COP17

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."

High-Level Talks Begin at COP17

World leaders and government ministers start their top level climate talks at COP17, amid warnings that a breakthrough agreement is unlikely.

Twelve heads of state and 130 ministers are set to attend the high-level segment of the conference, which begins later today, and deals with extending the carbon-emission limits established by the Kyoto Protocol in 1998.

The world's biggest polluters - the United States, China and India - are not part of Kyoto and the conservatives argue that any agreement that does not include the major emitters is meaningless.

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.

International: Women, Climate Change and Migration

The dramatic changes to weather patterns as a result of climate change will have dire consequences on agriculture, the major source of food and income for Africa’s small scale farmers, the majority of whom are women.

Millions of people will be forced to migrate as they seek better living environments to sustain themselves and their families as the land becomes unproductive. Not enough is being done in national adaptation strategies to acknowledge the different gender dimensions of climate change and migration.

SA Criticised Over Coal Investments

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) says that with South Africa’s investment into Eskom’s new Kusile and Medupi coal-fired powered stations, it is clear that coal will continue to be a large part of our energy supply. The WWF delegation had this to say at the 17th Conference of Parties (COP17), which started from 28 November and will end on 9 December 2011 in Durban.

To watch the video, refer to http://mg.co.za/multimedia/2011-12-01-a-green-economy--with-coal.

Reservations About Green Climate Fund

Some Latin American countries, the United States and Saudi Arabia have voiced reservations about signing off on the Green Climate Fund.

These reservations broke the broad consensus that the draft fund, while imperfect, could be adopted and operational soon after next year’s talks, in Qatar.

Developed nations have pledged US$100bn a year to the fund by 2020, but many are balking at actually putting money into the fund to help developing nations pay for their adaptation and mitigation actions.

COP17 Threatened by Kyoto Pullout

Negotiators and NGOs have warned that a Canadian pullout of the Kyoto Protocol would badly damage a United Nations climate process already weakened by divisions.

Spokesperson for the 54-nation Africa Group in the UN forum, Seyni Nafo, points out that for countries that are historically responsible for the problem to explicitly back out would undermine the process and the credibility of what delegates are trying to do.

Nafo warned that it will be difficult to ask India and China to do more when Canada pulls out of the Kyoto Protocol.

Africa Embarks on New Environmental Path

The Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, says that hosting the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) on the African continent offers an opportunity to work on a future of sustainable development.

Molewa states that Africa has contributed least to the build-up of greenhouse gases globally, but will be in the front line of the adverse effects of climate change.

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