Showing posts from December, 2015

Governments reduce UN budget at $170 million while expanding military sales

"The world continues to squander trillions on Military spending. Why is it easier to find more to destroy people and planet than it is to it is to protect them ."    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon  As many of you will have read I've been concerned about the attempt by developed countries led by he USA to not fund/ the implementation of the SDGs and FFD within the work of the UN. In the end Im not absolutely sure what was agreed but the SG indicated that adding resources to development  had been achieved but at the same time as reducing resources to areas including public information, which presented challenges for the United Nations. UNGA President Mr. Lykketoft (Denmark), said 2016 would be about kick-starting implementation of the “incredible breakthroughs” that the Organization had brought about in 2015, namely the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement.  The UN final core budget for the next two years hasn't increased but has been reduced by

Guest blog: by Steve Waygood AVIVA Investors on Climate Change Agreement and Climate Finance

Steve Waygood Chief Responsible Investment Officer, Aviva Investors  UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon borrowed an aphorism attributed to Voltaire when he addressed the closing plenary of COP21: "We must not let the quest for perfection be the enemy of the public good."  He was thanking negotiators for the compromises that they had made in the pursuit of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Ban Ki-moon’s statement could equally apply to any analysis of the agreement itself. The deal marks an extraordinary moment in global history. Left unchecked, climate change would be the greatest market failure of all time, the greatest inequality of all time, and it would represent a social catastrophe. Instead, the unprecedented international accord now has the potential to be a game changer in the fight against climate change. As an insurance company, Aviva is very positive about the newly calibrated political ambition to pursue efforts to limit climate change to 1.5

Publications - a year in view

Dear Friends I wanted to share with you what I have produced this year and what I already are planning for 2016. This year has been a  very productive year. I have tried to comment on today's challenges and opportunities as well as a political commentry on the sustainable development agenda more generally. Books I enjoy writing and had the opporunity to work with some great people this year. G overnance for Sustainable Development (May 2015) and I had the pleasure in editing it with  S. Luna, H. Lim, O. Rebedea, D. Banisar, and Q. McKew, A  New World Frontiers book . I also wrote two chapters on: Key questions for an interlinked and coherent governance for the review and follow-up of the post 2015 agenda and its SDG and the Addis Ababa commitments, and  Partnerships lessons from the first ten years of Type 2 Partnerships commitments  The Handbook of Water and Health (October 2015) edited by Jamie Bartram. I contributed a chapter:  International Policy with J.

Deutsche Welle: Living Planet: Father Christmas and the environment

Deutsche Weller radio picked up the story of Santa Claus Takes on Climate Change in  their Living Planet broadcast on the 18th of December. This week, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed the Arctic experienced record air temperatures and a new low in peak ice extent during 2015. Bad news for iconic Arctic resident, Santa Claus. And his reindeer-drawn sleigh may not be as climate-friendly as you think, according to environmentalist Felix Dodds. The podcast can be heard here .   You can support the comic here .  The full Living Planet post Paris programme can be heard here . 

Again UNGA 5th committee is defunding Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda

It has been a great year for multilateralism with the agreements in Paris on Climate Change, New York on the SDGs and Addis on the Financing for Developmen t. These don’t happen without a huge effort by lots of people. Of course it is always said that the follow up is the most difficult and we know from the 1992 Earth Summit that this is true. There the very comprehensive Agenda 21 was estimated to cost $625 billion a year to implement with $125 billion from developed to developing countries. ODA was in 1992 $56 billion and instead of increasing to $125 billion it fell by 1997 to $52 billion and only got back to $56 billion by 2002. The 1990s were the lost decade which of course in part has contributed to the challenges we now face. The 2030 Agenda has been costed out by SDSN at $2-$3 billion a year. So funding this new 'global agreement' is critical.  I raised my concern earlier about the budget being discussed in 5th Committee (Biannual regular budget – negotiati

Habitat III Resolution Passes the UN General Assembly

In relation to the issue of stakeholder modalities for the preparatory process for Habitat III which already has had two prepcoms some people might say at last..... The governments produced in the end a very good resolution which addresses all the issues that were outstanding and did so in a constructive and forward looking way. First on the stakeholder engagement the approach builds on the open way that stakeholders engaged in the 2015 process and not the more restrictive approach that the same governments were looking to introduce in Nairobi at prepcom 2. Individual local authorities as is normal will have to accredit through their associations and this enable the issue of the Falklands to be put to rest as it will be the responsibility of the associations to ensure any one they accredit abides by the rules. There was as i indicated in a  previous posting the recognition that they needed many more days than were allocated in the original motion establishing the preparator

A radio programme on Maurice Strong

Dear Friends You might be interested in this program by Think Globally Radio  which focuses on the life of Maurice Strong. the podcast can be listened to here. A great book to read about Maurice Strong's Life . The history of the last 40 years on sustainable development a must for any advocate or negotiator.

Sinatra at 100

Today, December the 12th 2015 is the 100th anniversary of Frank Sinatra  Happy Birthday Frank. There are stars and then there are legends and in the 20th century Sinatra is one of those whose music will continue to be appreciated throughout the 21st century as other stars fade away. I had the pleasure of hearing Frank Sinatra Jn in concert a few weeks ago as he came to Durham to celebrate the life of Frank's second wife North Carolina born Ava Gardner. His story is one worth reading and if you have a space on your Christmas list then i recommend Rat Pack Confidential as a book that tells all the story of Sinatra the good the bad and the ugly.  But lets now celebrate the mans music and what a contribution that was. At the end of this blog i have a link to many of the classics on YouTube. For me there are many on my ipad as i travel to listen to -  he made classics out of songs that had been around for years and set the standard that others would be judged as they

Comments on SDG Grey indicators needs to be in by the 15th of December

I was in New Hampshire and so missed the announcement but this is important for those engaged in the SDG indicator process.  The UN Statistical Group IAEG have opened the consultation on the grey indicators here . An open consultation will take place on the proposed SDG Indicators that currently coded as 'grey', indicating that further discussion on them is still needed. The consultation will be open from Wednesday, 9 December to Tuesday, 15 December to both observers (non-IAEG Member States and representatives of regional commissions and regional and international agencies) and other stakeholders (civil society, academia and private sector) for technical comments. Web site here.

Interviewed in Forbes on Towards a Better World

Terry Waghorn from Katerva interviewed me for Forbes. Terry Waghorn : These new Global Goals for Sustainable Development will replace the Millennium Development Goals at the beginning of 2016 – what is the difference between the Global Goals and the Millennium Development Goals and why should we care? Felix Dodds : The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were a result of the Millennium Declaration Heads of State agreed to in 2000. The MDGs were developed afterward by experts and focused action in eight areas only for developing countries. By 2011, it was clearer that in the future there couldn’t be any development which was not sustainable development and that ALL countries needed to redress their development to keep it within what we were now calling planetary boundaries. The approach by economists to the environment has been to treat it as a free resource until it was polluted or used up. For example, the Living Planet Index shows a decline of 52 percent in biodiversity in