Thursday, December 24, 2009

PLATFORM member Gail Karlsson from US CitNet Reports

Glimmers of 'Hopenhagen'
by Gail Karlsson (US Citizens' Network for Sustainable Development)
One of the most encouraging signs I saw in Copenhagen during the UN Climate Change Conference was on the shirt worn by the desk clerk at my hotel in Malmo, Sweden, across the Oresund bridge. It said ‘I am a citizen of Hopenhagen’.

She was not among the over 40,000 registered conference participants, or one of the many young people who marched for climate justice. Nevertheless she is someone who wants the world’s leaders to take action for a sustainable future.

Most likely she, like many others, was confused by the complexity of international negotiations and disappointed that no legally binding commitments were made for future greenhouse gas emission reductions. But this is not the end of the climate negotiation process and there is still plenty of time for hope, and for action.

The ‘Hopenhagen’ shirts were part of an International Advertising Association campaign to support the UN climate negotiations by creating a grassroots movement powerful enough to influence change. The message is that we can all begin reducing our own greenhouse gas emissions and working together on climate change solutions, no matter how small our contributions may seem.

Since I was at the UN conference as a citizen of the United States, not Hopenhagen, I was a bit nervous about being held accountable for my country’s lack of action to prevent climate change. In fact, I was questioned about why Americans don’t seem to care about the impacts of their cars, oil and coal consumption on poor countries like Bangladesh and low-lying islands like the Maldives, places that are already losing land and homes due to rising sea levels. However, I was pleased to be able to report that New York City already has its own emission reduction plans and targets, and that other Americans like Bill McKibben have been busy mobilizing people to press for global CO2 limits of 350 parts per million.

I was also grateful to have a President who came to Copenhagen and engaged in the negotiations, saying that he recognizes that “climate change poses a grave and growing danger” and that “we must bridge old divides and build new partnerships to meet this great challenge of our time.”

People from many countries were discouraged that President Obama did not promise more, especially in terms of binding emission reduction targets. But he cannot promise more without the support of more Americans, and more US Senators.

“Most importantly, we remain committed to comprehensive legislation that will create millions of new American jobs, power new industry, and enhance our national security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil. That effort at home serves as a foundation for our leadership around the world....The time has come for us to get off the sidelines and to shape the future that we seek.”

In his report to the UN General Assembly, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that 130 national leaders came to the conference, and that “the Copenhagen Accord marks a significant step towards the first truly global agreement that can limit and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support adaptation for the most vulnerable, and help to establish a new era of environmentally sustainable growth.”

The elements of the Copenhagen Accord include:
1. An agreement to work towards a common, long-term goal to limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius and to review the adequacy this commitment in 2015 to take account of new scientific evidence (possibly reducing it to 1.5 degrees Celsius, as proposed by the vulnerable island states and poor countries already experiencing adverse consequences of climate change).
2. Commitments by developed countries to establish and implement targets for greenhouse gas emissions, and by major emerging economies (such as China, India, and Brazil) to implement nationally appropriate mitigation actions and communicate their efforts every two years.
3. Recognition of the importance of acting to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
4. Pledges of $30 billion a year between 2010 and 2012 (and a goal of mobilizing $100 billion a year by 2020) to be disbursed primarily through a new Copenhagen Green Climate Fund, for mitigation and adaptation activities to assist the most vulnerable people in developing countries.
Secretary-General Ban urged all governments to formally sign on to the Copenhagen Accord (officially it was just "noted" at the end of the Copenhagen conference), and then to work towards converting those commitments into a legally binding climate change treaty as soon as possible in 2010. He also urged countries to increase their emission reduction commitments, since the current ones do not meet the minimum needed to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels.

“I am aware that the outcomes of the Copenhagen Conference, including the Copenhagen Accord, did not go as far as some had hoped. Nonetheless, they represent a beginning -- an essential beginning. It will take more than this to definitively tackle climate change. But it is an important step in the right direction.” He also promised to work on streamlining the UN negotiation process going forward.

For me, though, it was California Governor Schwarzenegger, speaking at the parallel Climate Summit for Mayors in Copenhagen, who best expressed what I would call the ‘Hopenhagen Challenge.’
“We cannot wait for national governments to fight climate change on their own, because then we would have to have wait for a long time. I also believe it is wrong to think of this as a top-down decision, so the only way we can be successful is by cooperating. All good things start on a grassroots level, so hopefully this meeting in Copenhagen will inspire citizens, mayors and state leaders, and help turn the fight against climate change into a hip movement.”

With or without a legally binding international agreement, it is clear that state and local actions, combined with a variety of personal decisions and private sector innovations, will all inevitably be needed to cut our emissions, create green jobs and businesses, and build sustainable communities. Of course, all that is easier with the right national government policies in place, as the Danes were eager to demonstrate in their country's presentations and exhibitions, including high taxes on cars and fossil fuels, and major public investments in mass transit and renewable energy.

Meanwhile, we do not need to wait for the UN to organize another conference before taking our own steps to become more responsible citizens of Hopenhagen. The most important steps are to help build a constituency for sustainable development, starting with our own homes and communities and local governments, and to work politically towards counterbalancing the influence of oil and coal companies in Congress.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

EDITORIAL: Copenhagen Accord

By Uchita de Zoysa (Author of "It has to be CLIMATE SUSTAINABILITY)

I simply have to say …. I warned and I said this would be the outcome. Copenhagen Failed! Do not let a political scam "Copenhagen Accord' fool you. It is just another self-saving swindle by the establishment.

Just one man made some sense in a failing climate summit, and that was USA President Barack Obama. While the negotiators were playing "Age of the Stupid", Obama worked his usual charismatic charm and usual sharp mind to make common sense look genius. Walking into the newly power hungry BASIC – Brazil, South Africa, India and China – this one smart man saved the negotiating clowns of the COP15 circus an ultimate embarrassment.

Perhaps four other wise men too should be credited to helping the scam. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and South African President Jacob Zuma were the main chefs who cooked-up the situation for the accord to evolve. By turning on the heat on the Western leaders, these emerging giants ensured that Obama responds and steal the lime light that he loves. The Europeans looked more foolish than ever and could only say – how a wonderful! The Danish Presidency of COP15 simply avoided the greatest embarrassment of the history of his nation, and the United Nations only could hide behind its own shame. "Many will say that it lacks ambition, "Nonetheless, you have achieved much." UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said. Well the draft was said be prepared at the meeting and finalised with heads of 25 other countries, plus European Union (EU) and the secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). So much for transparency, inclusiveness, collective will of 194 parties? 171 countries dumped!

Well, this act did not require 20,000 plus people to come to Copenhagen and 194 countries to be represented. The five country leaders and another twenty others mainly from Europe could have met in a private ranch during the weekend to make this deal. This was what the G77 President from Sudan may have meant by saying 'the worst development in the fight against climate change'. Lumumba Di-Aping, Sudan's ambassador to the UN said "the draft accord was 'in gross violation of the principles of transparency and participation by all countries that have governed all actions within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It is against the poor and it lacks common sense." Dia-ping, who chairs a bloc of 130 poor nations, said the pact meant "incineration" for Africa and was comparable to the Holocaust. Asked if the G77 would oppose the draft at the UNFCCC conference plenary session due to start any moment? 'Wait and see,' Di-Aping said. Pressed further, he said: 'Sudan will oppose.'

It was clear in Copenhagen that India and China now together with Brazil and South Africa had very conveniently abandoned the most important developing country block G77 in search of excellence. They now feel that they are in the big league. Why not, China has beaten USA in the emissions race and India are not too far following. What can the balance of the 130 poor nations offer them that USA, Europeans and Australia cannot offer in a new world balance? In fact world of opportunities. Well, definitely Sudan has no such attraction.

Di-Arping was not alone in condemning this global climate scam. "It looks like we are being offered 30 pieces of silver to betray our people and our future," said Ian Fry of Tuvalu, a tiny Pacific island whose very existence is threatened by rising seas.

Now are we back to the dreaded voluntary commitments by the polluting nations? Obama was smartly ready for critism of the 5 + 20 nation deal. "The actions that we are going to set, we know that they will not by themselves be sufficient to get to where we need to get by 2050, and that's why this is going to be a first step." Obama said. "Going forward, we are going to have to build on the momentum we have achieved here in Copenhagen. We have come a long way but we have much further to go," he added.

The accord drops the expected goal of setting a deadline to achieve a true international treaty by the end of 2010; the details of such a treaty will most likely require months or years of further negotiation. That is when German Chancellor Angela Merkel comes into the rescue; she has offered to host the next climate summit in mid-2010. She viewed the result "with mixed emotions" but added that "the only alternative to the agreement would have been a failure." Now that is some political honesty.

Another climate summit in a few months? Why not just stay in Copenhagen for a few more months and negotiate? Believe me when I say, climate change talk shops are here to stay for some time till the establishment finds another better topic to sell to the world. Till then, they will have to burn a load fuel and spend millions of dollars to keep themselves and some of us entertained; and at the cost of the destiny of humans on earth.

Time is for us to take our own destiny into our own hands and tell the worlds leaders what we want and how we want it. That is why the Climate Sustainability PLATFORM has called for a binding agreement on Climate Sustainability. The call for climate sustainability is;

Climate and Sustainability need to be addressed together, not decoupled. Therefore, the world needs a binding international agreement on 'Climate Sustainability'. An agreement on Climate Sustainability will be decisive in coming together as one world to reverse decades of irresponsible consumption, production, and trade patterns and to build an equitable, fair, and just world. Climate sustainability must be the shared vision of the UNFCCC because it is the aspiration of the people. Climate Sustainability addresses pressing issues of poverty, inequality, and environmental degradation through relevant strategies for mitigation, adaptation, finance, and technology sharing. Governments must demonstrate political will and vision by signing a binding 'Climate Sustainability Agreement' enforced through strong compliance mechanisms. Only this will empower people to live in harmony with all species in a healthy planet that ensures wellbeing and happiness to all.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Fifteenth session
Copenhagen, 7–18 December 2009
Agenda item 9
High-level segment

Draft decision -/CP.15
Proposal by the President
Copenhagen Accord
The Heads of State, Heads of Government, Ministers, and other heads of delegation present at the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen,
In pursuit of the ultimate objective of the Convention as stated in its Article 2,
Being guided by the principles and provisions of the Convention, 
Noting the results of work done by the two Ad hoc Working Groups, 
Endorsing decision x/CP.15 on the Ad hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action and decision x/CMP.5 that requests the Ad hoc Working Group on Further Commitments of Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol to continue its work,
Have agreed on this Copenhagen Accord which is operational immediately.

1. We underline that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. We emphasise our strong political will to urgently combat climate change in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. To achieve the ultimate objective of the Convention to stabilize greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, we shall, recognizing the scientific view that the increase in global temperature should be below 2 degrees Celsius, on the basis of
equity and in the context of sustainable development, enhance our long-term cooperative action to
combat climate change. We recognize the critical impacts of climate change and the potential impacts of response measures on countries particularly vulnerable to its adverse effects and stress the need to
establish a comprehensive adaptation programme including international support.

2. We agree that deep cuts in global emissions are required according to science, and as
documented by the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report with a view to reduce global emissions so as to hold the increase in global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius, and take action to meet this objective
consistent with science and on the basis of equity. We should cooperate in achieving the peaking of
global and national emissions as soon as possible, recognizing that the time frame for peaking will be
longer in developing countries and bearing in mind that social and economic development and poverty
eradication are the first and overriding priorities of developing countries and that a low-emission
development strategy is indispensable to sustainable development.

3. Adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change and the potential impacts of response
measures is a challenge faced by all countries. Enhanced action and international cooperation on
adaptation is urgently required to ensure the implementation of the Convention by enabling and
supporting the implementation of adaptation actions aimed at reducing vulnerability and building
resilience in developing countries, especially in those that are particularly vulnerable, especially least
developed countries, small island developing States and Africa. We agree that developed countries shall provide adequate, predictable and sustainable financial resources, technology and capacity-building to support the implementation of adaptation action in developing countries.

4. Annex I Parties commit to implement individually or jointly the quantified economywide emissions targets for 2020, to be submitted in the format given in Appendix I by Annex I Parties to the secretariat by 31 January 2010 for compilation in an INF document. Annex I Parties that are Party to the Kyoto Protocol will thereby further strengthen the emissions reductions initiated by the Kyoto Protocol. Delivery of reductions and financing by developed countries will be measured, reported and
verified in accordance with existing and any further guidelines adopted by the Conference of the Parties, and will ensure that accounting of such targets and finance is rigorous, robust and transparent.

5. Non-Annex I Parties to the Convention will implement mitigation actions, including those to be submitted to the secretariat by non-Annex I Parties in the format given in Appendix II by 31 January 2010, for compilation in an INF document, consistent with Article 4.1 and Article 4.7 and in the context of sustainable development. Least developed countries and small island developing States
may undertake actions voluntarily and on the basis of support. Mitigation actions subsequently taken and envisaged by Non-Annex I Parties, including national inventory reports, shall be communicated through national communications consistent with Article 12.1(b) every two years on the basis of guidelines to be adopted by the Conference of the Parties. Those mitigation actions in national communications or otherwise communicated to the Secretariat will be added to the list in appendix II. Mitigation actions taken by Non-Annex I Parties will be subject to their domestic measurement, reporting and verification the result of which will be reported through their national communications every two years. Non-Annex I Parties will communicate information on the implementation of their actions through National Communications, with provisions for international consultations and analysis under clearly defined guidelines that will ensure that national sovereignty is respected. Nationally appropriate mitigation actions seeking international support will be recorded in a registry along with relevant technology, finance and capacity building support. Those actions supported will be added to the list in appendix II. These supported nationally appropriate mitigation actions will be subject to international measurement, reporting and verification in accordance with guidelines adopted by the Conference of the Parties.

6. We recognize the crucial role of reducing emission from deforestation and forest
degradation and the need to enhance removals of greenhouse gas emission by forests and agree on the need to provide positive incentives to such actions through the immediate establishment of a mechanism including REDD-plus, to enable the mobilization of financial resources from developed countries.

7. We decide to pursue various approaches, including opportunities to use markets, to enhance the cost-effectiveness of, and to promote mitigation actions. Developing countries, especially those with low emitting economies should be provided incentives to continue to develop on a low
emission pathway.

8. Scaled up, new and additional, predictable and adequate funding as well as improved access shall be provided to developing countries, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Convention, to enable and support enhanced action on mitigation, including substantial finance to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD-plus), adaptation, technology development and transfer and capacity-building, for enhanced implementation of the Convention. The collective commitment by developed countries is to provide new and additional resources, including forestry and
investments through international institutions, approaching USD 30 billion for the period 2010 - 2012
with balanced allocation between adaptation and mitigation. Funding for adaptation will be prioritized
for the most vulnerable developing countries, such as the least developed countries, small island
developing States and Africa. In the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on
implementation, developed countries commit to a goal of mobilizing jointly USD 100 billion dollars a
year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries. This funding will come from a wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources of finance. New
multilateral funding for adaptation will be delivered through effective and efficient fund arrangements,
with a governance structure providing for equal representation of developed and developing countries. A significant portion of such funding should flow through the Copenhagen Green Climate Fund.

9. To this end, a High Level Panel will be established under the guidance of and accountable to the Conference of the Parties to study the contribution of the potential sources of revenue, including alternative sources of finance, towards meeting this goal.

10. We decide that the Copenhagen Green Climate Fund shall be established as an operating entity of the financial mechanism of the Convention to support projects, programme, policies and other activities in developing countries related to mitigation including REDD-plus, adaptation, capacity building, technology development and transfer.

11. In order to enhance action on development and transfer of technology we decide to establish a Technology Mechanism to accelerate technology development and transfer in support of action on adaptation and mitigation that will be guided by a country-driven approach and be based on national circumstances and priorities.

12. We call for an assessment of the implementation of this Accord to be completed by 2015, including in light of the Convention’s ultimate objective. This would include consideration of strengthening the long-term goal referencing various matters presented by the science, including in
relation to temperature rises of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

PLATFORM member reporting from Copenhagen (18/12/2009)

Final Days of COP15 Copenhagen: I have seen signs of this thinking throughout my time in Copenhagen and increasingly it looks like the forum for these changes is local, not national (By Bruce Davison - UK)

I'm writing this as the COP15 process is reaching it's conclusion. It's likely that by the time you're reading this many press conferences will have taken place and officials will have presented how, after tough bargaining and securing of national priorities, we're at a new point in global relations and the future of humanity is secure. Up to a point this is true; governments and especially heads of state have come together as never before and have put the climate at the heart of the international consciousness. However behind the rhetoric lie the same processes and power structures and values that have led us to this situation in the first place. The power structures are ultimately those that lie beyond the reach of individuals, communities and local actors, with decisions made by those already in possession of money and or power which ultimately betrays the people it seeks to represent.

Before I arrived in Copenhagen, I had a genuine feeling that real and meaningful action would be agreed at COP15. I was aware that any legally binding process was off the table (at least within the two weeks of the summit) from the outset. I did however think that with all the eyes of the world on the conference, leaders would be able to work together to build a shared vision around the key themes of mitigation, adaptation, finance and technology.

Sadly as the conference has progressed these hopes and expectations have been replaced by a feeding that the current UNFCCC process is undemocratic and lacks the legitimacy it claims in representing the peoples of the world. Why do I feel this? In the last week the UNFCCC, (in concert with the host organisers) has systematically sought to maintain the status quo at the expense of truly grasping the nettle and providing a clear and ambitious way forward. This has been done through some fairly blatant but still nonetheless distasteful exercises in brute power including: Sidelining parties (nations) with a legitimate role in the negotiations Excluding NGOs who have been present in these processes for the last 20 years and provide vital checks and balances and represent civil society
Dividing negotiating blocks such as the LDCs through tactics such as presenting the possibility that current aid flows can be removed, Working with an aggressive police force to suppress public dissent including intimidation and arbitrary arrest Claiming, as new, money that had been promised to reaching the Millennium Development Goals and diverting it to mitigation projects often run by large businesses

To cover all of these and the other tactics that have been deployed in the last few weeks is beyond the scope of this article. I'll leave that process of investigation to yourselves and let you draw your own conclusions. Instead I'd now like to focus on the positives that we can draw from Copenhagen. To do this I'd like to draw a parallel with another recent global political precedent. As George W Bush's time in office developed it became obvious to the rest of the world (and I presume the majority of Americans) that America under Bush was not something the world could rely upon to solve our problems. As a consequence, new networks, grassroots movements, multinational bodies developed with an appetite for something different. My hope and belief is that as these negotiations have progressed, the inadequacy of the UNFCCC as a process that can deal with the threat of climate change will force us all to plan and start acting to develop a new approach.

I have seen signs of this thinking throughout my time in Copenhagen and increasingly it looks like the forum for these changes is local, not national. People's movements, cities/local governments and businesses are demonstrating the agility and energy needed to redefine our approach to tackling climate change and creating a sustainable future for us all.

Friday, December 18, 2009

the advanced text of Obama’s speech at the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen (via the New York Times - 18/12/2009):

In my final article for COP15, this morning I requested to hear from USA President Barrack Obama. He has spoken at the Bella Centre and as I expected provides us the humor to get to 2012 - and as always some hope. Uchita de Zoysa (Convener - Climate Sustainability PLATFORM)

and PEOPLE WANDER "What awaits our destiny?"

"Good morning. It’s an honor to for me to join this distinguished group of leaders from nations around the world. We come together here in Copenhagen because climate change poses a grave and growing danger to our people. You would not be here unless you – like me – were convinced that this danger is real. This is not fiction, this is science. Unchecked, climate change will pose unacceptable risks to our security, our economies, and our planet. That much we know.

So the question before us is no longer the nature of the challenge – the question is our capacity to meet it. For while the reality of climate change is not in doubt, our ability to take collective action hangs in the balance.

I believe that we can act boldly, and decisively, in the face of this common threat. And that is why I have come here today.

As the world’s largest economy and the world’s second largest emitter, America bears our share of responsibility in addressing climate change, and we intend to meet that responsibility. That is why we have renewed our leadership within international climate negotiations, and worked with other nations to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. And that is why we have taken bold action at home – by making historic investments in renewable energy; by putting our people to work increasing efficiency in our homes and buildings; and by pursuing comprehensive legislation to transform to a clean energy economy.

These actions are ambitious, and we are taking them not simply to meet our global responsibilities. We are convinced that changing the way that we produce and use energy is essential to America’s economic future – that it will create millions of new jobs, power new industry, keep us competitive, and spark new innovation. And we are convinced that changing the way we use energy is essential to America’s national security, because it will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and help us deal with some of the dangers posed by climate change.

So America is going to continue on this course of action no matter what happens in Copenhagen. But we will all be stronger and safer and more secure if we act together. That is why it is in our mutual interest to achieve a global accord in which we agree to take certain steps, and to hold each other accountable for our commitments.

After months of talk, and two weeks of negotiations, I believe that the pieces of that accord are now clear.

First, all major economies must put forward decisive national actions that will reduce their emissions, and begin to turn the corner on climate change. I’m pleased that many of us have already done so, and I’m confident that America will fulfill the commitments that we have made: cutting our emissions in the range of 17 percent by 2020, and by more than 80 percent by 2050 in line with final legislation.

Second, we must have a mechanism to review whether we are keeping our commitments, and to exchange this information in a transparent manner. These measures need not be intrusive, or infringe upon sovereignty. They must, however, ensure that an accord is credible, and that we are living up to our obligations. For without such accountability, any agreement would be empty words on a page.

Third, we must have financing that helps developing countries adapt, particularly the least-developed and most vulnerable to climate change. America will be a part of fast-start funding that will ramp up to $10 billion in 2012. And, yesterday, Secretary Clinton made it clear that we will engage in a global effort to mobilize $100 billion in financing by 2020, if – and only if – it is part of the broader accord that I have just described.

Mitigation. Transparency. And financing. It is a clear formula – one that embraces the principle of common but differentiated responses and respective capabilities. And it adds up to a significant accord – one that takes us farther than we have ever gone before as an international community.

The question is whether we will move forward together, or split apart. This is not a perfect agreement, and no country would get everything that it wants. There are those developing countries that want aid with no strings attached, and who think that the most advanced nations should pay a higher price. And there are those advanced nations who think that developing countries cannot absorb this assistance, or that the world’s fastest-growing emitters should bear a greater share of the burden.

We know the fault lines because we’ve been imprisoned by them for years. But here is the bottom line: we can embrace this accord, take a substantial step forward, and continue to refine it and build upon its foundation. We can do that, and everyone who is in this room will be a part of an historic endeavor – one that makes life better for our children and grandchildren.

Or we can again choose delay, falling back into the same divisions that have stood in the way of action for years. And we will be back having the same stale arguments month after month, year after year – all while the danger of climate change grows until it is irreversible.

There is no time to waste. America has made our choice. We have charted our course, we have made our commitments, and we will do what we say. Now, I believe that it’s time for the nations and people of the world to come together behind a common purpose.

We must choose action over inaction; the future over the past – with courage and faith, let us meet our responsibility to our people, and to the future of our planet. Thank you."

(reproduced from 

for OUTREACH at COP15 (18th December 2009)

Earth is on fire! But Copenhagen has been too cold for leaders to act!
Stop playing climate games with our lives!
by Uchita de Zoysa (Convener - Climate Sustainability PLATFORM)

It is the last day officially at the COP15 and the climate games are not yet over. While the earth continues to warm-up, the rich country negotiators and their leaders are playing road side soccer with our lives. They have chosen their own sides and intend to beat the smaller and poor country teams by hook or crook. Coming to cold Copenhagen, we at least expected this game to be played in front of a world audience, and hoped that the leaders from G77 and China together with USA, EU and UN will be playing real ball. Well, once again it is not just one game, but a whole heap of games are played by the different teams in a closed stadium at the Bella Centre; and they have also closed down the gates on the spectators. Beware! They are playing games with our lives!

Failing to agree on a new political deal on cutting emissions and providing finance for poor countries in the fight against global warming, British Prime Minster Gordon Brown had admitted earlier this week that getting a deal was "an uphill struggle". UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon had said, "I have been urging both developed and developing countries that they should all come on board. I think that they can and must do more, in terms of mitigation (curbing emissions), in terms of financial support packages. Financial support for developing countries is one of the keys in getting this deal agreed in Copenhagen". But John Ashe of Antigua, chairman of one negotiating group, reported to the full 193-nation conference on Wednesday morning saying, "I regret to report we have been unable to reach agreement".

Once again it is the USA who is finding ways to block an agreement that binds them to commit to emission cuts. The American delegation apparently had objected to a proposed text it felt might bind the United States prematurely to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, before the US Congress acts on the required legislation. So where is USA President Barrack Obama? Please tell us where you stand, with or without your legislature, as you had done since taking office. At least that will provide us some humour to get to 2012.

We now do not care much of what the Copenhagen outcome is going to be, because we have not only lost confidence, but lost trust on the global climate leadership. Our demand from the Climate Sustainability PLATFORM is clear; "Climate and Sustainability need to be addressed together, not decoupled. Therefore, the world needs a binding international agreement on 'Climate Sustainability'. An agreement on Climate Sustainability will be decisive in coming together as one world to reverse decades of irresponsible consumption, production, and trade patterns and to build an equitable, fair, and just world. Climate sustainability must be the shared vision of the UNFCCC because it is the aspiration of the people."

Former Secretary General of the UN-WSSD Mr. Nitin Desai last week joined the call from the PLATFORM when he said an 'International Agreement on Sustainable Consumption and Production' by 2012 is what we need. The outcome of COP15 is now becoming insignificant. Any rushed agreement will not be enough to create a better world for all the children to enjoy happier lives in 2050 and beyond. Copenhagen also is not the end of the line for us on earth. Therefore, we plan to deliberate on our own destinies. Launching my book a week ago in Copenhagen I said, and in conclusion of this series of articles at COP15 I state; "It has to be CLIMATE SUSTAINABILITY"

(send comments to

Thursday, December 17, 2009

from OUTREACH from COP15 (17th December 2009)

Do not Seal a Deal in a Hurry!
Just Plan Your Next Climate Negotiation Trip!
As we intend to live on earth for longer than the negotiators expect!
by Uchita de Zoysa (Convener - Climate Sustainability PLATFORM)

With just two more days to go, I simply cannot support COP15 to seal any deal here in Copenhagen. From Bali to now, there has been no indication that the negotiators had shown any commitment towards a global agreement. Now that the national leaders are coming to Copenhagen, why should they rush into an agreement? Buying time is of course the name of the game for them, and the world is aware of this shameless act. But, we are not ready to accept a hurried deal from Copenhagen that can only ensure that some bureaucrats save their jobs. So, now that you have enjoyed the hospitality of another city, let me invite the negotiators to concentrate on planning their next climate negotiation trip and improve on their carbon footprint. While, the negotiators increase their emissions and talk about mitigation responsibilities, we the people will continue to plan our existence on earth.

The PLATFORM met with the C-ROADS team that has developed a climate policy simulator which enables the users to rapidly evaluate the impact of national GHG emissions reduction policies through 2100. Dr. Elizabeth Sawin for the C-ROADS team said, "We are providing close to real-time analysis of proposals within the negotiations. Friday (11th) the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action released a draft text that included emissions reduction targets. As we began to understand that the press and others were unsure of the implications of the draft text we decided it would be useful to offer C-ROADS analysis on the text. Here's the summary, "Mitigation Gap: National Emissions Reductions Proposals Currently Fall Short of the Targets Defined in Draft Text from the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action". Dr. Sawin further stated; "significant differences remain between the aggregate emissions reductions from current national proposals and the mitigation targets released yesterday in a draft text at the UNFCCC climate talks in Copenhagen. Achieving the potential declared in the draft texts will require sufficient commitment to financing, technology transfer, monitoring, verification, and accountability to allow nations to commit to and achieve higher reduction targets than they have currently put on the table."

While appreciating the fact that the model may help US and other Western Negotiators to play their numbers game, I have asked the C-ROADS team how their simulation can help us from the southern countries to ascertain poverty reduction, wellbeing increase, and other equity criteria while reducing national GHG emissions. The team has agreed to improve on the model to include such elements which are more pressing issues of over half of humanity on earth now in poverty. As Ms. Florence Charamba Christensen from Zimbabwe told us at a PLATFORM Dialogue, "as basic needs have yet to be met in developing nations, and the fact that there is a huge inequality in consumption, I believe climate sustainability with a humanitarian approach is the key. Therefore, I would like to witness a solution where climate sustainability can be addressed through equity."

With fifteen years of negotiations, a Kyoto Protocol that spelt out some easy commitments for emission reductions, a Nobel prize winning IPCC Assessment Report, hundreds of thousands of people taking to the street to demonstrate against inaction, and even USA President Barrack Obama wanting to move his country towards a more greener economy, the negotiators at COP15 are demonstrating the most primitive side of human animals. Now that the organisers of COP15 have blocked most of civil society to enter the Bella Centre, they may as well have the entire place turned into the circus they are so much capable of. They can now continue to elect their own head monkeys and chief clowns and entertain themselves, while mitigation obligations continue to become the scapegoat for lack of agreement to ensure humanity a chance on earth.

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from OUTREACH from COP15 (16th December 2009)

by Uchita de Zoysa (Convener - Climate Sustainability PLATFORM)

Just several weeks ago, the Maldivian President had to go under sea with his cabinet to prove to the world that adapting to the sea level rise due to climate change would be hard for them. Two Maldivian members of the PLATFORM once again reminded the world that their call for help for twenty years has not been answered by the international community. Not only for them, but adapting to new global scenarios is going to be hard for all of us. We realised this more in Copenhagen last week.

Adapting to the climate insensitivities in Copenhagen has been hard for many of us from the South. Lack of commitment by the rich countries at the COP15 and walk outs by African negotiators at the Bella Centre, planned demonstrations by anti-globalization activists in Copenhagen streets and mass-arrests by the non-tolerant police, expensive climate parties by Danish alternative forum organisers and lack of funds to host southern NGO delegates, the cold weather and uncertainty of the climate talks; all these are amounting to the frustrations at the UN Climate Summit.

This circus has gone beyound the patience of people who have been told that their lives are in danger due to climate change. The circus in Copenhagen is shameful. Every night a big party is organised in Copenhagen and it is a battle to get in-front of the queue. I am wandering, what are these people celebrating? What a lot of money is spent in Copenhagen for these big parties, but how many activists from the South have got to come here to make there voices heard? Even the ones who got here have had to bear with the little money provided, poor lodging facilities and coldness of the weather as well as attitudes of some insensitive-to-diversity coordinators with temporary climate jobs. Adaptation has been hard in Copenhagen!

Many PLATFORM participants have demonstrated their lack of faith in the COP15 process and they are angry about the lack of goodwill shown towards the adaptation of the poor. Ms. Susy Wandera from The Kenya Climate Change Working Group said, “There is no good faith in addressing the vulnerability of women, youth and communities who are being affected by the climate change impacts right now. How much worse does the damage have to be in the South for Annex-1 countries to make serious commitments in their emission reductions? They were able to raise one trillion dollars Euro to respond to the global financial crisis in short time. Why don’t they see the same urgency in supporting the South? Like they said they would.”

Ms. Gail Karlsson from the US Citizens’ Network understands the need for support and assistance on adaptation in the South. She says ; “For over ten years I have been involved in advocacy and planning related to the energy needs of women in developing countries. At this point, about 1.5 billion people are living without electricity, and many more continue to rely on traditional biomass fuels for cooking. It is generally women and girls in rural areas who are responsible for collecting firewood or other biomass fuels, and whose time, health and activities are most constrained by lack of access to electricity, modern cooking fuels, and motorized power. Financing for climate change mitigation and adaptation can help to relieve women’s poverty by engaging them in developing and distributing new clean energy options if these new opportunities are formulated in ways that benefit women as well as men.”

Adaptation is not just about sharing the wealth and technological know-how. It is going to be based on how much of collective action we as a human race can exercise during the coming decades. Collective action needs goodwill and that is lacking at the COP15 and in general in the Copenhagen climate circus. It is time to move on. Our destiny should not rely on a bunch of insensitive negotiators and circus managers. It is ours!

Therefore I agree with Flora Ijjas from Hungary when she says, “taking care of yourself and your people and your place is more important than worrying about emission reductions or setting quotas. Women’s nature has the sensitivity and the empathy that today’s arrogant world needs.”

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Friday, December 11, 2009

From OUTREACH at COP15 (Friday 11th December)

“Sustainable Consumption and Production Should be the main Focus of all Global Sustainability Agreements by 2012”- says Nitin Desai (Secretary General of UN-WSSD)
By Uchita de Zoysa (Convener – Climate Sustainability PLATFORM)

Nitin Desai, the former Secretary General of the World Summit on Sustainable Development believes that most of the problems on earth and climate change are related to unsustainable consumption and production patterns, and the PLATFORM should be pushing hard for an ‘International Agreement on Sustainable Consumption and Production’ by 2012 . After participating in the Climate Sustainability PLATFORM he then joined me yesterday in an exclusive dialogue to discuss our approach towards global agreements in 2012. This is the year when the Kyoto Protocol may come to an end, and when the UNCSD will be starting to implement a Ten Year Framework of Programmes on Earth. In fact this is the year that the world will be celebrating 20 years since the Earth Summit and when Rio+20 UN Summit is proposed.

It was Mr. Mauruice Strong as Secretary General of UNCED in 1992 who said that “It is the last chance to save the earth”. It was during his leadership that the Climate Convention was born. But perhaps it was Mr. Desai who had the best chance to enforce an agreement to eradicate poverty in 2002 at the WSSD. So can we do that at least in 2012 and a Rio+20 give us a binding agreement on poverty eradication? Mr. Desai says “you have to worry about poverty, and then you also have to worry about energy poverty. Whether it is climate change or poverty eradication, we need to ensure that sustainable consumption and production gets the main focus”.

“In 2012 the interest would be on two themes, the Green Economy and Sustainable Consumption and Production. There is no way to talk about a green economy simply by talking about taxes and subsidies. You have to ask your self, what is the underlying consumption and production base? The time is right for this sustainable consumption and production to become central to the UN agenda”.

“We have reached a point where nobody can say that our way of life is not for negotiation”. Nitin Desai wanted movements like the PLATFORM to lead the way in driving global agreements to focus on sustainable consumption and production. “Change comes from the global opinion and global consensus. Therefore, civil society groups would be the ones to drive this cause, and today my efforts in India too are with civil society action”.

But has global opinion been heard? A colleague from Sri Lanka, Mr. Harsha Ratnaweera was totally unimpressed with what is happening at the COP15 in Bella Centre. “After 20 years of talk and activities, what progress is being made? This is another circus that is costing an enormous amount of money. Who is paying for all this? The tax paying citizens!”

After twenty years of campaigning for sustainability in and around the UN Summits, I have to agree with him. Nothing seems to be changing in the approach of UN conferences. They are not just a waste of money and resources, but are becoming more and more distant to the people and their aspirations. It is inspiring to have Mr. Desai joining civil society to drive the real issues such as consumption and production within the UN agenda. So are we joining forces as citizens of one world and to create a better world? Mr. Desai, by joining the PLATFORM shows that all of us may have a common desire to fight together as a single human race against climate change. But, how can we convince the negotiators at COP15 that we are not just simply asking for emission reductions, but Climate Sustainability? The PLATFORM, together will be working towards making sustainable consumption and production inclusive in all global agreements.

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This article was originally published in OUTREACH a daily newsletter published by Stakeholder Forum

from OUTREACH from COP15 (10th December 2009)

To be Hungry and Negotiate Climate Change
by Uchita de Zoysa (Convener - Climate Sustainability PLATFORM)

At the end of my presentation on "Right to Development in a Climate Change Agenda" at the Copenhagen University yesterday, a young student asked me what I really wanted, and I said "happiness for my daughter and hers".

The Climate Sustainability PLATFORM convened at the Centre for African Studies of the University of Copenhagen yesterday. Prof. Stig Jensen, director began the discussion by asking what happiness means to different communities. Dr. Simron Singh from India showed how people of Nicobar Islands have lost their traditional way of life after the Tsunami due to the rapid influx of development aid. He said "these people lived simple and content lifestyles of very low economic activities, the development aid regime has now brought them the status of debt and have to engage more and more hours to earn. The social structure has been changed for ever. Mr. Souleymanne Bassoum says, development aid has made us hungrier. The more the aid, the more our people are trapped in debt. The simple possessions that made us happy are no longer in our own control. The system has complicated our lives. Money cannot bring our lost values back, and economic aid hasn't brought us happiness. In Senegal, we were homogenous society, which has come under strain because of the strains of modernity. We want to develop in our ways and not the way the western development aide agencies want."

Ms. Ameset Haile, from Mekelle University Ethiopia, said with all this big talk on sustainability for the past many decades, the people still remain hungry. While we are talking here in Copenhagen, people in Ethiopia are dying from hunger. For us it is simply about survival. In Ethiopia, we have seen temperature actually rise, and diseases like malaria increase. People are becoming homeless because of changing climate and weather patterns. It's only a matter of time that rest in the world too will be dragged into the same climate plight."

Dr. Faiz H. Shah from Responsible Business Initiative Pakistan says Equity is a human aspiration that has been translated into principles of faith and fundamental human rights. Climate sustainability can be addressed through equity. Equity is shaken when powerful business interests take advantage of powerless consumers. There is hope for climate sustainability if we can somehow make trade equitable.

Mr. Gopal Kumar Jain, coordinator South Asia Youth Environment Secretariat in India started with a quote from the Bhagawad Geeta. he said, "we should begin with ourselves in creating a better world. There are many examples from the Tsunami where aid de-linked people from their environments close to the sea. You try to take people away from their natural habitats and place them in artificially designed environments, the social fabric is destroyed."

Mr. Ali Rilwan, Director of BluePeace Maldives said; "less than a meter above sea level, our hope for climate sustainability is low. Even with effect of climate change felt, we still have the will survive. Our peple, not governments bring us this hope. Information through the internet, facebook, twitter, and other new media is empowering us, and will help us rise above the tide. Climate change has no boundaries. If the world cannot save Maldives, then no one else will be saved as well."

Even though the negotiators from the South at the Bella Centre may not be hungry, people they try to represent are hungry and destitute. If they do not feel the hunger of their people, then they may not be able represent their aspirations for climate sustainability. That worries the members of the Climate Sustainability PLATFROM!

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from OUTREACH at COP15 (9th December 2009)

Sustainable Consumption and Production Should Be Key Consideration of a Climate Agreement
by Uchita de Zoysa (Convener - Climate Sustainability PLATFORM)

Unsustainable consumption and production patterns are a primary cause of climate change and poverty. Yesterday, the Climate Sustainability PLATFORM rallied a diverse group of stakeholders at the KlimaForum in the session titled “Sustainable Consumption and Production Framework”. For the past ten years the UN Marrakech Process has been trying to formulate a 10 year Framework of Programmes (10YFP) on SCP and they are lost once again, and have failed to even get any attention of the UNFCCC. We cannot wait for the different UN agencies to find common interest on issues of the world, therefore the independent sectors may have to develop a relevant framework that guides the world towards Climate Sustainability.

Jeffery Barber, a long time sustainability campaigner from the USA, delivering an introductory presentation, pointed out that the 2002 UN World Summit on Sustainable Development called for the creation of programmes to support the efforts of groups and initiatives around the world changing production and consumption patterns. This will be a welcome and useful contribution to the sustainability movement when the UN finally gets around to developing these programs. Unfortunately, there has been ongoing confusion about the nature of this mandate and the UN's role regarding the "framework" for these programs. Some believe that the UN's purpose is to play more of a leadership role, guiding us along the path to sustainability. However, Barber maintains, the WSSD mandate was specifically to support the work of those who have been taking the lead on sustainability all along -- by the practitioners, the community organizers, the educators and socially responsible entrepreneurs and networks who answer directly to the public interest. The UN has an important role to play in supporting national and regional efforts to create a better quality of life for everyone, he said, but it is the movement of people and their initiatives around the world that will lead the way.
Bas de Leeuw, former head of consumption at UNEP and now Executive Director of the Dana Meadows Sustainability Institute in USA joined the PLATFORM dialogue to share the growing call for action. He said that it is high time that a clear framework of programmes is presented, and pointed to the untapped potential of systems thinking for better achieving the sustainable consumption and production agenda. Individuals need to be empowered to “be the change in the world they want to be.”

Prof. Victoria Thoresen from PERL, a large European network of sustainable consumption research was more optimistic that different UN programmes could be made better. She said, “We cannot discard the programmes available, but make sure that they are better. However, it is important that we build a global movement based on the emerging common principle of sustainable consumption and production.”

Gopal Jain from India could not resist stating that the wasteful lifestyles in the West continue to drag all of us in the world towards destruction. He said, “We come from cultures that do not throw away, but reuse in ways that the lifecycle of the resource is maximised.”

Gail Karlsson, an environmental lawyer from New York joined in the dialogue, saying that reducing wasteful consumption in the US is critical for a sustainable world, in addition to adverting to people all over the world whose basic needs are not being met. She stressed that climate-related funds to resource clean fuels or technologies and empower women would be an important first step to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainable livelihoods.

Responding to this point, Bruce Davison from the UK representing Global Sustainability Solutions said that a challenge for stakeholders developing sustainable consumption and production patterns is the time taken in decision-making. Decisions taken over a longer time-frame can avoid inefficient expenditures on cheap purchases that have limited usage-time. Likewise, producers taking considered decisions would avoid cost-risks associated with short-term profits.

Flora Ijjas, an environmental economist from Hungary introduced the concept of “virtual water” and how a water footprint”, provides a new perspective on climate change. For example, water efficiency labels based on the virtual water concept could be used to inform consumers about how much water they are really consuming and allow us to respond responsibly in the face of growing demand for water.

Looking more into the future, Ambreen Waheed, Executive Director of Responsible Business Initiative Pakistan, emphasized the need to motivate young people to become the catalyst for bringing about a drastic transformation in lifestyles to more sustainable ones by highlighting role models that are “hip” but do not espouse wasteful lifestyles. It would a long process, but is the only way towards permanently shifting away from the present destructive ways.

So, what are all these people from around the world asking? Development? No, they say. It is happiness that they want for the future generations. For that they demand that wellbeing of all people on earth is first ensured.

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This article was originally published in OUTREACH a daily newsletter published by Stakeholder Forum

from OUTREACH at COP15 (8th December 2009)

It has to be 
by Uchita de Zoysa (Convener - Climate Sustainability PLATFORM)

Another talk shop to discuss climate change started yesterday with the commencement of the UNFCCC COP15 in Copenhagen; and this time with less hope of an agreement to save the earth or rather to save human existence on earth. The leaders of the world and their representatives have been bargaining now for more than fifteen years on climate agreements, and now have come to Copenhagen to seal a deal! Have they consulted us, the people, before trying to seal the deal? NO, says members of the Climate Sustainability PLATFORM. They demand that no deal is sealed without consulting people.

Gopal Jain of the Centre for Environment Education in India echoed a collective sentiment that the climate negotiations at the UNFCCC are not convincing enough to enable human wellbeing on earth as basic sustainability issues such as poverty eradication is not adequately addressed.

According to Jeffrey Barber from the Integrative Strategies Forum in USA “negotiations within the United Nations system are too often based on linear or not integrative thinking. Approaches to many of the world's problems are compartmentalised and end up competing with each other, rather than working together holistically.”

Therefore, by design the UN system is unable to provide solutions for a complex world of diverse societies and their lifestyles, needs and behaviours. These negotiations at the UN are historically disintegrated because they believe in focusing on each issue separately. Therefore, climate change is another great challenge to be discussed separately and decoupled from trade, poverty, peace, environment, economy or any other issue. Climate change is a single issue for them and is dealt within those chambers only. Therefore, the inter-linkages between economic growth, development, poverty, environment, sustainability and peace do not have adequate space in one package solution.

Will the promised arrival of the heads of states of USA, China and India to COP15 change this lack of confidence amongst the PLATFORM members, as they will be the key to an emission reduction agreement? Another Indian, Prof. Atmanand, Dean at the Management Development Institute, India, stated that ”while technology can support mitigation of the harmful effects of climate change, with large potentials for sustainable energy production, the need for peoples vision and healthy relationships within humanity is far more important to make this dream a reality.”

A more optimistic sustainable entrepreneur from Taiwan, Mr. Daniel Ku has been running around the world to find innovations and solutions for a greener world. He says “like a tree I can only spring from only the roots. The solutions are under your feet and on earth". He means that the answers to the world problems are within our own communities and their environments. But, we are warned by the scientists and the bureaucrats that our destiny is merely within the limits of a liveable world.

Discovering a way to survive in a liveable world cannot and should not be the aspiration and determination of humankind. That is a compromise that we, as a generation, are trying to make on the lives of all future generations. While enjoying the offerings on earth today, we are planning a world of lesser enjoyment for the future humans. If we are only negotiating for a liveable world for our children and their children, then we are demonstrating intrinsically our selfish nature as a generation and it is simply fighting to get the best share for ourselves. If we are not planning a better world for our children, then we are planning their unhappiness. Therefore, our responsibility should not be to compromise the lives of our children by consenting to a liveable world, but we should be demanding a better world for them. The PLATFORM therefore demands that, it has to be climate sustainability!

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This article was originally published in OUTREACH a daily newsletter published by Stakeholder Forum

Call for Climate Sustainability (7th Decmeber 2009)

Call for Climate Sustainability
from the Climate Sustainability PLATFORM

Apprehensive of what COP15 would hold in sealing a climate agreement for the world, over the last number of days forty sustainability experts from all continents converged on Copenhagen. Between the 3rd and 6th of December this group engaged with hundreds of participants at the Climate Exchange at Øksnehallen to ascertain, deliberate and articulate public sentiment regarding the anticipated result of the international negotiations.

The responses varied from skeptical to optimistic. However, the overwhelming message emanating from the Climate Sustainability PLATFORM is loud and clear. In the words of the convenor, Uchita de Zoysa, "We will not wait for someone else to determine our destinies. We will rise as a global community to determine our own sustainable ".

Dr. Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, a Swedish scientist working in the University of Leiden says; "We as a species will live far beyond 2050. It is my conviction that we can rise above the climate challenge and emerge in better wellbeing as one species on Earth". Dr. Simron Singh, an Indian scientist working at the Institute of Social Ecology, Austria expressed the challenges ahead and warned the community to be determined on this path. "From the Rio Earth Summit, through the Johannesburg Sustainability Summit, and now to Copenhagen, we have just been value-adding to processes that control the normal lives of people".

Dr. Simad Saheed, a Maldivian environmental consultant referred to the fear that rising sea levels would threat the existance of his island nation and it was up to the world community to prevent this. "For the past twenty years we have been appealing to the international community to save us from our climate plight, and we are still destitute". Mr. Souleymane Bassoum, an organic agricultural expert from Senegal argued for the present development paradigm be brought to a halt. "Money coming from the West is not to create wellbeing for our people, but often to maintain corrupt governments that help to continue exploiting our resources".

Dr. Arthur Dahl from the International Environment Forum said that the growth-based economic development model would end by 2020. "Economic growth has failed to eliminate poverty and bring wellbeing to the poor, and has created more obstacles in achieving sustainability". Ms. Flora Ijjas, a doctoral researcher from Hungary likened rich economies to cancer cells growing at the expense of poor nations. "The exploitation of rich countries creates hunger in the poor countries". Summing up the frustration of the world's citizens, Mr. Victor Ricco, a human rights lawyer from Argentina said, "I gave-up my job as deputy minister for climate change to rejoin the peoples' movement, as only talk cannot save us anymore from the challenges of climate change".

These and other members of the Climate Sustainability PLATFORM have all come together to take their destinies in their own hands. By: Climate Sustainability PLATFORM

This article was originally published in OUTREACH a daily newsletter published by Stakeholder Forum

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Book Launched in Copenhagen

"It has to be
by Uchita de Zoysa is launched in Copenhagen at the UN Climate Summit

On 3 December 2009, the people's preparations for the UN Climate Summit, COP15, came to life at the Øksnehallen in Copenhagen, with the launching of the hard-hitting book "It has to be CLIMATE SUSTAINABILITY" by the internationally acclaimed sustainability Campaigner Uchita de Zoysa. The launch of the book was organised by the Climate sustainability PLATFORM and was ceremoniously presented to a large international gathering at the Copenhagen Climate Exchange.

The Author of the book, Uchita de Zoysa says: "Climate change is a destiny determining phenomenon and all people need to be aware of their rights and responsibilities. But, half of the world's population remains under poverty and is being deprived of their rights towards the basic human needs. Meanwhile, the wasteful lifestyles and irresponsible behaviour of the rich and powerful continues to endanger the life of all humans on earth. A small privileged group continues to negotiate for a climate deal and they separately talk about the sustainability of the planet. By marginalising rest of the population in determining their own destinies, they have left us in destitution. A new world order is emerging, but the people are not involved in designing of it as well. A better world order needs to be created upon the mindful aspirations of the people; and should essentially be based on equitable opportunities for all to find peace, prosperity, sustainability, wellbeing and happiness. Then, it has to be climate sustainability!”

A dialogue on the topic of the book was followed with a panel discussion that included international sustainability experts Jeffrey Barber (USA), Souleymane Bassoum (Senegal), Gopal Jain (India), Victor Ricco (Argentina) and Indrani Thuraisingham (Malaysia). The invited participants of the dialogue also included renowned scientists, civil society leaders and sustainable entrepreneurs from all continents of the world. The dialogue also marked the launching of the Climate Sustainability PLATFORM, which demanded a binding 'International Agreement on Climate Sustainability' to be initiated by the world leaders meeting in Copenhagen for the UNFCCC COP15.

Uchita de Zoysa is a free thinker, outspoken orator, branded radical, sustainable enterprise promoter and a committed campaigner who has dedicated his life towards creating a sustainable world. He has travelled across the globe during the past two decades to attend the largest global summits and to speak at over a hundred international meetings.