•  
    January 20, 2011
    by phil
    Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on RedditEmail this to someone

    Updates: Is the EU about to ban tar sands? Take Action: Write to Your MEP

    Cross post from UK Tar Sands Network:

    On January 14th 2011 a group of protesters invaded the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and demanded a meeting with Stephen Green, the new Minister for Trade. Calling themselves the “Big Society Trade Negotiators”, they were concerned that trade negotiations between the EU and Canada, due to start in Brussels the following Monday, would dramatically boost Europe’s involvement in the Canadian Tar Sands -the most destructive project on earth. They occupied the lobby and conducted a noisy teach-in about trade and the Tar Sands. They only left after the Minister offered them a meeting at a later date.

    Unbeknownst to most citizens, the EU and Canada are in the midst of negotiating an ambitious free trade deal (the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA) that could open up the European market to imports of carbon-intensive Tar Sands oil for the first time [1]. Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the talks is the plan to allow multinational companies like BP and Shell to sue national governments over social and environmental regulations [2]. This is happening despite the increasingly urgent need for governments to crack down on the destructive and dangerous activities of such companies…

  •  
    January 9, 2011
    by phil
    Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on RedditEmail this to someone

    He first warned about climate change 30 years ago. Now James Hansen wants us to get serious about a tax on carbon. He tells Phil England why it’s our last chance

    Pubished in The Independent Tuesday, 4 January 2011

    Grave warning: Climate scientist Professor James Hansen , who has spent the past 30 years advising US administrations from Jimmy Carter to George W Bush, says action must be taken now

    Grave warning: Climate scientist Professor James Hansen , who has spent the past 30 years advising US administrations from Jimmy Carter to George W Bush, says action must be taken now.

    Professor James Hansen’s last formal engagement was delivering a keynote paper to the American Geophysical Union Autumn meeting. After that, he spent the holidays not enjoying wintry walks or taking advantage of the sales, but doing something altogether more industrious. “I’m writing a paper to provide the scientific basis for [law] suits against the government – just to make them do their job,” he says…
  •  
    December 11, 2010
    by phil
    Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on RedditEmail this to someone

    The talks in Cancun continued overnight and adopted the two new Chairs’ texts in the face of sustained opposition by Bolivia at around 4am Cancun time on Saturday 11th December. The decisions are finally up online: the main Long-term Co-operative Action agreement, the Kyoto Protocol decision and the the full set of decisions. The Guardian followed the process on their live blog.

    While many are relieved that something (anything!) has been agreed and that therefore “the multilateral process has been saved,” some less rose-tinted analysis is emerging…

  • Draft UN forestry deal is a “flawed and potentially planet-wrecking scam”
  • Chair refuses to include adequate protection for natural forests and indigenous peoples’ rights
  • Carbon markets likely to play a role despite country delegations and civil society opposition
  • Forest protection requires respecting Indigenous rights and tackling demand for forest products & land
  • A Done Deal?

    Some observers are saying that a deal on avoiding deforestation (or “REDD” in UN jargon) is near to being closed in Cancun. World Bank head Robert Zoellick (not that he has any interest in these matters…) said yesterday, “This one’s wrapped up and ready to move.” On Tuesday Ban-Ki Moon said conditions were “ripe” for a deal on forestry

  •  
    December 6, 2010
    by phil
    Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on RedditEmail this to someone

    At half-way through the Cancun talks, the Chairs of the two working groups have produced two new draft texts. There had been rumours and fears that a secret text was being drafted up that would be sprung on negotiators, but in the end, the two draft texts presented on Saturday night are supposed to be built on previous drafts as well as building on discussions that have ensued in Cancun during the first week of the talks.

    The new negoiating text for the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (2013-2017) continues to include the Bolivian proposal of 50% cuts in greenhouse gases by developed countries by 2017, along with other options. Discussions in the Kyoto track are continuing despite Japan’s announcement that it would not make further commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. Japan’s position puts it in breach of its legal commitment under Article 3.9 of the Protocol.

    Meanwhile in the parallel “Long-term Cooperative Action” negotiating track the Chair presented a text entitled “Possible Elements of the Outcome“. Negotiators are still digesting these two texts, but Bolivia gave its initial response in a speech to the conference on Saturday night. It described the text as “imbalanced” and noted many omissions:

  •  
    November 30, 2010
    by phil
    Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on RedditEmail this to someone

    Pablo Solon, Bolivia’s ambassador to the UN, writing in today”s Guardian:

    As climate talks start in Cancún, the common refrain that pervades the media and some negotiators is of “low expectations.” I wonder whose expectations they are talking about. Do they think the one million people in the Bolivian city El Alto, who face increasingly chronic water shortages from the disappearance of glaciers, have low expectations? Do they think Pacific islanders whose homelands will soon disappear beneath the rising sea have low expectations? I believe that the majority of humanity demands and has high expectations that our political leaders should act to stop runaway climate change.

    The reality is that the talk of “low expectations” is a ploy by a small group of industrialised countries to obscure their obligations to act. They are playing politics with the planet’s future. If the Cancún talks set sail with no wind, then no-one will be angered when they stall. Sadly, rather than express moral outrage, much of the media and even some environmental organisations have subscribed to this cynicism of the powerful.

  •  
    November 30, 2010
    by phil
    Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on RedditEmail this to someone

    Developing countries are protesting a new text proposed by the Chair of the negotiations which omits many of the options that they have fought hard for. A press release for the Plurinational State of Bolivia warns that Cancun Should Not Be Copenhagen Accord Part II.

    Environmental NGOs from around the world announced today that they would be sending an open letter to the Mexican Government asking them to make sure the process in Cancun was transparent in accordance with UN rules and Indigenous Environmental Network made a statement of concern.

    John Vidal writing in today’s Guardian:

    China and many other developing countries suggested during a meeting today that they were unhappy with the chair of the UN talks imposing a new negotiating text on countries. Although that is within UN rules, it was interpreted as a possible dangerous repeat of the Copenhagen debacle last year, when many countries were excluded from consultations.

    […] The US, however, is maintaining that it wants to see the voluntary deal reached in Copenhagen last year become the basis of the talks. “More than 80 countries have targets. We are looking to build on those targets and to progress. We hope to get a long way with all the tracks,” said a state department spokesman.

  •  
    October 25, 2010
    by phil
    Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on RedditEmail this to someone

    A step-by-step guide to greening your local council

    Published in The Ecologist, 19th October, 2010

    If you already have a low-impact lifestyle and want to step it up a level, turn your attention to your local council. Here’s how to get the authorities in your area to act

    Getting the ball rolling

    Your first step is to go to your council’s website and find out what it is already doing about climate change and sustainability issues. Is it among the low-carbon pioneers or a climate-denying laggard? All councils operate in response to multiple agendas and pressures, so unless there is an active interest from local people to serve as a counterweight to the power of special interests and central government, the chances are that your council isn’t doing very much.

  •  
    October 18, 2010
    by phil
    Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on RedditEmail this to someone

    Further proof that James Hansen’s analysis is correct and that it is “special interests” who are holding up responsible action on climate change…

    Nearly all Republican Party candidates for the US mid-term elections in November deny the science of climate change. And hey, who’d have thought it, the Tea Party movement they are pandering to was kick-started by a couple of billionaire oil tycoons.

    Back in January, a Greenpeace investigation exposed the Koch brothers’ secret funding of climate change denial and today’s Huffington Post has some detail of direct funding by fossil fuel corporations (including Koch) of Republican climate change deniers.

    Will support drain away from the movement once Americans get a whiff that they are being manipulated by big business and it is not the grassroots movement they believe it to be? If not, we can wave goodbye to Obama getting climate change legislation through congress.

    The good news is that the Evnironmental Protection Agency retains its power to regulate emissions under the Clean Air Act and no new legislation is needed for the US to make science-based cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. And the EPA won’t be bothered with all that cap and trade nonsense. But political will is needed to make this a reality and that’s a resource that’s currently in short supply. Which is why 350.org, Greenpeace and Rainforest Action Network have called for a new direct action movement in the US.

  •  
    October 12, 2010
    by phil
    Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on RedditEmail this to someone

    Screen saviour: the film's director Emily James at work

    Published in today’s Independent.

    Emily James abandoned a successful career in prime-time TV to direct a film about climate-change protesters. She takes Phil England behind the scenes of an unlikely action movie. (Image by Amelia Gregory).

    In a tiny office in East London, Emily James waves her papers from Kent Police. The award-winning documentary maker is one of a number of people who have recently won compensation claims after the force admitted their policing operation for the 2008 Camp for Climate Action, next to Kingsnorth power station, was both “disproportionate” and “unlawful”.

    After making a string of acclaimed films for Channel 4, James has now committed herself to a project which her former commissioning editors won’t touch with a bargepole. Her film Just Do It – Get off your arse and change the world! follows the frequently criminal exploits of people taking direct action on climate change, shadowing three organisations – Climate Rush, Climate Camp and Plane Stupid – as they strive to bring attention to their causes. Due for release early next year, it promises to be an unashamedly sympathetic portrait of the activist community by someone who has been given unprecedented levels of access…

  • NO MORE POSTS TO SHOW
    Climate Radio | Independent bulletins from the worlds of climate science, politics and activism
    class="home blog paged paged-9 samba_theme samba_responsive wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.3.5 vc_responsive"