Daily Archives: September 16, 2019

How Can We Design a Green New Deal?

Published on Sep 16, 2019
1,400 people gathered to discuss how to build infrastructure—and movements—that support decarbonization and equity. We spoke to one of the event’s hosts, Daniel Aldana Cohen.

Chinese engineers to revamp Ghana’s eastern port city rail services

Published on Sep 16, 2019
Chinese engineers are in Ghana to help revamp railway services in the port city of Tema as railway provides a convenient mode of transport .

“We in the Media Have Not Been Doing Our Job”: 250+ News Outlets Pledge to Focus on Climate Crisis

Published on Sep 16, 2019
A major new project from The Nation and the Columbia Journalism Review hopes to improve global coverage of the climate crisis, with more than 250 media outlets around the world — including Democracy Now! — signing on to the effort to publish or broadcast stories on climate. Organizers say this is one of the most ambitious efforts ever to organize the world’s media around a single topic. The week of coverage, which leads up to next week’s U.N. Climate Action Summit, kicked off on Sunday. As part of the effort, CBS News released a new poll of over 2,000 U.S. residents that measured attitudes around climate change, which found that two-thirds of Americans believe climate change is either a crisis or a serious problem, and a majority want immediate action to address the Earth’s temperature rise. In San Francisco, we speak with Mark Hertsgaard, one of the co-founders of the project, called Covering Climate Now, and The Nation’s environment correspondent and investigative editor.

UNITED NATIONS UN Climate Change Summit 2019

Climate change is the defining issue of our time and now is the defining moment to do something about it. There is still time to tackle climate change, but it will require an unprecedented effort from all sectors of society. To boost ambition and accelerate actions to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, UN Secretary-General António Guterres will host the 2019 Climate Action Summit on 23 September to meet the climate challenge. The Summit will showcase a leap in collective national political ambition and it will demonstrate massive movements in the real economy in support of the agenda. Together, these developments will send strong market and political signals and inject momentum in the “race to the top” among countries, companies, cities and civil society that is needed to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Negotiating Climate Science

Friday 13 September, 2019,  by Zinta Zommers (Ontario & Wolfson 2003)

Early in August 2019, leading climate scientists and government officials from around the world gathered in Geneva to negotiate the “Summary for Policy Makers” of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Land. The stakes were high – scientists sought to defend the academic integrity of the report; governments grappled with the implications of the findings for food production, energy systems and land-use. Observers, including Greta Thunberg and young activists from Lebanon, Mexico, Germany, called for more action. As a Lead Author for the report, I had the privilege of participating in these debates.

The final approval process of an IPCC report is like a week long PhD defence with governments as examiners and marathon thirty hour nonstop overnight sessions. Some governments are clearly working to make the final product better, suggesting clarifications to statements. Other governments try to slow down the negotiations, hoping that time will run out and sections of the report be eliminated. Yet others try to remove scientific statements that have inconvenient political implications. We began to refer to one negotiator as the “dentist” because “he kept drilling and drilling and wouldn’t stop when it hurt.”

Intergovernmental politics can play out in unexpected ways. Late on the last evening, the US objected to a sentence about risks at different levels of temperature increase. Delegates had already debated and approved this text in a breakout group, but it now seemed that further negotiations were needed. Suddenly France raised a point of order, reminding governments that they had agreed to abide by breakout group decisions. This wasn’t done to block the US but was intended for Saudi Arabia, which had arrived twenty minutes late to the breakout group and was threatening to veto text approved in its absence. Nevertheless, by reminding governments of pre-agreed rules, France saved us from having to water-down key statements on risk and secured extra hours of sleep for everyone.

… (read more).