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Communication, Climate Justice & Climate Change: No-Nonsense Guide

Communication, Climate Justice & Climate Change: No-Nonsense Guide

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Published by woodstockwoody
Climate justice urges action to avoid catastrophic
limate change and to address the social, ecological,
political, and economic causes of the climate crisis.
It aims to promote and strengthen the rights and
voices of ordinary people affected by climate change
Climate justice urges action to avoid catastrophic
limate change and to address the social, ecological,
political, and economic causes of the climate crisis.
It aims to promote and strengthen the rights and
voices of ordinary people affected by climate change

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: woodstockwoody on Aug 04, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 guide to
Communication, Climate Justiceand Climate Change
Climate justice is a vision to alleviate theunequal burdens created by climate change. It calls or the air treatment o all people, ree-ing them rom discrimination through poli-cies and projects that address climate changeand the structures that create and perpetuateinequalities. Climate change induced by hu-mans is one o today’s most serious global environmental problems. It is a prooundlyethical issue that raises questions about how people defne their roles and responsibilitiestoward one another, uture generations, and other species.
‘There can be no ecological security without climatejustice. Equity is a precondition or sustainability. Wewill live together or die together.’
Vandana Shiva
What is climate justice?
limate justice urges action to avoid catastrophiclimate change and to address the social, ecologi-cal, political, and economic causes o the climate crisis.It aims to promote and strengthen the rights andvoices o ordinary people aected by climate change.The arguments or climate justice are based onthe knowledge that the planet has limited resourcesand that the current pattern o production and con-sumption contributes to harmul greenhouseemissions.The climate justice movement raises ethicalquestions about corporate-driven globalization and theneoliberal economic policies that promote unsustain-able production, consumption, and trade. It arguesthat the global North is primarily responsible orclimate change and has greater technological, nancialand institutional capacity to tackle it. And it believesthat the North should take responsibility or providingnancial and technical assistance to enable the Southto act. Key issues include:
Climate policies:
Most climate policies chosenby industrialized countries are driven by domesticconsiderations and not global concerns. The initialburden o emissions’ reductions, which should all onthe industrialized countries, has instead been sotenedby emission targets imposed on developing countriesand by market mechanisms which may worsen globalwarming (carbon trading, etc). Negotiations to ndsolutions have so ar ocused mainly on the technicalsphere and have been headed by special interest groupssuch as large oil, coal, and utility companies, and bygovernments such as the United States, which has notsigned the Kyoto Protocol.
Environmental eects:
Many believe thatpeople who are already the most vulnerable andmarginalized experience the severest impacts and arein the greatest need o adaptation strategies in the
What is the UNFCCC?
The United Nations Framework Convention onClimate Change (UNFCCC) is a broad statement o principles and objectives relating to climate change.Participating governments agreed to share inormationon the amount o greenhouse gas pollution they emit,and on possible solutions to climate change, in additionto providing inormation and nancial support to helpdeveloping countries reduce emissions. The UNFCCC isa voluntary convention, without any binding targets.Once it became clear that under a voluntary systemclimate change pollution was increasing rather than de-creasing, the Kyoto Protocol was negotiated to stabilizegreenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.
ace o shits in weather patterns. The vulnerable andmarginalized have the least capacity or opportunity toprepare or the impacts o a changing climate or toparticipate in negotiations on mitigation. Since womenconstitute the largest percentage o the world’s poorestpeople, they are most aected by these changes.
Reduction targets:
market-based policies suchas cap and trade systems, or recent proposals or aglobal carbon tax, reinorce the idea o a single policythat can help achieve all carbon reduction targets.Many people in global government orums, civil soci-ety and developing countries are opposed to this typeo single solution. In addition, it is questionable howindependent governments are o the infuence o largemultinational corporations, such as the ossil uel andenergy industries.
Technology transer:
the transer o existingand new technologies or climate change monitoring,mitigation and adaptation strategies is a major elementin addressing climate change. However, governmentsare not willing or able to provide them because intel-lectual property rights (IPR) over these technologiesare mostly owned by the private sector.
Social rate o time discount:
this is the rateused to compare the well-being o uture generationsto the well-being o those alive today. The choice o an appropriate discount rate seeks to establish inter-generational equity and has been the subject o debateamong policy-makers and economists. I costs andbenets in the uture weigh more heavily in currentdecision-making, larger and more drastic abatementeorts will be necessary today.
Extensive new monoculture planta-tions or the production o agrouels are increasinggreenhouse gases through deorestation, drainage o wetlands, and communal land-grabbing. The wholecycle o production, transormation, and distributiono agrouels, does not, except in some cases, produceless greenhouse gases than ossil uels. Moreover, thereis simply not enough land in the world to generate allthe uel necessary or an industrial society whose needsare continually increasing.
Carbon trading:
The carbon market in its cur-rent orm creates transerable rights to dump carbonin the air, oceans, soil and vegetation ar in excess o the capacity o these systems to hold it. Billions o dollars worth o such rights may be awarded ree o charge to the biggest corporate emitters o greenhousegases in the nations that caused the climate crisis andalready exploit these systems the most. The cost o u-ture reductions in ossil uel use is likely to all dispro-portionately on the public sector, vulnerable communi-ties, and indigenous peoples. 
Clean Development Mechanism (CDM):
Thisscheme encourages industrialized countries and theircorporations to nance or create cheap carbon dumpssuch as large-scale tree plantations in the South asa lucrative alternative to reducing emissions in theNorth. Other CDM projects, such as hydrochloro-fuorocarbons (HCFC) reduction schemes, ocus onend-o-pipe technologies and do nothing to reduce theossil uel industries’ impact on local communities.In addition, these projects dwar the tiny volume o renewable energy projects which constitute the CDM’ssustainable development window-dressing.
What is climate change?
Climate change is any long-term change in the patternso average weather o a specic region or the Earth asa whole. Climate change is the result o a great manyactors including the dynamic processes o the Earthitsel, external orces including variations in sunlightintensity, and more recently human activity. Externalactors that can shape climate are oten called climate‘orcings’ and include such processes as variations insolar radiation, deviations in the Earth’s orbit, and thelevel o greenhouse gas concentrationsThe single human activity that is most likely
What is the Kyoto Protocol?
The Kyoto Protocol (1997) is the international plan toreduce climate change pollution. By January 2009 183countries had ratied the Protocol, which sets targetsor industrialised countries to reduce their pollution andgives them fexibility as to how they can reach thosetargets. The Kyoto Protocol established the interna-tional trade in ‘carbon credits’. Developing countriesparticipate in the Protocol in a number o ways, includ-ing through Emissions Trading, the Clean DevelopmentMechanism, and Joint Implementation.
What is Copenhagen 2009 about?
The Kyoto Protocol to prevent climate change andglobal warming runs out in 2012. To keep the processon track, a new protocol is needed. At the conerencein Copenhagen 2009 the parties o the United NationsFramework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)meet or the last time beore the climate agreementneeds to be reviwed. Thereore, the Copenhagen coner-ence is vital to the uture o the world’s climate. It isexpected that a new Protocol to address global warm-ing and climate change will emerge
to have a large impact on the climate is the burning o ‘ossil uels’ such as coal, oil and gas. These uelscontain carbon. Burning them makes carbon dioxide.People burn ossil uels when they drive cars, usecoal-red electricity, fy in planes, or consume prod-ucts. Some o the gases released rom burning ossiluels are ‘greenhouse gases’, which act like a blanketaround the earth, trapping heat and warming theearth’s atmosphere. Industrialised countries havereleased huge amounts o greenhouse gases into theatmosphere.From 1906 to 2005, global average tempera-tures have increased by 0.74 °C (23 F). The rate o global warming has increased massively rom the1970s to the present. This has led to a rise in globalsea levels and a highly increased requency o extremeweather events such as heat waves, droughts, foodsand hurricanes.
It is now unequivocally accepted by the world’sscientic community that human activities intensiythe natural greenhouse eect by emitting heat-trappinggases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4)and nitrous oxide (N2O). Between 1970 and 2004,global greenhouse gas emissions have increased by70% due to human activity.By 2100, global temperature could increase by1.1 °C to 6.4 ° C, depending on the international com-munity’s ability and willingness to eectively mitigategreenhouse gas emissions. Never beore in humanhistory have we experienced a climate temperaturechange o this magnitude.Climate change has become a global issue a-ecting everyone on the planet. I people work togetherand take immediate action, they can stop dangerousclimate change. I it is to be halted, industrialisedcountries need to reduce greenhouse pollution by 20%by 2020, and by 80% by the middle o the century.Key ways to achieve this are:
Set legally binding targets to reduce climatechange pollution.
Switch to renewable energy sources, like solarand wind power, and move away rom dirtycoal.
Set energy eciency targets to ensure energy isused wisely.
Shit rom private cars to public transport.
Stop large-scale land clearance.
Environmental challenges
Scientists warn that destabilized ecosystems couldreact with unpredictable, abrupt and nonlinear eventswith catastrophic consequences or humans and theenvironment. These nonlinear changes are uelled by‘sel-regulating positive eed-back loops’ that acceler-ate the destabilization process.
Research suggests that these eedback loopshave already begun
: During 2007, the withdrawal o Arctic ice broke all previous records, reaching an alltime low o 4.13 million sq km and alling below theprevious record o 2005 by an area roughly the size o Texas and Caliornia combined. Due to eedback pro-cesses, scientists drastically reconsidered their previousestimates o an ice-ree Arctic projected or the latterhal o the 21st century and are now orecasting atotal disappearance o Arctic sea ice at a much earlierpoint in time.Climate change leads to a
massive meltdowno glaciers and inland ice
: According to the UnitedNations Environment Programme, Himalayan gla-ciers – the world’s largest store o water outside thepolar caps serving as a reshwater reserve or almost40% o the world’s population – are retreating at ratesbetween 10 to 60 meters per year. As glaciers retreat,lakes orm, which accumulate increasing amounts o water, putting downstream communities at risk o glacial lake fooding.Global warming has a
devastating impact onthe world’s ecosystems and biodiversity
: Around one-hal o the world’s coral rees have suered ‘bleaching’as a result o warming seas. For many species, climatesystems are changing more rapidly than they can adaptto. And according to the Millennium Ecosystem As-sessment, the current rate o extinction o species is upto 1,000 times higher than the ossil record indicates.
Social challenges
Climate change has a
disproportionate eect on theworld’s poor
. Their susceptibilty to climate change ishigher and their capacity or adaptation lower, becausethey lack the means to protect themselves rom ris-ing sea levels, increased natural hazards and changesin rainall patterns. The
inverse relationship
betweenresponsibility or the causes o climate change andvulnerability to its impacts is one o the most urgentethical challenges posed by global warming.

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