Perspectives on the next phase of the global fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 13 Dec 2007 19:30:00 GMT

Global Day of Action

Posted by Brad Johnson Sat, 08 Dec 2007 05:00:00 GMT

The Global Climate Campaign intends synchronised demonstrations around the world on Saturday December 8th 2007 – in as many places as possible – to call on world leaders to take urgent action on climate change.

The ‘Call to Action’ for these demonstrations and related events that will take place on December 8th 2007 is as follows :

“We demand that world leaders take the urgent and resolute action that is needed to prevent the catastrophic destabilisation of global climate, so that the entire world can move as rapidly as possible to a stronger emissions reductions treaty which is both equitable and effective in preventing dangerous climate change.

We also demand that the long-industrialised countries that have emitted most greenhouse gases up to now take most of the responsibility for the adaptive measures that have to be taken, especially by low-emitting countries with limited economic resources.”

We feel that there is an overwhelming need to create a groundswell of global opinion to push for the urgent and radical action on climate change, without which we risk a global catastrophe of unimaginable proportions.

UN Human Development Report: Less Than a Decade to Change Course

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 29 Nov 2007 19:49:00 GMT

Presaging next week’s Climate Change Conference in Bali, the United Nations has released its 2007-2008 Human Development Report, a call to action on climate change using stark moral language.
Climate change is the defining human development issue of our generation. All development is ultimately about expanding human potential and enlarging human freedom. It is about people developing the capabilities thatempower them to make choices and to lead lives that they value. Climate change threatens to erode human freedoms and limit choice. It calls into question the Enlightenment principle that human progress will make the future look better than the past. . .

Our starting point is that the battle against climate change can—and must—be won. The world lacks neither the financial resources nor the technological capabilities to act. If we fail to prevent climate change it will be because we were unable to foster the political will to cooperate.

Such an outcome would represent not just a failure of political imagination and leadership, but a moral failure on a scale unparalleled in history. During the 20th Century failures of political leadership led to two world wars. Millions of people paid a high price for what were avoidable catastrophes. Dangerous climate change is the avoidable catastrophe of the 21st Century and beyond. Future generations will pass a harsh judgement on a generation that looked at the evidence on climate change, understood the consequences and then continued on a path that consigned millions of the world’s most vulnerable people to poverty and exposed future generations to the risk of ecological disaster.

The New York Times coverage: U.N. Warns of Climate-Related Setbacks.

International Aid Groups Call for "Robust Permit Auctions" to Support Adaptation

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 20 Nov 2007 23:49:00 GMT

In a letter to the heads of the Senate EPW and Foreign Relations committees (Boxer, Inhofe, Biden, and Lugar), a large group of development, faith-based, and environmental (including FoE, Greenpeace, UCS, and NWF) organizations write:
We urge you to take action to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States that are contributing to these impacts on impoverished countries, while also putting in place substantial assistance for those countries to adapt to the widespread and serious consequences of climate change. In particular, a significant proportion of any revenue generated from climate policies, such as auctions of emission permits, should be directed to the adaptation needs of poor people and impoverished countries. To maximize those resources, policies to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions should ensure that the responsibility to pay for emissions reductions and adaptation costs are borne equitably by those who are most responsible for those emissions, such as through robust permit auctions.

The present version of Lieberman-Warner allocates 5% of auction revenues to a Climate Change and National Security Fund “to enhance the national security of the United States” and “assist in avoiding the politically destabilizing impacts of climate change in volatile regions of the world.” The August draft outline allocated 10% of auction revenues to international aid; the initial draft legislation cut those revenues to 5% and allocated 3% of emissions allowances to fighting tropical deforestation; in subcommittee markup a Barrasso amendment was adopted to instead allocate those emissions allowances to states.

EE News reports:
Under the Lieberman-Warner legislation, an auction could create tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars per year in new revenue depending on how much industry pays on the market for greenhouse gas credits. If the credits sold for $10 per ton of carbon dioxide, a 10 percent slice for international adaptation would equal $1 billion.

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) supports including international assistance for adaptation as part of the climate bill. But a Boxer aide said today that no decision has been made on changes in the distribution of the Lieberman-Warner bill’s auction revenue.

Cyclone Sidr Devastates Bangladesh 1

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 16 Nov 2007 19:48:00 GMT

The Daily Star:
Bangladesh dated with a nightmare as cyclone Sidr ripped through the southwestern coast late Thursday, killing over 700 people and demolishing houses, crops, vegetables and trees alike along its trail of devastation over an area of thousands of square kilometers.

Packing winds over 220km an hour, the fierce tropical storm roared across the shoreline after it hit landfall at the Khulna-Barisal coast at 7:30pm Thursday, cutting off all communications and utility services across the country.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my 47 years life,” Khalilur Rahman, a government official in Patuakhali, told The Daily Star over telephone last night. “It was a panic beyond description. People found no way but to keep on screaming as long as the cyclone ran rampage here.”

Dr. Jeff Masters, Wunderground:
Storm surge is usually the biggest killer in Bangladesh cyclones, and was responsible for the vast majority of the 140,000 people killed in the 1991 Bangladesh Cyclone. This storm struck eastern Bangladesh as a Category 5 cyclone—the only Category 5 cyclone on record to hit the country. The triangular shape of Bengal Bay funnels high surges into the apex of the triangle where Bangladesh sits, and the shallow bottom of the bay allows extraordinarily high storm surges to pile up. The maximum storm surge from Sidr was probably 20-25 feet, and affected the regions near and to the right of where the eye made landfall. The eye fortunately came ashore in the Sundarbans Forest, the world’s largest forest of mangrove trees. This region is the least populated coastal area in the country. Storm surge levels of 10-20 feet probably affected the provinces of Barguna and Paruakhali, which are more heavily populated. Undoubtedly, the storm surge killed many more people in these provinces, and Sidr’s death toll will go much higher. However, Bangladesh has done a much better job providing shelters and evacuating people during cyclones since the 1991 storm. Over 650,000 people did evacuate from Sidr, and it is unlikely the death toll will put the storm on the list of the world’s deadliest cyclones of all time.

The International Federation of Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies has launched an emergency appeal for support.

Climate Change and Energy Policy – UK and US Policy Approaches and Perspectives

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 08 Nov 2007 22:30:00 GMT

The British-American Business Association is holding an energy briefing & reception on “Climate Change and Energy Policy – UK and US Policy Approaches and Perspectives”.

Panel Moderator:
  • Professor Wilfrid Kohl, Director International Energy and Environment Program, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University
Panel
  • The Honorable Karen Harbert, Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs, US Department of Energy [invited]
  • David Thomas, First Secretary, Energy & Environment, British Embassy, Washington DC
  • John Jimison, Counsel to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, US House of Representatives
  • Chelsea Maxwell, Senior Policy Advisor to Senator John Warner of Virginia [invited]

Organized by the BABA Energy and Environment Committee

  • 5:30 PM – Registration
  • 6:00 – 7:30 PM – Presentation & Networking Reception

British Embassy Rotunda 3100 Massachusetts Ave., NW Washington, DC

Price: $40 / person (Members & their Guests) $50 / person (non-Members)

Online registration.

Climate Change - International Issues, Engaging Developing Countries

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 27 Mar 2007 14:00:00 GMT

Witnesses

Panel I
  • Jonathan Pershing, Director, Climate Energy and Pollution Program, World Resources Institute
  • Jeffrey Holzschuh, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley, Investment Banking – Global Energy and Utilities Group
  • Annie Petsonk, International Counsel, Environmental Defense
  • W. Thomas Stephens, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Boise Cascade, LLC
  • Edward S. Steinfeld, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Bernard Schwartz Fellow and Foreign Editor, Hindustan Times Asia Society

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