New technologies and the involvement of the private sector are needed to tackle climate change emissions and power the world said Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in a
Indigenous people and local communities have received few benefits from the commercial use of the wealth of traditional crops and medicinal knowledge they have developed. Where agreements have been established, the benefits are insignificant compared to the huge profits derived by companies.
Recognition of the role of markets and the private sector in contributing to sustainable development has been growing strongly in recent years.
It all started with a stroll. In 2007, residents of Xiamen, in Fujian province, decided they didn’t want a company that made a harmful chemical called paraxylene in their city. Using text messages they arranged peaceful demonstrations. The strolls soon spread into vast street protests and before long the local government had responded to their calls and relocated the chemical plant.
If someone had peeked into room seven at the Excel centre yesterday they would have seen small groups clustered around tables talking animatedly and scribbling notes onto large pieces of paper. They were part of a World Café session discussing how to ensure poor people can benefit from the green economy.
This year sees the launch of the UN Sustainable Energy for All initiative, with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon creating a high-level group to mobilize action. We support the goals of this initiative but – like other observers – we feel it requires more ambition and focus. Key priorities should be reducing poverty through access to modern energy services, and ensuring equitable access to electricity and consumption of energy resources (such as gas, oil and biomass).
Nearly a week has passed since a group of mid-level officers led by Captain Sanogo carried out a coup d'etat in Mali's capital, Bamako.
Protecting forests from illegal logging and helping them to flourish is of paramount importance in the fight against climate change. But of equal importance is ensuring that systems of forest management are helping to pull those dependent on forests out of poverty.