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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« on: December 14 2009 »

Inter Press Service (IPS) has mobilized an international team of reporters – drawn largely from Africa, Asia and Latin America – to cover the ongoing climate change discussions in Copenhagen. The team is producing updated content, including a daily independent 'TerraViva' newspaper until the closure on December 18. Selected content is also available in Arabic, Portuguese, German, Italian, Dutch, Swedish and Finnish and other languages. To see the latest TerraViva, go to: http://www.ips.org/TV/copenhagen/
Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« Reply #1 on: December 17 2009 »

Tensions Climb as Hopes of Deal Take a Nosedive

17 December 2009

By Rajiv Fernando*

COPENHAGEN (IPS/Terraviva) Negotiators worked through Tuesday night
without a positive outcome on providing financing for poor countries,
commitments on emission reductions or a legally-enforceable treaty.

NGOs were definitely not happy with the move to limit their access to
the conference during the last few days.

Friends of the Earth, who have several thousand members present in
Copenhagen, found themselves barred from the conference centre after
their leading role in protests outside. Disruptions inside the venue
were also putting pressure on the conference organisers to take

“It is a crisis of democracy when campaigning charities like Friends
of the Earth are prevented from speaking up on behalf of communities
around the globe within the talks themselves,” said FoEI executive
director Andy Atkins.

“We were stunned to discover that every Friends of the Earth delegate
has been banned from attending these crucial talks – if this is a
consequence of our role as one of the most prominent groups calling
for a strong and fair agreement, this is even more disturbing.”

What may have come as a disappointment to some was a surprising move
at the beginning of the high level talks. COP 15 President Connie
Hedegaard resigned from her position. It was announced that she would
still be involved in negotiations with ministers in closed ministerial
meetings but Danish Prime Minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen took over
duties guiding the conference.

Rasmussen seemed to struggle in his new role, when what must have been
only the third or fourth sentence he uttered as conference president
was interrupted by a point of order. Led by Brazil and China, the
developing world insisted on absolute clarity that the draft text
being discussed was the one negotiators had wrestled over through the
night, and that Rasmussen was not again attempting to abandon the dual
track – Kyoto Protocol and long-term successor – that the G77 plus
China have insisted upon.

Rasmussen’s efforts to dismiss concerns and proceed were firmly
rebuffed, and he had some trouble keeping order and limiting speakers
to their allotted five minutes when the agenda was resumed.

With the second speaker, Prime Minister of Ethiopia Meles Zenawi,
Rasmussen certainly knew he had a tough job ahead of him.

Zenawi not only spoke for an extended period, but also came up with
his own proposal text – one which undermined the positions of other
African negotiators and ministers. Zenawi’s words drew sharp criticism
from watching civil society who believed his words threaten the very
future of Africa.

“If Prime Minister Meles wants to sell out the lives and hopes of
Africans for a pittance – he is welcome to – but that is not Africa’s
position,” said Mithika Mwenda of Pan-African Climate Justice

The Ethiopian Prime Minister wasn’t the only one to float a proposal.
A leaked Danish text caused considerable commotion during the first
week; now, apparently there is a fresh Danish proposal that has not
yet been seen.

The Indian Minister for Environment and Forests, Jairam Ramesh, did
not want to comment without having seen the proposal, but he did tell
TerraViva, “It could have been handled in a better way. But still they
have said that they would indicate the two texts, the LCA and the KP
text, into one Danish text. Let us see whether they have done that.”

In terms of the United States and its acceptance of the Kyoto
Protocol, Ramesh said, “The sense we get is that Kyoto is in intensive
care if not dead. Kyoto needs a number of oxygen cylinders. One of
them is in the White House.”

*Nasseem Ackburally, Servaas van den Bosch, Claudia Ciobanu and Terna
Gyuse contributed to this report.
Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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Posts: 819

« Reply #2 on: December 19 2009 »

Climate change and ICTs: What information and knowledge can do

MONTEVIDEO (KAH for APCNews) - Studies reveal that the use of information and
communication technologies (ICTs) makes up 2% of all global emissions – the
same amount as the airline industry. By 2012, 4.5 billion people will have
access to a mobile phone – the majority will be those live on less than USD 2
a day and be the most likely to be affected by climate change. “Planting the
Knowledge Seed – Adapting to climate change using ICTs”, a publication from
the Building Communication Opportunities alliance, explores the practical
linkages between climate change, access to and sharing of information and
knowledge and communication for development.

[ http://www.apc.org/en/node/9707/ ]
Peter Kuthan / AZFA
Global Moderator
Hero Member
Posts: 819

« Reply #3 on: December 25 2009 »

Ama Biney
A capitalist economic system dependent on fossil fuels and the exploitation of natural resources to generate profit has left people and ecosystems across large parts of the planet – including swathes of Africa – vulnerable to climate change, Ama Biney writes in this week’s Pambazuka News. The ‘derisory’ funding developed nations have offered to ‘assist developing countries to adapt to climate change’ is not enough to solve the problem, Biney argues. The real focus, says Biney, should be on ‘transforming the exploitative, unsustainable, profit-driven ethos that underpins the current system of wealth accumulation that simultaneously damages the environment’.

Alemayehu G. Mariam
Despite earlier combative language involving 'walking out' of the Copenhagen climate conference, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's heading of the 'African delegation' in Copenhagen resulted in nothing more than mere 'servile on-looking', writes Alemayehu G. Mariam. Roundly criticised by representatives from organisations such as the G-77 and the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance, Zenawi's 'leadership' simply facilitated developed nations in discarding Africa's needs in the battle to tackle climate change, Mariam stresses.

Cuba's view of COP15
Fidel Castro
’Until very recently, the discussion revolved around the kind of society we would have. Today, the discussion centres on whether human society will survive.’ In this week’s Pambazuka News, Fidel Castro writes on the experiences of the Cuban delegation at last week’s United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.
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