COP21: A View From The Press Room: What Could Have been?
Presenter: Dr. Joan Russow
About Dr. Russow and COP21:
Dr. Russow attended COP21 [Conference of Parties 21 in Paris] on behalf of the Watershed Sentinel and followed the press conferences given by scientists, human rights climate justice activists, environmentalists, developed and developing countries, indigenous rights groups, divest and reinvest groups, end fossil fuel subsidies, health advocates, water campaigners and labour groups. She has been involved with the climate change issue, as an NGO [Non-Governmental Organization] at the UN since March 1992 at UNCED [UN Conference on Environment and Development], in Rio 1992 when the UNFCCC [UN Framework Convention of Climate Change] was negotiated, at Rio +5 (Kyoto protocol), at Commissions on Sustainable development, in the Energy caucus in Joburg, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002) Special Session on Climate Change in New York (2007) and at the Sustainable Development Goals including SDGs 13 on Climate At the People’s Conference in Bolivia Rio +20 (2012),
She Attended, as a Reporter, for different media, Globe 1992 to 2010. (Vancouver), and for the Watershed Sentinel, COP15 in Copenhagen, COP16 in Cancun, and COP21, in Paris Change (2015).
Dr. Russow’s report on COP21:
COP21: fossil fuel states negotiated with a fossil fuel vision and ignored the UNFCCC
In the 2014 IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] Report, the urgency of addressing climate change was reaffirmed; “The world is not ready for the impacts of climate change, including more extreme weather and the likelihood that populated parts of the planet could be rendered uninhabitable. The report argues that world leaders have only a few years left to reduce carbon emissions enough to avoid catastrophic warming, which would produce significant sea level rise and large-scale shifts in temperatures that would dramatically disrupt human life and natural ecosystems.”
At COP21 Ban Ki-Moon urged that “The States are to negotiate with a global vision not from specific national interests”.
A global vision is not just “recalling” the Paris Agreement, but by abiding by articles 2, 3, and 4 in the legally binding 1992 UNFCCC. This Convention which has been ratified by all member states of the United has addressed many of the contentious issues at COP21.
In article 2 under the legally binding UNFCCC is the obligation :
“…to stabilize of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”
A global vision to address article 2 would be to immediately end all subsidies for fossil fuel, to calculate the carbon budget for each state, to divest in fossil fuels and to reinvest in renewable energy, to conserve sinks, and to avoid all false solutions such as nuclear, geo-engineering and biofuels which would all violate principles within the UNFCCC.
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