Climate Change

Greenwashing Hydropower: The Problems with Big Dams

World Watch Magazine
Friday, January 15, 2010
From World Watch Magazine, Jan/Feb 2010, Volume 23, No. 1Big dams have a serious record of social and environmental destruction, and there are many alternatives. So why are they still being built? Big dams have frequently imposed high social and environmental costs and long-term economic tradeoffs, such as lost fisheries and tourism potential and flooded agricultural and forest land. According to the independent World Commission on Dams, most projects have failed to compensate affected people for their losses and to adequately mitigate environmental impacts. Local people have rarely had a mea

After Copenhagen: Bay Area Activists Report Back

Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Join us for a panel report-back from the Copenhagen climate negotiations, and a discussion on what we think will happen next! When: 7:00 pm, Tuesday, January 19th Where: Goldman Theater, David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way in Berkeley. (map) Payal Parekh, Climate Program Director at International Rivers, will be presenting on the panel along with activists and researchers from (Jamie Henn), EcoEquity (Tom Athanasiou), and the Rainforest Action Network (Bil Barclay). May Boeve from will moderate. Among the topics we will be discussing are the North/South impasse, the emerg

Disappointing End to Climate Talks

Demands for Climate Justice
Demands for Climate Justice Ben Powless The disappointing conclusion of the climate negotiations in Copenhagen reinforced how little rich countries, which have caused climate change, are willing to do to ameliorate its impacts and limit warming. Essentially the United States cut a deal with a handful of nations and then shoved this deal down the rest of the world's throat. Even during President Obama's press conference, he admitted that it wasn't legally binding and that it wasn't enough to limit warming to under 2 degrees Celsius (we should note that over 100 countries are c

Water Justice at Copenhagen (or Lack Thereof)

Daniel Bachhuber On the final day of the COP15 climate negotiations at Copenhagen, leaders have reportedly reached a final deal, though one that insufficiently deals with emissions reduction targets, timelines, accountability, compliance, and the question of who's responsible for adaptation and mitigation action and funding. Water justice - the belief that every human being deserves the right to access clean water to meet their basic needs - is another issue that has largely been glossed over by delegates these past two weeks. Over at the Klimaforum, global water activists attempted

Loopholes and Targets at Climate Talks

Here in Copenhagen, a lot of the discussion has been around the lack of ambition coming from developed countries.  There has been little discussion of long-term finance to meet the mitigation and adaptation needs of developing countries. With regards to the emission reduction targets, they are adding up to a mere 11-17% below 1990 levels, despite the fact that the most recent science is calling for emission reductions of at least 40% below 1990 by developed countries. A leaked draft of a document prepared by the UNFCCC secretariat found that the current pledges commits the world to a 3 de

Offsets and the Rich/Poor Divide

International Rivers' Payal Parekh gives an update on the current status of the climate negotiations at Copenhagen's COP15. Developed countries continue to avoid taking strong targets, raising tensions between rich and poor countries on the third-to-last day of the negotiations. News on offsets and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) are mixed and constantly changing.

As Negotiations Drag, Subnational Leaders Step Up

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California addressing the 194-nation U.N. climate talks
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California addressing the 194-nation U.N. climate talks United Nations As the clock winds down, and countries are nowhere near an agreement, subnational leaders from Canada, Nigeria, France and Algeria, led by California's "Gubernator," announced today in a press conference at Bella that they plan to advance the concept of a new regional coalition to fast track the results of the Copenhagen negotiations. Already, California is engaged in the Western Climate Initiative and has underway its own cap-and-trade program (which, good news, recentl

Crunch Time in Copenhagen

Flood for Climate Justice
Flood for Climate Justice Week Two of the COP15 in Copenhagen opens with the arrival of over 110 ministers and soon their heads of state - i.e. crunch time for the negotiations. This is also leading to incredibly long lines at the entrance and limits to the number of NGO members being admitted. With the arrival of high-level officials, there's increasing concern among civil society that officials may end up greenwashing the outcome, i.e. making pretty speeches even if a weak agreement is reached. The offsets loopholes in parti

Demonstrations for Youth, Climate Justice, and Mountains

To see what civil society is saying about various countries, check out the Fossil of the Day Awards, which awards the top three countries who perform the worst during the UN climate negotiations. Daily video summaries of the negotiations. More live videos from Copenhagen, covering interviews and actions. Follow the events live on Twitter. 

Leaked Danish Text and Carbon Markets

The big story of the first two days at the climate negotiations in Copenhagen has been the leaked Danish text. It is a secretly negotiated draft agreement that only a few countries had a hand in drafting, including Denmark and the United States. Developing countries are up in arms, as it serves the interest of developed countries.  The agreement represents the interests of developed countries by effectively killing the Kyoto Protocol and replacing it with a weaker agreement. It also makes financing for developing countries contingent on actions they take, something that hadn't be


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