10 things that are wrong with this approach to “equity”

Ever since our own Anjali Appadurai stood before world leaders at the 2011 Durban climate talks to demand “equity now,” echoing a longstanding demand of climate justice movements across the world, there has been an increasing use of the word in discussions on international climate change policy. The idea of equity is contested, as everyone from social movement leaders to former Heads of State tries to get a slice of the action. Everyone is touting their vision of how equity, and therefore climate justice, can be operationalized at the international level in the negotiation of a new global clime agreement. They’re trying to put in practice in 2015 what the Convention set out in principle in 1992. What many academics and advocates are attempting, at least nominally, is to figure out how to fairly determine each countries’ responsibility for emissions reductions in order to meet an aggregate global goal of emissions reductions that limits the planet to a safe[1] level of warming. Read more…

A Green Climate Fund as if people and the planet mattered

What do climate-impacted communities in developing countries need from the GCF negotiations in Bali? A Southern Civil Society Statement issued at a media forum held this evening for the Indonesian press answers just that. 

No more deception! No more excuses! Climate Finance now!
A Green Climate Fund for People and Planet and not Private Profit!  Read more…

The pre-COP: a chance we must take

by Maria Escalante & Adrian Fernandez Jauregui

Coming to the Conference of the Parties this year at Warsaw, Poland (COP19) confirmed us that climate change negotiations, under the UNFCCC, are not advancing in even reducing the only incremental climate change impacts, much less considerably mitigating global carbon emissions, transferring resources for adaptation, or fairly compensating developing and least developed countries (LDCs) for their losses and damages. The small steps celebrated by the strong block of G77, representing the views of the Global South, like the establishment of The Warsaw Mechanism on Loss and Damage under the mitigation track, or the fact that discussions around market based approaches and agriculture were postponed to be later discussed in a few months, are very few small celebrations. Read more…

Designing for Activism

by nathan thanki

There are a surprising many similarities between designing on a computer and designing “in reality,” with bodies instead of pixels. Designing a poster requires many of the same skills as designing a creative direct action. Both are attempting to convey a message, often a demand or a request, through largely visual rhetoric which, like spoken language, has been developed within social interactions. The process of design is by and large the same: there is collaboration; there is a target audience; there is always a context; and there is a fair amount of soul-searching that goes on once the designer/activist begins to ask basic questions of the form and function of the project. Often the output, be it poster or protest, is part of a broader campaign. There are considerations of consistency, coherence, and timing; of modularity and reproducibility. Can the final product be photocopied or just copied—can it be adapted to different contexts? In any design process, the limitations are crucial. What is the scale, physical and temporal? How much money is available? What is the capacity of the designer/activist team? We are based in a material world that has material limits—this impacts the design process. Read more…

Love for CDM could continue into 2015 and beyond… But this time who loves it, developing or developed?

by Surya Karki

According to Annual Report of the Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) to the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, it has come through another difficult year. The main challenge facing the CDM remains the low level of demand for the certified emission reductions produced by CDM registered project activities and programmes of activities, due ultimately to Parties’ level of ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And as there wasn’t a mechanism to address the overflow and low demand of carbon credits, the overwhelming supply of CER units has driven the demand and carbon prices down.

The report also states that the number of CDM projects carried out has dropped drastically in comparison to 2005 levels. Since its establishment, the CDM has 7300 projects registered in 94 countries, making it the only mechanism to have implemented projects in several countries. Among the 7300 CDM projects, many have been implemented in countries that already attract the lion’s share of foreign direct investment (FDI), like China and India among others.

While the “C” in CDM stands for “Clean,” the definition of this word is so vague that even “clean coal” projects can be part of it. The astonishing fact is that most CDM credits are made up of “clean coal” project credits. Thus, through this mechanism there is no actual CO2 emission reduction. The “reduction” in CO2 gases from CDM projects, which are counted as credits towards mitigation commitment for the implementing country, is a demonstration of false mitigation commitments by Annex I parties. Read more…