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Dickinson to Durban » Archive

The Home Stretch

“Climate change will not be incremental; it will be transformational.” These are tyhe inspiring words heard from Minister of the Maldives, Mohammed Aslam, a man whom I had the pleasure of hearinf speak yesterday in the Vulnerable Climate Forum’s discussion at King’s Park in Durban. This simple phrase uttered by a man whose country will be threatened by the effects of climate change before many other countries was both a sentiment of despair and promise. For me, it was important to remember that in these last few days of the COP in Durban, that moralistic and concise words such as these can drive the UNFCCC process towards an agreement or not; either “transforming” our global relations in reagrds to climate change or continuing the “incremental” progress we have seen at previous … Read entire article »

Filed under: Key COP17 Issues

3 Things…On 2 Sides of the Balance…

So as I have been running around trying to check out as many side events as possible, I have noticed three key issues in regards to the complexities faced at this conference. Whether, the side event speaker is discussing adaptation, mitigation, sustainable development, environmental equity, or policy three key holistic aspects keep coming up that add to the confusion of ultimately creating a binding agreement from these negotiations. SOCIETAL. ECONOMICAL. ENVIRONMENTAL. While these three sectors form the backbone of traditional environmental studies, I was interested to see their carrying over to policy creation. The complexities of each sector overlapping are reflected in this statement from the Climate Action Network Briefing materials in regards to expectations in Durban, “Advance and potentially agree on the modalities and guidelines for National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) … Read entire article »

Filed under: Climate Change

Day Two: Ahhh This is a Global Conference!!!!!

Elena Capaldi `14.  So having finally found my bearings today on the second day of the conference, like Esther posted, I now have noticed the nuances of attanding an international conference. While yesterday, i was simply overwhelmed hearing English accents in the same minute as a participant speaking Zulu, I now appreciate (and am less overwhelmed) by the diverse number of people here! This afternoon, for example, I caught a break outside sitting on a beautiful lawn and munching on a spicy vegetable sandwich. For some reason, it finally clicked in my brain that I am eating something totally new, from people totally different from me, in a land I’ve never been. The simple act of eating this meal reminded me of all the different foods I’ve seen and heard about … Read entire article »

Filed under: Climate Change, Consumption, Student Research

Monday, November 28th in Durban, South Africa

It’s 1:30 and I’ve grabbed a few minutes this afternoon to post on my initial reactions to the conference. For one: I am very overwhelmed. We arrived at the center this morning around 9:30 after a stressful check-in/security. We then entered the ICC building and received incredibly long addendum and programs for the days events. Immediately, I wanted to attend every event—my focus however is on energy and emissions of urban areas and sustainable development, so I knew that in general I should attend events in that vein. I went with a small group of Dickinson students to just such event presented by the organization Helio International, a group “focusing on methodology and a series of indicators that can be used to check how well national energy policies are contributing … Read entire article »

Filed under: Climate Change