Climate Diplomacy Week is a perfect opportunity to highlight positive climate action, set new goals and engage more and new actors in the fight against the devastating impacts of climate change. Each year, the week has its own character. Climate Diplomacy Week 2018, from 24-30 September, was marked by action – throughout the world, civil society participated in inspiring educational activities and engaged the wider public in the climate cause.
“In the last decade, almost half of Africa’s elephants have been killed for their ivory, and some experts are predicting that both elephants and rhinoceros will be extinct by 2030,” said Nancy Lindborg, President of the U.S. Institute of Peace at a recent event on wildlife poaching and trafficking. The illegal trade in protected wildlife is worth US$7-10 billion—some of which has ended up in the pockets of armed groups like Al-Shabaab and the Lord’s Resistance Army, said Lindborg.
Fourteen Latin American and Caribbean countries made history at the UN General Assembly on September 27 by signing the Escazú Agreement, a regional accord on public participation and access to information and justice in environmental affairs. It is the first region-wide agreement of its kind and has been touted a big step forward in recognising the rights of environmental defenders. Signatories now need to ratify the Agreement internally before it can enter into force.
In a move that underscored Donald Trump’s isolation on trade and climate change, the two major economies inserted a reference to the Paris Agreement into Ceta.
Though India is now pushing for BIMSTEC, geography dictates that it cannot ignore SAARC. South Asia is extremely vulnerable to a range of climate impacts, ranging from shrinking glaciers and water scarcity to floods and rising sea levels. Responding to these risks is a complex task, also because often impacts affect more than one country and their severity exceeds the capacity of national governments. Climate change creates new challenges for regional organisations, and simultaneously increases their relevance.
In July 2018, a partially completed dam in Laos’ Attapeu province collapsed, washing away people and villages in its path. Hundreds of people were missing and more than six thousand lost their homes. And after last summer’s hurricanes, U.S. citizens in Houston and Puerto Rico escaped death but were forced to evacuate when dams were flooded. Dam failure can be catastrophic for people, property, and power – and the risks are rising.
US leadership on climate action: what a nice surprise! However, Germany needs to quickly step up efforts – or stand to lose its reputation in climate mitigation and energy transition.
In 2018, many countries, including India, have been at the receiving end of the worst disasters the world has ever witnessed. It is imperative that they adopt a human security approach to achieve “freedom from hazard impacts” – nationally through a scientific disaster risk reduction strategy, and internationally through climate diplomacy.
San Francisco’s Global Climate Action Summit ended on 14 September with non-state actors sending a call to action to governments ahead of the crucial COP24 in December, while highlighting their pivotal role in reducing emissions and reaching climate targets.
Climate diplomacy has been picking up momentum in 2018. To celebrate Climate Diplomacy Week 2018, we collected our 10 best climate diplomacy stories of the year. Travel with us from Brussels to The Hague, Rio de Janeiro, New Delhi, Beijing and San Francisco.
The EU has become a global leader in tackling the illegal trade of wild animals and their products but needs to do more to address the wildlife crime happening on its doorstep, says Janice Weatherley-Singh. The illegal trade of wild animals and wildlife products continues to threaten many endangered species across the globe.
Time is running short for countries to decide the practical details of how the Paris Agreement will be brought to life, known as the Paris “rulebook”.
Chile's rich environment has been increasingly suffering under extreme weather events and contamination. Climate mitigation and adaptation plans throughout the world can help curb this trend, and 2nd Climate Week Chile seeks to gather these initiatives under one roop to discuss and exchange.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Bank predict that water scarcity, induced by climate change, will potentially reduce GDP of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region by 6 to 14% by 2050, if nothing is done to address this. In the report, the agencies highlight water and agriculture as key to conflict recovery, stabilization and peace building in the region currently experiencing armed conflicts and large refugee movements.
There is broad agreement that climate change represents a threat to sustainable development; consequently, development efforts must be resilient to the impacts of climate change and related disaster risks in order to be sustainable. This is the first in a series of briefs focusing on alignment of country efforts under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.