Category Archives: Poverty and Justice

Car Games for COP Delegates

Ouch.

Given the appalling traffic situation this morning, we thought we might suggest a few car games that the delegates play on their way to the conference centre, since they are obviously not spending their time perfecting their great negotiation positions. Here’s what we came up with:
  • Count the Hybrid – delegates get points for every hybrid car or biodiesel bus they spot – or a punch in the arm, just like the Yellow Car game. Minus points if you see any hummers….
  • I Spy Delegates – I spy a delegate beginning with C…
  • Travel Monopoly – delegates can play monopoly with the lives of the poorest in their strategies for climate change. We dont think this game has a winner though…
  • Acronym bingo – get a full house if LULUCF, NAMAs and NAPAs all get mentioned…

Maybe if the Chinese and the American cars are next to each other they could just wind the windows down and work it out before they get to the conference? Worth a shot.

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Previously, on ‘Climate Change’…

…tick-tick, tick-tick…(trying to do the ’24’ sound effect but I don’t think its coming across that well)

So, here we are in Cancun, Mexico, for this year’s international climate talks. It’s hard to believe that only a year ago we were in Copenhagen for COP15. Dubbed ‘Hopenhagen’ by some, people were confident that last year’s talks would be successful, and the outcome would be F.A.B (Fair, ambitious and binding). Hundreds of world leaders were in attendance, leading us to believe that some good would come from this.

What actually resulted was two weeks of seemingly dead air, a last minute shuffle into a meeting room, a weak, non-binding climate change agreement, and a lot of angry environmentalists. Developing countries’ hopes were dashed after such a huge build up. The consensus, though, was that it was better than nothing, and that some progress is better than none. But nowhere near good enough for the world’s poorest countries.

This year also saw ‘Climategate’, which Superbadger blogged about back in March. Climate sceptics claimed that the e-mails of Professor Phil Jones from the University of East Anglia provided proof that scientists at the university’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) were manipulating and hiding data to strengthen scientific evidence of man-made global warming. Even though the scandal was proved to be unfounded, public scepticism continued to rise.

The United States, a key player for progress, was also a big talking point this year. The disappointing outcome of the US elections in November effectively ruled out the possibility of getting any climate bill through the Senate – which will make international negotiations difficult.

This year, finance is high on the agenda. Many countries are keen to commit to a fund, which would help counter and also deal with the effects of climate change. However, there are many sticking points – there are differences of opinion about which body should control this fund,  how much countries will contribute, and where this money will come from. The likely outcome of this year is that some progress will be made, but Cancun will only serve as a ‘stepping stone’ to more progress during COP17 in South Africa 2011.

The effects of climate change in southern Nepal in 2008 (Credit: Tearfund)

A fair, ambitious and binding deal is now more important than ever. Climate change is hitting the world’s poorest people now, and changing people’s lives for the worst.  The poorest have done the least to contribute to global warming, but are the first to feel its effects. Superbadger and Tearfund are pushing for real, tangible progress in these talks.

So, this year, developed countries need to step up to the plate and commit to a fair deal for everyone. In the word’s of the running joke here at these talks every year, ‘lets hope its not a cop out’.

Hasta luego, mis amigos! We’ll keep you posted.

Give Cameron a call…

Hello my friends,

I’ve been working away on a new little project with my friends over at iPadio.

We’ve developed an audio petition where you can leave a voicemail for David Cameron, explaining why you’re passionate about climate change and what action you’d like to see him take.

Mr Cameron has said that he wants this to be the “greenest government ever” and there are a number of opportunities for him to show his mettle over the coming months.  Internationally there are the climate talks in Cancun and closer to home there’s a bill making its way through the Parliament that looks at the efficiencies of homes in the UK – the government can show great leadership in both of these opportunities.

Check out the David Cameron petition by clicking here.

Comprehensive Spending Review Response

Today saw George Osborne set out exactly where, when and how the Coalition Government will reduce the budget deficit.

Among the many and various cuts Tearfund is pleased that the Government has listened to us and our supporters who have campaigned and prayed for the UK to maintain its commitment to increase investment to tackle global poverty.

This is clearly a moral obligation, especially at this time of global economic hardship, and we hope that the rest of the world will follow the UK’s lead.

In particular Tearfund is pleased that the Department for International Development (DfID) will lead the drive to tackle global poverty and will continue to be responsible for the majority of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA). We hope that the increased money for development will be spent effectively on issues like water and sanitation, HIV and giving people in developing countries an opportunity to participate in the decisions which affect them. We recognise that there is a particular challenge to support development in conflict-affected states but urge DfID not to forget those living in extreme poverty in other more peaceful parts of the world.

Climate change is already having devastating effects in some of the poorest parts of the world, and we welcome the UK’s drive to support low carbon growth and adaptation. If we do not take urgent action by committing additional long-term funding to help countries adapt to the effects of climate change, we could see vast areas of the world become uninhabitable within our lifetimes. The international development money committed through the Comprehensive Spending Review for tackling poverty is welcome but we must also find further funds to tackle climate change. The Government must now press for agreement on innovative sources like a Robin Hood Tax to raise more than $100bn internationally by 2020, in addition to overseas aid, for tackling climate change.

Following the Comprehensive Spending Review Tearfund is asking you to write to David Cameron through the Superbadger app, thanking him for protecting the aid budget and calling on George Osborne to not give up on finding long-term funding for climate change.

Click here to take action.

Blog Action Day

It’s Blog Action Day today and the theme this year is WATER…I was invited to guest-write for Church Mouse’s blog…here’s a link and below is my post!

Hello everyone, Superbadger here, guest writing as part of Blog Action Day 2010 which this year focuses on water.  Allow me to introduce myself, 3 years ago Tearfund asked me to help them with their campaigning and since then an army of Superbadgers has risen up from within the church, passionate about speaking up on behalf of poor people around the world using digital media, social networks and smart phones to get access to decision makers around the world.  My friends we’ve used Facebook to badger Obama, Tweeted the UN Secretary General and multinational corporations and we even challenged David Cameron on his first day as Prime Minister to use his term of office to ensure that the promises within the Millennium Development Goals to halve extreme poverty by 2015 are achieved.

Today is Blog Action Day but it is also Global Handwashing Day…a celebration of a tiny act, so often overlooked, which has an immense impact.

Today more children will die due to diarrhoeal disease caused by dirty water and poor sanitation than AIDS, measles and malaria combined.  This is an issue forgotten by those in power but the Church can be the voice of so many, calling out for justice, calling out for access to clean, safe drinking water and decent sanitation for all.

This is 13 year old Stidia, she lives in a village in Uganda called Kigazi.  In Kigazi the women do the lion share of the work, water collection or growing crops are not part of a man’s role, and twice a day Stidia goes down a steep mountain to collect water and travel back up.  Sometimes it takes up to 2 hours meaning she misses vital school classes.

However working with Tearfund’s church partners these women are trained in construction and plumbing and are now able to build rainwater tanks, pit latrines and promote the benefits of good hygiene.

In the village church Pastor Jackson is also building people’s self-esteem and confidence.  He speaks out publicly and preaches against attacks which happen at the spring against girls of Stidia’s age.  And, he reports that the church has doubled in size since Tearfund’s partner enabled the installation of water tanks.  He is keenly aware that for girls like Stidia they need both material change and spiritual transformation – they need Jesus.  And through his church, both are happening.

‘People want to give thanks’, says Pastor Jackson. And the clean water has reduced the number of funerals he holds.  ‘Before the intervention of the project there were so many people dying as compared to the present.  Some deaths were caused by sanitation related diseases, some caused by drinking dirty water.  There is a tremendous improvement.’

So today as part of the global church will you use your voice and help us to mark Global Handwashing Day by putting your hands up for water, sanitation and hygiene.  Help us build a huge creative petition to pass onto Andrew Mitchell MP, Secretary of State for International Development calling on him not to overlook this vital issue over the coming months.  Click here to learn more.

Superbadger blogs at https://besuperbadger.wordpress.com/ and is on Twitter @Superbadger

Urgent Action for the MDG Summit

Superbadgers once again it’s time to take action!

Robin Williams once said “No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world,” and I agree, they can change the world for good and for bad…10 years ago when I was but a twinkle in the eye of many world leaders gathered and came up with 8 great ideas of how to halve poverty, these are the Millennium Development Goals. In under a week the United Nations will hold a summit to celebrate the progress made, but it is critical that they prioritise efforts where progress is seriously off track.

I love the way that Kofi Annan said, “The Millennium Development Goals have to be achieved by the joint effort of governments and their people” and so I’m asking you to send a last minute message to the leader of the UK delegation, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg – to prioritise those goals that are most off track like Water and Sanitation and Maternal Health.

Please take this action today by heading over to http://apps.facebook.com/superbadger and let the UK government know that you’re doing your part to achieve the MDGs.

Thankyou everyone!

Superbadger

New actions on Facebook…

The floods cover an area greater than that of England.

Hello badgers,

Attention Superbadger users, I have a flurry of action for you, over at http://apps.facebook.com/superbadger.

We saw a great campaign victory earlier this year when Haiti received debt cancellation to help rebuild after the earthquake. The same principle should apply to Pakistan now. We’ve all seen the devastating floods in Pakistan. We’ve given generously and that money is helping.

But at the same time, Pakistan’s government is sending $8 million every day out of the country again in debt repayments.

If the UK and other rich countries stopped taking the money, it could help a lot of people who’ve lost everything rebuild their lives. We badgered them to do this for Haiti, and they did. It’s time to ask again.

You can take action over on Facebook by clicking, http://apps.facebook.com/superbadger.

Thank you for all you do and enjoy the week – oh and a little heads up that I’m sending a crack squad out to the Millennium Development Goal summit in a few days time.  They will be keeping me updated from the UN and we’ll be posting their reports here as well.

Superbadger signing off…