Tag Archives: climate justice

Dear Carbon Fast Diary…

I’m sorry that I haven’t written to you in a while, but I’ve been busy trying to reduce my carbon ‘paw-print’ through Tearfund’s Carbon Fast. The Fast is all about doing your part to reduce carbon emissions and help protect poor people from climate change.

We’re two weeks into Lent and I’ve already done so much to reduce my carbon footprint – and it’s been great fun!

Checking my Carbon Footprint!

I kicked off my Carbon Fast by finding out what my current carbon ‘paw-print’ is, using a nifty calculator called My Global Impact – you can find out yours at www.tearfund.org/mgi

Anyone for apples?

On Day 2 of the Carbon Fast, I decided that I should eat more vegetarian meals, as the livestock industry contributes 18% of global CO2 emissions. I decided to get stuck in straight away, tucking into a delicious bowl of fresh fruit!

The highlight of my Carbon Fast so far was definitely the candlelit meal I had with my good friend Holly on Day 8 of the fast – I saved lots of energy by turning out the lights and using candles instead!

Enjoying the ambience of a candlelit meal

 I’ll have more updates for you in the coming weeks, but until then, why not visit the Carbon Fast website for more information about how to join in.

And if you’re doing the Carbon Fast – let me know how you’re getting on, either by commenting on here, or via my Twitter page! (But don’t do it on Day 20 – that’s the technology fast day!)

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Close to Midnight – Lose the Loopholes

Ed Miliband said "we are close to midnight" in climate change negotiations Photo: PA

Climate Change Secretary, Ed Milliband, was quoted yesterday as saying, “We’re now getting close to midnight in this negotiation and we need to act like it.”

The arrival of Gordon Brown and other world leaders in Copenhagen from tomorrow signals that the climate talks are heading towards conclusion. They will want to wrap up the negotiations and seal the deal. But, we can’t let them seal a bad deal that locks the world into climate chaos.

Please badger Climate Minister Ed Miliband to use his influence to push world leaders towards a good deal.

Developed countries must to step up their efforts if we’re going to see anything like the fair, ambitious and binding climate deal that’s needed to protect poor people and keep global temperature rise below two degrees.

So far, developed countries’ emissions cuts targets are desperately low – perhaps only 8-12% on 1990 levels by 2020 rather than the at least 40% needed. They must work to close the gap between what’s needed and what’s been offered. And if they don’t tighten up dodgy rules around loopholes then emissions cuts might be wiped out altogether. This would be a catastrophe for poor people.

Poor people are first and worst affected by climate change

Please badger Ed Miliband, Climate Minister, to use his influence to push for a fair, ambitious and binding deal that reflects the science and protects poor people.

Badger him at http://apps.facebook.com/superbadger/ and make a world of difference.

Don’t forget to follow @Superbadger on Twitter for more updates on Copenhagen Climate Talks and other badger opportunities! Or just to say hello!

Busy Bella Centre

Judith – one of Tearfund’s campaigners in Copenhagen for the UN climate talks shares her reflections after visiting the conference centre:

“The Bella Conference centre, where the Copenhagen climate talks are taking place, felt a bit like a combination of an international airport plus a recent Baptist Assembly – but was 5-10 times bigger!

It was good to be there after the long queue for registration to meet Tearfund staff in person, and to spend time praying together.

As in the rest of Copenhagen, there were so many symbolic globes, each decorated differently. We stood by the globe in the conference centre to pray. We prayed for the climate talks, for all those tirelessly negotiating to get a deal, and for the poorest and most vulnerable people suffering most from climate change.

On Sunday the Bella centre closed – I hope the delegates are able to rest so that they will be able to agree a strong and fair deal this week that protects poor people.”

Judith and the rest of the campaigners are now on their way home. More updates from badger soon!

Climate justice in Copenhagen?

My name is Zoë, and I am one of the Tearfund campaigners in Copenhagen for the COP15 Climate Summit with SuperBadger.

Marching through the streets of Copenhagen with thousands of people from all over the world, representing hundreds of organisations, all calling for climate justice. It couldn’t get more exciting than that, could it? We are hoping and praying for a fair, ambitious and binding deal which will protect the poorest, as our Tearfund placards say. We marched with two members of Tear Netherlands, met a man from Mission East (a Danish Christian NGO), and also two more people from 24/7 Prayer. We prayed this morning that God would cause us to bump into the right people at the right time, and it certainly happened!

The march today was my second one in a week, as I took part in The Wave last Saturday in London. There were many more bicycles today in Copenhagen, and some very inventive and creative costumes and placards.

We have all enjoyed Danish pastries and the driverless metro trains. The Danish people we have met have been very friendly, hospitable and welcoming.

It is so exciting to be here, where there is the potential for history to be made, if world leaders manage to seal a strong and fair deal.

That’s all for now folks. Keep praying!

Dear EU, Stop playing up and start stepping up!

The hallowed halls of the Bella Centre, Copenhagen see all kinds of goings on. Perhaps one of the most loved (or feared if you find yourself on the receieving end of it) is the ‘Fossil of the Day’ award. This is awarded daily by civil society  to the country or group  who have done the most to frustrate or derail the climate talks here. 

Yesterday saw the EU awarded 3rd place for failing to announce a more ambitious emissions reduction target, failing to put money on the table for long-term finance and announcing a load of short-term climate financing that is largely repackaged aid money.

The EU's flag and Fossil of the Day award, all together now 'boo...'

Canada receive 2nd and 1st place for several reasonds including its spectacular claim that it’s emissions reduction target of -3% was in fact based on the science! The IPCC calls for emissions reductions of 25%-40%.

Superbadger is outraged by these lacklustre performances. He felt compelled to point out to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso a couple of things that he could do that would help to right the EU’s wrongs. Please badger him now!

Here come the climate heroes!

It’s the 5th day of climate talks and SuperBadger got some beauty sleep last night to make sure he was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed today ready to welcome some very important people to Copenhagen – Tearfund’s Climate Campaigners!     

The welcome flags are flying (although of course the campaigners aren't)

  This elite team of campaigners have travelled through the night across 5 countries to bring their message loud and clear  ‘Climate Justice Now! Protect the Poorest!’. They will be blogging here over the next few days so keep an eye out for some exclusive views from the campaigning frontline.     

Getting ready for their arrival, Superbadger got thinking about other people coming to Copenhagen. Well over 100 Presidents and Prime Ministers will arrive next week but UK Energy and Climate Change minister Ed Miliband is already here (look out for an opportunity to badger him in the next week or so). International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander is also coming. In fact, he sent a special message to Superbadgers followers all about it:       

On Saturday thousands of Tearfund supporters came together in London, Glasgow and Belfast to make their voices heard as part of The Wave demonstrations. From Superbadger to those who cycled all the way across the country – thank you! Your commitment and your concern is vital as the Copenhagen talks get underway, European Development Ministers, including myself, have now also committed to attend Copenhagen next week to specifically discuss the issue of the impact of climate change on the world’s poorest people. I wanted to let you know why I will be going and what will be on my mind.    

Along with the Prime Minister, my colleague Ed Miliband, and the rest of the government – we are hearing the clear voice of people around this country, and around the world, who want us to fight for an ambitious deal that works for the world’s poorest people.      

 When I go to that meeting, I will be thinking of what I have seen for myself of the impact that climate change is having in the developing world. In Kenya I met a man who told me that the seasons he remembered as a child have gone. In Bangladesh I met families who have had their homes swept away by the rising waters. In Ethiopia, I met women who had been forced by drought to walk further each day to collect water until they were walking 5 hours simply to drink from a watering hole shared by people and animals alike.      

 These experiences have convinced me that one of the most critical issues for our discussions should be the additional financial support that the developed world must provide for poor countries, to help them cope with climate change. Climate change threatens to make poverty the future for millions. I believe that getting the right global deal on carbon and climate finance, could be more vital to tackling global poverty than even the Gleneagles summit of 2005.   

This letter shows that campaigning works! It’s great to hear the UK government talking about the importance of the deal at Copenhagen for poor people. After all, isn’t it what we’ve been badgering them about all year? SuperBadger is feeling inspired to make sure that Mr Alexander follows through on his word so if you haven’t yet please take the latest action here.

We wouldn’t want the UK government accidentally negotiating for anything less than what poor communities themselves are calling for would we? Let’s make sure that Mr Alexander knows that this means $200 billion of climate financing annually by 2020 to help poor countries adapt to the impacts of climate change. This must be new and additional public funding, not aid repackaged as climate finance. Get badgering! 

All is not what it seems

Question 1: When is an alien not an alien?  

'Take me to your climate leader'

Answer: When it’s an Avaaz campaigner pulling a stunt to try and find leadership on climate change at the UN talks in Copenhagen.

Question 2: When is a good deal on emissions cuts not a good deal?

Answer: When it’s full of loopholes.

Superbadger spent some time with Tearfund’s policy team this morning learning about the complexity of what’s under discussion in the vast conference centre in Copenhagen.  It turns out that you need to construct agreements very carefully indeed in order to make sure that cheeky countries don’t promise emission reductions which turn out to be a load of hot air as they escape out the back door.

Making sure that what is agreed here doesn’t have any technical loopholes is tricky but it’s something which must be done if the outcomes of Copenhagen are to be deemed successful. Superbadger will be ‘pawing’ over the press releases coming out next Friday very carefully to make sure that things that might sound good actually are good. And if the outcomes aren’t good for poor and vulnerable communities, first and worst affected by the ravages of climate change, then they won’t be good at all. Superbadger is making a stand, he won’t be spun a line by anyone!