Winding Down and Gearing Up

PC089019COP 17 ends tomorrow, but for all the NGOs and Inter governmental organizations it only means that our work is just continuing.

The context of that work however may be slightly different depending on what happens inside the Baobab Plenary Room today and tomorrow.

A major discussion item is emission control and closing the gigaton gap so that a peak in global emissions by 2015 is still achievable. This will keep a credible 1.5 degree Celsius or 2 degree Celsius pathway in reach, instead of the 4 degrees Celsius (or more) rise predicted if a new agreement is not reached until 2020 which is what the US seems to be delaying negotiations around.

Today African and Pacific youth will be delivering a letter to Todd Stern, the lead negotiator for the US after the daily US news conference asking for the US to show more support and movement for an earlier agreement and to ‘stand with the vulnerable nations.’  The US never says why they are delaying, but always have many good reasons why they are doing what they are doing.

PC089020Translation: we need a lot more pressure and citizens speaking up about our country’s lack of leadership in climate solutions. These guys know exactly what to do but are scared to take a stand that will interfere with the prevalent views of Congress which is being controlled by the billion dollar club of fossil fuel companies dying a slow death and in the meanwhile bringing down our life support system.

Some good news on the green climate fund which was suggested and supported by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama at COP 15 in Copenhagen and has been floundering as developed countries have been slow to honor their pledges. Yesterday Germany and Denmark have risen to the challenge. Germany pledged 40 million Euros toward the fund and Denmark chipped in 15 million Euros and they have done it without the strings attached that often accompany developed country pledges. Let’s see what the US, China, Brazil, India and South Africa do in response.

Today and tomorrow in the Plenary are a long string of three minute statements by high level diplomats, mostly ministers as the Prime Ministers and Presidents have not seen Durban to be in their interest to attend. I keep asking myself, where does political will begin? That’s why I’ve been spending most of my time at the 350 booth connecting people with the 350 movement that is so strong in Minnesota and other places but just a sprout of an idea in most places on our planet.

Enjoy these lovely videos by the youth of our planet and then get busy rallying your friends, family and neighbors to make calls, write letters and have conversations that move people to act.


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