climate change

Maruleng Hit Hard by Floods

The Department of Human Settlements in Limpopo says that a total of 220 families have been affected by this week's floods in Maruleng.

The department spokesperson, Tseng Diale, says that according to a preliminary assessment, 101 families are in need of immediate shelter and tents are being provided for them.

Meanwhile, spokesperson for the Limpopo Department of Health, Kenny Mathivha, says the Mopani district - encompassing Baphalaborwa, Giyani, Letaba, Maruleng, and Tzaneen municipalities - was hardest hit by the flood.

Ecological Debt Tribunal – Holding Polluters Accountable

The faith community is among key stakeholders calling for the establishment of a permanent International People’s Tribunal on Ecological Debt. Such a tribunal would hold environmental violators accountable for the climate change they are causing in local communities, particularly in developing nations.

There are many definitions for ecological debt. The concept highlights the disparity between industrialised nations, which consume a greater share of the global resource pool, and developing nations, who have larger populations, but consume fewer resources and produce less waste.

COP17 Preserved Kyoto, Says Molewa

Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, says the Kyoto Protocol was saved by the last minute agreement reached by parties at the COP17 conference in Durban.

Molewa points out that, "We have been able to preserve the multiple rules based system underpinning the mitigation regime by agreeing on a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol."

France: Climate Deal a ‘Real’ Step Forward

French Ecology Minister, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, has described the deal reached during overtime at the 17th Congress of the Parties (COP17) as a ‘real step forward’.

However, Kosciusko-Morizet, points out that, "The progress on how we will finance the Green (Climate) Fund is two slow.”

She argues that in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the full amount - in commitments - is not there.

Mangled Victory in Dramatic COP17 Overtime Finale

Thousands of exhausted delegates burst into applause and cheers over the weekend after passing the final COP17 proposals, nearly 36 hours after they were originally scheduled to finish.

The European Union (EU), under the passionate leadership of Connie Hedegaard, has come out the biggest winner, with the final outcome most closely resembling its proposals.

Africa Pushes for Second Kyoto

The 54-nation African Group says its minimum expectation from the COP17 climate change conference in Durban is a second commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol.

The negotiating bloc's chairperson, Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, says that the group wants to see the Green Climate Fund up and running.

Mpanu-Mpanu states that the group wants to leave COP17 with a second commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol, one which has legally-binding dimensions, not merely political ones.

Canada Declares Kyoto Protocol History

Canada's environment Minister, Peter Kent, has declared that for his country the Kyoto Protocol ‘is in the past’, a position touching on the trigger issue at the climate talks here.

Kent confirmed that Canada would not back a new round of carbon-cutting pledges under Kyoto after the first series runs out at the end of 2012.

"We have long said we will not take on a second commitment under the Kyoto Protocol. We will not obstruct or discourage those that do, but Kyoto for Canada is in the past," he explained.

Future of Planet at Stake, Warns UN

United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, has warned climate talks that failure to overcome deadlock place the world in peril, even as scientists warned delegates to face up to the facts of climate change.

Ban’s call comes at the time when Achim Steiner, executive secretary of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), said that, "Climate change is defined by science and scientific realities, not by politics, political expediency and political impacts."

Ministers at COP17 Deserve Oscars – NGOs

Environmental NGOs have lambasted government ministers involved in climate change negotiations, arguing that they should all be awarded Oscars for their acting.

Greenpeace International’s Tove Ryding, led the call, saying that governments are creating theatre out of the climate talks.

Ryding points out that these ministers should get Oscars for acting like they are being asked to do something very hard, adding that, "This poker game is endangering the whole globe."

Greenpeace Activists Arrested at COP17

Seven Greenpeace campaigners have been arrested on the sidelines of the United Nations climate conference as they protest against corporate responsibility for carbon emissions.

The six were detained as they tried to hang a banner reading ‘Listen to the People, not the Polluters’ at a Durban hotel where a ‘Global Business Day’, hosted by business organisations, was taking place.

The protest was aimed at a so-called ‘Dirty Dozen’ corporations which Greenpeace says are pulling political strings to stifle progress toward a global climate deal.

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