Showing posts from September, 2014

An interview with Felix Dodds by Maria Bolvevich for Green Earth Citizen

Posted on September 22, 2014by 
An interview with Felix Dodds
by Maria Bolevich for Green Earth Citizen Our last post was about Felix Dodds, now we have the honor to present you our interview.  Felix Dodds is a fellow at the Global Research Institute at University of North Carolina and an Associate fellow at the Tellus Institute he was until recently the Executive Director of Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future (1992-2012). He played a significant role in the Rio+20 Conference and has been active at the UN since 1990 attending  key meetings on sustainable development. Since 1985 to 1987, you were the chair of the UK LIBERAL YOUTH WING PARTIES. How much political experience has helped you and are today politicians sufficiently interested for the environmental protection? What being active in a political party did was help me understand the way politicians act and the way policy is developed and the role the civil servants have in it. Most NGOs do not and that puts th…

Climate, Secretary General's Climate Summit and Paris

As often is the case i am at JFK waiting for a flight and I thought on the eve of the Climate March (see previous blog) and the Secretary Generals Climate Summit I would make a few reflections. These are informed from my experiences in the UNFCCC and the last two weeks in New York.

Climate Summit

On the Secretary General's Climate Summit there are now some 120 heads of State confirmed (which doesn't include Australia's Head of State). For those who are not UN hacks like me the Climate Summit is not an official UN General Assembly but a Secretary General's initiative so a very very soft fora but an important one. This Secretary General has made climate a vital part of his second term priorities and is trying to lead from the front and for that he deserves credit. The Climate Summit is not part of the formal negotiations leading up to Paris in 2015. What is expected is that Heads of State will make NEW commitments. There will be a Private Sector Forum which will focus on …

My response to Mark Stafford-Smith's article on the SDGs in Nature

The wonderful Mark Stafford-Smith has an interesting article on the SDGs in Nature this is my response to it.

I have attended all the negotiating sessions of the SDG OWG and Mark is right the input from science has failed on two accounts on content and on lobbying. I dont agree with the issue of 10 goals and the reason for that is we should not be focusing on the number but on what needs to be addressed. In that context the difference between the MDGs and SDGs is that the MDGs dealt with ONLY developing countries and only traditional development. The SDGs is dealing with ALL countries and sustainable development. It is therefore not surprising we have twice as many. As far as the targets are concerned one of the very cleaver things the governments have done is to separate the outcome from the SDG OWG and the formal negotiations which will probably start in February by six months for exactly this consideration of what the final targets should be. This is a "floor not a ceiling"…

Old Vienna cafe re-opens at the UN HQ

The old Vienna Cafe in the UN HQ has just re-opened i celebrated with Tomas Gonzalez a cafe latte. Though i do think Skanska should have taken me on to advise on the design and seating.

18th September side event at UN HQ From MDGs to SDGs: Towards a New Paradigm at Habitat III!

From MDGs to SDGs: Towards a New Paradigm at Habitat III! Sustainable Cities & Human Settlements in the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda!
A side event at the 1st PrepCom for Habitat III | Room A - 18th September 2014 - 8:30-9:30am!

8:30! Welcome & Opening Remarks!

Dr. Eduardo Lopez Moreno, Director of Research & Capacity Development, UN-Habitat;!
Ms. Maruxa Cardama, Executive Coordinator & Co-Founder, Communitas Coalition;!

8:40! Looking Ahead: The Impact of a Sustainable Development Goal on Cities & Human Settlements!

Housing & Slums:Ms. Rose Molokoane, Deputy President, Slum/Shack Dwellers International (SDI); National Coordinator, Federation of the Urban & Rural Poor in South Africa and
Ms. Sonia Fadrigo, National Leader, Homeless People’s Federation of the Philippines; Coordinator for the Philippines, SDI
Planning & DesignDr. Eugenie L. Birch, Chair, World Urban Campaign & Chair of the Graduate Group in City &
Regional Planning, University of Pe…

The Peoples Climate March - no where near where the leaders are meeting

As someone who has been active at the UN climate negotiations, and co-directed the successful multi-stakeholder group to get water into the UNFCCC, I was really pleased to see the posters and promotions for the New York Climate March. 

I thought i would have a look at what is billed the largest climate march ever which is happening in New York on September 21st. I assumed that it is somehow linked to the Secretary Generals event and so would pass right next to the UN. 

To my utter surprise and dismay the march will go no where near the UN where of Heads of State are meeting on September 23rd but as far away on the island as possible.

The march starts at Central Park West between 65th and 86th streets and moves not eastward when it gets to 42nd street towards the UN (1st Avenue) but westward to 11th street.I doubt precious civil rights or peace marches would have agreed to this. If Martin Luther King had had to be as far away as this march is from the White House I think it would have tak…

UN General Assembly ADOPTS SDG OWG Report as basis for negotiations

Delegates A lso Pass Measures Addressing Malaria, Revitalizing Work of Assembly
The General Assembly adopted three resolutions today (10th September) , including one that would pave the way for the incorporation of sustainable development goals into the post-2015 development agenda.
In adopting the “Report of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals established pursuant to General Assembly resolution 66/288” (document A/68/L.61), as orally amended, the Assembly decided that the outcome document from the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals would be the main basis for integrating the sustainable development goals into the future development agenda.  The resolution went on to state that other inputs would also be considered during the intergovernmental negotiation process at th…

Healthy and Sustainable Living MOOC 2014 September 13th 930 to 1130 Making Sustainable Change at the Global level

September 13th: Healthy and Sustainable Living MOOC 2014 September 13th 930 to 1130 Making Sustainable Change at the Global level (  )

Maurice Strong's Statement to the UNPGA Stocktaking Event

Maurice Strong Secretary  General of 1972 Stockholm and 1992 Rio Conferences and  the first Executive Director of UNEP 

I am very sorry I could not be with you today in person.  My age conspires to make it difficult to continue racing around the world to significant events, however much I would like to.  It serves as a constant reminder to me of the frailty of human beings, and a metaphor for the vulnerability of systems we once assumed were entirely secure. That age and my experience does, however, provide me the advantage of being able to review some of the political history that often goes unwritten, and to provide some diplomatic – and perhaps undiplomatic – perspective on the current status of the process you all are addressing. 
First let me say how pleased I am to be speaking at the President of the UN General Assemblies Stocktaking event. I would like to thank Ambassador Ashe for giving me this opportunity to comment on the path we are all on towards a more sustaina…

European Union announces new Commissioners for Climate, Environment and Development

Miguel Arias Cañete
is the new EU Commissioner designate for  Climate Action and Energy. He is a Spanish politician  between 2011 and 2014 he served as Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment in the current Partido Popular government. n politics Arias Cañete served first as a representative in the Parliament of Andalusia from 1982 until 1986, resigning upon being elected to the European Parliament where he served until 1999 and chaired the Agricultural and Regional Politics Committees. He then served in the Spanish Senate from 1993 until 2000 when he was appointed as Minister of Agriculture and Fishing in the governments of José María Aznar. He served as a representative for Cadiz district in the 2004-2008 Spanish congress before being elected at the 2008 election from the Madrid Region district, which he currently represents.[2] After the 2011 General Election he served as the minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment in the Mariano Rajoy Government.

Karmenu Vella
is the new …

Capital Markets and their role in Sustainable Development Finance and the Sustainable Development Goals

Capital Markets and their role in Sustainable Development Finance and the Sustainable Development Goals
11th of September from 115-230pm Conference Room C
Hosted by UNCTAD
Steve Waygood, Chief Responsible Investment Officer, AVIVA Investors
Lenora Suki, Senior Product Strategist, Sustainability Initiatives, Bloomberg LP
Mariela Vargova, Ph.D., is a Senior Sustainability Analyst with the Sustainability and Impact  Investing team at Rockefeller Financial Asset Management.
Chantal Line Carpentier, Ph.D. Chief, New York Office of UNCTAD
Chaired by Felix Dodds Tellus Institute
Background information on side event: This will focus on a response to the SDG OWG and the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing
For generations policy makers have sought to align the interests of the financial markets and society.
Nowhere is this tension more keenly and persistently felt than in the relentlessness of the capital marketsto allocate capital to short term, unsust…

United Nations Secretary-General Appoints Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development

Experts from civil society, private sector, academia, Governments and international 
organizations named 

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the establishment of an Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development. The Group will advise the Secretary-General on measures required to close the data gaps and strengthen national statistical capacities.

The Group is also expected to assess new opportunities linked to innovation, technical progress and the surge of new public and private data providers to support and complement conventional statistical systems and strengthen accountability at the global, regional and national level.

The Secretary-General has appointed two co-chairs: Professor Enrico Giovannini of Italy and Mr.
Robin Li of China. The full list of Panel members is available below.

“The data revolution is giving the world powerful tools that can help usher in a more sustainable
future,” said the UN chief. “The recomm…