From their elevated positions on the podiums at both official and offsite COP19 talks, presenters seem to love mentioning how many UN Climate Talks (COPs) they have attended, how much hope accompanied them at their first one, how the sense of urgency is, at this point in time, nearly unbearable.
And purposely so, in my opinion. To ensure limited access.
It feels to me as if becoming literate in this language is the means by which the players maintain the requisite emotional distance from the 'meat of the matter;' the sheer incomprehensibility of the facts becomes de-textualized as they toss acronyms around with rapid-fire alacrity As if our world and all its people and ecosystems were a gargantuan Rubik Cube.
Deaths. Displacements. Death marches. There are monuments to the horrors of Warsaw everywhere around the city.
Discussions using this ludicrous jargon as climate change roars around us.
UNFCCC - United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
COP - Conference of the Parties
LULUCF - Land use, land-use change, and forestry
SBSTA - Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice.
AOSIS - The Alliance of Small Island States
CAIT - Climate Analysis Indicators Tool
SWAT - Sanitation, Hygiene, and Wastewater Advisory Service
PREM - Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network
Consider the following.
According to DARA, producers of the Climate Vulnerability Monitor, nearly 5 million deaths in 2010 were related to climate change and GHG emissions.
Studies have projected that hundreds of millions of people will be displaced this century by the impacts of climate change. At the United Nations, the Security Council has debated the subject, and decided it is best managed through the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process. Least developed countries have been encouraged to consider the migration implications of climate change in their National Adaptation Plans, and at their 2010 Cancun meeting, UNFCCC delegates stated that migration and displacement ought to be planned for in the context of adaptation. But until Mr. Teitiota came along, no individual actually stepped forward to request international protection from the impacts of climate change.
According to UNHCR’s own data, most of the world’s forcibly displaced on our books, 25.9 million people at the beginning of 2012 – 10.4 million refugees and 15.5 million internally displaced persons or IDPs – were receiving protection and assistance from the
organization. The number of IDPs on UNHCR’s books is now fifty per cent higher than refugees. We believe that this trend could intensify as internal conflicts multiply and the
effects of climate change
Climate change will affect health in many ways:And I came to hear voices clamoring for climate justice and with hope for the Green Climate Fund and the justness of the concept of loss and damage.
Increased frequency and severity of extreme weather events (heatwaves, hurricanes, cyclones, massive floods), affecting health care delivery and weakening health systems;
Famine, drought threatening food supply of millions, causing malnutrition, mortality and damaging child growth and development;
Mass migration, with recent estimations indicating over 200 millions climate change refugees by 2050, posing a threat to social security;
Infectious diseases, especially diseases transmitted by mosquitoes (malaria, dengue, yellow fever, West Nile Virus, etc) spreading to new territories;
Air pollution, increasing the incidence of lung cancers, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. Source
But "... the Green Climate Fund is empty," said former Irish President Mary Robinson, founder of the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice at last night's World Climate Summit. "We must take action now. It's can't be business as usual."
Communities disproportionately impacted by climate change and the false “solutions” put forward by the Kyoto Protocol (including carbon sink projects and continued fossil fuel exploration, extraction and burning) include small island states, whose very existence is threatened, as well as indigenous peoples, the poor and the marginalized, particularly women, children and the elderly around the world.
The refusal of governments and international financial institutions like the World Bank to force corporations to phase out use of fossil fuels, and which in fact encourage accelerated use of increasingly limited fossil fuel stocks, is causing more and more military conflicts around the world, magnifying social and environmental injustice.
Just as peoples’ movements are rising up around the world against the privatization of water and biodiversity, so must we rise up against the privatization of the air, which is being promoted through the establishment of a massive “carbon market.” from Durban Climate Justice
The hell with the hoopla this year, I say. I'm leaving Friday morning. Before all the faux drama.
Work is being done to address climate change, of that I am sure. But the authentic work is happening in our villages and towns and cities and municipalities. It's not making headlines.
But then making headlines ain't what it used to be either.
Heading out for some fresh air.
Reporting from Warsaw, this is boatsie.