For a frenzied five hours this morning, flash mobs swarmed through Bella Center hallways after the G77 bloc suspended talks until Denmark's climate minister Connie Hedegaard reinserted the Kyoto Protocol into the day's agenda. While one infuriated African representative equated the talk's initial direction to putting Africa "on death row," the morning's furor pales in comparison to what occurred at an ad hoc Africa Group meeting last Tuesday. According to tweets from inside the small conference room, G77 chief negotiator Lumumba Di-Aping "sat silently, tears rolling down his face. He put his head in his hands and said "We have been asked to sign a suicide pact." The room was "frozen in silence" but Di-Aping said that in Sudan one learned it was "better to stand and cry than to walk away." He urged those assembled of the dire need to alert civilians in the West about the nefarious role their negotiators are playing at COP15. His inference was clear: ‘you have no idea of the powers that are arrayed against you’ (Link)

Monsieur Di-Aping, I am here to tell you. YES WE DO!

"No Borders! No Climate Refugees!" Day of Action

The African group has long suspected developed countries intention to abandon Kyoto following the end of the 2012 "first commitment period." And so,  when Hedegaard proposed today's plenary focus on "long-term co-operative action" without a mention of the Kyoto Protocol, all hell broke loose!

"The Kyoto protocol is like the regulation of speed limits, but now they’ve decided to have a free ride," said Mali’s environment minister Victor Fodeke. "We can never accept the killing of the Kyoto protocol. It would mean the killing of Africa and, before accepting that, we should all die first." Link

"What is Obama going to tell his daughters?" asked Di-Aping. "That their [Kenyan] relatives’ lives are not worth anything? It is unfortunate that after 500 years-plus of interaction with the West we [Africans] are still considered ‘disposables’".Lumumba Di-Aping, COP15, December 8, 2009.

Disposables? Not On OUR Watch, Mon. Di-Aping.  

Today, as thousands of marchers participated in the "No Borders! No Climate Refugees!" Day of Action, Klimaforum09 focused on ‘International Campaign on Climate Refugees’ Rights'. The campaign's demand for climate justice includes recognizing an individual's right to freedom of movement or the right to remain in one's home without fear of radical climate change.

While the countries split wide open on combating climate change, the civil soiceity groups have launched `International Campaign on Climate Refugees’ Rights’ (ICCR) at Copenhagen. The social movement groups from Asia, Africa and Latin/Central America joined hands together to demand the rights of millions of people being displaced by the climate change.

Opening the launching of the campaign, Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, convenor of the ICCR said, "global civil society groups should come forward to build a wider constituency to claim the justice and rights of the climate induced refugees".

Mr Ahmed also demanded "a legal safeguard protocol should be in place to ensure the political, social, cultural and economic rights of the climate refugees by the international community presently meeting under the Conference of Parties (COP-15) here in Copenhagen, Denmark.Link

View the photostream as protestors vie with police and finally succeed in launching the balloon to symbolize the volume of one ton of CO2.

Currently, the UN estimates the number of Climate refugees at about 25 million (with climate refugees defined as individuals who must leave their homelands due to insufficient natural resources for survival). In a recent ABC interview, filmmaker Michael Nash, whose latest documentary   "Climate Refugees" screened yesterday at COP15, said experts predict that 75 million to 250 million Africans will be without water within eight to  12 years.  "And they're going to start crossing the Mediterranean looking for places to survive into Europe," he said.

"Really poor countries are going to get hit by this the worst," he said. "From a location standpoint, probably the biggest are Africa, parts of Asia, specifically Bangladesh, South America, Australia and the Pacific Islands." Link

Last November, in discussing the projection that within the next 40 years rising water levels will displace some 20 million Bangladehis, the country's finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith requested the UN redefine international law to guarantee climate refugees the same protections as those affored to those who are forced to migrate due to political repression. Wealthy nations, he said should prepare "to honour the natural right of persons to migrate ...  We can't accommodate all these people – this is already the densest [populated] country in the world," he said. Link

Two young girls come outside to watch demonstrators march through the streets of Copenhagen for the 'No Borders' protest.

Where will the proposals from the climate negotiations lead? The Climate Scoreboard uses the C-ROADS simulation to calculate the long-term climate impacts of proposals under consideration in the negotiations to produce a global climate treaty. Embedded Scoreboards automatically update as the deal improves. Watch the video (top right corner) for background and explanation of features. To see recent changes to the Scoreboard, click on the log link at right. Link

Climate Cubes

According to a 2007 IPCC report, 80 million tonnes (cubes) of CO2 are emitted worldwide each day; on the average a person residing in an industrialized country emits 1 tonne of CO2 each month

   * The average American releases 22.9 Tonnes of CO2
   * The average European releases 10.6 Tonnes of CO2
   * The average Sub-Saharan releases 4.5 Tonnes of CO2
   * The average Indian releases 1.8 Tonnes of CO2

For you, Mon. Di-Aping. For all of us.

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EcoJustice series discuss environmental justice, or the disproportionate impacts on human health and environmental effects on minority communities in the U.S. and around the world. All people have a human right to clean, healthy and sustainable communities.

Almost 4 decades ago, the EPA was created partially in response to the public health problems caused in our country by environmental conditions, which included unhealthy air, polluted rivers, unsafe drinking water and waste disposal.  Oftentimes, the answer has been to locate factories and other pollution-emitting facilities in poor, culturally diverse, or minority communities.

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Originally posted to boatsie on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 07:03 PM PST.

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