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…

Days 12 & 13 Policy Updates: Muddles and Huddles

by Earth in Brackets team and friends

Negotiations in Warsaw carried on essentially non-stop from Wednesday morning until Saturday night, with many delegates not sleeping for at least the final 48 hours. There were three concurrent issues being negotiated over the course of Friday and Saturday: finance, loss and damage, and the ADP draft text. Finance and loss and damage were in closed contact groups all day and night. ADP had two separate drafting sessions that were open to observers.

Huddle over ADP

Huddle over ADP

At 5am on Friday, a new draft text of the ADP was issued. By 11am a drafting session was convened which ran to 3pm. Up for discussion was a draft text that had been released at 5am that morning. Read more…

Days 10-11 Policy Updates: The Storm Before the Storm

By Nathan Thanki with input from Katie O’Brien, Anjali Appadurai, and others. Photos by Rachel Wells

In short, the negotiations are falling apart. We say that with utmost respect for the work being done by our negotiator allies and friends among civil society observers. It is not their fault. Nor is it the fault of the UNFCCC per se, though its Secretariat must shoulder some blame. The negotiations themselves are only as good as Parties make them. Some Parties, notably the US, Australia, Canada, and Japan, heavily influenced by a massive fossil fuel lobby, are making the negotiations bad enough for 800 members of civil society to walk out of the talks. Forming a broad coalition of brand environment and development NGOs, youth groups, Trade Unions, indigenous people, and members of social movements, we solemnly marched out at 2pm on Thursday wearing t-shirts stating “#cop19 polluters talk, we walk” and “#volveremos, we will be back.” They did not condemn the entire UN process, focusing on the irredeemable failure of this COP in particular, and promised to spend the next year strengthening and linking their movements and ramping up their national efforts before returning to the COP in Lima next winter. Read more…

We Stand Together

By: Maria Alejandra Escalante, Graham Thurston Hallett, and Clémence Hutin (Young Friends of the Earth Europe)

We Stand Together

We Stand Together – members of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, Clémence, Graham and Maria

Our official expulsion from the United Nations Convention on Climate Change at COP19 has been confirmed: after a week of waiting, Christiana Figueres decided to respond to the various letters sent from the Philippine delegation, The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice statement with 64 signatures from NGOs around the World (listed below), the Youth constituency, Friends of the Earth International, Earth in Brackets, College of the Atlantic, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and an appeal made by the Bolivian delegation on behalf of the G77, all requesting a reversal in her decision. Figueres, Executive Secretariat of this multilateral, and supposedly inclusive and democratic space, responded saying that our actions violated the “orderly conduct” of the Convention, and threatened the “peaceful and respectful environment”  of its halls.

Read more…