The climate change talks in Katowice were a roller coaster of highs and lows with a wide variety of issues on the agenda. As diverse as the agenda were the claims of the parties to the convention. Some parties have made excellent suggestions to move the negotiations forward and equally some parties have made plain ridiculous statements, especially those challenging the findings of the scientific community. These diverse perspectives present on one hand faith in human kind and global collaboration, […]
What next for Climate Change?
Today, at the climate conference Sir David Attenborough didn’t mince his words when he said that civilisation will collapse if humanity doesn’t take action on global warming. He had obviously read the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on 1.5oC which documents the dire state of the global planetary system, something that has been picked up by mainstream media as a warning that we have 12 years left to save planet earth. “Right now we are facing a […]
IPCC special report on 1.5°C
In 2015 the Paris Agreement, the global compact signed by the governments of the planet to tackle climate change, was agreed. In the negotiated process to reach this agreement some governments still had doubts about the degree of warming that was acceptable and necessary to maintain global development. These governments led by Saudi Arabia, asked the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to undertake a special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. Recognising as we […]
Market based resilience building in Bangladesh
For the past week I have been visiting the Practical Action programme in Bangladesh to support their work on resilience programming. I attended the wrap up meeting of the GRP Project, worked with the consultant team undertaking the final external evaluation of the project, helped staff in the flood resilience programme design activities for the next phase of the project and attended the meeting of the Markets Development forum. Bangladesh is a relatively young nation achieving independence in 1971 and […]
Technology for Development
Why is technology justice central to international development? As history demonstrates, technology provides a catalyst for change. Practical Action has been working on flood Early Warning Systems (EWS) for over ten years and we have seen not only technology adoption taking place but also social change occurring. At the Technology for Development conference the focus is very much on the former, but in my active participation and interaction with the conference delegates I am interested to explore the latter. Looking […]
The Climate Damages Tax, an idea whose time has come!
Pollution must be brought under control and mankind’s population and consumption of resources must be steered towards a permanent and sustainable equilibrium. E.F Schumacher, Small is Beautiful: Economics as if people mattered. According to the last global review Natural Hazards resulted in 9,503 deaths, 96 million people being affected, and economic costs in excess of US$314 billion. Weather-related events were responsible for the majority of both human and economic losses. Almost 90% of the deaths in 2017 were due to climatological, […]
Loss and Damage at COP23
Taking the Loss and Damage debate beyond the contentious issue of compensation to identify the mechanisms needed to address the losses and damages occurring as a consequence of climate change, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable. The 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23) was held under the presidency of Fiji. This is the first time a highly disaster-vulnerable country has been the president of a COP, and hence disaster and climate resilience featured heavily on the agenda. In particular […]
Reflections on a week at COP23 – the 23rd annual meeting of the UN Conference of Parties on Climate Change
Within a short time of arriving in Bonn early last week, one thing became very clear, it was not just the negotiators or minority groups of environmentalists who thought COP23 was important. A full spectrum of nationalities, government, private sector, civil society, academics, the media and citizens were involved! Whilst the negotiations were taking place in the World Conference Centre and UN Campus (the Bula Zone), ‘Climate Action Events’ were taking place across the city. These events were not confined to […]
Is the snail accelerating?
With the first week of the conference done and dusted, where are we in negotiations? In September I wrote about the Government of Fiji’s ambition for the 23rd session of the Conference of Parties (COP23) to the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change. The first week of the conference is now over and the high level segment is about to begin. So are we any closer to a comprehensive deal to tackle climate change? A deal that needs to reduce […]
Why the snail’s pace on tackling Loss and Damage?
We may all be sailing on the same ocean, living together in the same canoe, but it’s clear not everyone has their hands on the rudder. OR Can the five year work plan of the Warsaw International Mechanism deliver for Loss and Damage and Sustainable Development? This week representatives from around the world gather in Bonn, Germany for the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), known informally as COP23. The president of […]