Dispatches from Durban - ALERTNET

Dispatches from Durban

AlertNet Climate and its network of experts and organisations share their insights on the U.N. climate talks

  • Claudia Salerno, head of the Venezuelan delegation says developing countries are promising more to combat emissions than richer countries: “The level of ambition of developing countries has proved to be higher, in large, than developed countries”
  • Venezuela at #COP17: “The level of ambition of developing countries has proved to be higher, in large, than developed countries” #climate
  • RT @stepscentre: Can technology save the #climate? Briefing & working paper: bit.ly #COP17
  • A protester stands in front of a banner outside the COP17 (Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Climate Change) venue in Durban November 28, 2011. Almost 200 nations began global climate talks on Monday with time running out to save the Kyoto Protocol aimed at cutting the greenhouse gas emissions scientists blame for rising sea levels, intense storms, drought and crop failures. The COP17 runs until December 9. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

  • Men carrying cardboard for recycling walk past COP17 volunteers in Durban during the climate change conference, November 28 2011. Almost 200 nations began global climate talks on Monday with time running out to save the Kyoto Protocol aimed at cutting the greenhouse gas emissions scientists blame for rising sea levels, intense storms, drought and crop failures. The COP17 runs until December 9. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

  • A member of the Trans African caravan of hope, a campaign on climate justice, gestures as he takes part in a protest outside the COP17 venue in Durban November 28, 2011. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

  • A man cycles in front of a makeshift baobab tree during the COP17 in Durban November 28, 2011. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

  • A Masai man (R) holds a placard as he takes part in a protest outside the COP17 venue in Durban November 28, 2011. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

  • Deputy Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization Jerry Lengoasa speaks during a news conference at the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, November 29, 2011.REUTERS/Rogan Ward

  • The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has slammed the decision to hold the 2012 U.N. climate change summit in Qatar.

    “Huge economic transformation is needed to tackle climate change. This massive task can only be achieved if working people’s rights are respected – it cannot be simply imposed from above. Qatar has an appalling record of ignoring workers’ rights, especially migrants, and the decision to hold next year’s climate summit there sends a totally wrong message and risks delaying vital action. Either Qatar must move urgently to implement labour laws in line with international standards, or another host country should be found for the COP18 talks,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.

  • Kyoto Protocol may suffer fate of Julius Caesar at Durban #climate talks, blogs Guardian's John Vidal ow.ly #COP17
  • RT @ashdenawards: Euro-solar project connects rural Peruvians to #renewable #energy and helps change lives. bit.ly
  • RT @climatereality: At a rally in Durban, Desmond Tutu takes aim at climate change, a “huge enemy” ow.ly
  • Reading - @UN: World temperatures continue to rise (@USAtoday @WMOnews) #cop17 #climate usat.ly
  • Reading - As Kyoto Protocol ends, an uncertain #climate future (@npratc) #cop17 #durban #unfccc n.pr
  • IPS: "Forest-Dependent Communities Lobby for End of REDD+." bit.ly
  • The world is getting hotter, with 2011 one of the warmest years on record, and humans are to blame, a report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has said.

    It warned increasing global average temperatures were expected to amplify floods, droughts and other extreme weather patterns.

    "Our science is solid and it proves unequivocally that the world is warming and that this warming is due to human activities," WMO Deputy Secretary-General Jerry Lengoasa told reporters in Durban, where almost 200 nations are gathered for U.N. climate talks.

    The WMO, part of the United Nations, said the warmest 13 years of average global temperatures have all occurred in the 15 years since 1997. That has contributed to extreme weather conditions that increase the intensity of droughts and heavy precipitation across the world, it said.

    "Global temperatures in 2011 are currently the tenth highest on record and are higher than any previous year with a La Nina event, which has a relative cooling influence," it said. www.trust.org
  • Canada's failure to deny reports that it is about to ditch the Kyoto Protocol is "setting a bad example" to other developed nations as global climate change talks enter their third day, China's official news agency has said.

    Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent said on Monday that Kyoto was "the past", but he would not confirm media reports that Ottawa was planning to formally withdraw from the treaty, one of the main topics of global climate talks now under way in Durban, South Africa..

    Canada says it backs a new global deal to cut emissions of greenhouse gases, but insists it has to cover all nations, including China and India, which are not bound by Kyoto's current targets.

    The commentary published by Xinhua news agency accused Canada of undermining global efforts against climate change and damaging its own reputation in pursuit of short-term interests.

    "While delegations from every country attend the Durban climate conference to discuss a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, one can imagine the damage done by this 'rumour'," Xinhua said. www.trust.org
  • IFC and South African Retirement Industry to Advance Ground-Breaking Sustainability Legislation

    Johannesburg, South Africa, November 30, 2011—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today signed an agreement with the Principal Officers Association of South Africa to work on the integration of environmental, social, and corporate governance issues in investment decisions. POA is a trade association of pension fund managers representing more than ZAR 2 trillion (about $250 billion) in assets under management.

    The project will provide a consistent framework and set of tools for retirement funds to comply with the new Regulation 28 of South Africa’s Pension Funds Act. The regulation is pioneering on a global level in that it requires pension funds to actively consider sustainability issues in their investment decisions. This is reinforced by a number of national and international policy initiatives such as the Code for Responsible Investing in South Africa (CRISA) and the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment.

    “Improving the environmental, social, and governance performance of businesses contributes to their financial resilience and profitability. Institutional investors have a key role to play in catalyzing innovation and investment, especially when it comes to climate change,” said Wanjiru Kirima, Chairperson of the Principal Officers Association and also the Chairperson of the project steering committee. “This project is an innovative and practical step for the industry to help address the challenges that South Africa is facing while improving returns for pensions and society.”

    The project will draw on local and international best practice, including IFC’s Sustainability Framework for private sector investment in emerging markets. The Sustainability Framework reflects IFC's strategic approach to climate change and the integration of environmental and social sustainability. The broad adoption of these practices can transform markets and improve people’s lives.

    “IFC invests in priority sectors such as renewable energy, infrastructure, agribusiness and small and medium enterprises based on our sustainability framework. By working with other institutional investors we seek to leverage additional long-term and sustainable investment into such sectors,” said Saleem Karimjee, IFC Southern Africa Country Manger. “Incorporating environmental, social, and corporate governance practices can help to protect investment portfolios, especially in the light of increasing risks from climate change.”

    More than a dozen institutions, including the National Treasury of South Africa, the South African Government Employees Pension Fund, Financial Services Board and the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa, will lead this initiative. These institutions comprise the steering committee of the project and have responsibilities for retirement fund investment practices in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.

    This project is supported by funding from the Norwegian Government.
    by IFC (World Bank) edited by Julie Mollins 11/30/2011 10:50:28 AM
  • Outside the Durban Exhibition Centre.....

  • Thursday night Climatecom will be hosting a UNFCCC side event entitled Youth and Climate Change: a prerequisite for action. Youth representatives from various environmental organizations and education groups across Africa will discuss solutions towards sustainability in climate change and the role of education and training programmes in raising awareness and action on climate change. Members of the panel will share personal testimonies on what actions they have taken and the audience will be invited to share their views on adopting sustainable lifestyles. Come join us for what promises to be a fun and spirited event Thurdsday December 1, 18:30 -20:300 in Indwe River Room, DEC.
  • Reading - #Climate talks held ‘hostage’ by Kyoto debate, former U.S. official says (@BloombergNews) bloom.bg
  • A man plants vegetables beneath a building made of milk crates and other recycled materials at an exhibition stand outside the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference (COP17) meeting in Durban, November 29, 2011. The building generates its own wind and solar power energy and is feeding it into the Durban electricity grid. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

  • Environmental activists promoting the use of solar and wind energy engage with locals on the Durban beachfront, November 29, 2011. The city is hosting the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties meeting (COP17), which runs until December 9. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

  • Reading - Minding the gigaton gap (@MotherJones @kate_sheppard) #unfccc #climate #cop17 bit.ly
  • Reading - Are the #Durban #climate talks - or climate talks in general - doomed? (@sciam @dbiello) #cop17 bit.ly
  • Increasing temperatures mean most of Madagascar won't be able to grow rice by 2080
  • Madgascar ranked third on the 2010 Maplecroft assessment of "extreme" climate risk, behind only Bangladesh and India
  • Really troubling statistics on Madagascar: 75 percent poverty rate, 50 percent of population under 20 and a population growth rate of 3.3 percent, 25 percent of population has access to power, 50 percent have access to health services
  • Bit of a divide opening over REDD at #COP17: Is it just suffering growing pains? Or is it doomed as the carbon price plunges? #climate #REDD
  • Frances Seymour of #CIFOR on #REDD: "There’s a concern the air may go out of this before the real money is on the table." #COP17
  • Big problem getting #REDD in place: “We have very strong vested interests and in most countries a weak or unclear voice of civil society"
  • Just listened to a fascinating discussion at the US Center at COP17. The focus was on public-private partnerships in agriculture, and panel speakers came from the Ministry of Agriculture in Kenya, Pioneer and the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) of South Africa. There is so much going on to hep prevent harvest losses, manage resources more effectively and increase productivity of staple crops.
  • Should be lots of interesting discussion at Climate Communications Day Thursday. I'll get to be one of the dragons in the "Dragon's Den", with scientists trying to push stories. Come see if they defeat the dragons or get their ideas scorched....
  • RT @oxfamamerica: Women produce 60-80% of the food in most developing countries, but are less likely to own the land than men....
  • RT @carbonmeme: Norway, Indonesia $1 Billion Forest Pact Broken, Group Says - Bloomberg bloom.bg
  • RT @oneclimate: we need intl community to move on without the US, says Jamie Henn of @350 live now on oneclimate.net
  • The losses in forests all around the world can now be quantified for the first time thanks to satellite technology, Kristin Palitza reports from Durban.

    Observing Deforestation from Space: ow.ly
  • Kyoto Protocol and Climate Fund on Shaky Ground at COP17: Can the EU break the negotiations deadlock? Will the GCF fail to be adopted? ow.ly
  • PODCAST: #SADC wants #water on the #UNFCCC agenda ow.ly #COP17
  • Fears of what climate change will do for African agriculture are real. In southern Africa, farmers are taking action to ensure that negotiators at COP17 get the message, Busani Bafana writes from Durban.

    No Agriculture, No Deal: ow.ly
  • The climate-energy Daily is out! bit.ly ▸ Top stories today via @felicitycarus @a_siegel @kmac @agentgav
  • Op-Ed by Tim Ash Vie, @cdknetwork's head of negotiations: The time to deliver the #GreenClimateFund is now. ow.ly
  • Guardian: "Norway accused of hypocrisy over Indonesian deforestation funding." bit.ly
  • Enhancing women leadership to address the challenges of climate change

    Cristina Tirado, Center for Public Health and Climate Change, Public Health Institute, Oakland, CA

    Women serve as agents of social change and development, through their unique roles in the family and child care, agricultural labor, food and nutrition security, health and disaster risk reduction. However women are poorly represented in consultation and decision-making processes for the development of climate change adaptation strategies – both at the local, the national and global levels. The promotion of their engagement and leadership is critical to addressing climate change in equitable, healthy, and sustainable ways.

    Current climate change policies and strategies tend to inadequately address the needs of women and children, particularly in the contexts of nutrition, food security and health. Integrating women’s empowerment as well as food and nutrition security and health in adaptation strategies, as well as resilient development is urgently needed to ensure the well-being of communities under a changing climate. Yet the issues of climate change adaptation, global health, women’s empowerment, nutrition and food security continue to be addressed in siloed approaches.

    Recognizing that these issues should be addressed in an integrated way, the Center for Public Health and Climate Change at the Public Health Institute (PHI), the World Food Programme (WFP), the UN System Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN) and Action Against Hunger (ACF) have prepared a document on “Enhancing women leadership to address the challenges of climate change on nutrition security and health”. climatehealthconnect.org

    Successful strategies for addressing the challenges that climate change pose to nutrition security and health, and to promote women’s engagement and leadership in adaptation planning and decision-making have been identified. The aim is to ensure that these are gender, as well as nutrition and health sensitive.

    These include:


    Empowering women is a cornerstone of fostering adaptation and addressing the impacts of climate change on health and nutrition. Through drawing on women’s knowledge and experiences based on their unique social, economic and resource management roles, climate change adaptation planners can significantly reduce communities’ vulnerability to climate change.

    Women’s capacity to address health and nutrition risks resulting from climate change must be enhanced through greater gender equity. This involves improved access to education, information, land, technologies, credit and social protection, as well as increased participation in climate change decision-making.

    Facilitating access to maternal and child care and nutrition services reduces hunger and malnutrition among women and children in the face of climate-related hazards and climate change impacts. This includes direct nutrition interventions, promotion of good nutrition and feeding practices such as breastfeeding, complementary feeding for infants and improved hygiene practices among others.

    Strengthening women’s role in promoting sustainable and diverse diets, resilient livelihoods, local food systems and climate-smart agriculture, including the production and consumption of nutrient-rich crops, is critical for ensuring food and nutrition security under a changing climate.

    Protection and enhancement of health is an essential pillar of sustainable development, and of the response to climate change. Promoting health access and healthy environments through investing in health care systems, clean energy access, water and sanitation, all address significant climate change impacts on health. Policies and investments to mitigate and adapt to climate change have great potential for improving health.

    Protection and promotion of nutrition and health are essential components of climate-resilient and sustainable development. Women can be instrumental in addressing climate change, nutrition and health in an integrated way. Promoting women’s leadership on these issues requires an integrated approach focusing on both immediate and long-term actions. These include creating mechanisms to promote and protect women’s rights, empowering women, and enhancing their capacity to address the challenges of climate change for nutrition and health. Promoting women’s leadership will have a positive and significant effect on climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies, and ultimately, on the health and well-being of the societies of which they are members. This can only be achieved if women are at the centre of adaptation and development planning processed at community national and international level.
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