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Showing posts from February, 2020

Comments on the CSOs Letter on UN World Food Systems Summit

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I am sure like many people we sign up for list servers that have some issues that we are interested in and others that we have tangential interest in.
The other day on one of those issues that I had a tangential interest in the 'World Food Systems Summit' there was a request to sign on to a call from ‘Civil Society’ about the 2021 World Food Systems Summit that the Secretary-General is hosting.
At the time I was watching the France v Wales rugby match - well done France an amazing game. In the half time break, I decided to open what has been signed by 330 ‘Civil Society’ organizations to see what the issue was. I have to say it confused me.
The authors of the letter seem to be confusing a Secretary-General event with a UN Summit convened by Member States.
These are two different things.
Let me explain…A Secretary-General initiated event (here the Secretary-General has called it a Summit which may have added to the confusion) is something that he hosts an event to increase the…

Court of Appeal in the UK rules that Heathrow expansion should be cancelled once and for all due to Paris Climate Agreement

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Preparing For the Glasgow 2020 Climate Summit article 4
Today the Court of Appeal today (27th Feb)  ruled  that expansion of Heathrow airport was unlawful because ministers failed to properly consider the impact on the climate and the environment.

The case was brought by Friends of the Earth and others, arguing that Heathrow expansion does not match the UK’s commitments under the Paris Agreement.

The news comes following a New Economics Foundation (NEF) report on Thursday that concluded Heathrow expansion would shift 27,000 jobs to London and the Southeast from other regions, as well as £43 billion of the nation’s income. The Northwest would be the worst affected losing 15,000 jobs by 2050. The report also says that a third runway would produce an extra 4 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.

It seems that the UK Prime Minister who once pledged to ‘lie down’ in front of the bulldozers – will now not need to do that.

The government that will be hosting the Glasgow Climate Summit in November…

Guest Blog: 3 ways to tell if corporations are genuine about fighting climate change

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Experts offer criteria for separating legitimate climate plans from hollow claims Guest blog: Geoff Dembicki (@GeoffDembicki) a Climate journalist and author. Originally published on ensia and can be read here.
February 25, 2020 — When Larry Fink announced in mid-January he’d be putting solving the climate emergency at the center of his US$7.43 trillion investment company BlackRock’s strategy, even long-time critics acknowledged it was a huge deal. “It takes leadership and a certain kind of courage to admit that change is needed,” wrote Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune at CNBC. “Now we must keep the pressure on.” BlackRock had earlier stated a commitment to “sustainability,” yet for years faced pressure from the Sierra Club and others over its investments in fossil fuels and Amazon deforestation. In a letter last month to shareholders, Fink promised measurable change: BlackRock would no longer invest in companies deriving 25% or more of their revenues from thermal coal. Shor…

Guest blog: SHOW SOME LOVE FOR THE PLANET THIS VALENTINE’S DAY

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Guest blog by: Brandon Pytel joined Earth Day Network in 2019 as a communications manager/writer. This is from an original blog on EarthDay Nothing is stronger than love — except maybe climate change. With February 14 around the corner, you may be thinking about things other than the environment. But climate change affects everything, including all the special trappings we use to celebrate Valentine’s (and Galentine’s) Day. Valentine’s Day is a multi-billion-dollar industry, with the United States dropping about $27 billion to celebrate love each year. In a warmer world, however, many of our February favorites — like chocolates and wine — will be at risk, and some are just plain unsustainable — like roses. We’re not here to ruin your date night but to kick you into action: The sooner we act on climate, the sooner we can preserve these cherished traditions. Or at least adjust these traditions to accommodate a warmer world. So, how stable is the future of Valentine’s Day? Roses are red… and c…

The UN Secretary General: "But today a wind of madness is sweeping the globe".

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4th February 2020:
Opening remarks to journalists on priorities for 2020 and the work of the organization
UN Secretary-General António Guterres

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.

As you know, 2020 marks a milestone for the United Nations – our 75th anniversary.

Too often, governments and international institutions are viewed as places that talk – not as places that listen.

I want the United Nations, in this anniversary, essentially to listen – so we are marking our anniversary based on conversations in every corner of the world about the future we want and the United Nations we need.

There is no doubt that people have much to say.

The disquiet in streets and squares across the world is proof that people want to be heard.

They want world leaders to answer their anxieties with effective action.

That means addressing cascading challenges and breaking what I call the vicious circles that define our day.

One such vicious circle is in the realm of peace and security – making conflicts longer…

The letter of Claire O’Neill to the UK Prime Minister on her replacement as President of COP 26 should worry everyone

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Preparing For the Glasgow 2020 Climate Summit article 2:
Charlton St.Peter Wiltshire February 3rd2020
Dear Prime Minister,
IwassurprisedanddismayedtobephonedbyDominicCummingslastFridaytobetoldIwas no longer required to act as your COP (Conference of the UN Parties)President.
I was given three separate explanations for the decision, none of which could be clearly articulated or supported with evidence, apart from needing someone more senior. You did, of course, know my seniority and experience when you offered me the job and my track record of delivery from persuading the Cabinet to host COP26, winning the COP bid in partnershipwithItaly,publishingtheCleanGrowthStrategy,introducingourhistoricNetZero legislation, launching the global Powering Past Coal Alliance and negotiating the Offshore Wind Sector Deal that has made our vast offshore renewable energy source cheaper than fossil fuelalternatives.
It was very disheartening in this context to learn that No. 10 is rumoured to be behind the med…