia.
“The estimations we have now tell us there are 3.5 million premature deaths every year caused by household air pollution, and 3.3 million death every year caused by outdoor air pollution,” Dr. Maria Neira, the WHO’s Director of Public Health and Environment, told the CCAC meeting.
Ground-level ozone pollution was estimated to cause an additionally 200,000 premature deaths every year, the agency said in a press release, which notes that “burden of disease” is a calculation based on years of life lost combined with years lived at less than full health.
“Air pollution is becoming one of the biggest health issues we have in front of us at the moment,” Dr. Neira said.
To ensure a gender-sensitive approach to climate finance, women’s particular vulnerabilities must be recognized and women included in the planning, experts said during a Twitter chat with the Global Gender and Climate Alliance.
With the global community investing billions of dollars to fund a response to climate change, the alliance said it is essential to ensure these funds promote policies and programs that reduce inequality between men and women so they are able to address climate change effectively and on an even footing.
The chat addressed why gender-sensitive climate change matters, who benefits and why it is important now. Participants questioned what could be done to ensure climate funding is inclusive and fair to all.
“Climate change and other global environmental threats will increasingly become serious barriers to further human development,” says lead author Professor David Griggs from Monash University in Australia. Humans are transforming Earth’s life support system — the atmosphere, oceans, waterways, forests, ice sheets and biodiversity that allow us to thrive and prosper — in ways “likely to undermine development gains”, he adds.
The team asserts that the classic model of sustainable development, of three integrated pillars — economic, social and environmental — that has served nations and the UN for over a decade, is flawed and does not reflect reality.
“As the global population increases towards eight billion people sustainable development should be seen as an economy serving society within Earth’s life support system, not as three pillars,” says co-author Dr. Priya Shyamsundar from the South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics, Nepal.
The six goals The new set of goals — thriving lives and livelihoods, food security, water security, clean energy, healthy and productive ecosystems, and governance for sustainable societies — aim to resolve this conflict. The targets beneath each goal include updates and expanded targets under the MDGs, including ending poverty and hunger, combating HIV/aids, and improving maternal and child health.
But also a set of planetary “must haves”: climate stability, reducing biodiversity loss, protection of ecosystem services, a healthy water cycle and oceans, sustainable nitrogen and phosphorus use, clean air and sustainable material use.
Co-author Dr. Mark Stafford Smith, science director of CSIRO’s climate adaptation research programme in Australia says:
“What happens when you trade the foundations of your society for cash?” - Céline Rouze, a brave journalist who wrote Exxon Mobil’s Papua New Guinea LNG Project. This project is the largest energy project in the history of the entire Pacific Rim. Exxon’s promises of economic development has instead brought chaos and violence.
Céline Rouze is very courageous journalist. People like her give me hope…
I was at the COP15 when Chavez arrived to deliver his vile, inflammatory speech. Obama was there, as well. In fact, the COP15 went down in history books as one of the largest gatherings of world leaders in one place at one time (I believe second only to the 2000 Millennium Summit).
You can watch Chavez’s vile speech in the link below provided by the excellent Fora TV:
We were kicked out of the COP15 because a protest, one of the largest in Europe’s history, flared up and scared authorities. In fact, Denmark actually suspended parts of its Constitution, blocked highways, rolled out the military and super-police units, and arrested (a few) protestors on sight.
Interesting conference recap for my resilience, cities, and adaptation readers. Focus seems to have been on public-private partnerships in rebuilding after disasters - getting NGOs, non-profits, and governments together to discuss how to better plan and manage environmental risks. Big fan of the international flavors at this event.
In 2011 a couple of months after the Great East Japan Earthquake and the Fukushima nuclear aftermath, the Global Platform for Disaster Reduction, which also hosted the first World Reconstruction Conference, brought together almost 3000 people working on reducing disaster risks and building resilient communities. This included several Heads of State, Ministers, a Managing Director of the World Bank, over 2,600 delegates representing 163 Governments, 25 inter-governmental organizations, 65 non-governmental organizations, parliamentarians, private sector, local government, academic institutions, civil society and international organizations.
The Chair’s Summary of the 2011 event identified 9 ways to place DRR at the forefront to preserve and protect the balance of nature and ensure sustainable development and well-being of future generations. This included supporting local government, drawing on the untapped potential of local actors, building on the role of women as change agents, involving children and youth in decisions that affect their future, engaging the private sector, building on the role of parliamentarians in setting policy, promoting cooperation at the local, national, and regional levels, supporting the scientific and technical communities to inform decisions, and supporting UNISDR in its leadership role in within the UN on DRR.
In a confusing Press Release, the United Nations urges countries to protect AND develop the Arctic as glaciers and ice melt. On the one hand, the PR urges stronger legal and environmental regulations. On the other, it urges northern countries to cooperate as they exploit the Arctic’s vast resources of oil, gas, minerals, and fish: “the Arctic Council …is formed by Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the US has a crucial role to play in ensuring any resource exploitation is done responsibly.”
The Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting supports some of the deepest reporting (of all media) on the sweet spot between human, sociopolitical, and environmental crises.
This video shows the incredible work by Mujib Mashal, who for several months explored how international development aid lacks focus on its most important resource: water and water infrastructure. Afghanistan is an agricultural society, yet less than 5% of aid money goes to the water sector.
Pulitzer Center grantee Mujib Mashal explains how trans-boundary water tensions with Iran and Pakistan cast a shadow on the development of Afghanistan’s mainly agricultural economy.
In his reporting project, he’s found water murder, violent threats against political officials, farmers’ reluctance to diversify from poppy production until there’s enough water, and an international reluctance to get involved. Only 5 percent of aid money flowing into Afghanistan goes to the water sector, despite clear needs for infrastructure. Read more here.
It’s Climate Science Communications Week at Climate Adaptation! For the entire week of Feb. 18 - 23, I’ll cover how climate change is discussed by the media, scientists, researchers, academics, and politicians. If you have sources or ideas on communicating climate change, send to: http://climateadaptation.tumblr.com/submit
From the 15th through the 20th century, the Doctrine of Discovery was recognized by European and American explorers as the go-to guideline for ownership of territory. The doctrine uses a basic “first-come, first-served” rule — a region belongs to whatever country got there first. Remember how the United States “won” the race to the moon in 1969 by planting a flag on the lunar surface?
Today, the United Nations has taken control of the issue. According to the U.N. Convention on the Laws of the Sea, claims to the North Pole are based on a country’s continental shelf (undersea extensions of land).
In 2007, Russian mini-submarines — on a mission to explore natural gas and oil deposits under the North Pole — planted Russian flags below the Arctic ice. The Canadians were not pleased, mostly because they claim that the North Pole is theirs. So do Denmark (via Greenland), Norway and the United States.