The first of two episodes featuring Jess Worth – a co-editor of New Internationalist – who has recently finished editing an issue of the magazine focusing on the Arctic which uncovers the largely untold story of how climate change is impacting already on indigenous peoples and their traditional subsistence lifestyles.
We hear from Gwich’in activist Faith Gemmill (co-odinator of REDOIL) about how indigenous peoples are fighting back against fossil fuel developments on their lands. A recent string of successful legal challenges suggests that indigenous peoples could end up playing a critical role in the fight against climate change. REDOIL have won important victories over Shell, the US government and the Environmental Protection Agency.
We get a majority world perspective on the climate emergency from Goldman Prize winner Ricardo Navarro. Navarro won the Goldman prize for sustainable development back in 1995 for his work as founder and director of the El Salvador Centre for Appropriate Technology and he is a former director of Friends of the Earth International.
Here he talks about how a new regional Movement of Climate Change Affected Peoples is responding to the pressures of climate change with awareness raising, permaculture techniques and low-level technologies as well as putting up resistance to inappropriate development. He also gives us his wider perspective on the United Nations climate talks which he has been attending since 1992.
The global deal on climate change has two main requirements. That it is guided by the latest science and that it is fair. Without fairness there will be no deal, as 192 countries need to agree and most of these countries are poor. We take a look at Oxfam International’s proposal for a fair deal that could break current deadlock in the talks, in an interview with Oxfam researcher Richard King . Like the proponents of Climate Debt and Greenhouse Development Rights, Oxfam says the rich world has a “double duty” to both make radical cuts at home and to pay for the poor world to adapt to climate change and develop in a low carbon way. Oxfam’s key recommendations are:
- Copenhagen must deliver a fair and adequate climate deal: one that keeps global warming as far below 2°C as possible, and that reflects the historical responsibility for emissions and the economic capability of developed countries
- Rich countries must agree binding individual country targets that cut greenhouse gas emissions to at least 40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020.
- A UN Fund should be established by raising $150bn per year as an absolute minimum from the sale, auction or levy of rich country emissions allowances (AAUs). $100bn of this would fund low-carbon development in poor countries and $50 would fund adaptation measures in poor countries
- Additional funds would be raised from fines if rich countries fail to meet their targets; and from the purchase of “premium reductions” which would replace the Clean Development Mechanism and ensure that poor countries rather than rich countries take advantage of the cheapest low-carbon options first
Is Oxfam’s idea of “premium reductions” a possible solution to the problems with the Clean Development Mechanism? We aksed Richard King to expand on this idea and how it relates to the CDM in the explanatory note which follows…
Any just approach to climate change must ensure that those who have benefited in the course of causing climate change compensate the victims of climate change – Third World Network, 2009
What do we need to do to escape the current deadlock at the UN climate talks? Rich countries need to start acknowledging their historical responsibility for climate change and their capacity to pay for adaptation and mitigation measures in poor countries. They need to start bringing targets to the table that are adequate from the point of view of both science and fairness. As the call for rich countries to repay their climate debt grows louder, we speak to Matthew Stilwell, author of Climate Debt: A Primer, for a sharp analysis of what’s needed to seal a fair climate deal.