Moving Images of climate change – Action4Climate.

Ten young film crews from ten different countries were chosen as winners in the Action4Climate documentary competition.


In the 18-35 age category, the $15,000 top prize went to the Portuguese filmmaker Gonçalo Tocha with this provocative film : Trail of a tale




An American film maker, Nathan Dappen, won third prize with his  Snows of the Nile, a documentary following Nathan’s adventures uncovering indisputable evidence of the fast disappearing glaciers of Uganda’s mountains of the moon.



I have to say, my particular favourite is from the younger 14-17 age group, an animated film by Francina Ramos, a young Argentinian filmmaker and her co-producer Benjamin Braceras.The Violin Player took top spot in this age range.



Get creative and educate – the future is ours if we act now!


Climate change education in the spotlight – resource manual

Climate change education in the spotlight: leading thinkers launch UNICEF resource manual 


Globally, traditional learning environments are shifting due to dynamic changes such as climate change, global migration, digital and technological innovations, natural disasters, conflict and growing inequalities. To protect children from environment-related risks now and in the future, UNICEF launched a resource manual to assist governments and educations practitioners in scaling up and mainstreaming climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in the education sector.

Please click to read the full article or download the resource manual.

Disaster Risk Education: An Imperative for Education Policymakers

Disaster Risk Education: An Imperative for Education Policymakers

As I mentioned in the last post on climate change, DRE or DRR is moving up the agenda in many countries -often it is because of economic concerns, but at least if it means all are planning and preparing to offset the damage done to families, and normally the poorest, then it is worth the effort.

This report was listed in the INEE newsletter:


Education is central to building society’s resilience to hazards. Disasters are occurring at an alarming frequency and with increased severity in Asia and the Pacific. Along with climate change related crises, disasters create humanitarian and development challenges. The education sector has a key role to play in addressing these challenges and in preventing hazards from becoming disasters. This role is best fulfilled through DRR in education.


This resource is available as a brochure and as a poster.

Climate Extreme: How young people can respond to disasters in a changing world

Climate Extreme: How young people can respond to disasters in a changing world

Disaster risk reduction is now being taken seriously and planning with all stakeholders, including young people, is now being implemented in a number of countries around the world. Climate change,although still being challenged by the sceptics, is now on the agenda and practical strategies are being planned.

This report is timely…

(Plan and the Children in a Changing Climate Coalition)

This short report is a child-friendly version of the 594-page document produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on managing disaster risks.

Plan, on behalf of the Children in a Changing Climate Coalition, took up the challenge of producing this easy to understand report. It gives children in developing countries knowledge about how to prepare and reduce the risks they could face when disasters hit their communities.

To access this resource, click here

EARTH HOUR 2012 – Dare to save the Planet


We only have one planet.  You can help protect it. Participate in the world’s largest single campaign for the planet: Earth Hour. It starts by turning off your lights for an hour at 8:30 pm on March 31, 2012 in a collective display of commitment to a better future for the planet.

It may not seem much of a sacrifice to focus for one hour on the impact we have on our future, but the possibility for attitude change, moving globally, like a ‘virus’ , could be breathtaking.

Check out WWF Earth Hour website

UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, has delivered a powerful message to participants across the globe, in the lead up to Earth Hour this Saturday March 31, 8.30pm – 9.30pm. Bokova says the Earth Hour campaign is an opportunity to show commitment and also a moment for reflection on the planet.

“This campaign is an opportunity to raise awareness about climate change and our responsibility for tackling its root causes. It is also a powerful sign of our commitment to a sustainable planet and to sustainable energy for all.

“This commitment stretches across the whole planet including humanity’s most precious places. Many of these iconic buildings, monuments and places are lit up at night. People look to them as sources of identity, as touchstones of belonging and meaning. Turning lights off on Angkor, the Acropolis or the Sydney Opera House among others is a strong symbol. A symbol to help us see the world differently.” See the full message here


Cop17 – Durban climate change conference. A deal yes….but what are the consequences?

Cop17  – Durban climate change conference. A deal yes….but what are the consequences?

At the 11th hour a deal was reached (in fact later than that as the conference had to be extended to the ’13th’  hour). But what does the deal mean?

Here are some immediate comments:

Climate deal salvaged after marathon talks in Durban –  Guardian

Chris Huhne Minister for the Environment – “significant step forward”

Landmark Deal Saves Durban Climate Talks (Huffington Post)

Damian Carrington : Climate deal: A guarantee our children will be worse off than us!

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the deal represents “an important advance in our work on climate change.

They haven’t reached a real deal,” said Samantha Smith, of WWF International. “They watered things down so everyone could get on board.”

Michael Jacobs, visiting professor at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment in London, said the agreement could bring real changes.

The agreement here has not in itself taken us off the 4C path we are on,” he said.

But by forcing countries for the first time to admit that their current policies are inadequate and must be strengthened by 2015, it has snatched 2C from the jaws of impossibility.

Durban fiddles while Africa Burns! (Climate Alliance)

After an extra day’s hard negotiations, the 17th Conference of Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreed this Sunday on the second commitment period (KP2) under Kyoto Protocol.

and a taste of last minute diplomacy by Norway…

Climate Justice Now!, a broad coalition of social movements and civil society, emerging from the UN COP17 climate summit in Durban argued that the talks constitute a crime against humanity. That here in South Africa, where the world was inspired by the liberation struggle of the country’s black majority, the richest nations have cynically created a new regime of climate apartheid The press statement is at:

They make the connection between the overspending on arms with underspending on the environment.

It seems the moment of truth has been put off for many years. Over the next few years we will see more and more climate catastrophes ; the estimate is that the planet will warm up by another 3.5 to 5 degrees. This can be prevented by the politicians and the powers that be, but only if they massively invest, diverting the resources that go into wars into a war against climate change.  There is only one way to force them to act, and that is building a social movement, from below. That is how all governments can be forced to change.

The deal doesn’t explicitly compel any nation to take on emissions targets, although most emerging economies have volunteered to curb the growth of their emissions.

Currently, only industrial countries have legally binding emissions targets under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Those commitments expire next year, but they will be extended for at least another five years under the accord adopted Sunday — a key demand by developing countries seeking to preserve the only existing treaty regulating carbon emissions.

Scientists say that unless those emissions — chiefly carbon dioxide from power generation and industry — level out and reverse within a few years, the Earth will be set on a possibly irreversible path of rising temperatures that lead to ever greater climate catastrophes.

The package gave new life to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, whose carbon emissions targets expire next year and apply only to industrial countries. A separate document obliges major developing nations like China and India, excluded under Kyoto, to accept legally binding emissions targets in the future.

Together, the two documents overhaul a system designed 20 years ago that divide the world into a handful of wealthy countries facing legal obligations to reduce emissions, and the rest of the world which could undertake voluntary efforts to control carbon.

Richard Black, BBC environment correspondent  talked of ‘winners and losers’. He mentioned that one set of winners were those countries highly vulnerable to climate impacts, such as those within the Alliance of Small Island States (Aosis) and the Least Developed Countries bloc (LDCs) which have more than 70 members combined.

Another group of winners were the youth:

Unfailingly charming, youth delegates brought a freshness, a “Yes-we-can” -ness, to the often jaundiced proceedings.

Some of their demonstrations worked too. US envoy Todd Stern was visibly rattled when his set-piece speech was interrupted – not so much rattled by the young heckler as by the prolonged applause generated by her heckling – applause coming from people who were supposed to be her elders and his peers.

And the “occupation” on the final scheduled afternoon made an impact simply because it went on for so long – a couple of hours – bringing a distinct feeling of substance, a “we’re staying here until you sort it out” kind of vibe.

So, after a lot of huffing and puffing some sort of deal has been made. It also seems that after decades of questioning  the scientific evidence a better understanding is emerging that climate change is real and we need to unite across country boundaries and age boundaries to make a difference for the next generations.

click the ‘4’ below for another video:


COP 17/CMP7 -Durban conference on climate change -press briefing third day

On the third day of the climate change conference in Durban -the press are briefed:

For background documents go to the UNFCC site.

This is what was going on this afternoon in Durban:

13:15-14:45: The new UNFCCC software for GHG inventories of non-Annex I Parties
The UNFCCC secretariat will present a prototype version of the new UNFCCC software to assist non-Annex I Parties in reporting their GHG inventories as part of national communications. Venue: Blyde River

13:15-14:45: SBSTA-IPCC joint special event: IPCC Special Report on Managing
the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX).
Venue: Amanzimtoti River

18:30-20:00: Lessons Learned – Adaptation Fund
The side event by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) will explore the key lessons of the Adaptation Fund and provide an important update on implementing direct access finance. Venue: Levubu River

And from today’s Guardian

Europe is taking the toughest negotiating stand it has ever adopted on global warming at this week’s UN climate talks in Durban, departing from decades of “dovish” practice by insisting stiff conditions must be met by China and other major developing countries if there is to be any global climate treaty.

The hardline stance has already caused consternation among developing countries at the talks, and the discord threatens the future of the Kyoto protocol. But the bloc is determined not to back down, as officials are angry that the EU’s goodwill on climate change has been taken for granted.

“It’s very important that other major economies join the effort – it would not make sense for only the EU to take on a second commitment under the Kyoto protocol,” Poland’s under-secretary of state for the environment, Joanna Mackowiak-Pandera, told the Guardian. Poland is in a key position at this year’s talks – as holder of the revolving EU presidency, its ministers lead the bloc’s delegation. They have led the sea-change in Europe’s public attitude, which marks the biggest shift in stance in nearly 20 years of climate talks.

Pandera added: “We already have challenging, ambitious targets, so I think it’s crucial that others also enter into the Kyoto protocol, which I know will not be easy.”

At stake is the survival of the Kyoto protocol, the only international treaty stipulating emissions cuts, as the EU represents the last hope of any major developed countries signing up to a continuation when its current provisions expire in 2012. Although developing countries are insisting on a “second commitment period” that would run until 2020, Europe’s major partners in Kyoto – Japan, Russia and Canada – have abandoned the accord, and the US has ruled out signing up.

That leaves Europe in a head-to-head battle with emerging economies – chiefly China, but also India, Brazil and the hosts South Africa – over what conditions the latter group must fulfil if there is to be a continuation of the totemic treaty.

China has proposed that developed countries should take on international legally binding commitments to cut emissions, but that developing countries should be allowed to submit weaker plans lacking the same legal force – they would be voluntary, or binding only at a national level. That idea is backed by India, which is adamant that it will only take on emissions-cutting targets on a voluntary basis, without committing to a legal instrument.

But Europe’s negotiators now want much more. The Polish presidency is leading a group of member states that want to ensure the conditions for a second commitment period include firm commitments to “legal parallelism” – the principle that if the EU signs up to an international legally binding treaty, developing countries must do the same.

“Different countries have different opinions, but in my view they should ratify a new agreement in a legally binding international form,” said Pandera. “It should have international legally binding status, not just national plans as national laws can be changed easily. Our view is that taking an international agreement will be much stronger and changes could be agreed only with other parties.”

Europe’s new stance is all the more remarkable because virtually since the beginning of the 20-year talks it has been seen as the leading “dove”, seeking to smooth over deep differences between the rich and poor world, trying to draw the US back into the negotiations under the presidency of George W Bush, and offering billions of euros of financial inducements to developing countries. The bloc has the toughest carbon targets in the world, with a pledge of 20% cuts in emissions compared with 1990 levels by 2020, and an offer to increase that to 30% cuts if other countries join in.

On Wednesday, China’s leading climate negotiator, Su Wei told China Daily that he regards Kyoto as a “cornerstone” of the climate talks. “I think EU is just shifting the goalpost from one place to another,” Su said. “This is actually not an efficient way to do things, because we need to accomplish the goals one by one.”

“But since EU is the group of countries who would seriously consider a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, developing countries are also open and ready to talk to them about how to address that issue,” said Su.

The change in tone from Europe at this year’s talks is partly down to the Polish presidency. Poland has been notably hardline in opposing stiffer emissions cuts, in part owing to its heavily coal-dependent economy, and there is a degree of climate scepticism among prominent Polish politicians.

But the change also reflects anger among member states and EU officials at the reception given to Europe’s proposals, and the waning power that the EU has wielded at the long-running talks as other nations have taken its dovish stance for granted. At the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009, the EU was pointedly left out of last-minute negotiations to forge a partial agreement, and officials were visibly flummoxed when the US led China, Brazil, India and South Africa in proclaiming a deal had been done without Europe.

The EU has also been stung by criticism from developing countries that it is not moving fast enough, and the hardline stance is in part a reaction to that. As officials privately point out, the EU’s member states have offered to do more than any other rich nation. By contrast, Japan is seeking to water down its existing emissions-cutting targets, and the US has been actively blocking the ability of the green climate fund to disburse money to poor nations.

“Look at the US – what are they doing? Look at the other developed countries. No one is focusing on them, it’s all about criticising Europe but we have done the most,” said one official.