Climate change blogs
An international lawsuit on greenhouse gas emissions could help create the political pressure and third-party guidance needed to revive global climate negotiations.
Dubbed “mother of the nation”, Dilma Rousseff was elected as Brazil’s first female president this month. But this has been an election of two women. Taking the reins at a time of increasing growth, prosperity, and public works expansion in Brazil, will one woman’s touch alone be enough to bring new ways of combating destruction of the Amazon?
I have been thinking a lot about ‘time’. It’s been prompted by three things which remind me that, while we need to be realistic about how fast we can build a fairer, more sustainable world, there are some signs of progress.
Striking a deal at this month’s UN climate talks in Cancun, Mexico will largely depend on negotiators’ ability to settle stormy disputes, particularly between the developed and developing world, over six key issues.
I recently met with a Member of the Bangladesh Parliament to discuss the potential for mitigation in the agricultural sector under IIED’s work on the economics of climate change in the agricultural sector. Agriculture produces 10–12 per cent of total global emissions but also has considerable mitigation potential — 70 per cent of which is in developing countries — and I expected the Honourable Member, a well known climate change champion, to back the cause. But he did not seem entirely convinced. Why should decision makers listen? What’s in it for them?
For much of the developing world producing clean energy that also mitigates carbon emissions is a very low priority. After all, why should countries that haven't significantly contributed to climate change worry about reducing their relatively tiny carbon emissions? In any case who would pay for it all?
With concerns over climate change rising, there have been several initiatives aimed at reducing the impacts and contributing factors of climate change. But with millions and potentially billions of dollars at stake, how successful will these initiatives be in mitigating climate change?
Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation - REDD (and REDD+, which includes conservation, sustainable forest management and enhancing forests’ carbon stocks) is an international initiative that seeks to reduce CO2 emissions. The United Nations REDD collaborative programme that has generated $8.7 million for the carbon stored in forests.
Everyone agrees that developed countries need to undertake a radical transformation if they are to assume their responsibilities for mitigating climate change. But what consequences would this have for the global South? Will climate change mitigation in the North undermine economic development in developing countries, or provide them with new opportunities?
It was clear at the recent Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of the Mother Earth in Cochabamba that Latin America´s leftist leaders are taking strong positions on issues of environmental sustainability and respect for indigenous people. But is that rhetoric actually borne out by their domestic policies?
Back in January, Due South commented on one silver lining of the economic crisis – a fall in CO2 emissions. With a double-dip recession predicted by some, could this be a double windfall for efforts to combat climate change?