Climate change

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development - Rio 2012, must change the dominant mindset by: restoring public rights over corporate privileges,Taking equity seriously and rescuing nature. The Rio 1992 Summit adopted legally-binding instruments and embraced Civil Society. The Johannesburg Summit 2002 celebrated partnerships relying on a self-regulated Private Sector. The Rio 2012 Summit must re-affirm the State as the indispensable actor setting the legal frame, enforcing standards of equity and human rights, and fostering long-term ecological thinking, based on democratic legitimacy. [see more]
Climate change is widely considered to be one of the gravest threats to the sustainability of the planet's environment, the well-being of its people and the strength of its economies. Mainstream scientists agree that the Earth's climate is changing from the build-up of greenhouse gases (GHGs), such as carbon dioxide, that result from such essential human activities as electricity generation, transportation and agriculture.

They also agree that industrialized countries —those with very high per capita GHG emissions— need to reduce their consumption of fossil fuels, improve agricultural practices, and conserve forests and other ecosystems that absorb carbon from the atmosphere. Developing countries, whose per capita emissions are generally much lower, are concerned with meeting the immediate energy needs of their people rather than reducing their emissions, but the time is right for them to also begin pursuing a more sustainable path of development.

The international response to climate change started with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Agreed to in 1992, the Convention is a framework for action to limit or reduce GHG emissions. In 1997, 159 countries signed the Kyoto Protocol to the Convention, committing industrialized countries to quantified targets for abating their emissions of GHGs.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, the US - by far the world's largest emitter of GHGs – was meant not only to slow down but also reverse the growth of its emissions to reach a target level of seven per cent below its 1990 emissions. In March 2001, US President George W. Bush de facto reneged on this undertaking by the previous administration, which had signed the Kyoto Protocol. He declared that he would propose his own strategy, and not seek ratification of the protocol, because he was worried about its effects on the US economy. Instead, the Bush administration came up with its own climate change strategy: one that, by 2012, is likely to result in a 30 per cent increase, over the 1990 levels, in the emission of greenhouse gases.

Over the last years, the centre of the debate on climate change has revolved around the so called “flexible” clauses of the Kyoto Protocol. In order to persuade the developed world to sign the convention, the protocol includes a “Clean Development Mechanism” (CDM) that allows the emission of a generous quantity of GHGs provided that countries commit themselves to investing in programs that compensate for their contamination. Namely, these consist in forestation and the preservation of green areas capable of absorbing carbon dioxide and transforming it into oxygen through the process of photosynthesis: the so called “carbon sinks”.

Although many NGOs and international organizations such as the World Bank agree that this mechanism provides a satisfactory solution to all parts, environmental groups and green organizations claim that no real improvement on climate change will be made if there is no reduction of GHGs emission. Furthermore, many argue that the CDM in fact bargains the right to contaminate thus leading to yet another form of commerce: the “carbon trade”, which is far from tackling the root causes of the problem.

Despite the fact that the effects of climate change affect the world as a whole, the south is increasingly turning into the “carbon sink” of the north, which causes serious alterations in its biodiversity and hinders the possibility of sustainable development.

In recent years, several countries have been promoting the use of biofuels - liquid fuels produced from biomass grown in large-scale monocultures, also called 'agrofuels'- as a viable alternative to fossil fuels. Promoters claim biofuels provide significant greenhouse gas emissions savings, but environmental NGOs have increasingly warned that the rush to agrofuels encourages intensive, industrial agriculture, providing a new promotional vehicle for GM crops, and posing a serious threat to food sovereignty. Indeed, the destruction of rainforests, peatlands and other ecosystems to make way for agrofuel plantations may well accelerate global warming.
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UPDATES
Tuesday, March 08 2011
Urgent Appeal to Change the Mindset
Friday, December 17 2010
Strange outcome of Cancun conference
(Source: The Star)
Wednesday, December 01 2010
Agribusiness Transnational Corporations (TNCs) and UNFCCC process
(Source: Vía Campesina)

Introduction: What is Global Warming?

Climate change: In graphics (BBC)

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

World Meteorological Organization

Third World Network

Environment and Development (Tierramérica)

Global Climate Change (BBC News)

Tiempo Climate Cyberlibrary

Climate Ark

Pew Center on Global Climate Change

Science and Development Network

WRM book on Climate Change (World Rainforest Movement (WRM))

The real impact of climate change

Shell climate crimes exposed in new report (Friends of the Earth)

Climate change in Africa (AfricaFiles)

Indigenous peoples fight for rights in Bali (Alter Eco newletter)

Voices from communities affected by climate change (FoEI)

Fighting climate change: human solidarity in a divided world (UNDP)

Climate change moving up the global agenda (Third World Network)

The effect of climate change on human health: Global Health Watch report 2005/6 (Global Health Watch)

Climate change threatens food security (FAO)

Global warming, disasters and the challenge to the MDGs (New Economics Foundation)

How climate change will further impede meeting the MDGs (Third World Network Features)

Climate change and war (Global policy Forum)

The Mauna Loa anomaly (Earth Island Journal)

Cast adrift: how the rich are leaving the poor to sink in a warming world (New Economics Foundation)

The warning signs of human-induced climate change (Third World Network)

Abrupt Climate Change Happening (Institute of Science in Society)

Up in smoke?: Threats from, and responses to, the impact of global warming on human development (New Economics Foundation)

Climate Change in Asia (Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI), India)

Act now or face the consequences (UNEP)

Africa and Global Climate Change (START)

No place to hide: effects of climate change on protected areas (World Wildlife Fund (WWF))

The world's fragile islands (Tiempo Climate Newswatch)

The price of power: Poverty, climate change, the coming energy crisis and the renewable revolution (New Economics Foundation)

We need to plan a response to climate change impacts (SciDev.net)

Adverse climate change impacting sustainable development worldwide (Oneworld)

Adapting to climate change

Climate indebted (Share the World's Resources)

Minority and indigenous groups are the silent victims of climate change (Minority Rights Group International)

Adapting to climate change: who should pay? (Oxfam)

Africa's perfect storm? (World Rivers Review)

Climate change in Africa (SciDev Net)

Whose power is it anyway?: a report on european energy suppliers (Greenpeace)

Sustainable development in Africa: is the climate right? (International Research Institute for Climate Prediction, Columbia University)

Adaptation to climate change in the developing world (IIED)

Mainstreaming adaptation to climate change in least developed countries (International Institute for Environment and Development)

Oil, agrofuels and climate change

Leaving oil in the ground to fight climate change (The Star)

Agrofuels - the debate (Choike)

Climate change and the G8

G8 builds momentum for climate change deal (Tcktcktck Campaign)

G8 failure to launch on climate (IPS)

G8 and G5 leaders issue different climate messages (Third World Network)

Key facts on the G8, World Bank and climate change (SEEN)

Faced with this crisis... (Planeta Portoalegre)

G8 summit agrees more talk, no action (Friends of the Earth International)

Developing countries stand firm by Kyoto Protocol (IPS)

Hoodwinked in the hothouse (Carbon Trade Watch)

'Greenwashing' does not make the world cleaner (IPS)

Negotiations follow-up

What happened in Copenhagen and the way forward (DAWN)

Poznan Climate Talks: fiddling while the earth burns (TNI)

Civil society campaign towards a Global Climate Fund (Choike)

Coercion on developing countries will mess climate talks (Third World Network)

UN climate talks in Accra

Kyoto protocol targets stressed at UN meet (Inter Press Service)

UN climate change conference: the day after (Focus on the global South)

UN climate change conference - 3-14 December 2007, Bali (Choike)

UN debates climate change (TWN)

UN climate change conference - Nairobi 2006

Environmental groups condemn IPCC call for large scale biofuels (Global Justice Ecology Project)

COP 10: Choike coverage (Choike)

UN Climate Negotiations 2005 (COP 11) (Choike)

Conferences of the parties

Deforestation and REDD

The promise and peril of REDD (SciDev net)

The road to Copenhagen 2009

Repay the climate debt: A just and effective outcome for Copenhagen (Friends of the Earth)

Climate change and Africa's natural resources (Pambazuka)

UN climate negotiations: analysis of latest positions (TNI)

Rocky road ahead at Bonn climate talks (Third World Network)

Tackling the problem: international conventions

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (United Nations)

Kyoto Protocol (UNFCCC)

Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

Climate Change Countdown (Earth Action)

International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Whither Kyoto? (ctrlaltesc.org)

Gender and climate change

A feminist response to economic and climate justice (DAWN)

Women and climate change in Cochabamba (Latin American Focal Point of Women for Climate Justice, Gender CC)

Facing a changing world: women, population and climate (UNFPA)

Gender is no distraction in climate change talks (IPS)

Statement of the CEDAW committee on gender and climate change (AWID)

Gender and climate finance: double mainstreaming for sustainable development (Heinrich Böll Foundation)

The link between gender, international finance and climate change (Gender Action)

Gender and climate change: mapping the linkages (BRIDGE)

Women must participate in all aspects of climate change debate (Relief Web)

Launch of the global gender and climate alliance

Women's milestones for the Bali roadmap (gendercc, Women for Climate Justice)

Gender, militarism and climate change (Znet)

Climate change and gender equality declaration (WEDO)

Gender and climate change (IUCN)

Carbon trade: the debate

Agribusiness Transnational Corporations (TNCs) and UNFCCC process (Vía Campesina)

The political economy of carbon markets (The Corner House)

Trouble in the air: Global warming and the privatised atmosphere (Carbon Trade Watch)

World Bank: climate profiteer (Institute for Policy Studies)

The carbon connection - a documentary (TNI)

The carbon market and environmental services (OilWatch Network)

The carbon neutral myth (Carbon Trade Watch)

Gambling with climate change (IPS)

New book exposes scandal of carbon trading (Carbon Trade Watch/ TNI)

Carbon offsets: the facts (New Internationalist)

Politics linked to climate change (Oilwatch)

Current Clean Development Mechanism design corrupt and ‘unclean’ (Centre for Science and Environment, India)

Carbon: under Kyoto, a hot commodity (CorpWatch)

The World Bank and the carbon market: rhetoric and reality (CDM Watch)

Analysis of the Kyoto Protocol (Greenpeace)

Sinks Watch

Creative Accounting (Equity Watch)

Dossier (SciDev.net)

Greenhouse market mania: UN climate talks corrupted by corporate pseudo-solutions (Corporate Europe)

The voice of southern civil society

Repay the climate debt! (Third World Network)

Small scale sustainable farmers are cooling down the earth (Via Campesina)

The Durban Declaration on carbon trading (Sinks Watch)

Clouds over global warming (CorpWatch India)

Equity Watch: a climate newsletter from the south

Climate Network Africa (CAN)

Enda Tiers Monde and Climate Change (ENDA Tiers Monde)

African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS)

Climate change and the World Bank

Are climate pilots building towards the right climate architecture? (Bretton Woods Project)

World Bank climate investment funds undermine climate and gender justice (Gender Action)

The World Bank and climate change: sustainability or exploitation? (Upside Down World)

World Bank loans exacerbate climate change (Bank Information Center)

Poznan Declaration: World vs. Bank (Networks and NGOs)

Dirty is the new clean (Institute for Policy Studies)

World Bank's lending for fossil fuel skyrockets (BIC)

How the World Bank is failing to finance renewable energy for development (Friends of the Earth USA)

How the WB energy framework sells the climate and poor people short (Friends of the Earth International)

World Bank's climate funds may undermine UNFCCC talks (Third World Network)

NGOs warn of World Bank's climate fund (Third World Network)

Global civil society statement on World Bank climate investment funds (BanglaPraxis)

The future beyond Kyoto

Urgent Appeal to Change the Mindset

Climate change and trade: the need for international coherence (Aid Watch)

Integrating development in climate change (South Centre)

Climate change cause and effect, an Americas perspective (Americas Program)

G8 Summit, 6-8 June 2007 (Choike)

Climate debt: making historical responsibility part of the solution (Friends of the Earth International)

The new dirty deal (Down to Earth (India))

Taking urgent action in the face of climate change (Social Watch)

US and climate change: too much of nothing (Foreign Policy In Focus)

Climate pact is no Kyoto (IPS)

The ecological debt crisis and climate change (Third World Network Features)

Towards a north-south bargain on climate change (Tufts University)

Wrong turn from Rio: the World Bank's road to climate catastrophe (Sustainable Energy & Economy Network)

Race on to tackle climate change (The Third World Network)

Kyoto: What's to celebrate? (Carbon Trade Watch)

Kyoto goes live but the battle has only begun (Friends of the Earth International)

Kyoto as an opportunity (World Watch)

Beyond Kyoto: advancing the international effort against climate change (Pew Center on Global Climate Change)

Towards Cancun climate talks 2010

Strange outcome of Cancun conference (The Star)

Two worlds collide at cancun climate talks (Americas Program)

Two worlds collide at Cancun climate talks (Americas Program)


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