COP17—Durban Climate Conference

Author and Page information

  • by Anup Shah
  • This Page Created Wednesday, January 04, 2012

On this page:

  1. Introduction
  2. Media coverage
  3. Despite media’s lack of interest, emissions continue to rise
  4. Common but Differentiated Responsibility Principle Sidelined Again
  5. Durban meeting outcome
  6. More information
    1. News stories from IPS

Introduction

November 28 – December 9, 2011, Durban, South Africa was the venue for the 17th annual United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as the 17th Conference of the Parties — or COP 17.

Predictably and sadly, the same issues complained about at previous annual meetings for the past decade continue to recycle themselves:

  • Lack of quality (if any) media coverage
  • West stalling on doing anything trying to blame India and China instead
  • Lack of funding
  • Disagreement on how to address it
  • etc.

As the past two decades have shown trying to get global agreement on tackling climate change seems to be futile. By comparison, more focused and limited interest of elites, however, are easier to push through, such as wars based on geopolitical threats (real and imaginary), or economic crises (where banks and other elites most responsible for the crises are bailed out by ordinary citizens).

Furthermore, as the West has generally shown in the past decade or more (even when their economies were doing good) paying now for something that seems to be a problem in the future is hard to accept. It is easier, therefore, to stall and keep blaming China, India and other emerging nations despite the historical inequality of those emissions. But ignoring that makes it easier to hope these emerging nations will pick up the burden of addressing emissions rises.

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Media coverage

Generally speaking, media coverage of climate change issues and these conferences has been a mixed bag over the past decade. More recent years has seen increased interest and coverage (though many important issues are glossed over in mainstream media sound-byte style reporting).

However, by comparison, this year’s mainstream media coverage of this crucial conference was close to pathetic, to put it politely. In reality money speaks and so short term and elite/establishment views tend to prevail, which is why governments can so quickly get the 99% to bail out the banks and the top 1% with many trillions of dollars, while finding billions for fighting even more devastating climate change has taken almost 2 decades so far without any convincing results.

Personally observing mainstream TV news in UK during the week of the Durban talks revealed almost no major headlines until the very last day and even then just a few moments of summarizing an entire two weeks, which of course is not enough. But my own observations were not systemmatic. However, media watchdog Media Lens confirmed my fears of poor coverage, not just in the UK but elsewhere such as the US:

Media interest in the subject has crashed. Dr. Robert J. Brulle of Drexel University describes a collapse of any significant coverage of climate change in the [US] media. We know that 2010 was a record low year, and 2011 will probably look much the same. If the media doesn't draw attention to the issue, public opinion will decline.

Equally disturbing is the variation in media performance across the globe. A wide-ranging Reuters study on the prevalence of climate skepticism in the world's media — Poles Apart — The international reporting of climate skepticism - focused on newspapers in Brazil, China, France, India, the UK and the USA. The periods studied were February to April 2007 and mid-November 2009 to mid-February 2010 (a period that included the UN climate change summit in Copenhagen and Climategate). Remarkably, the study concluded that climate skepticism is predominantly an Anglo-Saxon phenomenon, found most frequently in US and British newspapers.

And so we find that Britain and the US — the two countries responding most aggressively to alleged threats to human security in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya — are also the two countries least interested in responding to the very real threat of climate change.

Climate Crisis – The Collapse In Corporate Media Coverage , Media Lens, December 1, 2011

An additional concern that Media Lens also raises is what they described as capitalism trampling on journalism:

A prime example of this trampling was supplied by the high-profile BBC series Frozen Planet, narrated by David Attenborough, focusing on life and the environment in the Arctic and Antarctic. British viewers will see a total of seven episodes, the last of which, On thin ice, deals with the threat of climate change.

However, viewers in some other countries will only watch six episodes. This is because the BBC packaged the series in such a way that the climate change episode was an optional extra that foreign networks could choose to reject. And reject it they did — of 30 networks across the world that have bought the series, 10 have opted not to buy the episode on climate change. Most notable among them is the United States, the world’s leading contributor both to climate crisis and disinformation about the problem.

Climate Crisis – The Collapse In Corporate Media Coverage , Media Lens, December 1, 2011

In the United States, the annual Tyndall Report, which monitors the daily nightly newscasts of the three main TV outlets (ABC, CBS, and NBC) found just 4 stories on climate change for the entire 2011 on the 3 prime time news shows, two of them being just over 2 minutes each (the other two I cannot access from abroad).

The specific shows monitored are of course not the only news shown in the evenings, and other outlets like CNN are not included, and nor is the Internet, but 2/3rds of people get their news from TV in the US, as Jim Lobe noted in a news story covering this year’s Tyndall report. In that story, Andrew Tyndall, was interviewed by Jim Lobe who also added:

It is safe to say that the network news is complicit in this country’s [the USA] global warming denialism, reinforcing the problem, as opposed to reporting on it.

Andrew Tyndall interviewed by Jim Lobe, Arab Spring Dominated TV Foreign News in 2011, Inter Press Service, January 2, 2012

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Despite media’s lack of interest, emissions continue to rise

And while it seems unimportant to the mainstream media, nature continues its course:

While public concern grows and media coverage collapses, the climate change problem is going through the roof. According to a recent study by the US Department of Energy, the global output of heat-trapping carbon dioxide jumped by the biggest amount on record in 2010. The world pumped about 564 million more tons of carbon into the air in 2010 than it did in 2009, an increase of 6 per cent. The latest figures mean that levels of greenhouse gases are higher than the worst case scenario outlined by climate experts just four years ago, USA Today reports.

In the US alone, approximately $3.5 bn is invested annually in lobbying activities at the federal level. In recent years, Royal Dutch Shell, the US Chamber of Commerce, Edison Electric Institute, PG&E, Southern Company, ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP and ConocoPhillips all made the top 20 list of lobbyists. The climate campaign organisation 350.org estimates that 94 per cent of US Chamber of Commerce contributions went to climate denier candidates.

Climate Crisis – The Collapse In Corporate Media Coverage , Media Lens, December 1, 2011

And these are rises of carbon emissions even during the tough economic conditions.

Media Lens and USA Today are referring to the global carbon project report.

That report adds that although China, USA, India, and Russia accounted for the largest emissions growth in 2010, Per capita emissions of developed countries remain several times larger than those of developing countries.

In other words, significant — and fairer — gains can be obtained if rich nations would tackle their emissions (as has repeatedly been pointed out for some 2 decades).

Reuters summarized the above report and also added that a separate study published recently concluded there was almost no chance of limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius based on huge investments in polluting power stations.

The summary of that report from the journal, Nature Climate Change, worries: How nations intend to keep within a 2 °C threshold, let alone consider at [sic] 1.5 °C threshold, is unclear in light of current progress (or lack of).

Despite Europe being on target to meet its Kyoto commitments, global carbon dioxide emissions are still on the increase having spiked by 45% since 1990 to reach a record level of 33 billion tonnes last year.

… to stay below 2 °C throughout this century, annual emissions will have to come down by about 4 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent from the present day level to about 44 Gt of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2020. Even then, there is just a 66% probability of staying within the 2 °C threshold by 2100. Out of the nearly 200 scenarios studied, only three give a 90% probability of staying below 2 °C this century, and all of those rely on commercially unproven technologies to capture and store carbon-based greenhouse gases. Even with the use of these technologies, there is at best a 50% probability of staying below 1.5 °C this century. Worryingly, if we wait until 2030 for emissions to peak, we're more likely to be looking to avoid 3 °C this century than 2 °C. In short, the 2 °C threshold is steadily slipping of reach, and 1.5 °C already seems unachievable.

Crossing the threshold, Nature Climate Change, October 27, 2011, doi:10.1038/nclimate1288

Keeping the average temperature increase within 2 °C of pre-industrial levels implies a target of 450 parts per million (ppm) C02 in the atmosphere. But 450ppm is already feared as not a safe target, but the only practical one to aim for now because of lack of progress amongst industrialized nations in the past 2 decades. And what if we get to 451 ppm?

How much will the world change if we increase CO2 levels to 451 ppm? Time will tell, but one way or the other we may be duplicating in strength in just 200 years what nature itself requires 10,000 years to do. We are applying that forcing beyond the point at which nature has always stopped.

We are duplicating within that short time period the greatest single force on this planet that nature alone has wielded for the past 2.5 million years. But nature does so slowly, carefully and predictably.

We are doing so rapidly, erratically, and without awareness or understanding of the consequences, or even taking long enough to recognize that what we are doing does indeed have an irreversible effect.

Sphaerica, (Fahrenheit) 451 ppm, Skeptical Science, December 11, 2011

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Common but Differentiated Responsibility Principle Sidelined Again

As Inter Press Service (IPS) summarized:

What is abundantly clear is the enormous divide between the rich and poor countries. Poor countries want deep cuts in emissions by the industrialized world, and the latter continue to resist significant cuts and legally binding targets.

Stephen Leahy, Climate Change: History Was Not Made, Inter Press Service, December 19, 2009

This site’s section on climate justice has long gone into some detail about

  • How the Common but Differentiated Responsibility acknowledges that rich nations have emitted most of the greenhouse gases that are causing climate change, that developing countries’ emissions are likely to rise on their path to industrialization and trying to meet basic social and development needs; and that therefore while the goals are the same, the means to tackle climate change will be different.
  • Year after year at climate summits, it seems this principle is often ignored by some rich nations and their media.
  • It has therefore been easier in public to blame nations like China and India for reacting negatively and being uncooperative when faced with pressure to submit to emission reduction targets (before many rich nations demonstrate they can do the same).

Greenhouse gases tend to remain in the atmosphere for many decades so historical emissions are an important consideration.

The following shows that the rich nations (known as Annex I countries in UN climate change speak) have historically emitted more than the rest of the world combined, even though China, India and others have been growing recently. This is why the common but differentiated responsibilities principle was recognized.

(Chart updated in January 2012 to add data up to 2008 and preliminary estimates for 2009 and 2010)

Source: Boden, T.A., G. Marland, and R.J. Andres, Global, Regional, and National Fossil-Fuel CO2 Emissions, Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 2011, DOI: 10.3334/CDIAC/00001_V2011. 2009 and 2010 estimates also from CDIAC, by Tom Boden and T.J. Blasing

No doubt, developing nations should be aware of their recent rise and also do more to curb their emissions. But given their later entry to industrialization and that their per capita emissions are even less than rich nations, more emission reduction could also be achieved per person in rich nations.

Source: Boden, T.A., G. Marland, and R.J. Andres, Global, Regional, and National Fossil-Fuel CO2 Emissions, Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 2011, DOI: 10.3334/CDIAC/00001_V2011. 2009 and 2010 estimates also from CDIAC, by Tom Boden and T.J. Blasing

The US and others have characterized the campaign for climate justice and equality to the atmosphere as a way to claim climate reparations; that it is unfair to make the industrialized nations pay for climate emissions into the past century or more at a time when they didn’t know it would cause more harm.

That seems reasonable. However, one of the implications is that any agreement that is subsequently drawn up will, in effect, put disproportionately more burden on the poorer countries to tackle a problem they did not largely cause. The poor are less likely to have the resources to do so, which also means that tackling climate change is less likely to be successful.

This is why rich nations are being asked to seriously think about the type and way they use energy in addition to helping the poorer nations (not necessarily reparations but through meaningful technology and adaptation assistance — which would be far less costly than the bailouts readily handed to people that did cause a major problem).

In addition, there is little fairness in asking China, India and others to be subject to emission targets when many rich countries didn’t achieve the watered down Kyoto targets themselves.

Some emerging nations are in a grey area — India, China, Brazil, etc are rapidly developing and although they have enormous social and development problems outstanding, some of their wealthy are as wealthy (some more so) as those in industrialized nations. As such, wealthier developing nations aren’t necessarily the target (nor asking) for such adaptation funds.

It is certainly more complex than a few sentences on this page can provide, but the simplification offered by rich country leaders and their media hides this complexity year after year. (See climate justice from this web site for more details on this.)

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Durban meeting outcome

The meeting in Durban seemed quite intense; some such as the US and EU were keen on getting China, India and other large emerging nations to sign on to binding emission reduction agreements. These countries were understandably reluctant and even if they may be gaining a stronger voice in the wake of the global/Western financial crisis, this meeting also showed that they haven’t eclipsed the West (at least not yet) on the diplomatic front.

Stephen Leahy, writing for IPS, provides a useful summary of the Durban meeting:

The world is increasingly committed to dangerous levels of global warming with yet another failure by nations of the world to agree to needed reductions in carbon emissions here in Durban.

After two weeks and an additional 29 hours of intense and even bitter negotiations, the 193 nations participating in the United Nations climate talks agreed to a complex and technical set of documents called the Durban Platform. These include the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol, a formal structure for a Green Climate Fund, new market mechanisms, and more.

Currently the promised emission reductions by industrialised countries and those of China, Brazil, South Africa, India and others under the 2009 Copenhagen Accord guarantee a world that is at least 3.5 degrees Celsius warmer on average according to climate science. It will be double that over large parts of the world. Some analysis says this global average could be even higher rising to four or five degrees Celsius threatening our species with annihilation.

Stephen Leahy, Agreement for New Global Treaty To Reduce Emissions, Inter Press Service, December 12, 2011

Interestingly, the level of reduction promised by the industrialized world is small compared to its portion of emissions. And it looks as though developing countries have lost out in many ways:

Despite the political posturing by the United States, Canada and even the European Union, the fact is that developing countries’ promised reductions are greater than the industrialised world that are responsible for 75 percent of the total human emissions in the atmosphere.

Waiting until 2020 to make major cuts means those cuts will have to be far deeper and far more costly to have any hope of keeping temperatures below two degrees Celsius,

The Durban Platform includes a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol that will begin January 2013, avoiding a gap at the end of the first commitment period finishing next year. The length of the second commitment period is to be decided at COP 18 in Qatar.

Developing countries insisted on this condition because Kyoto is the only legally binding emissions reduction agreement. However, it only asked for small reductions from industrialised countries like those in Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan and a few others. The U.S. opted out and Canada ignored its obligations and increased emissions 24 percent. And now Canada, Japan and Russia have said they will take not take part in the second commitment period.

Stephen Leahy, Agreement for New Global Treaty To Reduce Emissions, Inter Press Service, December 12, 2011

But it is not just developing countries that have lost out; the majority of the first world will have lost out too. Because, as Stephen Leahy rightly notes, trillions are easily and quickly made available to bail out the elite in a financial crises. But when it comes to an even bigger crisis that is further away (and admittedly harder, perhaps, to internalize), funds suddenly seem hard to find; governments are suddenly cash-strapped.

Private sources explicitly include carbon markets as governments from the rich countries frequently cited the financial crisis has tied their purse strings. Civil society and some developing nations noted that governments have made trillions of dollars available for the bank and financial sector and that world’s military budget is more than 10 times what is needed for the GFC [Green Climate Fund].

Stephen Leahy, Agreement for New Global Treaty To Reduce Emissions, Inter Press Service, December 12, 2011

See also George Monbiot’s note on this, comparing the $7 trillion in US bailout for their own banks, while an estimate for capping climate change globally would require less than a 10th of that: $650 billion. And contrast how quickly the trillions were made available versus how challenging it is for a climate fund to come about.

The other important issue for developing countries is that any climate fund be independent of Western control, somehow, because of the bad experience most poor countries have had in the past.

There was quite a lot of outcry at the stance of the US. Democracy Now! for example reported on the Startling Level of Obstructionism and Defeatism by the Obama Administration on a U.N. Climate Deal, opting for non-legally binding agreements.

Others, such as the EU, wanted a new legally binding agreement, but as the Third World Network, based in Malaysia, asked, What is the point of a new treaty? In Bali, 2007, the mechanisms were already agreed:

The reality is that the Climate Convention and the Kyoto Protocol that make up the existing legally binding climate architecture desperately need implementing, not replacing. Developed countries appear progressive by asking for a legally binding treaty or the mandate for one, when the real truth is that they are violating the current legally binding regime, shifting he goalpost agreed in the Bali Roadmap, and reneging on agreements for a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

Building on the Bali Mandate , Third World Network, December 2011

This double-standard (in many areas, not just environment) is a major reason many protests have erupted throughout the industrialized world. The elite seem so far removed from the effects of climate change that perhaps there is no incentive for them to do things about it, effectively, unlike during the recent financial crisis. Instead, resigning to a high level of warming is perhaps acceptable to the elite as they will be better equipped to deal with it.

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More information

For more about the issues from other organizations, here are some starting points:

News stories from IPS

Below is a list of stories from Inter Press Service related to the Durban climate conference and its aftermath.

  1. Governments, Donors and Investors Must Put Their Money Where Their Mouths are on Gender and Climate Change

    Thursday, October 17, 2019

    NAIROBI, Oct 17 (IPS) - Climate change has a disproportionate impact on women and girls. This is clear when it comes to water, for instance. The Global Commission on Adaptation Report launched at the United Nations General Assembly last week states that the number of people who may lack sufficient water, at least one month per year, will soar from 3.6 billion today to more than 5 billion by 2050.

  2. Q&A: How Vietnam went from Zero to Hero in Developing Solar Projects and What Other Countries Can Do for Climate Change

    Friday, September 27, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Sep 27 (IPS) - A week ago, downtown New York witnessed one of the most historic moments in the climate action moment — hundreds of thousands of people attended the Climate Strike, where teen activists delivered powerful speeches and blows to world leaders for not taking climate change seriously.

  3. Fighting Climate Change: We Must Not Forget the Soils

    Wednesday, September 25, 2019

    ILLINOIS, United States, Sep 25 (IPS) - Around the world, citizens took to the streets to demand their governments address climate change. In the U.S., this widespread activism illustrates the findings of a newly released report by the Chicago Council on Global affairs which found for the first time that the majority of Americans consider climate change a threat and the most critical foreign policy issue facing the country.

  4. A Brief Guide to the Impacts of Climate Change on Food Production

    Friday, September 20, 2019

    Sep 20 (IPS) - Food may be a universal language – but in these record-breaking hot days, so too is climate change. With July clocking in as the hottest month on Earth in recorded history and extreme weather ramping up globally, farmers are facing the brunt of climate change in croplands and pastures around the world.

  5. Rural Bangladesh Families Spend 2.0 Billion Dollars on Climate Change ― Dwarfing Government & International Finance

    Friday, September 20, 2019

    LONDON, Sep 20 (IPS) - In an alarming imbalance struggling families in rural Bangladesh spend almost US$2 billion a year on preventing climate-related disasters or repairing damage caused by climate change ― far more than either the Bangladesh government or international bodies.

  6. Let’s Walk the Talk to Defeat Climate Change – African Leaders Told

    Wednesday, August 28, 2019

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Aug 28 (IPS) - African leaders have been asked to walk the talk, and lead from the front, in order to build resilience and adaptation to the adverse impacts of climate change on the continent.

  7. Women Pastoralists Feel Heat of Climate Change

    Wednesday, August 14, 2019

    NAIROBI, Aug 14 (IPS) - For many people, climate change is about shrinking glaciers, rising sea levels, longer and more intense heatwaves, and other extreme and unpredictable weather patterns.  But for women pastoralists—livestock farmers in the semi-arid lands of Kenya—climate change has forced drastic changes to everyday life, including long and sometimes treacherous journeys to get water.

  8. Extreme Floods, the Key to Climate Change Adaptation in Africa’s Drylands

    Thursday, August 08, 2019

    TURKANA COUNTY, Kenya, Aug 08 (IPS) - Extreme rainfall and heavy flooding, often amplified by climate change, causes devastation among communities. But new research published on Aug. 7 in the scientific journal Nature reveals that these dangerous events are extremely significant in recharging groundwater aquifers in drylands across sub-Saharan Africa, making them important for climate change adaptation.

  9. Climate Change Deniers Violate Human Rights

    Monday, July 08, 2019

    AMSTERDAM, Jul 08 (IPS) - Eco Matser is Hivos global Climate Change / Energy and Development Coordinator.

    Whoever still thinks climate change is purely an environmental issue, threatening only nature, needs to think again. Climate change is also essentially a human issue because of its devastating effect on human life – and rights. It exacerbates existing inequalities, undermines democracy and threatens development at large. Likewise, by far the greatest burden will fall on those already in poverty, while the rich will be able to buy their way out of rising heat and hunger.

  10. Looking to the Land in the Climate Change Race

    Wednesday, June 26, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Jun 26 (IPS) - The international community still has a long way to go to chart a new, sustainable course for humanity. But the upcoming climate change meetings provide a renewed opportunity to tackle climate change head on.

  11. Uganda’s Rare Tree Climbing Lions and Endangered Primates Threatened By Climate Change

    Wednesday, June 12, 2019

    KASESE, Uganda, Jun 12 (IPS) - As climate change leads to increased temperatures in East Africa, a thicket of invasive thorny trees with the ability to withstand harsh climatic conditions have begun threatening Uganda's second-largest park, home to a rare breed of tree climbing lions and one of the highest concentrations of primates in the world.

  12. Ecuador in Frontline to Address Climate Change

    Wednesday, June 05, 2019

    QUITO, Ecuador, Jun 05 (IPS) - Matilde Mordt is UNDP Resident Representative in Ecuador

    As the UN commemorates World Environment Day, UNDP would like to take this opportunity to commend Ecuador's efforts to address climate change and its commitment to raising its climate ambition.

  13. Global Hunger Is Threatening Families Because of Climate Change

    Wednesday, May 15, 2019

    NAIROBI, Kenya, May 15 (IPS) - Siddharth Chatterjee is the United Nations Resident Coordinator to Kenya.

    There is barely a corner of human life that will not be affected by climate change, and some of its impacts are already being felt. Consider this, 821 million people are now hungry and over 150 million children stunted, putting the hunger eradication goal, SDG 2, at risk.

    Today 15 May, is the United Nations International Day of Families and the theme for this year is, ‘Families and Climate Action'.

  14. Pakistan’s Battle Against Climate Change

    Wednesday, April 17, 2019

    ISLAMABAD, Apr 17 (IPS) - Pakistan, which has been listed as the 7th most vulnerable country affected by climate change, is now seriously tackling the vagaries of weather, both at the official as well as non-official level.

    Pursuant to an initiative launched by the Pakistan Parliament's Upper House, the Senate, which specially entrusted a sub-Committee of the Standing Committee on Climate Change to focus on "Green and Clean" Islamabad, media, civil society and students have taken up the cudgels on combating climate change.

  15. Anguilla's Fishers Share their First-Hand Knowledge About Climate Change and its Impact

    Thursday, March 28, 2019

    PORT-OF-SPAIN, Mar 28 (IPS) - Fishers in Anguilla saw posted on Youtube this week a video they helped produce that depicts the impacts of climate change on their industry. Titled "Anguilla's Fishing Dilemma", the four-and-a-half minute video highlights some of the main challenges Anguilla's 92 licensed fishers face in earning a living.

  16. Climate Change: a Threat to Agriculture Undermining UN’s Goal to Eradicate Hunger

    Tuesday, March 19, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Mar 19 (IPS) - The United Nations has vowed to eradicate extreme hunger and malnutrition on a self-imposed deadline of 2030.

    But it is facing a harsh realty where human-induced climate change – including flash floods, droughts, heatwaves, typhoons and landslides-- is increasingly threatening agriculture, which also provides livelihoods for over 40 per cent of the global population.

  17. Q&A: Caribbean Losing Momentum on Climate Change and Concerted Action is Needed

    Monday, March 18, 2019

    CASTRIES, Mar 18 (IPS) - In 2015, the Caribbean was "the region that could" on the climate change scene. Countries rallied under the ‘1.5 to Stay Alive' banner, in the face of an existential threat. The now former Sustainable Development Minister of Saint Lucia Dr. James Fletcher emerged as a climate change champion at the time. But now, three years on, the scientist is giving regional climate action a C- in an assessment.

  18. Women Take the Lead Tackling Climate Change in Bangladesh

    Friday, March 15, 2019

    LONDON / DHAKA, Mar 15 (IPS) - Jonathan Farr is WaterAid's Senior Policy Analyst on water security & climate change, based in London & Samia Mallik is WaterAid Bangladesh's Communications Officer, based in Dhaka.

    The stakes are high for women when faced with a warming world – their livelihoods jeopardised by labour markets that tend to put men first, their family responsibilities increasing rapidly in the face of droughts and flooding, and politicians who refuse to acknowledge the challenges they face. The story of those living on the frontline of a harsher climate is simply not being heard.

  19. Does Climate Change Offer New Opportunities for Agriculture in Argentina?

    Monday, February 25, 2019

    BUENOS AIRES, Feb 25 (IPS) - Climate change poses a global threat to food production, but for agriculture in Argentina it could also present new opportunities. In some areas of the country, farming conditions will improve, according to an analysis by experts of the latest climate projections.

  20. Q&A: We Are Helping the World Mitigate Climate Change, Now it’s Time to Help Us

    Wednesday, February 13, 2019

    The Caribbean nation of Suriname may be one of the most forested countries in the world, with some 93 percent of the country's surface area being covered in forests, but it is also the most threatened as it struggles with the impacts of climate change.

  21. Q&A: Continuous Struggle for the Caribbean to be Heard in Climate Change Discussions

    Tuesday, February 05, 2019

    GEORGETOWN, Feb 05 (IPS) - IPS correspondent Desmond Brown interviews DOUGLAS SLATER, Assistant Secretary General at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat.

    In recent years Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries have experienced escalated climate change impacts from hurricanes, tropical storms and other weather-related events thanks to global warming of 1.0 ° Celsius (C) above pre-industrial levels. And it has had adverse effects on particularly vulnerable countries and communities.

  22. Desertification, Land Degradation and Climate Change Go Hand in Hand

    Monday, January 28, 2019

    GEORGETOWN, Jan 28 (IPS) - The link between desertification, land degradation and climate change is among several issues occupying the attention of the 197 Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) for the next three days.

  23. Climate Change Threatens Mexico's Atlantic Coast

    Thursday, January 17, 2019

    FELIPE CARRILLO PUERTO, Mexico, Jan 17 (IPS) - "I couldn't plant my cornfield in May, because it rained too early. I lost everything," lamented Marcos Canté, an indigenous farmer, as he recounted the ravages that climate change is wreaking on this municipality on Mexico's Caribbean coast.

  24. Climate Change: Complex Challenges for Agriculture

    Tuesday, January 08, 2019

    ZURICH, Switzerland, Jan 08 (IPS) - Peter Lüthi is in Communications at the Biovision Foundation for Ecological Development, Zurich.

    The unusually hot summer of 2018 showed that climate change affects a central part of our lives: agriculture. The severe drought in Liechtenstein led to large losses in the hay harvest.

  25. Global Warming: Severe Consequences for Africa

    Friday, January 04, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Jan 04 (IPS) - Dan Shepard is a UN public information officer specializing in sustainability issues--including SDGs, biodiversity & climate change. Africa Renewal*

    Record global greenhouse gas emissions are putting the world on a path toward unacceptable warming, with serious implications for development prospects in Africa. "Limiting warming to 1.5° C is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics, but doing so would require unprecedented changes," said Jim Skea, cochair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group III.

  26. African Media Poorly Represented at the United Nations Climate Change Negotiations

    Friday, December 14, 2018

    KATOWICE, Poland, Dec 14 (IPS) - As negotiations at the United Nations conference on climate change come to a close, the highest expectation is that finally, there will be a rulebook to guide countries on what should be done to slow down greenhouse gas emissions that make the earth warmer than necessary, and how countries can adapt to the impacts of climate change.

  27. Limiting Climate Change to 1.5 C is not Impossible, Says IPCC Chair

    Monday, December 03, 2018

    UNITED NATIONS, Dec 03 (IPS) - Lee Hoesung was appointed Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2015. He is also the Endowed Chair Professor of economics of climate change, energy and sustainable development in the Republic of Korea*.

    When governments set a target in December 2015 of limiting global warming to well below 2ºC above pre-industrial levels while pursuing efforts to hold it at 1.5ºC, they invited the IPCC to prepare a report to provide information on this Goal.

  28. Combatting Climate Change with Bamboo

    Thursday, November 29, 2018

    ROME, Nov 29 (IPS) - Did you know bamboo can help combat climate change? Fast growing and flexible, bamboo plants and products can store more carbon than certain types of tree. Bamboo is also used around the world as a source of renewable energy, and to make thousands of durable products - providing a lifeline for communities vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

  29. Climate Change Drives Up Rural Poverty in Latin America

    Saturday, November 24, 2018

    BUENOS AIRES, Nov 24 (IPS) - Only 18 percent of the population of Latin America and the Caribbean live in rural areas, but these are increasingly hotbeds of poverty, and climate change is playing a major role in this phenomenon.

  30. UAE Raising Awareness About the Impact of Climate Change

    Friday, October 19, 2018

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates,, Oct 19 (IPS) - The Middle East, due to its geographical location, is particularly prone to the impacts of climate change.

    Longer droughts, more frequent and intense heatwaves, and higher temperatures in the summer are expected to to become increasingly prevalent throughout the Middle East - from Sana'a to Jeddah to Dubai to Tehran.

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Where next?

Related articles

  1. Climate Change and Global Warming Introduction
  2. UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
  3. Reactions to Climate Change Negotiations and Action
  4. Action on climate change is cheaper than inaction
  5. Global Warming, Spin and Media
  6. Climate Justice and Equity
  7. Climate Change Flexibility Mechanisms
  8. Carbon Sinks, Forests and Climate Change
  9. Climate Change Affects Biodiversity
  10. Global Warming and Population

Author and Page Information

  • by Anup Shah
  • Created: Wednesday, January 04, 2012

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Alternatives for broken links

Sometimes links to other sites may break beyond my control. Where possible, alternative links are provided to backups or reposted versions here.