Daily Archives: December 13, 2015

Grand promises of Paris climate deal undermined by squalid retrenchments | George Monbiot

Until governments undertake to keep fossil fuels in the ground, they will continue to undermine agreement they have just made

COP21 UN climate change conference in Paris. Whatever happens now, we will not be viewed kindly by succeeding generations. Photograph: Christophe Petit Tesson/EPA

George Monbiot
Saturday 12 December 2015 10.53 EST Last modified on Sunday 13 December 2015 06.17 EST

By comparison to what it could have been, it’s a miracle. By comparison to what it should have been, it’s a disaster.

Inside the narrow frame within which the talks have taken place, the draft agreement at the UN climate talks in Paris is a great success. The relief and self-congratulation with which the final text was greeted, acknowledges the failure at Copenhagen six years ago, where the negotiations ran wildly over time before collapsing. The Paris agreement is still awaiting formal adoption, but its aspirational limit of 1.5C of global warming, after the rejection of this demand for so many years, can be seen within this frame as a resounding victory. In this respect and others, the final text is stronger than most people anticipated.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

The Paris agreement marks an unprecedented political recognition of the risks of climate change | The Economist

The nations gathered made a historic step down a very long road

Dec 12th 2015 | Paris | International

“HISTORY is here,” declared François Hollande, France’s president, on Saturday morning. The UN climate conference in Paris had run over its original deadline, and the final text had yet to be seen, but the mood among the negotiators and ministers he was addressing was buoyant. And for the rest of a long day bonhomie kept on breaking out. China’s special representative for climate change, Xie Zhenhua, gave Nicholas Stern, a British economist, a jolly embrace. When Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister, gaveled the agreement through in the evening there were cheers, tears and shouts of jubilation (pictured).

The “Paris agreement”, negotiated under the aegis of the UN, aims to hold the increase in the global average temperature to “well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels”—a more ambitious goal than had been expected. Similar ambition was apparent in the agreement’s explicit goal of having as much greenhouse gas coming out of the atmosphere as going into it in the second half of the century.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

The Climate Deal in Paris Is Nowhere Near Enough


The Nation

Published on Dec 12, 2015

The climate deal that has been negotiated at COP21 crossed multiple red lines: Scientific red lines, equity red lines, legal red lines, and more. The emissions targets outlined in the deal still amount to increases of 3 to 4 degrees Centigrade—an increase incompatible with organized civil society. So today, protesters came together in the center of Paris to say that the deal cannot be the end of our climate justice struggle. In this video dispatch, Naomi Klein outlines what has to come next.

Full sequence of Naomi Klein Reports from Paris:

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Naomi Klein: Making the Paris Climate Talks Count

Sequence of 6 Reports from Paris


The Nation

Published on Nov 29, 2015

It’s a classic case of the shock doctrine in action: In the wake of the horrific terrorist attacks on Paris earlier this month, the French government is using that crisis to try to silence the climate justice activists who have converged on the capital city for this week’s COP21 climate conference. But it’s not working.

In the first of Naomi Klein’s video dispatches from the frontlines of the Paris climate justice protests, produced by Mediapart and The Nation, Klein explains that at the bottom of all the jargon that will be thrown about this week are human lives—lives that are already being impacted by climate change. If these talks fail to produce substantive changes to our carbon-intensive economy, those lives will only be in greater danger.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Naomi Klein on Paris Summit: Leaders’ Inaction on Climate Crisis is “Violence” Against the Planet


freespeechtv

Published on Nov 30, 2015

Ahead of the 21st UN climate change conference in Paris, more than 170 nations submitted plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions. But experts say the proposed targets end up falling far short of what is needed to mitigate against drastic heating of the planet, and that the agreements during the negotiations are not likely to be binding.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Naomi Klein: Making the Paris Climate Talks Count


The Nation

Published on Nov 29, 2015

It’s a classic case of the shock doctrine in action: In the wake of the horrific terrorist attacks on Paris earlier this month, the French government is using that crisis to try to silence the climate justice activists who have converged on the capital city for this week’s COP21 climate conference. But it’s not working.

In the first of Naomi Klein’s video dispatches from the frontlines of the Paris climate justice protests, produced by Mediapart and The Nation, Klein explains that at the bottom of all the jargon that will be thrown about this week are human lives—lives that are already being impacted by climate change. If these talks fail to produce substantive changes to our carbon-intensive economy, those lives will only be in greater danger.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Naomi Klein: Sane Climate Policies Are Being Undermined by Corporate-Friendly Trade Deals


The Nation

Published on Dec 9, 2015

The COP21 Paris Climate Summit has seen some very positive developments in the global effort to combat climate change. But a new wave of international trade deals—deals that are being pushed between the US and the EU, and between Canada and the EU—threaten to undermine the actual implementation of any smart and sane climate policies.

In this dispatch from Paris, Naomi Klein explains how companies like Exxon and Shell are pushing for these trade deals because they see them as ways to create new markets for fossil fuels—which is exactly what we cannot do if we are to save our planet.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

‘Climate Migrants’ Recognized in Paris Agreement | Al Jazeera America

Rights advocates say inclusion in draft deal advances migrants’ rights in ‘vulnerable climate situations’

December 11, 2015 4:30PM ET
by Lisa De Bode @lisadebode Google+

The recognition of “climate migrants” and “climate migration” in a draft text of the Paris climate change agreement was welcomed by human rights advocates Friday, including the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which said millions more people will be displaced by the effects of climate change if world leaders fail to curb global warming.

World leaders have gathered in Paris to discuss efforts to stave off climate change and push a legally binding agreement to hold the biggest carbon emitters accountable for their emission of greenhouse gases.

“Now that climate change and migration are an integral part of the draft agreement, we can justifiably speak of ‘climate migration’ and ‘climate migrants’,” said IOM Director William Lacy Swing in a statement.

….(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Key Points of the Landmark Paris Climate Agreement | Al Jazeera America

key-points

After years of negotiations by nearly 200 countries, deal contains several key points to achieve emission reductions

December 12, 2015 5:45PM ET

U.N. climate talks reached a milestone Saturday when more than 190 countries adopted the first accord asking all countries to join the fight against global warming.

Here are some of the key elements of the deal:

Long-term goal

The long-term objective of the agreement is to make sure global warming stays “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and to “pursue efforts” to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). Temperatures have already increased by about 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times. To achieve that goal, governments pledged to stop the rise in heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions “as soon as possible.” By some point after 2050, the agreement says, man-made emissions should be reduced to a level that forests and oceans can absorb.

Emissions targets

In order to reach the long-term goal, countries agreed to set national targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions every five years. More than 180 countries have already submitted targets for the first cycle beginning in 2020. Only developed countries are expected to slash their emissions in absolute terms; developing nations are “encouraged” to do so as their capabilities evolve over time. Until then, they are expected only to rein in the growth of emissions as their economies develop.

Reviewing targets

The initial targets won’t be enough to put the world on a path to meet the long-term temperature goal. So the agreement asks governments to review their targets in the next four years and see if they can “update” them. That doesn’t require governments to deepen their cuts. But the hope is that it will be possible for them to do so if renewable energy sources become more affordable and effective.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

James Hansen, father of climate change awareness, calls Paris talks ‘a fraud’

The former Nasa scientist criticizes the talks, intended to reach a new global deal on cutting carbon emissions beyond 2020, as ‘no action, just promises’

‘Many of the conservatives know climate change is not a hoax,’ James Hansen says. Photograph: Murdo MacLeod for the Guardian

Oliver Milman

Saturday 12 December 2015 07.30 EST Last modified on Saturday 12 December 2015 19.33 EST

Mere mention of the Paris climate talks is enough to make James Hansen grumpy. The former Nasa scientist, considered the father of global awareness of climate change, is a soft-spoken, almost diffident Iowan. But when he talks about the gathering of nearly 200 nations, his demeanor changes.

“It’s a fraud really, a fake,” he says, rubbing his head. “It’s just bullshit for them to say: ‘We’ll have a 2C warming target and then try to do a little better every five years.’ It’s just worthless words. There is no action, just promises. As long as fossil fuels appear to be the cheapest fuels out there, they will be continued to be burned.”

The talks, intended to reach a new global deal on cutting carbon emissions beyond 2020, have spent much time and energy on two major issues: whether the world should aim to contain the temperature rise to 1.5C or 2C above preindustrial levels, and how much funding should be doled out by wealthy countries to developing nations that risk being swamped by rising seas and bashed by escalating extreme weather events.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice