What just happened? – it might be a good question to ask about the UN climate summit convened by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon last Tuesday. “Not a lot” is the most likely answer. Continue reading
Posted in Climate change, Power
Tagged adaptation, Ban Ki-moon, carbon cuts, carbon emissions, China, Copenhagen, green economy, Hu Jintao, Israel, mitigation, Obama, Palestine, UN, US
The Copenhagen climate conference in December is crucial for the future well being of the vast majority of humanity alive today and the billions yet to be born. Its prospects are not good, however, and it is beset by multi-layered complexities. There needs to be much more political energy going into it now in order to achieve anything that can be politely called success in three months time. Continue reading
Posted in Climate change
Tagged adaptation, Ban Ki-moon, carbon trading, China, Copenhagen, EU, Freedland, green economy, international politics, Monbiot, Obama, UN, UNFCCC, US
Two of the big issues the world faces today are how to recover from the economic crunch and how to reverse global warming and deal with climate change. On Wednesday 15 July the UK government addressed both with a major policy statement reshaping its energy policy to reduce carbon emissions. It signals a bold effort to green the economy and create several hundred thousand new jobs. The biggest risk it faces is getting politically entangled – and in this regard, the media reaction was a worry.
Posted in Climate change, The economic crunch
Tagged Cameron, carbon trading, Conservatives, Copenhagen, EU, green economy, Labour, Liberal Democrats, New Labour, news media, UK
It is an increasingly familiar argument that the consequences of climate change will interact with key features of the social, economic and political landscape of countries in such a way that, especially among the poorer countries in the world, the risk of violent conflict will rise significantly. The policy agenda for addressing this problem is a combination of peacebuilding and adaptation to climate change, both of them involving a combination of international support for nationally coordinated action that engages the participation and energy of ordinary people and communities. During the week of 8 to 12 June I was in Washington DC gauging how these issues are viewed there.
Here are some headline thoughts, recorded by the Environmental Change and Security Programe at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in DC in connection with a talk I gave for them: (click here). Go to the New Security Beat web-site (see my log roll on the lower right of this home page) for more.
British politics is in one hell of a hole because of stupid abuse of a stupid set-up for covering the living expenses of Members of Parliament. The system was meant to augment MPs’ income because successive governments since the 1980s have been too gutless to agree to raise MPs’ pay in line with, for example, doctors. So the arrangement was always a piece of classic British hypocrisy and now it’s backfired into the fan. As the scandal and ridicule unfolds, though not all MPs are embroiled in it, the body as a whole is naturally obsessed by it and their real business suffers. Here are ten key problems Parliament should be talking about instead of staring up itself.
Posted in Climate change, Conflict & peace, Power, The economic crunch
Tagged banking reform, Copenhagen, finance sector, green economy, MPs' expenses, On the fiddle, Parliament, peace agreements, poverty, public service
During this decade the number of routes flown by Ryanair has increased by over 1,000 per cent. It currently carries more international passengers than any other airline. It has outdone the old-fashioned subsidised national airlines. Its disciplined, no-frills approach to the mass market for air travel is a wealth generating emblem of our age. Its boss even welcomes the recession and looks forward to the company being strengthened by it. Just one thing: if you’re flying Ryanair, don’t throw up. Continue reading
Thursday’s G-20 summit communique was followed by an immediate hailstorm of judgements. The term “new world order” has been used more than once, which in principle is not out of order when the leaders of countries responsible for 90 per cent of world output are gathered together, and you know there is some kind of success when major world leaders queue up to claim the credit. Continue reading