Showing posts from November, 2016

Are developed countries trying to reduce political space to discuss sustainable development?

As I write this blog Committee 2 is discussing whether the annual resolution on Agenda 21, Johannesburg Plan of Action and Rio+20 should be scrapped. The resolution has been extremely important in the last few years for the discussion of subjects such as the High Level Political Forum and the Technology Facilitation Mechanism, the regional dimension of sustainable development and Sustainable Consumption and Production. Since last year, some developed countries started to challenge the very existence of the resolution. Their argument is that it is no longer needed because the 2030 Agenda should cover all aspects of the three previous conferences.

Although the 2030 Agenda does cover many of the aspects of Agenda 21, Johannesburg Plan of Action and Rio+20 it does not cover all and reduces the space YET AGAIN for debate and discussion on sustainable development. In response to the concerns expressed by developed countries, G77 proposed this year to shift the focus of the resolution to SCP.…

The New Secretary General: Which way for global priorities?

By Felix Dodds and Jenkins Thomas
The election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States has sent shockwaves around the world. He has said in the election campaign that he is committed to scraping the Paris Climate Agreement (though there are indications he may backtrack on this now). The Agreement that came into force on the 4th of November and the US might start the process to withdraw when he takes office in January.
This will be within weeks of Mr. Antonio Gutteres, the new Secretary-General of the United Nations, assuming office at a time of great global uncertainty. Not only with what the new President might do on climate but also on Syria and close the US door to refugees.
Mr Gutteres will be succeeding what has become a transformative leadership for sustainable development laid by his predecessor, Mr. Ban Ki Moon.
Ban Ki Moon will go down in history as the UN chief that achieved some solid feats during his two terms. For under his watch, he successfully pushed f…

Comics Uniting Nations Releases Christmas Special on SDG 13: Climate Action Santa Clause leads by example in the series’ newest comic from Dodds, Strauss and Charles

My first comic is now out 'Santa's Green Christmas: Father Christmas battles Climate Change'.  (downloadable here) I wrote it with Michael Strauss the Executive Director of Earth Media, an independent political and communications consultancy based in New York.

The amazing art and coloring was by John Charles who has worked with Marvel UK and 2000AD. The lettering is by Ian Sharman award winning writer of Alpha Gods, Hero: 9 to 5, Hypergirl, The Intergalactic Adventures of Zakk Ridley and Spacescape, Finally the ink work is by Lee Townsend who started working in the comic industry in the mid 90's as an artist for Marvel on titles such as Deaths Head, Action Man, Transformers.

With the holiday season approaching, businesses use every marketing technique in the book to sell more products. In a clever twist on this tradition, Dodds, Strauss and Charles have flipped the script, using the iconic figure of Santa Clause to promote individual action on climate change.

Santa’s G…

Guest blog by Robin Haberman: Civilian Defense in the age of Climate Change

By Robin Haberman Project Manager to the GMIBS Project
Robin Haberman, PM for the GMIBS Project.  Career background, both academic and formal training was in working with Intelligent networks. He seeks to solve problems where complex systems and people come together for over 16 years.  Managed a non-profit research organization for ten years in the 1970's.  Later was an early employee for a high-tech start-up in the late 1980's.   The GMIBS Project is the third start-up organization I have been associated with from the start.

In Bill McKibben's article on climate change, A World at War ( is the latest in using the simile of World War II in comparing it to the future events of climate change. By using the analog, We’re under attack from climate change—and our only hope is to mobilize like we did in WWII. He hopes as the dangers grow a uniting of the populace will to overcome adversities will happen again as it did from 1936 to 1945 against fascism. Here as el…

Guest blog by Susanne Salz: opportunity to co-create future global governance - open until Sunday 11th December

Susanne Salz is the Founder of the United Actors . Previously she worked at the city association ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, at the "Think and Do Tank" Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production as well as at UNV and the OECD. She studied International Relations at the LSE, the University of Sussex and Sciences Po Paris and is a member of the Global Diplomacy Lab .
Back in 2009 I was attending the climate COP in Copenhagen on behalf of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability. One cold morning I saw some colleagues in the long queue for NGO delegates, who I joined to save time. Once there, I saw that among them was the Mayor of Mexico City at the time, Marcelo Ebrard. Why would somebody governing a community of almost 9 million people be outside in the queue rather than inside having their say and making their contribution?
All actors on board for more inclusive global governance
That was one of a few key moments that led me to found…

Guest blog by Mike Barry: Happy 30th Birthday Institute of Business Ethics: 5 steps to ethical business leadership

Guest blog by Mike Barry the Director of Sustainable Business (Plan A) at Marks and Spencer Republished from the Institute of Business Ethics
Congratulations Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) on reaching 30. Born at the time of the City of London’s ‘Big Bang’ and the appearance of the phrase ‘greed is good’ IBE has played an important role in holding a mirror up to the face of business and asking ‘is that how you want to be known’? As we celebrate this anniversary though we all need to reflect on whether we are doing enough to embrace ethics across the business world. Ever since the global financial crash of 2008 and the long, hard road of austerity began, more and more questions have been asked about the behaviour of companies and whether the totality of their efforts, globalisation, is working for the few or the many. Questions about offshore tax havens, CEO pay, pension provision, pollution, corruption, privacy and modern day slavery have all been thrown at individual companies. A…

Guest blog Filipa Rodrigues: The Beauty Box

The Beauty Box Filipa Rodrigues was born and raised in sunny Portugal, Europe. After a year studying Linguistics and Literature, she realized her passion for Theatre was more than just a hobby and decided to pursue it as a career. She earned a BA in Theatre in the prestigious Universidade de Coimbra. She moved to New York City in 2011 and made her Big Apple lead debut as an actress in the show “Our House”, by Theresa Rebeck. A show produced by Carrick Bend Theatre Co. which Filipa also serves as a co-founder. Under the guidance of Robert McQueen, at HB Studios, Filipa found a profound interest in Directing and has dabbled in writing, producing, acting and directing and is currently working on an original web series called ‘What is Love?’, that you can catch via YouTube platform. 

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of a “Beauty Box”, I shall gladly demystify it for you. For a small monthly fee, you get delivered to your door a box of sample sized beauty products that you get t…

Guest Blog by Ihor Dlaboha: Promote the SDGs and You’ll Build Your Business

 Ihor Dlaboha is a consultant who has worked for the UN helping to organize four UN DPI NGO Conferences. He also has over 40 years experience as a journalist. 
The Sustainable Development Goals or 2030 Agenda offer benefits for everyone on the planet and it behooves everyone to abide by their principles. Even businesses should integrate sustainable environmental, social and governance issues into their business models – and act on them.
The SDGs grew out of the United NationsMillennium Development Goals, a set of eight targets that were designed for the onset of 2000 16 years ago but in time deemed inadequate to improve life as we know it on this planet.
Consequently, they were expanded by a partnership of UN member-states and non-governmental organizations to include 17 goals and 169 targets that address critical issues facing the world and cities, your business, such as the eradication of extreme poverty, tackling global inequality and climate change, promoting sustainable urbanizat…

Guest blog: Adil Najam: Global climate talks move to Marrakesh: Here’s what they need to achieve

Adil Najam is a Pakistani academic and intellectual who serves as the dean of the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, and previously served as vice-chancellor of the LUMS. This blog is reprinted from the Conversation web site here.  Even though evidence on an ever-worsening global climate keeps pouring in with alarming frequency, the last 12 months have, in fact, been a relatively good year for global climate policy. Next week, the world’s countries meet in Marrakesh, Morocco, to follow up on the gains made at Paris last year, and to try to reconcile these two facts.
The 22nd conference of the parties (COP22) to the U.N. climate change convention in Marrakesh will not result in a grand agreement or the grandiose chest-thumping that characterized its Paris predecessor. Yet, this meeting is a critical test of whether the parties to the Paris Agreement are willing to realize, or capable of realizing, the promise of Paris and creating a momentum for action. Post-Paris che…

After Quito where now for UN Habitat?

By Felix Dodds and Jenkins Thomas
Habitat III where the world gathered in Quito and adopted the New Urban Agenda at the third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development. finished on the 20th of October. We thought it would be a good time to look to the Post Quito period.
The conference has shaped a new global action plan for cities. Second, it marked the end of a long and arduous negotiation process considering the difficult negotiation terrain defined by low political impetus, and third it opened yet a new chapter- of relooking at the mechanisms for implementing the New Urban Agenda. What it failed to do was to link substantively the New Urban Agenda to the Sustainable Development Goals and in particular to the over 140 targets that will need to be implemented at the sub-national and local level. This will impact on the implementation of the agenda as governments will focus primarily on delivering the Paris Climate Agreement, the Sendai Framework on Disaste…