Catastrophic Climate Change

UN COP17 Climate Negotiations kick off in Durban

The 17th UN negotiations to try and limit the harmful effects of greenhouse gas emissions and potentially catastrophic climate change began on 28th November, in Durban South Africa. Since the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) entered into force in 1995, the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC have been meeting annually to assess progress in dealing with climate change.

With the slogan “Working Together; Saving Tomorrow Today”, it seems as though there is plenty of optimism and a will to achieve. However, recent COP meetings, in Copenhagen and Cancun, were felt by some to have failed to deliver lasting commitments from countries to decrease their greenhouse gas emissions.

Here’s an update from the UKYCC delegation in Durban on Monday 5 December:

“It’s the first day of the second week and the pressure’s started to build. This is the make or break week for the negotiations and I’ll be  honest – I’m afraid it’s going to be break time. There are some really important issues on the table – the one a lot of people are talking

about is the Kyoto Protocol. It’s the only legally binding treaty we have to reduce carbon emissions but it runs out in 2012. If we want to have emissions reduction targets (which we do), then we need action now.  The KP (as it’s called) only applies to developed countries. The US never signed up to it (they just don’t like playing fair or acknowledging that they’re part of the world) and now Canada is actively trying to kill it so it can sell highly polluting tar sand oil to every other country in the world for maximum profits. Japan and Russia are being lame too.

It’s not often I’m proud to be British but the EU, and the UK within it, are doing their best to keep it alive – I’m 100% of the way behind them. Say it loud and say it proud: ‘I heart KP!

Other important issues are having a broader mandate for a universal treaty that will cover both developed and developing countries come out of Durban. That, and money. Always with the money! But the UNFCCC want to create a Green Climate Fund to manage the money that will support mitigation and adaptation to climate change. The big question is, who’s going to take care of the money and where’s it going to come from?

For a more in-depth insight, check out the second UKYCC hand puppet video. If talking hands can’t explain what’s going on, nothing can!”

Websites to keep up to date with progress of the talks:

Go to Arcola Energy

Traffic Jams, Mired Talks, and Glimmers of Hope | Inhabitat #COP16

Good Summary Article from Friend of the CSPA, Moe Beitiks on Inhabitat:

The first week of talks is over at COP16 in Cancun, Mexico, and my brain is mushy. It’s not from margaritas — what’s spinning me around is the political web of the talks, the freakishly high stakes, and how long it takes to get to the conference from downtown Cancun. The logistics of the conference are both frustrating its progress and creating new dialogues, while the world waits with bated breath for real solutions that will stem the onset of catastrophic climate change.

Read on for our exclusive report straight from Cancun!

Find the rest here:  COP16: Traffic Jams, Mired Talks, and Glimmers of Hope | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World.

Age of Stupid as a model for climate activism

Armstrong filming in New Orleans, 2006Armstrong filming in New Orleans, 2006

On the eve of the premiere of Age of Stupid, an email from director Franny Armstrong:

Tabloid Revolution: Three million people will have choked on their cornflakes this morning when they read Pete’s column in the Sun. See attached. “We – that is humanity – have only a couple of years left to act if we are to stop catastrophic climate change causing the deaths of hundreds of millions of people.” In The Sun.

Pete being Pete Postlethwaite. The column is an achievement in itself in a paper that last year published a column by Kelvin MacKenzie  headlined Global Warming Doesn’t Exist.

The Age of Stupid has been an exemplary campaign, from the crowd-funding strategy that raised £450,000 to meet production cost, £130,000 to meet distribution and publicity costs and a further £164,000 for political campaigns running alongside the movie, to an incredibly efficiently run grass-roots internet strategy to get the words out.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology