I think real grassroots organisation is important. There was a great piece in the New Yorker in April talking about how the green movement and Earth Day began with small meetings, rather than from the top, and how it's gone wrong since is to try to organise from the top
Hi Michael. I don't believe in scaremongering, but I do think it's important to bring home what scientists are telling us. What recent reports have been telling us, such as the International Energy Agency report, and the latest World Bank report on climate impacts ion developing countries. Young people need to be aware of the dangers that may be coming, so that they can get engaged and insist on actions form those with the reponsibilty.
Aedin, powerful forces have been tackled before - in fighting apartheid, fighting slavery and targeting the tobacco agency, This is the most critical battle of all, and therefore we need a broad constuency to ensure we succeed.
@Mary Robinson - we dont believe in scaremongering, but the reality of a 4 degree world is in fact very scary. We do need to speak truth to power and provide positive solutions about how we can tackle climate change
We're halfway through the debate, and two of our panelists - Pa and Amina - seem to be having some technical difficulties joining us. Apologies for this, we are working on getting them into the conversation...
One good thing: It's getting harder to be a climate skeptic given all the extreme weather happening virtually everywhere now. When the tobacco companies kept saying, "There's no proof smoking causes any health damage," there came a point when people didn't believe them anymore. I suspect that will come with climate change as well - the only question is if it's soon enough.
The world’s richest countries need to lead the way in tackling the global climate and development crisis – but action needs to start today. Rich countries in the developed world bear most historical responsibility for causing climate change and have a moral responsibility to help eradicate global poverty. They must:
• Explicitly recognise the inherent links between climate change and development (that progress on one cannot be achieved without progress on the other)
• Explicitly recognise that the world’s poor have done the least to cause climate change but are also suffering its worst impacts
• Take urgent action to make deep cuts to global greenhouse gas emissions, including introduction of global greenhouse gas reduction targets
• Make a real commitment to deliver additional finance for adaptation, targeting the poorest and most vulnerable and particularly women and girls massively scaled-up support for climate change adaptation, helping the poorest cope with the effects of a world with a changing climate
• Find new mechanisms and sources for generating additional climate finance
• Find mechanisms to deal with the inevitable loss and damage that is already resulting from climate change impacts
• Improve support for building people’s resilience to climate change.
We all agree that tackling climate change is crucial to development, but popular consultations for the post-2015 development agenda – the My World Survey etc – suggest that action on climate change is a low priority, particularly for people in poorer countries. Why do you think this is, and is it likely to lead to weak outcomes on climate change?
@kvaughan - one way to speak truth to power is to bring out the intergenerational element that our lifestyles are putting at risk, the future possibilities for our children grandchildren and their grandchildren. This sense of intergenerational injustice is why we should act.
John, Ashwani and Aedin all make comments about growth and measures that go beyond GDP. You are right we need alternative measures than GDP for example measures that value the natural world, measure equity and human wellbeing. It is crazy that if you cut a forest down your GDP goes up even if it is providing essential ecosystem services like water filtration. At Rio +20 there was a push that was supported by the UK government for GDP plus type measures and we hope the Open Working Group on SDGs addresses this in their deliberations.
Good question, @Megan - Because for most people in poorer countries climate change isn’t what they identify as the issue – the outcome or impact is food and nutrition insecurity, lack of access to water, poor health, declining livelihoods which means less money to send kids to school etc. (all issues that rank high across all countries).
Climate change is a development issue – it isn’t a parallel environmental issue that only affects some of us or is a future threat. Likewise many of the high priorities are important for a climate justice approach such as access to education, an honest and responsive government and access to jobs (a just transition to a green economy).
@Megan on the SG's views on limits on what post-20156 process can achieve on climate chnage: While it is important to allow the separate intergovernmental tracks on Post-2015 and Climate Change to mature separately, it is important to understand how they interconnect and to ensure that their outcomes contain measures to complement and reinforce each other. This is particularly important, mindful of the multi-dimensional nature of both challenges and the necessity for the future post-2015 sustainable development agenda to be coherent and integrated. For instance, on the financing issue, the Intergovernmental Expert Committee on a Sustainable Development Financing Strategy will hopefully provide some guidance on this issue.
@ Jamie Clark - Climate change is not a future problem, it's a current problem and it's happening right now. Floods in Eastern Europe and India are just a couple of examples - we need to change the narrative and talk about climate as a problem that is already happening, right here, right now
@MediaGlobalNews - There is some effort to make the post-2015 goals universal, but actually maybe that is a hard sell. Good point you make...
Sally, I feel very strongly that we can't pass the reponsibilty to others. We need to take as much responsibilties as possible - that's why we need consituencies of demand, and other kinds of leadership, such as the Troika+ of Women Leaders on Gender and Climate Change, which will have to lead on intergenerational justice into the future.
Apologies to Amina - she is very much with us! Fire away with your questions all....
@Megan @MediaGlobalNews It is absolutely vital that the goals are made universal - that is key to the report from the High Level Panel. No country has reached true sustainable development, so every country has to adopt new approaches for a post 2015 world.
These kinds of debates are one good example of low-carbon action! No one needs to travel but we can still dig into the issues....
Given the urgent timeframes for action - the IEA report says we have just 4 years to turn the tide of global energy consumption - we all need to get behind the MDGs and help fully integrate climate change, and send a signal that we need a low carbon and climate resilient future for all
@Megan on question about perceived low popularity of climate action in consultations: A priority of a #post2015 agenda will be to safeguard any gains made on poverty and prosperity well into the future, by building in a more sustainable approach to progress. What emerges from the #MYWorld2015 survey is that while people are concerned with their immediate environment - protecting forests, rivers and oceans ranks highly among many groups – climate change is a
lower priority. This almost certainly reflects the well-known phenomenon whereby people discount the effects of events likely to happen in the future, being more concerned about immediate priorities such as education, health or governance.
Protecting forests, rivers and oceans is in the top ten for every country-HDI group except for the lowest (where it is ranked 15th). It features 10th across all age groups and for women, but 11th for men. Those with more education also tend to rank ecosystems more highly. By contrast climate change is outside the top ten for every group except for respondents in very high HDI countries.
Coming out strongly in the debate - climate change is an inextricable part of the development challenge. Yet we have three separate processes to deal with climate change, disaster risk reduction and development. Who is doing the strategic thinking to make sure they are cohesive, and don't just stay as three separate tracks?