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CJ Writers Network Updates
Classroom Climate Justice Forum
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Climate Justice Writers Network
December 1, 2015
Defending the Knowledge Commons
Early November 2015
Gender climate justice
Keep fossil fuels in the ground
leadership of grassroots frontline, fenceline, communities of color
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December 1, 2015
· The U.S. and India are the most quoted from the world leaders?
summit: Obama is seen as hopeful and optimistic, Modi is seen as focused on equity and CBDR.
· More acknowledgement that some countries want the agreement to be legally binding (whereas a few days ago, many were assuming it wouldn?t, because of U.S. Congress).
· Some articles list a variety of issues that they see as important; some pinpoint finance as the key issue; some pinpoint CBDR as the key issue.
· Loss and damage is a very popular, and empathized-with, topic.
Obama?s $30 million risk insurance funding has been widely covered, but loss and damage?and his position on it?is consistently mentioned within the same article.
· Carbon tax is being discussed a lot, and generally positively:
there are multiple articles arguing in favor of it.
· Some mentions of Bill Gates etc?s research initiative, and some
(less) of India?s launching Solar Alliance?but there was more coverage yesterday. Also, some sources only mention India launching it, while others mention Hollande as well.
· Transparency is being mentioned more than before (in quotes from Obama).
· Canada is being praised.
Policy and negotiations
Benedict Moran. 30 November 2015. Divisions over climate change responsibility in spotlight at Paris talks. Al Jazeera America.
· There are many controversial issues: the central one is around how much responsibility developed countries have. This is why talks in the past failed. Developing countries now significantly contribute to global emissions.
· The INDC approach is questionable as it currently does not meet the 2C mark
· Technology and finance are also contentious, as developed countries want middle-income countries (such as China, Singapore and
Brazil) to provide finance as well.
· ?Nothing has been resolved. We are going into the Paris COP, where we have none of the options resolved,? said Harjeet Singh, the climate policy manager at ActionAid International.
Vivienne Walt. 30 Nov 2015. India?s Modi Demands ?Climate Justice? at Paris Summit, and Champions Solar Power. Fortune.
· India is determined that poor, developing countries are not forced to pay the price for the climate change caused by industrialised countries.
· He said the display aimed to ?look beyond climate change and focus on climate justice.?
· India also launched a new International Solar Alliance.
· When Indians hear ?climate justice,? they hear that there are people who are actually responsible for the problem,? says Harjeet Singh, climate change manager for the development agency Action Aid. Singh, who lives in New Delhi, tells Fortune that Indians feel a keen sense of unfairness that they are being asked to roll back their economic surge?much of it reliant on heavy pollutants?while the rich Western countries were never asked to do any such thing. ?Indians feel they get bullied and unfairly treated,? says Singh, who heads Action Aid?s delegation at the Paris talks. ?The developing countries feel they should not have to be responsible for what the developed world has done. And the U.S. and E.U.
countries put more than 50% of carbon emissions into the atmosphere.?
Suzanne Goldenberg. 01 December 2015. Barack Obama: Parts of the Paris climate deal must carry legal force. The Guardian.
? Obama said the US would push for certain aspects of a climate change agreement to be legally binding, but has made clear that the US position is still that this will not be a full-fledged treaty
? The US?s position is due to the fact that a legally-binding treaty would have virtually no chance of passing through the Republican-controlled Congress.
? Obama said the US wants one major component of the deal ? the periodic review of emissions reductions targets ? to be legally binding.
Benedict Moran. 1 December 2015. The crucial language behind the Paris climate talks. Al Jazeera America.
· When parties can?t agree on anything more specific, they use ambiguous language?this creates potential disagreements in future negotiations (such as the current debate over CBDR) but it also allows an agreement to be passed.
· Civil society groups are worried about a weak agreement, so they are pushing for a five-year review system: but for now they say it is more important to arrive at consensus that outlines specific commitments.
Barbara Lewis and Bate Felix. 1 Dec 2015. After leaders? rhetoric, climate negotiators start work on deal. Reuters.
· After the world leaders? summit, it is clear there are still fundamental unresolved disagreements
· The biggest issue is money. Developing nations want the rich to pledge rising amounts beyond the current goal of $100 billion a year by 2020.
· Current pledges fall short of 2C mark
G. Ananthakrishnan. 1 December 2015. Modi asks rich nations to cut emissions, share carbon space with poor. The Hindu.
· Mr. Modi said the developed world should ratify Kyoto's second commitment in the period up to 2020.
· He also said that an equitable system emissions reduction should be consistent with the carbon space that nations occupy.
· According to scientific assessments, in 2014, India was the third largest emitter of atmosphere-warming greenhouse gases. However, viewed in historical terms, India's contribution to the cumulative stock of gases already in the atmosphere since the industrial revolution is negligible, with America occupying the major share.
Amitabh Sinha. 1 December 2015. Paris Climate change meeting: Will negotiators harden stance? The Indian Express.
· Following the world leaders? summit, where each leader stuck to their country positions, the negotiators may choose to harden their positions even further.
· Modi emphasized equity, balance and differentiation between developed and developing countries. Xi Jinping focused on finance and technology transfer, while Zuma stressed the importance adaptation.
Hollande emphasized the legally-binding nature of the potential agreement.
· Finance and technology flows from developed to developing countries are likely to be the most contentious.
Express News Service. 1 December 2015. PM Modi?s Heat on Rich Nations at Paris Climate Summit. The New Indian Express.
· Modi?s speech said that developed nations must make the deepest cuts and the strongest impact, and that equity and CBDR were vital. He also noted the need for the $100 billion previously pledged.
· Modi and Hollande jointly launched the International Solar Alliance.
Stephen Mufson. 1 December 2015. ?I think we?re going to solve it,? Obama says of efforts to slow climate change. Washington Post.
· Obama is hopeful about combating climate change, even as he acknowledged that the Paris agreement would fall short of desired international targets.
· Obama emphasized the importance of transparency in the Paris deal.
· Obama supports the idea of a carbon tax, but because of the opposition it would face in Congress, has not proposed one in Paris.
· Obama has recognized the challenges island nations face and has stated that the US would support them, but continues to oppose loss and damage.
Chris Mooney. 1 December 2015. These countries are the ?moral center? of the climate debate. Will they be left behind? Washington Post.
· Obama has expressed sympathy for vulnerable island nations (saying ?I?m an island boy?), but is not yielding to their demands: namely, a 1.5C rise and a loss and damage mechanism.
· Obama announced $30 million in funding for ?risk insurance initiatives that help vulnerable populations rebuild stronger after climate-related disasters,? which can be seen as a partial alternative to loss and damage in particular situations (though not in others, such as slow-onset issues).
· The 1.5C goal has gained popularity in recent years and over 100 countries now support it.
Megan Rowling. 1 Dec 2015. Obama unveils $30 mln for climate risk insurance to protect poor. Reuters.
· The United States will contribute $30 million to climate risk insurance schemes in the Pacific, Central America and Africa. The schemes include providing climate data, tools and services, and incorporating climate change considerations into development assistance
· The funding will increase insurance coverage to help people cope with severe climate-related problems, Washington said. Those range from intensifying droughts, floods and storms to melting glaciers and rising seas.
· This move is controversial because a loss and damage mechanism is also being discussed, which the U.S. has firmly rejected.
Holly Yan, Ben Brumfield and Michael Pearson. 1 Dec 2015. COP21 climate change summit: Obama ?optimistic? about agreement. CNN.
· On Tueday, Obama said he thinks the conference will succeed. He listed several criteria for a potential agreement, including an "ambitious target" , tools to measure countries' progress, a "legally binding"
mechanism to ensure countries adhere to their carbon reduction commitments, and transparency.
· World leaders on Monday said the stakes are too high to end the conference without a binding. Pope Francis similarly said, ?We are on the brink of a suicide.?
· Xi JinPing, Putin, Modi and Merkel were also briefly quoted.
Coral Davenport. 1 Dec 2015. A Change in Tone for Vladimir Putin?s Climate Change Pledges. New York Times.
· Putin, for the first time, recognized the importance of climate change in his speech
· He claimed that Russia has been actively contributing to combating it
· But in terms of actual numbers, Russia is just as inactive as before
Caroline Kende-Robb. 1 Dec 2015. Africa Deserves Climate Justice?Here Are 5 Ways To Deliver It at COP21. Huffington Post.
· African countries will be the most affected by climate inaction because they are the most vulnerable. These five steps are essential for achieving climate justice for Africa in Paris:
o Phase out fossil fuel subsidies
o Restructure and increase climate finance
o Scale up investment in energy, especially renewable energy
o Ensure universal access to energy
o Adopt new models of planned urbanization
Ben Adler. 1 December 2015. Six Big Takeaways From the Opening of the Paris Climate Conference. Newsweek.
· 1. Barack Obama is the symbolic leader
· 2. The U.S. is also a big obstacle to progress.
· 3. Poorer, smaller developing nations want a much stronger agreement.
· 4. Poorer countries want more money for climate change adaptation.
· 5. Canada is on board for a meaningful deal.
· 6. Russia is not helping.
Bourree Lam. 1 December 2015. The Ideas That World Leaders Won?t Be Discussing in Paris. The Atlantic.
· Economists and scientists have proposed plans that, if implemented worldwide, would be highly effective?but these plans have been deemed ?politically impossible.? These proposals include:
o Setting a worldwide cap on GHGs
o A carbon tax (although there are worries this would simply shift businesses to pollute in places with lower carbon taxes)
o A cap-and-trade system (although this would not work if the price of an emissions credit is set too low)
G. Ananthakrishnan. 2 December 2015. India wants funding, tech in Paris text. The Hindu.
· On Tuesday, the focus was on provisions for a technology and financial mechanism that will make it possible to raise low-cost capital and widely deploy renewable technologies. Currently, investors in renewables have to borrow capital at high rates of interest, and this would not enable a quick scale up or reduction in the real cost of power.
· In the government's view, not enough attention is being paid to India's proposed scaling up of generation from renewable sources a staggering seven times, while it was receiving criticism for stating that it would continue to use coal
Sujatha Byravan. 2 December 2015. Towards an ambitious and fair deal. The Hindu.
· DEVELOPED COUNTRY OBLIGATIONS: By asking all countries to develop bottom-up commitments to reduce their emissions, any differentiation among countries, whether rich or poor, has been diminished significantly. he phrase dynamic differentiation, predicated on periodic review, is now being used by some experts in the U.S. and in the European Union as a reinterpretation of CBDR. However, this is a dilution of the importance of historical obligations of rich countries.
· GCF: the GCF?s exact role will be determined in Paris. Some countries, including India, have made funding a requirement for actions within their nationally determined contributions. Finance is also needed for adaptation.
· UNFCCC boundaries: the OECD report on the $64 billion mobilized has been criticized for including funding meant as development aid.
Alliances and Initiatives
Rob Crilly. 1 December 2015. Paris climate change summit: Bill Gates launches effort to disrupt energy sector by funding new search for clean energy. The Telegraph.
· The idea is to pump seed money into promising ideas that have been shunned by a complacent energy sector.
Maria Gallucci. 30 November 2015. UN climate change conference: World leaders call for a price on CO2 emissions despite uphill battle at Paris summit. International Business Times.
? National leaders, major economic institutions, and private corporations have announced their membership in the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition?s Carbon Pricing Panel
? Countries: Germany, France, Mexico, Chile, The Philippines, and Ethiopia
? Institutions: The World Bank, IMF, and OECD
? Corporations: CalPERS, Engie, Mahindra, and Royal DSM
? The goal of the coalition is for negotiators in Paris to adopt a price on carbon emissions, which it claims will give the agreement teeth.
Associated Press. 30 November 2015. Several world leaders say global warming requires ?big fat price? on carbon pollution. Fox News.
· Either a tax on carbon dioxide emissions or trading carbon pollution
· By implementing green taxes, the externalities from burning fossil fuels are incorporated into the price of carbon.
· There are now 40 countries, provinces, states or cities that have put a price on carbon.
Chris Dalby. 1 Dec 2015. Spotlight: Latin-American countries expand common ground to secure climate deal amid divisions. Shanghai Daily.
· Some Latin American countries, despite disagreements inside the region, have strived to bring a more unified strategy to COP21.
· AILAC will adopt pro-market mitigation strategies and reduce emissions by halting deforestation.
· Costa Rica pledged to go carbon-neutral, or achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2021.
· ALBA insists on industrialized nations bearing the brunt of mitigation costs.
Side Event. 29 November 2015. Launch of the ?Because the Ocean?
Declaration. IISD Reporting Services.
? National representatives signed the ?Because the Ocean? Declaration to support ocean protection being part of the Paris agreement
? Kiribati, Palau, Chile, France, Canada, Sweden, Fiji, Aruba, Mexico, and New Zealand
? In a panel discussion, Sweden stressed that the sustainable development goal (SDG) on oceans concerns equality, justice and poverty eradication, and called for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to address issues of sea-level rise, ocean acidification and reforestation along the sea shore. Fiji announced that Pacific Small Island Developing States are willing to champion SDG 14 on oceans.
Aura Bogado. 1 Dec 2015. Philippines president talks climate justice in Paris. Grist.
· Philippines President Benigno Aquino is the chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), a group of 20 developing Global South nations that are most susceptible to the impacts of climate change.
· He addressed climate justice at a CVF gathering on Monday, stressing the vulnerability of those that have the least, the concept of collective responsibility, and the importance of diligent commitments to alter inequity.
National-Level Climate Developments
Lenore Taylor. 30 November 2015. Australia will ratify second stage of Kyoto protocol, Malcolm Turnbull pledges. The Guardian.
? Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull has pledged that the country will ratify ?the second stage of the Kyoto protocol.?
? Turnbull also joined at the last minute a US initiative to double public and private research and development spending on clean energy technology, which in Australia?s case means an additional $100m in government spending over five years.
David M. Herszenhorn. 01 December 2015. As Obama pushes climate deal, Republicans move to block emissions rules. The New York Times.
? The US House of Representatives passed resolutions, already approved by the Senate, to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency?s coal-plant emissions reduction rules. Obama has said he will veto these resolutions.
? The aim of Republicans is to show the world, in particular the world leaders convening in Paris, that Obama does not have bipartisan support for US climate action.
Tom Arup and Peter Hannam. 1 December 2015. Tale of two leaders?Trudeau and Turnbull?at the Paris UN Climate Conference 2015. Sydney Morning Herald.
· Both Trudeau and Turnbull replaced predecessors who were antagonistic to climate change action.
· Trudeau, in his speech, outlined various commitments taken on by
Canada: carbon pricing, work with cities and indigenous communities, an emphasis on green industries and growth, and an additional $2.6 billion for developing countries.
· Turnbull, in his speech, also outlined Australia?s commitments:
pledge to ratify the second phase of the Kyoto Protocol (which Canada has pulled out of), $1 billion over five years for developing countries drawn from existing aid dollars, and a boost for investment in clean technology research.
· However, Turnbull still has issues around climate change as well:
there is no plan to increase Australia's emissions target for 2020 to a 15 or 25% cut. Australia also did not join a statement led by New Zealand to promote reform of fossil fuel subsidies.
There were also powerful statements given by vulnerable island nations, highlighting the need for a 1.5C goal.
Nevil Gibson. 01 December 2015. NZ adds $220m to climate change cash commitments. The National Business Review.
? New Zealand?s PM John Key announced up to $200 million in climate-related financial support over the next four years, up from the $65 million New Zealand has provided in the last three years to other Pacific nations. The country will also commit $20 million to the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases, increasing its initial investment of $45 million.
? Minister Tim Groser has said that New Zealand will ratify the Doha Amendment, an extension of the Kyoto Protocol
Xinhua. 1 December 2015. Spotlight: China has made tangible contributions to progress in addressing climate change.
· China has committed to a variety of national measures to fight climate change.
· China has signed bilateral statements on climate change with various countries.
· China supports a comprehensive review every five years.
· China provides support to others, too: in September, China pledged 20 billion yuan (3.1 billion U.S. dollars) in support of a South-South climate cooperation fund.
Patrick Kulp. 1 Dec 2015. Hundreds of fake ads totally skewer corporate sponsors of Paris climate talks. Mashable.
· The UK-based guerrilla artwork group Brandalism took credit for taking over more than 600 advertising spaces
· The campaign's targets include corporate sponsors as well as various politicians.
· The fake ads "aim to highlight the links between advertising, consumerism, fossil fuel dependency and climate change," according to a release from Brandalism.
Sewell Chan. 1 Dec 2015. Peruvian Indians Travel to Paris to Fight for Their Existence. New York Times.
· The reason for our existence is our land, where we have our own governance, economy and cultural practices,? said Lyndon Pishagua Chinchuya, 43, of the Yanesha community in the Peruvian Amazon. ?We are here at COP 21 to show the world the importance of recognizing land tenure as a method of climate mitigation,? referring to the climate talks.
· Miguel Samaniego Arroyo, 34, an activist with the Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Rainforest, said he opposed the distinction between ?developed? and ?developing? people ? one of the most common themes of the climate conference. ?We don?t want the private-sector way of life imposed on us,? he said. ?Everyone develops in their own way.?
· Asked what he hoped to impart to the powerful decision-makers meeting here, Mr. Samaniego Arroyo responded: ?What we want the most is for people in the city to respect the jungle ? to know that the jungle is here and that people are living here. The Amazon is a living being, not just resources.?
Sarah Kent and Justin Scheck. 30 November 2015. Carbon-tax debate brings together unusual allies. The Wall Street Journal.
? ?Several big oil companies have been calling for new taxes on air polluters like coal-burning power plants. One key reason: Those taxes are probably good for their natural-gas businesses.?
? Energy giants including Royal Dutch Shell and BP hope a carbon tax would increase demand for natural gas, an increasingly significant part of their output.
Cindy Baxter. 01 December 2015. ExxonMobil, funder of climate change deniers. The Huffington Post.
? New documents released by ExxonMobil in an attempt to defend itself against investigations show that the corporation?s scientists had 100% consensus on the human impact on climate change.
? Despite this knowledge, between 1998-2014, the corporation provided
$31 million in funding to climate denial groups and campaigns aimed specifically at undermining climate science.
PTI. 2 Dec 2015. India needs over $1 trillion to adapt to climate change:
study. Economic Times.
· India would require over $1 trillion in the next 15 years to adapt to the adverse impacts of the climate change
· The loss and damage from extreme events were estimated additionally at $5-6 billion per annum.
· The temperature increases will impact agriculture and crop production, which may also be affected by the increase in extreme precipitation events, resulting in flooding and significant damage to infrastructure.
Niraj Chokshi. 30 November 2015. Pope Francis: The world is near ?suicide?
on climate change; ?it?s now or never.? The Washington Post.
? Pope Francis told reporters ?Every year the problems are getting worse. We are at the limits. If I may use a strong word I would say that we are at the limits of suicide."
University of Leicester. 01 December 2015. Global warming disaster could suffocate life on planet Earth, research shows. EurekAlert!
? Falling oxygen levels caused by global warming could be a greater threat to the survival of life on planet Earth than flooding, according to researchers from the University of Leicester.
? An increase in the water temperature of the world's oceans of around six degrees Celsius -- which some scientists predict could occur as soon as 2100 -- could stop oxygen production by phytoplankton by disrupting the process of photosynthesis.
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